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Back in the 1950's and 60's no one at Fender at any clue that one day these instruments would be highly sought after collector's items or coveted vintage tone machines and that people would be so concerned about when any particular bass was made.They just grabbed whatever part or component was ready and put together the instrument to fill an order as fast as possible.

Lesson here is that until you see the date stamp on either the neck or body, the serial number is only a guess.After 1981 most Fender neck dates are easy to read and understand, however I've still seen a few Fender basses from the 1990's with no neck stamp at all.Body stamp dates were used by Fender from the early 1950's to the mid 1960's and then stopped until the 1980's where they started again sporadically to this day, sometimes you see them and sometimes you don't.The general rule of thumb is that a bass is as old as it's newest part, or at least it's latest dated part.So if you have Fender with a neck date of 1964 and the pots are dated 1965, then you have a 1965 Fender Bass.