Dating guitars by pot codes
The first one or two digits of the code, in this case 3, denotes the model.For Telecasters, Telecaster Thinlines, and Esquires that code is 3.This means two things for the owner of a 1969-80 Fender.First, the chances of having an intact stamped code is about 50-50.
For example, let’s take Telecaster Thinline (s/n 272207) with the code: 3320119B. This appears to be the same neck width code that Fender had been using since 1962.
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.
8 DEC 65 B for a Duo-Sonic II with a 1 5/8 inch neck width).
A few Telecasters have shown up with neck codes that would indicate a 1967 date and one has been reported with a possible 1968 date, yet the rest of the guitar appears to be from 1969.
If Fender used the coding system as early as 1967, then we should see more 19 guitars surfacing with the green stamped code.