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Fender serial numbers

Hoosefosses
Posts: 11
3 months ago
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So I just bought a Mexican made Fender jazz bass from the pawnshop got a killer deal too,I only paid 80bucks for it,less than what the shop actually paid for it,their loss is my gain. After I get it home and plugged in I find it's got some wiring issues,,someone attempted to upgrade the pots and did a poor job of it,they used medical tape instead of soldering it. Anyway since I found this issue,I decided to completely tear the guitar down and in the process of doing this I noticed the neck stamp says June 16,1994 but if I read the serial number right it says it's a 2005. The serial number is MN 3123405,the last two numbers are the year it was made correct? Im just curious of the manufacturer date,either way I know it's an authentic Fender,I'm going to rebuild it,it's already got Schaller tuners on it,are these original? From what I know Fender uses their tuners I could be wrong though,educate me here ladies and gents PLEASE!
IamMark
Posts: 1098
Marko is the expert on all things Leo Fender related. He's been MIA though.

Serial numbers don't necessarily follow any sort of logic. What Fender uses today to number their products most likely wasn't used in the 90s. Or before 1990.

I believe Fender changed their MIM identifier from MN to MZ in the late 90s, so because yours has “MN” as the prefix, chances are it's a mid-90s or earlier. I wouldn't put a lot of stock in the 3123405 meaning it was made in 2005 or even 1995 for that matter.

EDIT: I found this on Fender's site, so it looks like your neck was made in 1993 - 1994:

MN3 + 5 or 6 digits 1993-1994
2nick3
Posts: 460
The MN means it was made in Mexico, the 3 after that indicates 1993-1994 (as noted by IAmMark), the rest of the numbers are just a sequence number and hold not special meaning. So with the date stamp of 1994 on the neck that's what I'd call it. I can't find anything saying there were changes on the MIMs between 1992 and 1996 (I didn't look further) except for color options, so they probably weren't very precise with the serial numbers.

Do the tuners say “Schaller” on them? That would not be original, but the original style would be the same as you'd see from Schaller. Back that far I don't know if Fender was making them inhouse or buying them, so they could very well be sourced from Schaller, but would not have the name on them.

As you are doing a full tear-down on the bass I highly recommend shielding the pickup and control cavities as part of the project. I just fixed up a bass and didn't do it, and now I have to go back and correct my mistake.

Have fun with the project - I've rescued a few basses and it's always fun bringing them back to their intended glory.
johnny880
Posts: 306
That was a really good deal on that bass. I wish I knew how to fix mine.

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