Dating fender stratocaster neck
Large Letter Stamps: Not 100% sure what these mean, but I have a theory they were used to grade a body prior to recieving a finish. I have seen four A stamps on Natural finished bodies, and a trans-red with an A stamp. I have also seen a D, along with an A on a Sunburst body.This is just a theory, but if only A's were put on Natural finished guitars as an example, it could help determine if a guitar is refinished.Rosewood fingerboards of 1970's Strats retain the "round-lam" style started in the 60's where a thin laminate is glued onto the curved Maple neck surface. Body Routings: In the 1970's profiles of the pickup routings became slightly wide and squared on the ends. Hardtail models also aquired a dollar sized impression just over 1/4" deep in the bridge pickup rout.Not sure of the function, it must have something to do with the machining process (a guide of some sort, perhaps).
Necks are Maple, and are constructed from one complete piece if they have a Maple fingerboard.The trussrod was inserted through the back of the neck and the channel filled with the Walnut "skunk stripe".This manufacturing process was used regardless of whether it was a Maple or Rosewood fingerboard.You spot a '79 in a local shop, or online, but how can you be certain it is a '79?
Some dealers simply go by the serial number, which you will discover can be far from accurate.
The first three digits refer to the manufacturer, CTS.