Strat Plus Serial Number Is Way Off From Heel Stamp

Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by LeftCoast, May 3, 2021.

  1. LeftCoast

    LeftCoast Strat-Talker

    Messages:
    188
    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2020
    Location:
    Thawed Northeast
    Hi all,

    I came across a weird serial number for a 1992 Strat Plus... N 98xxxx. Is the gap weird? I own two other Strat Plus models, no gaps in the serial.

    It definitely hasn't been changed, it's all original. To what end would someone alter a serial to an impossible production year?

    I've heard of Fender being a little lax on their numbering system, but has anyone ever seen this? Ad a1.jpg 20210503_143940.jpg
     
  2. Mr Dunlop

    Mr Dunlop Senior Stratmaster

    Messages:
    3,232
    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2014
    Location:
    usa
    The serial Prefix N9 was used in 1990 or 1999
    I have see strats dating 1991 with the N9 prefix
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2021
    LeftCoast and CB91710 like this.
  3. LeftCoast

    LeftCoast Strat-Talker

    Messages:
    188
    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2020
    Location:
    Thawed Northeast

    Yeah, thanks!
    The body is stamped 1992 as well, and with this neck being built in February, I assumed it was a 1992.

    I knew about the "N9" issue (1999 or 1990, etc.), but what about the gap in the N and the 9?
     
  4. John C

    John C Most Honored Senior Member

    Messages:
    6,871
    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2012
    Location:
    Kansas City
    Yep; known serial number screw-up at Fender. The serial number decal is always 2 parts; as you can see from your neck in that era the 2 parts were "Serial Number N" and the "98xxxx". When Fender ran out of the half that said "Serial Number E" they still kept using the 6-digit number decals that started with a "9" (i.e. "9xxxxx") when they should have switched to 6-digit number decals that started with a "0" (i.e. "0xxxxx"). Later on in 1992 they got revised versions of the first part of the decal that said "Serial Number N2", and they still used the 6-digit individual numbers.

    My quick and dirty research was that the Fender serial numbers ran like this:
    • E3xxxxx - used on 1983-84 Standard and Elite models; whatever was left over when FMIC bought the company was used on American Standards when they start in late 1986 (officially January 1987); E3xxxxx were used up during 1987
    • E4xxxxx - only a few were actually use in 1984 (I think only on the "bowling ball"/swirled finish limited edition Standards in 1984); again these were used on American Standards from late 1986 through about the middle of 1988
    • E8xxxxx - start in the middle of 1988 and run until fairly late in 1989
    • E9xxxxx - start in late 1989 and run through most of 1990
    • N9xxxxx - start in late 1990/early 1991 and run into 1992
    • N2xxxxxx - starts during 1992 and run into 1993
    It seems like Fender gets to the point where the numbers run roughly for a calendar year in either 1994 or 1995.
     
    LeftCoast likes this.
  5. albala

    albala Most Honored Senior Member

    Messages:
    9,294
    Joined:
    May 10, 2012
    Location:
    Hilton Head, South Carolina
    Gap is normal. My N9 has same gap. I bought it new in 1991
     
    LeftCoast likes this.
  6. Michael919

    Michael919 Most Honored Senior Member

    Messages:
    5,184
    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2011
    Location:
    Ottawa, Canada
  7. SurfsUp

    SurfsUp Senior Stratmaster

    Messages:
    1,719
    Joined:
    May 18, 2016
    Location:
    Aff-Ma-Heid, Ontario
    I have a first gen Plus Deluxe (S/S/B Lace Sensors) with an 1989 stamped neck and a body stamped 1990 with a full year (of months) in between. Talk about a mutt lol.....
     
  8. Morf2540

    Morf2540 Senior Stratmaster

    Age:
    56
    Messages:
    1,405
    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2017
    Location:
    Wilmington, DE
    Interesting. Here is mine, also a 1992. You can see the "2" (for 1992) is attached to the "N" (N2), and the remaining 5 digits are in a different type style. Looks like your guitar is younger by a couple minutes....

    IMG_5736.JPG
     
  9. AxemanVR

    AxemanVR I appreciate, therefore I am... Silver Member

    Messages:
    4,604
    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2014
    Location:
    Minnesota USA

    FYI, my 1996 Fender Standard Telecaster has a serial number starting with MN5 but a date stamp at the neck heel of March 1996.

    It also has the “1946-1996 Anniversary” medallion on the back of the headstock, so it would seem that Fender was “date challenged” at that time as well...



    front.JPG
    Stamp.JPG
    back.jpg



     
    Last edited: May 4, 2021