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The remaining six digits are the unit identifier but are not sequential and do not provide any further identification information about the instrument.

The numbers for each year typically overlap by a few months, as there is always a transitional period between successive years and because necks and complete instruments that are made and serial numbered late in any given year will be used on instruments assembled and sold in the early months of the subsequent year.

The neck date simply refers to the date that the neck was produced.

Given the modular nature of Fender's production techniques, a neck may have been produced in one year, placed in a warehouse and remained in stock for a period of time, and then subsequently paired with a body to create a complete guitar in the following year.

Fender were also losing sales in Japan to Japanese guitar brands such as Tōkai, Greco and Fernandes, and the establishment of Fender Japan would benefit Fender sales in Japan as well as overseas.

Fender began negotiations with several Japanese musical instrument distributors and reached an agreement with Yamano Gakki and Kanda Shokai to establish Fender Japan.Used in the US a good american standard (and even the plus' from '87) go for under 0 bucks. They are FAR superior than the American Standards of now (the new "american" series).* Look for one of those..japanese ones are actually very well built and sound decent..the american standard has a more substantial tone because of the weight and wood. A BIG Strat man here, I would avoid the US strat from 81, and start from around 84 onwards.since the price of a Japan strat a warmoth neck maye still lower than a high end US strat or I should get buy a whole custom strat/tele from warmoth? I would suggest buying an American Standard made in the early to mid 80s.*The period between '81 and '87 are pretty nicely made American Standards where you'll easily find great necks that don't intend to give you 'quality' but sure do look that they 'tried' (it's been my experience lately that the woods like the maple necks have a better quality and grain to them during this period).Serial numbers have been used in various locations on Fender instruments through the years.