The Bigsby Telecaster Project

Well this page started when I saw that neckstamp on auction - I was lookin for a Telecaster neck for my '73 Bigsby tele and wanted an old one - one from that era. When I saw that stamp I wasn't that sure anymore - There is a lot of money involved nowadays in vintage guitars, good guitars get to be pointed out as an investment and disapear from the scene to become just an object to get a profit on in days to come. And where a demand is - there are some who want to make a profit and get in the business of duplicating and selling it for the real deal.

Before buying a 73 tele neck I will collect as much info on Fender neck date stamps so I won't end up with an expensive copy. If you also look for this info be my guest. This page will grow in time - I haven't all date pictures yet. Fender started to stamp date on necks some where in 1962. In years before 62 dates where penciled. In the 50ties also no date marking at all as on many 59ers - A stamped date alone is not enough for dating a neck but most people look first for the stamped date and assume, if stamped, it is info enough to pay (high) asking price. Dot markers, tuners, trustrod, logo and fretboard can also tell a story. The Fender Telecaster book by A.R. Duchossoir (ISBN 0-7935-0860-6) is a very good guide for dating vintage Telecasters - it only costs a few dollars - much less than a vintage Telecaster. Before jumping into conclusions of the pics you see let's see how the date looks.

One digit - number 3 - which makes it a Telecaster, 3 characters for the month, 2 digits for the year and one character - letter B - for the width: B = 1 5/8" wide at the nut (normal size). The starting number '2' in the pic of the stamp makes it a Stratocaster number. In 1966 this number changed to '13' for Stratocaster.