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Post subject: Weird neck stamp code...
Posted: Tue Oct 13, 2015 2:58 am
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Hi, I have a little odd question. I recently bought an old Fender Presicion Bass from 1978 from a guy i know. According to a guitarbuilder i've showed it to it seems all origional and genuine.
The only thing i dont understand is the serial number stamped on the bottom of the neck under the tross rod wich you can see when you take off the neck from the body.
According to the information on the web on how to read these codes the number on my neck doesnt add upp..

The number on my neck is 0102X0502.
On the webb info page it says 01=Presicion bass and 03=maple neck for example. "02" is not even on the list.. "X" is also weird... It's not on the list either..

Can you help me shed som light on this?

Is this neck not genuine?

Thankfull for any help on this

p.s can't seem to be able to post pictures..


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Post subject: Re: Weird neck stamp code...
Posted: Tue Oct 13, 2015 5:22 am
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viewtopic.php?f=2&t=52777

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Post subject: Re: Weird neck stamp code...
Posted: Wed Apr 27, 2016 2:49 am
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Sorry it took so long to answer. Maybe because the first time I saw your post I was waiting on the photo that never appeared and thought I'd check back later. Anyhow I stumbled upon this unaddressed topic and decided since I have nothing better to do at the moment that now is a good time. Even if you don't come back to read the information it may help someone else. The one thing that changed on the P-Bass more than anything else was the neck code format!

Yes the code is weird but totally legitimate. In 1972 Fender went to an 8 digit all numerical neck code that remained almost unchanged until 1980. EXCEPT in the late 70's for some reason I do not know Fender made a slight modification with the introduction of the short lived 9 character neck code. This longer code just carried on with the previous 8 digit neck code format adding one extra non-numerical character smack in the middle. I recall seeing these oddball 9 character neck codes for sure on 79 and 80 models. There may have been a good reason for that extra character such as denoting maker or inspector but I have no idea what that reason really was. The 9th character was X or A or sometimes even a wacky symbol. Once saw a fraction of 1/4 there and another time I saw a plus sign. Maybe it was just to separate the model and fretboard codes from the date codes.

You have 0102X0502. You can learn to read these codes easily and quickly. With instruments of this era entering the collectible class it is a handy thing to know.

First two characters are model and 01 is in fact P-Bass so you are right there. (Here is what I know about the other codes. 02-Jazz Bass, 03-UNKNOWN, 04-Mustang Bass, 05-06 & 07 UNKNOWN, 08-Telecaster Deluxe, 09-Stratocaster, 10 11 & 12-UNKNOWN, 13-Telecaster, Telecaster Custom or Telecaster Thinline and 49- Musicmaster, Mustang or Bronco GUITARS not basses. If you can fill in any of the unknowns please message me.)

Second two characters reflect fretboard build or a combination of fretboard build and neck back type. During the period 1972 through 1980 the meaning of these numbers changed so frequently it is hard to know when they changed them around because I did not bother to keep up with this stuff until about 5 years ago. Both 00 and 01 were used for rosewood at various times. Both 02 and 03 were used for maple at various times. But wait, there's more to confuse us! 03 was ALSO used for fretted rosewood board with a skunk stripe neck back. Wow, thanks for that! There is also a 10 code during this 9 character neck code period meaning fretless maple too. You have a 02 fretboard code so you have maple.

Next we come to your special character. You have a "X" so let's just accept that this "X" means, "The answer is out there somewhere," and agents Muldar and Scully are working on it.

Now we got to "WHEN WAS THE NECK BORN?" The beauty of these 8 and 9 digit neck codes is you can get it right down to the day! With this code it gets a little uncomfortable for me since you came into this believing it to be a "1978" P-Bass and I'm about to tell you it isn't. It is really a 1979 model made in very early 1980.

The first two numbers AFTER the special character (the "X" in your serial) are the WEEK of the year it was made. These numbers run 01 to 52. Your code says 05 meaning the 5th week of the calendar year.

The next single number tells us the year and here your "0" translates to calendar year 1980. (2-1972, 3-1973 and so on through 0 meaning 1980.) And the final character on your code is "2" which means Tuesday. (1-Monday, 2-Tuesday, 3-Wednesday and so on.) Your neck's birthday was finished up and coded on Tuesday January 29, 1980.

For 1978 the headstock decal serial should start "S8" followed by five digits. Yours may say this and the instrument be perfectly legitimate. A 1979 serial should be "S9" followed by five digits. However you should not panic or suspect something sinister because I have learned to allow a surprising amount of latitude on the serial of about one year to 18 months throughout most of the CBS era. Even Fender admits that you have to allow latitude on CBS era serials. Once you get to over 24 months latitude I get skeptical. The explanation could be as simple as they could have ran out of '79 decals so used some leftover '78's or a manager wanted to use up all the '78 decals before breaking out the '79's.

