Late 1971: truss rod changed to adjust at the peghead behind the nut with a bullet system on stratocasters and jazz basses. Though from the front they look identical to the 1965 to 1967 variety, the 1968/1969 white strat pickguards had a bottom layer (the layer not seen unless the pickguard is removed from the body) of pearloid. Left: a 1966 custom telecaster with the target burst style sunburst. Shims were used between a fender neck and body to adjust the neck set of the instrument (the neck set is the angle of the neck in relationship to the body; if the neck set is too shallow, it needs a shim so the playing action can be lowered with the bridge to a comforable level. To some degree the effect is not only caused by age and sun, but the felting of the black layer below the white layer provide net fender dating. From 1955 to early 1958, the next generation of rectangle case was the side pocket tweed case. Also shown is the difference between reissue and original slab board necks. Interestingly, tele nail holes were moved in the early 1960s, but are still present. They also had an interior tag proclaiming the case as a koylon brand case. Also the interior of the case got more padding. Also still no side worm shaft hole for the tuner shaft. 1958: the neck profile completely changes, with the v shape completely gone.
One nail hole near the neck pocket on a may 1962 fender stratocaster provide net fender dating. Sometimes these pickguards are called nitrate guards because nitric acid is one of the key ingredients used to make celluloid. Still shaped like a guitar, the poodle case had one flat side that did not follow the contours of the guitar (this was the side of the case that rested on the ground when the case was set down by the handle). If this nail hole does not have paint in it (as seen here), the finish is probably original. Fender adjusted the neck set at the factory with a shim. Also by 1966 the rosewood changed from brazilian to indian rosewood. Adjusts at the butt of the neck by the pickups. There is a lot more info on fender finishes here. This allowed fender to be less picky with their choice of alder, because the sunburst is less transparent. This left a visible paint stick shadow inside the neck pocket. Click here for a comparison of vintage versus 1980s and later strat knobs. Below are some examples of letter prefixes used in recent serial number schemes.
In the late 1960s, white stratocaster pickguards change slightly (not sure about other models). To summarize, if the fender instrument is later than mid-1956, and was originally not blond in color, the body wood should be alder. 1980 s: all reissue guitars use the old style cloth shielded wire.relative dating of rock layers worksheet.. Mid-1956 to 1958: kluson deluxe is now stamped in the outside tuner casing in a single vertical line. 1963 to 1965: teles and strats still use the crl 1452 3-way switch, but the fiberous brown bakelite material that holds the switch contacts is replaced with a less fiberous brown bakelite (lighter in color) that is cut round (like a half moon, instead of having flat sides). Pickup screw springs are now actually real cone-shaped springs instead of rubber surgical tubing. ) under the pickguard or control plates of original fender bodies. The only case missing from this photo is the 1959 to 1961 style brown case with the lighter colored burnt orange interior. The new fender did not acquire any physical assets of the old company, just the name fender. This relatively new material for the time was cheap, easy to work with, and somewhat flexible. 1968 to early 1980 s: pvc plastic shielded wire is used. .
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