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It might look something like this: Now, identifying those marks as legit Fender maaayyyy be a chore, as Fender has changed it's stamping processes over the years.However, the chances of someone going through the trouble of trying to counterfeit a MIM Strat by fake stamping the neck and body, rather than trying to pull off a full blown American Fender Strat is highly unlikely.

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[MZ1XXXXX] = 2001, [MN4XXXXX] = 1994 Also see this page for Mexican serials For any fender, if you want the exact year you will need to check the date stamped on the butt end of the neck.

Similarly for those seeking a pre CNC machine Paul Reed Smith you want to find one made before 1995.

Finding the definitive date or year of manufacture is not always going to be possible but this guide will give you a few tips to help you narrow it down.

If you pull the neck off of a MIM Strat you'll probably find a date stamp on the end of the neck (the portion that rests in the pocket).

This will tell you if the neck was indeed made in Fender's storied Mexico plant.