Dating fender guitar pots
Late 70's Strats have the serial number on the headstock below 'Fender'.The number will have an 'S' prefix (possibly an 'E', read below) followed by a six digit number.Be aware of another code found on these pots, 013446.It has nothing to do with the date as I've seen the exact same code of pots ranging from 1977 - 1981 strats.The first three digits refer to the manufacturer, CTS.The last four are broken up into pairs, where the first two, 78, stand for 1978 and the last two stand for the week, which is the 18th.
Your last chance to own a vintage Fender Stratocaster is with the guitars of the late 1970's.
In 1979 a notch was added for a ground wire lug in the control cavity and output jack cavity and a black shielding paint was sprayed into the cavities right over the lugs and wires that were soldered to them.
If a solid paint color was applied to the body it was applied right over the shielding paint which may make it hard to see. Finish: Polyester (Aliphatic Urethane Coating), or "poly" as it's most commonly knows as in the guitar industry, was applied as a sealer/basecoat.
The third pair of digits are definately known to refer to the year.
In this example the pickups were wound by operator #20 in the 23rd week of 1978.
ALOT of "1979" Strats with S9 serial numbers I've recently seen online appear to be from 1980, including the Strat I bought.