Dating a japanese fender strat
Be aware of another code found on these pots, 013446.It has nothing to do with the date as I've seen the exact same code of pots ranging from 1977 - 1981 strats.The third pair of digits are definately known to refer to the year.In this example the pickups were wound by operator #20 in the 23rd week of 1978.In this case it stands for the 3rd week of 1980 and was a Thursday.Ignore all the "FRR" stamps you'll find on the neck base and in the neck pocket.First four digits are paired up, 09 is the model number for the Stratocaster, and 00 is the neck configuration, in his case a fretted Maple neck with a Rosewood fingerboard. 38 is the week, 9 stands for the year, 1979, and 3 is the day of the week, which is Wednesday.
Pot Codes: MMMYYWW Example: 1377818 - In 1977 found on the side of the pots, moved to the bottom (and unfortunately sometimes covered with solder) in 1978.
Rosewood fingerboards of 1970's Strats retain the "round-lam" style started in the 60's where a thin laminate is glued onto the curved Maple neck surface. Body Routings: In the 1970's profiles of the pickup routings became slightly wide and squared on the ends. Hardtail models also aquired a dollar sized impression just over 1/4" deep in the bridge pickup rout.
Not sure of the function, it must have something to do with the machining process (a guide of some sort, perhaps).
So, you can't afford that '54 Strat, or that '64, or even that '74 for that matter.
Your last chance to own a vintage Fender Stratocaster is with the guitars of the late 1970's.