For further date verification I'd also check the pot codes and pickup codes if legible. Pot inventories were managed much more tightly in the late 70's and early 80's than the mid to late 60's. If you can read them the pot codes and pickup codes dating closer to 1980 than 1978 would validate that the neck is original to the body. The latest date you find on any component is the oldest model it could possibly be. Maybe the pots date newer than the neck for all I know. It could be a legitimate all original instrument but the serial dating alone does not make it for sure a '78 model. I'm pretty sure it is a 1979 model in spite of what the headstock serial decal says.

In the absence of other dating data you would naturally go by the serial and call it a '78, but here with a clear 1980 neck code we know for sure it was made in very early 1980 at the earliest. Technically that would make it a '79 model because the '79 model year ran July 1, 1979 until June 30, 1980 and that is within reasonable serial dating latitude for this period.

You really are sort of lucky that the neck code was 100% legible because they not always are. You have about an equal chance of getting one where you can read everything clearly and one you can not. It is also possible the "0" in the year spot was really an "8" or "9" that got smudged or faded till it looked like a zero.


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Post subject: Re: Weird neck stamp code...
Posted: Wed Nov 02, 2016 4:53 pm
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I believe I can add to this conversation. This past weekend I came across an early Musicmaster bass with the neck code of 0700 2013. I believe that the first 07 is the model code for Musicmaster Bass, since the 00 indicates rosewood fretboard (which is correct), and the 20, 1, and 3 (Wednesday of the 20th week of 1971). This matches the date range associated with the serial number, but pots have long since been replaced. So, possibly we have a model to go with 07.


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Post subject: Re: Weird neck stamp code...
Posted: Wed Nov 02, 2016 6:06 pm
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alphabo wrote:
I believe I can add to this conversation. This past weekend I came across an early Musicmaster bass with the neck code of 0700 2013. I believe that the first 07 is the model code for Musicmaster Bass, since the 00 indicates rosewood fretboard (which is correct), and the 20, 1, and 3 (Wednesday of the 20th week of 1971). This matches the date range associated with the serial number, but pots have long since been replaced. So, possibly we have a model to go with 07.


Seems logical since at that time (1971) I believe Fender was cataloging at least seven bass models:

Jazz Bass
Precision Bass
Telecaster Bass
Bass V
Bass VI
Mustang Bass
Musicmaster Bass

(I'm not certain if the Coronado Bass was still being offered)

Brother Dave may be able to shed some additional light......

Arjay

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Post subject: Re: Weird neck stamp code...
Posted: Tue Nov 08, 2016 3:32 am
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CBS era Coronado basses were made from 1966 until 1972, but the single pickup Coronado I was discontinued first about 1970. So if it is a 71 or 72 Coronado it is a 2 pickup Coronado II. There are some ultra rare ones early in production that did not have the model name on the headstock decal at all. Those mystery models should be the most valuable by far over most others except for celebrity owned Coronado models belonging to people like Elvis and Arthur Smith. Smith used his original Antigua finished Coronado II extensively for TV appearances as it looked good on camera for black and white or later in color and he adapted to it quickly due the similarity to his previously favored Gretsch instruments. There are a couple of interesting things about the Coronado. It was Fender's first use of DeArmond pickups which were used primarily on Gretsch and other hollow and semi-hollow bodied models like the Baldwin line. Much later of course FMIC bought DeArmond outright. The color treatment called ANTIGUA with darker areas around the outer edges and on the sides sharply going lighter a quarter to half inch or so from the binding and then going darker again just around the F holes was developed originally for the Coronado. The very specific Antigua color treatment arose solely because some Coronado bodies came out with chemical burns caused by the glue being used which discolored the wood and showed through most of the colors being used. This color treatment hid the burn defects perfectly without making the instrument too dark looking overall. Near the end of the run Fender actually changed the model name from Coronado to Antigua! At the time they were running Antigua badged models with "Antigua" on the pickguard, they ALSO had a model based upon the Coronado II that was made with Fender's briefly used Wildwood color treatment in which the wood was injected with dyes of various colors while still growing with the result resembling zebra wood in varying colors. Wildwood Coronado instruments were actually called the Fender Wildwood and that model name along with a number corresponding to the dye scheme will be on the pickguard. The Wildwood had several different color variations and each color variation had a different Wildwood model number. The Wildwood models are very scarce but more common than the earliest Coronado models with no model name at all on the headstock decal. So the Coronado design, was actually made into THREE different base models at different times, or four if you count the earliest non-badged model. There are those who say Fender was considering two other names for the original Coronado model including the Fender Fantasy and the Fender Aztec. Attaching some pics. First is the original Antigua color scheme treatment, which is what most people think of when they hear Antigua referred to as a color. Second is a Wildwood II. Third is the Red/Black Antigua scheme on a Fender Coronado that belonged to Elvis.
Image
Image
Image


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Post subject: Re: Weird neck stamp code...
Posted: Tue Nov 08, 2016 4:21 am
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You sir, are a living encyclopedia :)


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