Bass 6 , to Typical wear on a 's Fender maple fingerboard. Fingerboard Material Maple fingerboard, s: This was the standard neck on all models until when the Jazzmaster was introduced with a rosewood fingerboard; the rest of the Fender models changed to rosewood fingerboards in mid Rosewood fingerboard, "Slab" Brazilian , to That is, the bottom of the fingerboard was flat and the board was fairly thick.
A picture of a slab board neck as seen from the "butt" of the neck can be seen in this picture. Also shown is the difference between reissue and original slab board necks.
The Musicmaster family also used slab fingerboards usually Indian rosewood for about a year from Sept to Oct Slab fingerboards are also identifiable from the peghead by their "hump" line humps toward the tuners , just above the nut. Rosewood fingerboard, "Veneer", The veneer of rosewood got even thinner by mid Also by the rosewood changed from Brazilian to Indian rosewood. Veneer fingerboards are also identifiable from the peghead by their "dished" line dishes toward the nut , just above the nut.
Different than the s one-piece maple necks. These used an actual slab maple fingerboard glued to the maple neck, and no "skunk stripe" down the back of the neck for the truss rod. Maple fingerboards, and later: Fender's maple neck changed back to the s style one piece neck with a walnut "skunk stripe" down the back. Rosewood Fingerboards, and later: Starting in , Fender switched back to the slab rosewood fingerboard style, made from Indian rosewood except on certain recent custom shop models.
Fingerboard Dots Black dots: Till the end of Fender used "clay" dots as position markers. This material has an off-white opaque color. In very late all models changed to pearl dot position markers. Side markers remained "clay" until spring when these too changed to pearl.
In , the spacing of the two fingerboard dots at fret twelve changed the spacing became closer together. Neck Back Shapes profiles , all guitar and bass models. Fender neck shapes have changed through the years too. Fender neck shapes all models have a standard large and chunky "D" profile big "baseball bat" style neck.
Fender necks change to a large and chunky "soft V" profile. This "strong V" neck profile becomes famous, and musicians like Eric Clapton prefer its shape. Some Fender necks produced have a "small strong V", where the neck isn't so big feeling, but still has a very strong "V" shape mostly seen on Musicmasters and Duosonics, and the occassional Strat.
It's back to a conventional "D" neck profile, but not nearly as thick and large as and prior neck profiles. This neck style is used on most reissue Fenders regardless of the year being copied. With the release of rosewood fingerboards on all models in mid, the "D" neck profiles pretty much stay the same throughout the s with only minor variance from year to year for example, necks seem to be a bit chunkier than to necks.
From March to , Fender marked their necks with an "official" neck width letter at the butt of the neck in front of the date code. All other sizes were available by special order only. Shims were used between a Fender neck and body to adjust the "neck set" of the instrument the "neck set" is the angle of the neck in relationship to the body; if the neck set is too shallow, it needs a shim so the playing action can be lowered with the bridge to a comforable level.
If the neck set is too sharp, the strings can not be raised enough with the bridge to stop string buzz. Fender adjusted the neck set at the factory with a shim. Some Fenders use them, so don't. Click here for a picture of the shim used during the s and s.
Neck Bolt Numbers 3 or 4. In the Telecaster Deluxe from introduction also used the 3 bolt neck plate. In the 4 bolt neck plate came back to the Anniversary strat. By all Stratocaster models were again 4 bolt. And by , all Fender models converted back to the 4 bolt neck plate.
Peghead String Guides or "String Tree". String guides were used on most models to give the treble strings greater string tension across the nut. Changed to a "butterfly" string guide. Click here to see the difference between reissue and original Fender "butterfly" string trees. Only pre-October Esquires have no truss rod. Adjusts at the "butt" of the neck by the pickups. Click here to see the difference between vintage and repro Fender truss rod nuts.
Telecaster and Precision Bass keep traditional truss rod system. Fender starts using different truss rod systems, depending on the model. The body routes on a 's Fender Stratocaster. Note the added "shoulder" near the body's edge to accomodate an attachment screw. Also notice the squared off corner pickup routes. Earlier 's Strat bodies have rounded corner pickup routes. The body routes on a Stratocaster. Note the rounded pickup route corners, compared to the 's pickup routes seen above. The body routes on Telecasters.
In the 's the "notch" was removed from the bass side of the neck pocket. Initially, when the Fender Stratocaster was introduced in , it had a single layer white pickguard attached with 8 screws.
In mid , Fender switches to a multiple layer pickguard with 11 mounting screws. One of the additional screws required a change to the interior body route on the Stratocaster.
Now a added "shoulder" was left in the electronic route to accomodate one of the extra pickguard screws. Starting in the late 's, Fender also changed the shape of the pickup routes on the Strat.
Now the corners were more square, instead of being round. The Telecaster body also changed in the 's. The "notch" that existed on the bass side of the neck pocket was removed. See the picture above. Fender used "single line" Kluson tuners, that had "Kluson Deluxe" stamped in a single vertical row like and later Klusons ; these are easily identified as "early" Klusons and not and later Klusons because "PAT APPLD" is also stamped below the vertical "Deluxe" marking.
These are also different because they lack the side worm shaft hole for the tuner shaft there is only a side "entrance" hole. Fender used "no line" Kluson tuners exclusively, and were unmarked had no brand name stamped in the tuner back. Also still no side worm shaft hole for the tuner shaft. There is now a side tuner shaft worm gear hole. Still "no line" style casing had no brand name stamped in the tuner back.
Fender used Kluson tuners exclusively on all models. The only variable was the tuner tip. DuoSonics, MusicMasters, Mustangs and other low-end models had white plastic tips, all other models had metal tips. Fender used Kluson tuners, but now the "Kluson Deluxe" was stamped into two vertical lines "Kluson" in one line, "Deluxe" in the other. Note some models such as the Jazzmaster and Jaquar the use of Kluson tuners ended in mid see below.
Fall to late 's: Fender had tuners made for them with a big "F" stamped in the back cover. Tuner buttons were chrome plated plastic. Click here to see the different Fender tuners used from to the s. Click here to see a comparison of vintage versus reissue Kluson tuners.
Click here to see a comparison of vintage versus reissue Kluson tuner bushings. Tone Capacitors to Seemingly for this year only, most Stratocasters have a green square "chicklet" style tone cap this may include other models too.
Old style pre Stratocaster bridge. Note the nickel plated saddles with "Fender Pat. Reissue saddles look exactly the same but are stamped "Fender Fender". Also since the pickguard is removed on this Strat, we can see the "nail hole" just above the pickguard screw hole.
If this nail hole does not have paint in it as seen here , the finish is probably original. Old style Telecaster bridges. The bridge at the top is a mid and prior style Tele bridge with brass saddles, and the serial number stamped into the bridge plate reissue vintage Tele bridge plates with serial numbers have a "dot" pressed below the third number in the serial number, so not to be confused with original Tele bridge plates.