Fender Stratocaster - Reissue Strat Necks

Reissue Strat Neck Construction
Rosewood fretboards were standard on '62 AVRI's while maple fretboards were standard on '57 AVRI's. These early reissues from the Fullerton, CA factory typically have a slim neck profile.

  • 1982 Fender '57 reissue maple fretboard

  • 1982 Fender '57 reissue maple neck

  • 1983 Fender '62 reissue rosewood board

  • 1983 Fender '62 reissue neck


Reissue Strat Neck Decals
All AVRI strat necks were finished in a thin nitrocellulose finish.  The decal on the headstock was placed over the nitro finish, so it is not uncommon to see instruments with imperfect decals.  In contrast, all Japanese reissues had the headstock decal underneath the finish.

  • Fender headstock decal over nitro finish

  • Smudged Fender decal on headstock


Reissue Strat Neck Date
Neck dating protocol went through many changes throughout the years.  From 1982-1988 all neck dates were written in pencil underneath the nitro finish.  The hand written penciled dates used only numbers, the months were not spelled out.  Starting in 1988 neck dates began to be stamped in black ink with 3 letter abbreviations for the month.  From 1988 through the 1990's, neckdates could either be written in pencil or stamped in black ink, with black ink being more common.  It was also not uncommon for some necks to leave the factory without a neckdate, this appears to be a bit more common among guitars from the late 1980's.  I have also come across a few late 1980's reissues with hand written neckdates with the last digit of the year missing.  The earliest known neckdate on a Fullerton era reissue is 5-11-82, as shown below.  The earliest known neckdate on a Corona era reissue is 11-1-85, as shown below.

  • 5-11-82. Earliest known reissue neckdate

  • 7-30-82. Early neckdate from V000559

  • 5-27-82. Early neckdate from V000690

  • 5-27-82. Early neckdate from V000978

  • 1-12-83. Reissue neckdate from V005085

  • 10-26-84. Late Fullerton neckdate.

  • 11-1-85. Earliest known Corona neckdate

  • 5-26-87. Early Corona neckdate

  • Sep 21 1989. Stamped Corona neckdate

  • Sep 03 1992. Stamped Corona neckdate

  • 12-19-94. Hand written Corona neckdate

  • Jun 23 2004. Later Corona nackdate


Reissue Strat Dot Spacing
From 1982-1998 the dot spacing at the 12th fret was narrow.  It was not until 1998 when the 12th dot spacing was widened to be more consistent with original vintage strats from 1957 and 1962.  In contrast, Japanese reissues had a wider 12th dot placement since there introduction in 1982 (relative to 12th dot spacing among 1982-1998 AVRI strats).  This is a sure fire way to tell the different between a 1982 American Vintage Reissue neck and a 1982 Japanese reissue neck.

  • Pre-1998 narrow dot spacing

  • Pre-1998 narrow dot spacing