Oh yeah, sorry about that, I totally missed your other inquiry.
I read somewhere on the internet awhile back about fender and it's wood back in the early 90's. I just can't remember the site, and almost half the facts I read.
It goes something like this. Fender has been using both alder and poplar, but in 89', or maybe it was 90' or 91', oh well, somwhere in there anyway, fender was having some kind of trouble with the availibility with their alder, I think it had something enviromentally to do with it. They were limited on the amount they could use, so naturally fender had to stop using it (just on the mexican made models, since their mass produced in very large numbers, more than american made ones), so they just substituted the alder with poplar since it is basically the closest they can come (as far as sound goes) to the alder while keeping with a tonewood that's good for guitar bodies. They had to do this for a few years until enviromentalists worked everything out, somewhere in the mid-nineties fender was given the go-ahead to start using alder again for their major mass-production guitars.
Don't hold me to this information, a few things here and there could be wrong but thats basically how the story went.
Your 96' should be free and clear from poplar, so you don't have to worry about that either. I think their limit ended in 94'.
Your guitar should be, without a doubt, alder.
Here's a site you can use for dating fender guitars and a number of other guitar makers, it's a good one www.guitardaterproject.org
As for your anniversary pickups, I'm not too sure about them, but for all I know they could be alittle more top-of-the-line, with an anniversary model they usually upgrade something, most likely it will be the pickups, since that's the number one upgrade that does a guitar justice.