neck stamps on vintage fenders

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by greendayjustin, Mar 2, 2004.

  1. Hey, I noticed my '71 precision bass didn't have a neckstamp on it. I got it off ebay a few months ago and was wondering if maybe i got ripped off. The thing plays great...I was just wondering if maybe some vintage basses didnt get stamped in the factory because of some possible inconsistancy problems, or what. Thanks, Justin
  2. This information was documented and written by Greg Gagliano, and was published in a 1998 article in 20th Century Guitar magazine.

    About 150 Fenders made between 1967 and 1980 were examined. Of these, less than half had useable information. In most cases, the stamp was smudged beyond legibility or the stamps were incomplete. Many guitars had no stamped codes at all. Some guitars simply had the model name, such as "MUSTANG" stamped on the butt end of the neck in green or red ink.

    This means two things for the owner of a 1969 to 1980 Fender. First, the chances of having an intact stamped code is about 50/50. Second, the dataset for making conclusions is relatively small and therefore, subject to change as new information surfaces. However, the interpretation of the two date code systems appears to be relatively straight forward and the conclusions were confirmed by pickup dates and pot dates in most cases.

    So you never know. I'd guess that the neck stamp was worn out or something.
  3. Tapp


    Aug 29, 2001
    USA, Mississippi
    My '74 Jazz has no date stamp on the butt end of the neck. It does have a round stamp (maybe inspection stamp) on the bottom/back of the neck. Look to see if there are any other markings. If so, I wouldn't worry.

  4. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    I don't see what you're looking for. By `71, all the pre-CBS parts had long been used up.

    It's a later model CBS and really has no vintage "cachet" anyway. As long as it plays great and sounds good, that's all I'd care about. I used a `71 P bass as a "loaner" from a friend.....still even had the original store tags...and it was a foul thing.