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 Post subject: Date this P-Bass Neck
PostPosted: Sat Dec 10, 2011 9:02 am 
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I'm told this is a '72. I've looked at a number of sites and can't seem to match up the various codes. Any opinions?

https://plus.google.com/photos/11594635 ... pvO_rmagwE

Thanks.

Updating to list the numbers at the end of the neck:

5 22 016 9


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 Post subject: Re: Date this P-Bass Neck
PostPosted: Thu Dec 15, 2011 7:35 am 
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For what it's worth - The only other time I have seen an all black Fender decal is on an early 1990s Mexican Strat. Maybe if you check out MIM 1992 or 1995 as the 5 may (no pun intended) be the month number. Good luck

I just had a trawl of the interweb and found this at http://www.thegearpage.net/board/showth ... p?t=469741

"90’s Fender Mexico w/ Black Decal: A Mystery Uncovered You might have heard of mexican made Fender guitars with a black headstock decal, sometimes associated with some mystery Squier Series made in Mexico. It’s true that there actually was a “Squier Series” that was made by Fender in Mexico and featured a black decal on the headstock, but not all mexican made Fender guitars with such a black label were part of that very “Squier Series”. Since there appears to be a lot of confusion and half-knowledge about these guitars out there, I decided to do some research on my own.

The black label was used by Fender Mexico for a limited time only between 1993 and 1998. It can be found exclusively on the rather short lived mexican “Traditional” and “Squier” series for the Telecaster, Stratocaster and Precision Bass. Usually, Squier is to Fender what Epiphone is to Gibson. In this very case, the use of the name “Squier” had nothing to do with the actual Squier brand, as the series was named “Squier Series”, but it was by all means a Fender series, not a Squier series. The keyword is “series”, not “Squier”. The regular mexican “Standard” series was available too at the time, but it already featured the same silver-ish logo that is still used for it today. However, between 1993 and 1998, both labels (the black AND the silver-ish one) were used for mexican made Fender guitars, but for (slightly) different guitars.

The guitars with the black label consisted mostly of overstock american made Fender necks and bodies. The parts were shipped to Mexico for assembly with mexican made pickups and far eastern hardware and electronics. The overall quality of these guitars turned out to be below the Squiers made in Japan and Korea, whose production came to an end around the time the mexican made guitars with the black label surfaced, yet above Squiers made in China and Indonesia, whose production had not yet begun at the time. The guitars ended up on the american and european market for just about as much as a guitar from the regular “Standard” series would cost at the time.

Some (not all!) of the guitars were sold for a few bucks less as they came with 1-ply pickguards and hardware of slightly lesser quality. Those guitars (and those only!) had an additional smaller “Squier Series” label on front of the headstock, right were the artist models have the artist’s signature. Though some owners probably sanded off their “Squier Series” label, it is not true that all guitars with a black label had a “Squier Series” label in the first place. Most guitars with the black label featured tuners and bridges of decent quality as well as 3-ply pickguards. These guitars did not have the additional “Squier Series” label and were called the “Traditional Series”, which was stated nowhere on the headstock but the guitars were listed, advertised and sold as such.

The “Traditional Series” can be considered the slightly better but the “Squier Series” sure is the more obscure. At the end of the day, there really is not that much difference between the two. The most significant difference can be found on the Telecaster. The Telecaster from the “Traditional Series” had the traditional through-body stringing, while the Telecasters from the “Squier Series” were Top Loaders with different bridges, saddles and no string holes in the back.

The guitars from that very “Squier Series” are official and genuine Fender guitars like any mexican made Fender guitar regardless, and if you have a mexican made Fender Telecaster, Stratocaster or Precision Bass with a black label and a serial number beginning with MN3, MN4, MN5, MN6, MN7 or MN8, you have a genuine Fender guitar – with or without a small “Squier Series” label."


Another link here to a Fender Lounge thread viewtopic.php?f=9&t=50979


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 Post subject: Re: Date this P-Bass Neck
PostPosted: Fri Dec 16, 2011 12:11 am 
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mnbass wrote:
I'm told this is a '72. I've looked at a number of sites and can't seem to match up the various codes. Any opinions?

https://plus.google.com/photos/11594635 ... pvO_rmagwE

Thanks.

Updating to list the numbers at the end of the neck:

5 22 016 9


Are you positive that the last character which you state as being "9" is not a smudged "B" like in baby? In the referenced photo I think it is a "B" instead of a "9."

If you read it as a "B" instead of a "9" the neck code would decode as a Precision Bass (5) made in January of 1966, with a B neck profile.

The problem with this decoding result is the headstock decal is completely wrong for 1966. The decal pictured was used starting in the 1968 model year. So what I'm looking at in the photos obviously must be a post 1968 model neck.

We do know that from about 1970 numeric placement shifted in the format based on the whim of the current supervisor or quality control head. They even changed placement within model years depending on who was supervising. By doing some moving of numbers in the format decoding it becomes possible this neck was made on several different dates.

It is a well known but unfortunate fact, based on interviews with long time Fender workers like Abigail Yberra and Dave Maddux, that codes in the early 70's were changed around very often, so precisely dating a neck is nearly impossible and even approximating it requires some educated guessing on the part of an appraiser. Neither Ms Yberra nor Mr. Maddux could tell you for sure either if they had just your neck in their hands.

These somewhat random neck code placement changes of the 1969 through 1971 model years require that the totality of the instrument has to be taken into consideration, which means that the serial, pickup markings, pot codes, etc must be evaluated collectively before you can make an educated guess. Given only a neck from this era if you follow the generally accepted format it does not always compute with the headstock following the general decoding formula.

I believe that these variations were part of the reason for the big change in 1972 when upper level management took steps to standardize the serials Fender-wide and even changed the long standing model code numbers on every single model to a two digit number.

The neck model code used on Precisions after the 1971 model year (ending about June 30th 1972) changed to "01" instead of the old number "5" so I'm fairly certain your neck was stamped prior to June 30, 1972.

The entire neck code format changed in 1972 to a 10 digit number with no "B" at the end, so my best guess is that this is a pre-1972 model year neck. And I'm thinking it could be either a 1970 or 1971 model. There is also a chance it is from the 20th week of 1972 before the code change took place at the beginning of the 27th week. I am pretty sure it was made in 70, 71 or 72 but it would have been the first half of 1972 as a 1971 model which makes the 20 look like the 20th week. Can't say for sure. Nobody can so far as I know.


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 Post subject: Re: Date this P-Bass Neck
PostPosted: Sun Dec 18, 2011 6:42 am 
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Mnbass - what a dumbo I am - looking at you photos again I can see it can't be a MIM 90s. Here's hoping it does turn out to be an early 70s model


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