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It is important to remember that Fender serial numbers are NOT conclusively chronological. Back in the day, Fender made their serial number plates in big batches and the assembler simply grabbed a decal or more from the crate and slapped it on the guitar. To get as close as possible to determining the age of your Fender, make sure to check all dates on both body, neck and pots.

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Typically the serial number is penciled or stamped on the butt end of the heel of the neck of most guitars and basses.

The following three digits, here 384, could be a batch or lot number, or i could be the count for how many of this one instrument that was made within the month.

Since Fender could probably produce more than 999 of any one type instrument in a month, it is more likely a batch or lot number.

Finally, the first one or two digits of the code tells you which model you are holding; 22 being a Stratocaster.

There are some exceptions as you can see in this information provided by Mike Gagliano.

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