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SERIAL NUMBERS and APPROXIMATE PRODUCTION DATES 1950's to 1964 In early 1965, Fender was sold to the CBS.
The old Fender serial number scheme did not change immediately as CBS to use up existing parts and use existing tooling however a large F logo was added to the neck plate shortly after the accquisition.
Like many of Fender's other budget-priced guitars, the Musicmaster Bass used many surplus parts from other Fender models.
The bodies were leftover Fender Mustang Bass bodies, while the pickups were six-pole guitar pickups, rather than four-pole bass pickups.
The Fender serial number decoder currently supports all documented MIA, MIJ, MIM, MIK and MII formats with the exception of Custom Shop, Relic and Reissue instruments.
Please note that fender serial numbers tend to overlap by at least a year, and thereby the date of your guitar can only be approximated.
A 1957 tweed Vibrolux was reported with a tube chart printed with circuit “5E3” (tweed Deluxe) instead of the correct 5F11 (see photo).
Clearly Fender wasn’t afraid to use incorrect parts when they were in a bind. The 5G12 Concert is the earliest version from very late 1959 and early 1960 so the existence of a tweed example, while extremely rare, is certainly plausible since Fender was making lots of tweed amps during the same time period.
But an incomplete registrations and illogical serial numbers is its history often unclear.These are marked with EIA code “606” which is the company number for Schumacher.Well, this universal “truth” was debunked when we found a bunch of amps with transformers made by the Better Coil and Transformers company.(Stratocaster) Between 19 there were periods that this is not consistently done.Although a serial number is helpful for roughly determining the age of a guitar, this is often not the exact date.
Oddlings – Yet another printing error has surfaced, this time from the FEI (pre-CBS) days.