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info    updated 12/2/2015




Fender Fine Electric Instruments

Fender Japan

1982 to present

Important dates

1982: Fender Japan starts production (Fujigen Gakki factory) "Made in Japan" (MIJ) logo.

Fender Made in Japan

1984: CBS sells Fender to current owners (without Plant) so all Fender production in Japan for a while.

1992: The first "Crafted in Japan" (CIJ) models start appearing (Dyna Gakki factory).

Fender Crafted in Japan

1996/1997: "Crafted in Japan" (CIJ) is used instead of "Made in Japan" (MIJ). Tokai and Dyna Gakki took over the manufacturing contract from Fujigen Gakki. [Source: Music Trade Japan ]

Dating Japanese Fender Guitars / serial numbers

Fender web site


More Japanese Fender History resources


Fender Japan 2007 parts catalog

Fender Mexico

1990 to present

Fender moved guitar production to Mexico on 1990

Dating Fender Mexico guitars by serial number

Fender web site


Fender Guitars USA


Fender Stratocaster guitar

Fender Telecaster Guitar

1945 to present

Leo Fender founder of the Fender electric guitatr companyLeo Fender Fender guitar colour guitars

There is an enormous amount of Fender guitar information available but here are some important dates from Gruhn's Guide To Vintage Guitars:

Fender timeline

1945 Leo Fender and Doc Kaufman begin making amps, lap steels Fullerton CA

1947 Kaufman leaves and Leo continues as Fender Electric Instrument Co

1950 Esquire and Broadcaster (Tele) introduced

1951 Precision Bass

1954 Stratocaster

4 January 1965 Fender bought by CBS - so when someone tries to sell you a 1967 pre CBS Fender you should smell a rat!

1981 Bill Shultz of Yamaha becomes President and quality starts to return.

1982 Fender Japan established

1983 Fender Squier low price brand established

1985 CBS sells Fender to Schultz and others formed as Fender Musical Instruments Corp.   Sale did not include equipment so 1985 ish Fenders made in Japan.  Late 1985 US production recommenced at Corona CA for guitars and Lake Oswego, Oregon USA for amps.

Fenders are now made in USA, Mexico, Japan, China and Korea.

Fender reference books

The Fender Electric Guitar Book

Six Decades of the Fender Telecaster: The Story of the World's First Solidbody Electric Guitar

The Fender Bass: An Illustrated History

Fender: The Inside Story

Guitar Identification A Reference for Dating Guitars Made by Fender 4th Edition

60 Years of Fender: Six Decades of the Greatest Electric Guitars

History of Mustang Basses

Fender history


Dating Fender guitars by serial numbers:

[Note: I wrote to Fender 2010 asking if I could republish their dating info from their web site.  Their legal department politely declined] Here are some Fender serial number resources.

http://www.guitardaterproject.org/fender.aspx - this is an automated service

Fender web site


Fenderholic Guitar dater

>Guide to dating old Fender basses

Fender guitar colors based on cars

Images Telecaster neck dates from eBay:

Telecaster hand written neck date 1955 definitely pre CBS Fender Telecaster neck date stamp 1967 B

Fender guitar catalogs and pricelists

1955-1982 awesome site with manuals http://www.21frets.com/catalogs.html

1968-72 http://www.vintageguitars.org.uk/catalogues.php

1979, 1982 http://brochures.yokochou.com/index.html

1957-58 Fender catalog

I scanned the following two Fender Frontline catalogs from hard copies I received with guitars I bought:

2004 Fender Frontline catalog Front cover to p 48 | p49 to 86  |   p87 to 136 Squier guitars and Fender amps  |  p137 to 188 Fender Bass and bass amps   |  p189  to  End Acoustic guitars and other items

2005 Fender Frontline catalog Front cover to p32p33 to 84 Electric guitars and color chart  | p85 to 104 Squier guitars p105 to 142 Ampsp143 to 195 Bass guitars and amps | p197- End Acoustics and other items

2006 to date Fender catalogs

Fender ad scans 1953-1963 http://www.mojocaster.com/images/ads/phpslideshow.php

Fender pricelists

2001 Fender pricelist

2002 Fender pricelist

2003 Fender pricelist

2004 Fender Custom Shop pricelist

2005 Fender pricelist |2005 Fender Custom Shop pricelist

2006 Fender pricelist  | 2006 Fender Wholesale pricelist |2006 Fender Custom Shop pricelist

2007 Fender Quick Reference Pricelist

2009 Fender Pricelist

2010 Fender Pricelist | 2010 Fender custom catalog/pricelist

2012 Fender accessories pricelist

2013 Fender Pricelist | 2013 Custom Shop pricelist

Telecaster schematics

Fender discussion forums

The Fender Forum 

Strat Talk

Telecaster forum

Fender club in Hungary

Fender Squier (JV series Japan only)



JV Squier Strat http://wietsesguitars.nl/page40.html

Image source: Strat-Central,

Fender JV Squier Series headstock

vs eBay 1985 E series Made in Japan

Squier E series Stratocaster Made in Japan headstock

Fender lovin care badge

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