From 1954 to 1976 Fender stamped its guitar's serial number on either the top or bottom of the neck plate.Made in Japan, 2002-: Letter-letter-letter-#-letter, like so: QJM111E.The second and third numbers are the month; March (03). It includes most of the Fender serial numbers issued along with the corresponding dates and a short history of Fender Guitars through the years. The third and fourth numbers are the month; 02February.The first letter is an internal code (both I and S were used). There is no indication of year in this configurationjust sometime between 86 and 89. Many people think that the date on the heel of their Fender neck is the production date of the guitar.They just grabbed whatever part or component was ready and put together the instrument to fill an order as fast as possible.
Of course, there are exceptions to this generalization.
So if you have Fender with a neck date of 1964 and the pots are dated 1965, then you have a 1965 Fender Bass.
There are some years in particular that can get real tricky.
Instead of adding another digit on to his 5-digit ID numbers, Leo decided to add an "L presumably for his first initial, in front of the serial numbers and start. The letter (3rd position) is the month; March (see chart.) The final four numbers are the unit number; 13.
Year Serial Number Sequence (SG-175, SX-125) (SG1000) (SG2000) (SG1000) (SG2000) (BB1200) (BB2000) (SG1000) (SG2000) (BB1200) (BB2000) (SG1000) (SG2000) (BB1200) (BB2000) 1980 (through July) (SG1000) (SG2000) 1980 (through December) (through July). The first two letters are the year; Q0 and I2, so 2002.