In , the spacing of the two fingerboard dots at fret twelve changed the spacing became closer together. Neck Back Shapes profiles , all guitar and bass models. Fender neck shapes have changed through the years too. Fender neck shapes all models have a standard large and chunky "D" profile big "baseball bat" style neck. Fender necks change to a large and chunky "soft V" profile. This "strong V" neck profile becomes famous, and musicians like Eric Clapton prefer its shape.
Some Fender necks produced have a "small strong V", where the neck isn't so big feeling, but still has a very strong "V" shape mostly seen on Musicmasters and Duosonics, and the occassional Strat. It's back to a conventional "D" neck profile, but not nearly as thick and large as and prior neck profiles. This neck style is used on most reissue Fenders regardless of the year being copied. With the release of rosewood fingerboards on all models in mid, the "D" neck profiles pretty much stay the same throughout the s with only minor variance from year to year for example, necks seem to be a bit chunkier than to necks.
From March to , Fender marked their necks with an "official" neck width letter at the butt of the neck in front of the date code. All other sizes were available by special order only. 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.
If the neck set is too sharp, the strings can not be raised enough with the bridge to stop string buzz. Fender adjusted the neck set at the factory with a shim. Some Fenders use them, so don't. Click here for a picture of the shim used during the s and s. Neck Bolt Numbers 3 or 4. In the Telecaster Deluxe from introduction also used the 3 bolt neck plate. In the 4 bolt neck plate came back to the Anniversary strat.
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By all Stratocaster models were again 4 bolt. And by , all Fender models converted back to the 4 bolt neck plate. Peghead String Guides or "String Tree". String guides were used on most models to give the treble strings greater string tension across the nut. Changed to a "butterfly" string guide. Click here to see the difference between reissue and original Fender "butterfly" string trees. Only pre-October Esquires have no truss rod.
Adjusts at the "butt" of the neck by the pickups. Click here to see the difference between vintage and repro Fender truss rod nuts. Telecaster and Precision Bass keep traditional truss rod system. Fender starts using different truss rod systems, depending on the model. The body routes on a 's Fender Stratocaster. Note the added "shoulder" near the body's edge to accomodate an attachment screw.
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Also notice the squared off corner pickup routes. Earlier 's Strat bodies have rounded corner pickup routes. The body routes on a Stratocaster. Note the rounded pickup route corners, compared to the 's pickup routes seen above. The body routes on Telecasters. In the 's the "notch" was removed from the bass side of the neck pocket. Initially, when the Fender Stratocaster was introduced in , it had a single layer white pickguard attached with 8 screws.
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In mid , Fender switches to a multiple layer pickguard with 11 mounting screws. One of the additional screws required a change to the interior body route on the Stratocaster. Now a added "shoulder" was left in the electronic route to accomodate one of the extra pickguard screws. Starting in the late 's, Fender also changed the shape of the pickup routes on the Strat. Now the corners were more square, instead of being round.
The Telecaster body also changed in the 's. The "notch" that existed on the bass side of the neck pocket was removed. See the picture above. Fender used "single line" Kluson tuners, that had "Kluson Deluxe" stamped in a single vertical row like and later Klusons ; these are easily identified as "early" Klusons and not and later Klusons because "PAT APPLD" is also stamped below the vertical "Deluxe" marking.
These are also different because they lack the side worm shaft hole for the tuner shaft there is only a side "entrance" hole. Fender used "no line" Kluson tuners exclusively, and were unmarked had no brand name stamped in the tuner back. Also still no side worm shaft hole for the tuner shaft.
There is now a side tuner shaft worm gear hole. Still "no line" style casing had no brand name stamped in the tuner back. Fender used Kluson tuners exclusively on all models.
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The only variable was the tuner tip. DuoSonics, MusicMasters, Mustangs and other low-end models had white plastic tips, all other models had metal tips. Fender used Kluson tuners, but now the "Kluson Deluxe" was stamped into two vertical lines "Kluson" in one line, "Deluxe" in the other.
Note some models such as the Jazzmaster and Jaquar the use of Kluson tuners ended in mid see below. Fall to late 's: Fender had tuners made for them with a big "F" stamped in the back cover. Tuner buttons were chrome plated plastic. Click here to see the different Fender tuners used from to the s. Click here to see a comparison of vintage versus reissue Kluson tuners. Click here to see a comparison of vintage versus reissue Kluson tuner bushings.
Tone Capacitors to Seemingly for this year only, most Stratocasters have a green square "chicklet" style tone cap this may include other models too. Old style pre Stratocaster bridge. Note the nickel plated saddles with "Fender Pat. Reissue saddles look exactly the same but are stamped "Fender Fender". Also since the pickguard is removed on this Strat, we can see the "nail hole" just above the pickguard screw hole. If this nail hole does not have paint in it as seen here , the finish is probably original. Old style Telecaster bridges. The bridge at the top is a mid and prior style Tele bridge with brass saddles, and the serial number stamped into the bridge plate reissue vintage Tele bridge plates with serial numbers have a "dot" pressed below the third number in the serial number, so not to be confused with original Tele bridge plates.
The picture at the bottom is a mid to style Tele bridge with "smooth" saddles, and no serial number on the bridge plate. In Fender then switched to "threaded" saddles on the tele bridge not shown. The Stratocaster used the same bridge saddle from to , a piece of steal stamped into shape.
In the Strat bridge changes to a less expesive saddle made of cast metal. Reissue vintage Strat bridge saddles are also stamped metal. Click here for a picture. Recent "bogus" Strat saddles are now available in which many individuals pass-off as originals.
Strat Tremolo Blocks Pickups and Pickup Springs to March Pickup wire is usually a real rich cooper color. Pickups are dipped in hot wax to eliminate microphonics, and this wax is evident on the entire pickup. March to late 's: Gray bottom pickups would be the rule, but black bottom pickups were used from old stock as late as Starting in the early 's, the top edges of the magnets were no longer rounded. Most gray bottom pickup assemblies have at least one pickup with a hand written date. By the late 's this changed to an inked stamped date code, much like the date code used on the butt of the neck.
Most gray bottom pickups have a deep burgundy colored pickup wire. Wax treament is no longer used in favor of a lacquer dip treatment, which is much harder to see.
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Pickup screw springs are now actually real cone-shaped springs instead of rubber surgical tubing. Click here for a picture of gray bottom pickups s. Click here for a picture of a November 4, gray bottom pickup date stamp. Potentiometers Fender used mostly Stackpole brand pots in the 's, and CTS brand pots in the 's. These pots are date coded, and can help verify the authenticity and year of an instrument. The manufacturer code for CTS is or for Stackpole , so this number should be stamped on the pot somewhere. In the 's, YWW date format was used.