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3 digits of 500 corresponds to 35th Anniversary Strat from 1989-1990. SE 6 digits or SN 6 digits or SZ 6 digits corresponds to Signature Series Instrument. NC 6 digits corresponds to Squier Strat Bullets and the time frame is difficult to establish. DN 6 digits corresponds to Fender's American Deluxe Series dating to 1998-1999. Crafted in Japan, P 5 digits corresponds to 1999-2002. Crafted in Japan, O 5 digits corresponds to 1997-2000. These have the specifications of Standard Stratocasters and the time frame is difficult to establish. CN 6 digits or VN 6 digits corresponds to Korean-made Fender and Squier instruments and the time frame is difficult to establish.
Look on the headstock of the guitar to find the serial number for a Fender Stratocaster. The serial number is typically a numeral preceded by one or two letters.
To find the exact production date of Fender Vintage series instruments, remove the neck and examine the joint of the neck and body.
Fender introduced its Vintage Series guitars in 1982.
Nontraditional Fender Series: AMXN 6 digits corresponds to 1997-1998 and includes Fender's short-lived California Series of instruments.
For Japanese made guitars, according to Fender: JV 5 digits corresponds to 1982-1984.