Dating stratocaster pickups
Parts may have been produced in one year and left in a bin until they were ready to be paired with a body.A guitar neck could have been produced in 1956, then slapped onto a body in 1957 and if late enough in the year pickups may have been put in early 1958.
and was the highest end production model next to Fender's Custom Shop guitars. There was some transitional Strat Plus' in 1999 that were a mix of the new DX Strat series and the Plus Series.
You can tell by the serial number, which started with DN9XXXXX and they also had a chrome Fender logo on the headstock.
One of these new employees, Dan Smith, spearheaded these issues by closing down production, developing new product lines, and emphasizing build quality.
A direct result of this effort was the introduction of the Fender American Vintage Reissue Series.
This series of instruments included reissues based off a 1957 Strat, 1962 Strat, 1952 Tele, 19 Precision Bass, and a 1962 Jazz Bass.
Production of these instruments at the Fullerton, Ca factory started around April-May of 1982 and continued until the Fullerton, Ca factory closed its doors the first month of 1985.
Today, however, Fender markets an unprecedented variety of Stratocasters, ranging from the pint-sized Squier Mini Strat, with 22.75” scale neck and hardtail bridge, to pre-modded axes equipped with dual-coil humbucker pickups and Floyd Rose tremolo systems.
There are cutting-edge axes like the Roland G-5 Strat, equipped with Roland’s COSM modeling technology for an arsenal of Strat, Tele, acoustic and 12-string tones, as well as a bevy of alternate tunings at your fingertips; electrified old-timey innovations like the solidbody Mando-Strat electric mandolin; a dazzling array of Custom Shop beauties with never-before seen finishes and design flourishes; and Artist Series signature guitars modified to the exact specs of Strat masters like Eric Clapton, Ritchie Blackmore, and Dick Dale.
The best option for getting a close production date is to remove the neck from the body.