It has nothing to do with the date as I've seen the exact same code of pots ranging from 1977 - 1981 strats.

dating stratocaster pickups-83

Some dealers simply go by the serial number, which you will discover can be far from accurate.

Some might go by the pot codes, but those could have been stock a year or more old by the time they were put into the newly finished guitar.

Or perhaps the guitar was even assembled by various parts picked up over the years and is being passed off as "All original".

My intent with this site is to educate those who are on the hunt for that last affordable vintage Fender Stratocaster.

They seem to be found on the bottom of the neck heel, as well as in the neck pocket of the body, or even just stamped on the front under the pickguard on Natural finished guitars.

In this case it stands for the 3rd week of 1980 and was a Thursday.Your last chance to own a vintage Fender Stratocaster is with the guitars of the late 1970's.You spot a '79 in a local shop, or online, but how can you be certain it is a '79?The second pair of digits are the week, but I have seen one example where the second digits were 72.The third pair of digits are definately known to refer to the year.Between 1989 & 1991 Fender Custom Shop produced only 500 35th Anniversary Stratocasters, and this is the very last one - number 500 of 500!