You spot a '79 in a local shop, or online, but how can you be certain it is a '79?Some dealers simply go by the serial number, which you will discover can be far from accurate.Kerry then began removing the screws that held the guitar's neck to its body, raising a question for everyone who owns a Fender electric guitar: Is this a maneuver you should try on your own?"My advice would be, 'Don't try this at home,'" Kerry told us. "The angle at which the neck is joined to the body is critical in maintaining the 'action,'" he said.
To read this it is necessary to unscrew the neck from the body.
Fender's production methods from the early fifties had the effect the numbers may not be consecutive.
Also overlap of serial numbers and dates come with regularity.
So, obviously a neck date, while being helpful in providing a date range of production, cannot be a definitive reference.
While there have been periods where dramatic changes have occurred, for example: the transition periods between Leo's Fender and the CBS years, as well as the transition between CBS' Fender and the current ownership, generally speaking, most models are feature specific and do not change from year to year..