I won’t get into the pros and cons of 1970s Fenders here, but instead, I hope to shed some new light on those weirdo neck codes.In 1969, CBS-Fender began to implement a new type of neck stamp in place of the usual date stamp consisting of model code, month, year, neck width (e.g.
At the top of the neck plate, at the front or at the back of the head or on the cover plate of the vibrato.
Perhaps this is due to the fact that 1970s Fenders have, until recently, been all but ignored by the vintage and collectible guitar community.
Now that these instruments are hitting the "magical" 25-year mark, they have suddenly gained attention.
The new Fender did not acquire any physical assets of the old company, just the name "Fender".
Hence during 1985 to 1987, production of Fender guitars was only done in Japan, while USA Fender created a new factory in California. BUT note that the "E" and "N" series does sometimes appear on "made in Japan" models. In any case, if it says "made in Japan", then it is... Fender has recently (in the last 20 years) introduced LOTS of different serial numbers schemes, depending on the country the Fender was made (USA, Mexico, Japan, Korea, etc). Sorry, since I do not collect new Fenders, I don't really keep track of these things.