Dating fender precision
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.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.
Perhaps this is due to the fact that 1970s Fenders have, until recently, been all but ignored by the vintage and collectible guitar community.
Now that these instruments are hitting the "magical" 25-year mark, they have suddenly gained attention.
I won’t get into the pros and cons of 1970s Fenders here, but instead, I hope to shed some new light on those weirdo neck codes.
Andre Duchossoir briefly discussed his findings for the 1972-80 codes in his excellent Telecaster and Stratocaster books. I used this information as the starting point for my research.
I examined and/or received information regarding stamped codes for about 150 Fenders made between 19. In most cases, the stamp was smudged beyond legibility or the stamps were incomplete. Some guitars simply had the model name, such as "MUSTANG" stamped on the butt end of the neck in green or red ink.