instrument production history, production dates have been applied to various components.
Production dates have been penciled or stamped on the butt end of the heel of the neck of most guitars and basses.
Clicking the links will take you to the relevant catalogue scan.
The Charvette Series guitars were initially not in scope for this article, due to mainly being built in Korea, but I have included all the Charvel categories for the sake of completeness.
Mexican Squiers MN: M = Mexico, N = Nineties (1990s), the first number following the serial number prefix is the year.
For example * "MN8" indicates that it was made at Ensenada, Mexico in 1998. Some of them have a serial number with a E = Eighties (1980s) prefix, and some of them have a serial number with a N = Nineties (1990s) prefix.
During these six years of production, close to 80 different variations were offered and the best way to get a proper overview of this bunch, is to categorize them.
Below is how Jackson Charvel defined the series back then.
The Japanese MIJ (Made in Japan) Squiers were made by Fuji Gen up to 1997 and the Japanese CIJ (Crafted in Japan) Squiers were made by Tokai and Dyna from 1997.A quick and dirty way of determining the year of manufacture for the bolt-on Model Series 1 - 4, is to look at the combination of trademark symbols used on both the headstock and the neckplate.Furthermore, the presence or absense of a neckplate gasket will also help you find the year. When the Charvel Model 5 and 6 were introduced in 1986, the serial number was found on the back of the headstock under the clear coat, in the form of a plastic decal.The 1986-1991 Charvel imports were the very first Charvel imports and they have become legendary due to their build quality vs. The guitars have proven themselves to be a fantastic alternative to the higher priced American made Jacksons and Charvels and having played both, you probably realize how great these vintage Japanese guitars really are.Get all the details on the Charvel import guitars by also reading the Jackson Professional History article. A Japanese Chushin Gakki worker at the Charvel assembly line, installing hardware on a 1986 Charvel Model 2, 3 or 3A (confirmed by the Kahler™ Fulcrum tremolo and white dot rosewood fingerboard).There were periods of time when this was not consistently done, (between 19), and there are certainly other examples of short periods of time, and individual pieces, where the dating was simply omitted.