DATING SQUIER GUITARS BY REFERENCE OF SERIAL NUMBERS
From 1982 Fender Squiers are also produced outside the USA, in that year the production startedin Japan.
The Korean Fender Squiers were produced from 1988, but there were no serial numbers until mid-1993
documented. Other low-budget countries followed, like China, Indonesia and India.
If you want to know the production year of your Squier guitar, you can decipher it with the serial number decoder, or find it in explanation about the dating system below.
Fender-Squier history in short|
Jerome Bonaparte Squier and his son Victor Carroll Squier, two
English immigrants who started a violin building and repair company
in Boston in 1881.
In 1890 Victor opened a store in Battle Creek, Michigan and a short
time later a violin factory at 427 Capital Ave SW. (V.C. Squier Company).
Violin, banjo and guitar strings were also produced here.
427 Capital Ave SW, Battle Creek
In the early 1950s the company also started making strings for the electric guitars of Leo Fender and became in 1963 an official supplier
for Fender Electric Instruments. In 1965, shortly before the acquisition
of Fender by CBS, Fender purchased V.C. Squier Company.
Before the Fender Squier line of guitars was introduced in 1982,
Fender made cheaper guitars such as the Fender Lead series at its
plant in Fullerton, California.
Until the introduction of the Fender Squier series, Fender had never produced low-priced guitars based on the Stratocaster and Telecaster models. He had always used different model designs for the cheaper models.
In the late 1970s and early 1980s, Fender was faced with competition from cheaper Japanese guitars.|
Japanese labor and production costs were much lower than in America, and to compete with, Fender moved the cheaper Fender guitar production from America to Japan.
Sales in Japan were disappointing, Fender could not compete with Japanese competitors such as T๖kai and Greco.
Fender started negotiations with various Japanese distributors of musical instruments and reached an agreement with Yamano
Gakki and Kanda Shokai to found Fender Japan.
One of the conditions of the agreement was that Kanda Shokai
stops producing its own Greco Fender guitars. Negotiations with T๖kai were interrupted and FujiGen Gakki was chosen.
The first Squier models appeared in August 1982.
Over time, the Squier series has slowly evolved and contains
original model designs. The production has also been moved from Japan to various other Asian countries such as Korea, China, Indonesia and India.
Victor Carroll Squier
USAThe Squiers "Made in USA" have been produced since 1985 in Corona, California.
"Made in USA" E = Eighties, 6 or 7 digits.
"Made in USA" N = Nineties, 6 or 7 digits.
Some USA Squiers had no serial number stamped on the headstock but a number without a prefix on the neck plate.
A date with such a number is difficult to determine.
JapanThe Japanese "Made in Japan" Squiers were made by FujiGen until 1997 and the Japanese "Crafted in Japan" Squiers by Tokai and Dyna from 1997.
Example: K123456 is production year 1990-1991, serial number 123456.
MexicoIn 1987 Fender opened the plant in Ensenada, Mexico where built amps and combos. The production of Squier guitars started here in 1991.
MN - M = Mexico, N = Nineties MZ - M = Mexico, Z = 2000's
On February 11, 1994 the Ensenada plant burned down and production was temporarily moved to Corona.
ChinaCA C = China A = Axl (made by Axl).
CD, CT en CJ C = China. Probably made by Yako (Taiwan).
"Made in China"
CAE 10 digits.
NC 6 digits. YN Y = Yako (Taiwan) N = Nineties, 6 digits.
"Crafted in China"
CY C = China Y = Yako (Taiwan), 8 or 9 ditgits.
CY appears on all models produced in China and is by far the most common form.
CXS C = China X = Axl S= Squier, 9 digits.
CGS C = China G = factory code S= Squier, 7 or 8 digits.
CGRx - C = China GR = Grand Reward (factory) x= Month, 7 or 8 digits.
CMCx - C = China MC = Muse Incorporated, Weifang (factory) x= Month, 8 digits.
- Last letter (x) A-L = Month, A=January, B=February etc.
COS 8 digits.
COB 9 digits.
Serial numbers with COS or COB prefix are Crafted by Cor-Tek, China.
Samick factory, Korea
KoreaThe dating of the Korean instruments built before 1993 is uncertain because information about them is incomplete or missing.
Korean Squiers with a black logo on the headstock always have a thin laminated body. They are the lowest quality Korean Squiers. They were built between 1992 and 1995.
These serial numbers start with CN and VN followed by 6 digits.
The letter C stands for manufacturer Cor-Tek, V for manufacturer Saehan. N stands for the nineties, the first digit for the year.
Silver logos were used for models built in the late 80s and for the Fender Squier Series strats, built in 1992 and 1993.
Squiers with a gold-colored logo have an alder body or ash wood if it
is from the ProTone series. These Squiers were built from mid-1995.
Models with a black logo with a CN serial number have a thin laminated body and are of lower quality.
Stratocasters, Telecasters, Bullets, P-Basses and Jazz basses were built from 1987 to 1998.
Stagemasters and Showmasters were built between 1999 and 2002.
The models from the 24 series were built between 2002 and 2004.
The Series 24 guitars were released by Fender in January 2002 in honor of Squier's 20-year anniversary.
The Master Series models were built between 2004 and 2007.
"Made in Korea" and "Crafted in Korea"
CN - C = Cor-Tek (Cort) N = Nineties, 6 or 7 digits.
KC en KV - KC = Korean Cor-Tek (Cort), 8 digit. KV = Korean Saehan(Sunghan), 8 digits.
"Made in Korea"
VN - V = Saehan(Sunghan) N = Nineties, 6 or 7 digits.
S and E -S = Samick, 6 of 7 digits. E = Young Chang, 6 or 7 digits.
Squiers with prefix S and E are from the late eighties and early nineties.
E-letter serial numbers were used on Young Chang's Fenix brand guitars.
M - 7 digits. Used in the early 90s, characterized by the high-gloss maple neck and plywood slim 40 mm body.
Indonesia"Crafted in Indonesia"
IC - I = Indonesia C = Cor-Tek (Cort), 8 or 9-cijfers.
ICS I = Indonesia C = Cor-Tek (Cort) S = Squier, 8 or 7 digits.
In 2009 and 2010, some Indonesian Squier's had an ICS number with 7 digits instead of 8 or 9.
ISS I = Indonesia S = Samick S = Squier, 6 digits.
IS I = Indonesia S = Samick, 8 or 9 digits.
SI S = Squier I = Indonesia , 8 or 9 digits.
IndiaSome Squier IIs were made in India around 1989-1990, with
"MADE IN INDIA" on the headstock. The Squier IIs made in India seem to follow the numbering scheme in the USA.
The serial number is on a sticker on the back of the neck, close to the attachment point with the body.
Some more recent Squiers, including the Vintage Modified series
(the serial numbers start here with SH), were in Introduced in 2007.
The VM series has "Crafted in India" on the back of headstock.
With this VM series the serial number is stamped on the headstock
and therefore has no sticker.
Example: NSHD09123456 is production year 2009-2010, serial number 123456.
Cort factory, Indonesia