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Post new topic Establishing a definitive Stringmaster timeline
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Author Topic:  Establishing a definitive Stringmaster timeline
Erv Niehaus


From:
Litchfield, MN, USA
Post Posted 7 Sep 2014 6:01 am     Reply with quote

The quad was bought used off of e-bay so I am unaware of its history. The T-8 in the picture was bought new in 1954.
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basilh


From:
United Kingdom
Post Posted 15 Sep 2014 1:18 pm     Reply with quote

Some interesting info :-

Most Fenders from 1966 to 1969 have 1966 dated CTS pots. Apparently CBS/Fender bought a large stock of pots in 1966 that lasted till 1969.

On popular Fender models, the pot date can be very close to the actual date of the instrument. On less popular Fender instruments, such as LapSteels, pots can be as much as two years earlier than the actual date of the instrument.

Source http://home.provide.net/~cfh/pots.html
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Doug Beaumier


From:
Northampton, MA
Post Posted 15 Sep 2014 5:08 pm     Reply with quote

Quote:
Apparently CBS/Fender bought a large stock of pots in 1966 that lasted till 1969.


True. My 1968 Telecaster has 1966 pots, original to the guitar.
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basilh


From:
United Kingdom
Post Posted 28 Sep 2014 5:47 pm     Reply with quote

I've just been informed
Quote:
Dan Killingsworth Basil- are you sure? Mine is marked '54 under the pans and has both the blender pot and the covers

Blender pot removable bridge covers ? 1954 ?
Can this be possible, or is there some other explanation..?
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basilh


From:
United Kingdom
Post Posted 28 Sep 2014 6:20 pm     Reply with quote

+ Devil

Last edited by basilh on 16 Oct 2014 2:22 pm; edited 1 time in total
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basilh


From:
United Kingdom
Post Posted 16 Oct 2014 1:45 pm     Reply with quote

If they made 42 Twin necks in one month (Oct 1953) could they have made 511 in the following 12 months ?
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Erv Niehaus


From:
Litchfield, MN, USA
Post Posted 16 Oct 2014 1:51 pm     Reply with quote

Is this a riddle? Whoa!
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Joe Savage


From:
St. Paul, MN
Post Posted 16 Oct 2014 7:16 pm     Reply with quote

The T-8 26" that I have is #0930. No blend, chrome pickup covers, fixed bridge covers. Marked 3/55.
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Doug Beaumier


From:
Northampton, MA
Post Posted 16 Oct 2014 8:02 pm     Reply with quote

Quote:
No blend, chrome pickup covers, fixed bridge covers. Marked 3/55


Looks like Leo used up ALL the old stock on hand. Winking
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Don Barnhardt


From:
North Carolina, USA
Post Posted 17 Oct 2014 9:08 pm     Reply with quote

I got one in the spring of 53 or 54 can't remember which. Looked exactly like the ones that Jon Light and Jerry Jones showed earlier. Came with chrome PU covers slider switches case 4 legs and a killer amp with 15" speaker. I paid a little under $400 for everything at Starling Music in Winston-Salem NC. I lost track of them while serving a 21 year lark in the US Navy. Sure wish I had them back.
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Chris Scruggs


From:
Nashville, Tennessee, USA
Post Posted 18 Oct 2014 11:04 am     Reply with quote

I have a triple eight 26" Stringmaster from October 1954 that has factory original wide flange legs like you would see on later style Stringmasters up through the rest of the model's production. No extra holes in the leg mount cavities or anything. Still has the original gasket rings in between the leg mount and the body of the guitar. Other than that it is just like all the other early features, slider switches, lollipop tuners, longer scale, chrome PU covers etc. Serial # is 0460.

Notice in the new Vintage Guitar Magazine issue there is an article on one of Noel Bogg's T-8s. It is a 24.5" guitar with black PU covers and all the "push button era" features EXCEPT IT DOES NOT have push button neck selectors. It retains the black slider switches of the 26" guitars. Must have been one of the very first second generation SMs.

There were definitely some transitional features as the Mach I Stringmaster was phased out and the second generation was coming in. All the changes didn't happen at once over night.
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basilh


From:
United Kingdom
Post Posted 8 Jun 2015 5:45 pm     Reply with quote

John Limbach wrote:
Here's my 1955 D8, 24.25" scale.










John, that one puzzles me, 24.25" scale ?? AND 1955 ?
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Miles Lang


From:
Rincon Beach, California, USA
Post Posted 9 Jun 2015 4:26 pm     Reply with quote

My D8, push buttons, 24.5" scale, s/n 0107x.

Gruhn told me it was a '56, but the BoB page says that serial # is a '54. I've never had the plates off to see the handwritten date numbers


Last edited by Miles Lang on 10 Jun 2015 10:19 am; edited 2 times in total
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Steve Green


From:
Gulfport, MS, USA
Post Posted 9 Jun 2015 4:32 pm     Reply with quote

Miles Lang wrote:
. . . I've never had the plates off to see the handwritten date numbers



Looking under the tuning pans is the only way to tell. Serial numbers mean absolutely nothing on Fender steels.
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basilh


From:
United Kingdom
Post Posted 9 Jun 2015 4:48 pm     Reply with quote

Miles Lang, It is possible that it's MUCH later..
Because----->

Mk.1 ~1953-1955 Lollypop tuner buttons, Chrome Pickup covers slide neck selector switches fixed bridge cover and no blend pot.
Known serial Numbers =
(4 neck (ser # 0058) July 1953..26")
(2 neck (ser # 0147) Oct 1953..26")
(2 neck (ser # 0189) Oct 1953..26")
(2 neck (ser # 0282) ? ? ..24.5)
(3 neck (Ser # 0460) ? 1954..26")
(2 neck (ser # 0526) Oct 1953..26") Nov on one neck
(3 neck (Ser # 0612) June 1954..26")
(2 neck (ser # 0708) Oct 1954..26")
(3 neck (Ser # 0930) Mar 1955..26")


Mk.2 ~1955- ? Butterbean tuners, redesigned tuner pan, plastic pickup covers, pushbutton neck selector switches. Removable bridge cover and pickup blendpot.
Known serial Numbers =
(2 neck (ser # NONE) May 1955..24.5")
(3 neck (ser # 0619) Dec 1955..24.5")


Mk.3 November~1956- ?? Butterbean tuners, plastic pickup covers, switchcraft blade neck selector switch. Removable bridge cover and pickup blendpot.

Mk.4 ~1968- ?? Octagonal Schaller tuner Heads, plastic pickup covers, switchcraft blade neck selector switch.Removable bridge cover and pickup blendpot.


Fender used Telecaster knobs on the Stringmaster so the various different Telecaster years will correspond to the Stringmaster years (Approx)

Here's another question are the pickup covers actually plastic or nylon or what ?


Last edited by basilh on 9 Jun 2015 11:48 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Jeff Mead


From:
London, England
Post Posted 9 Jun 2015 11:26 pm     Reply with quote

basilh wrote:
Miles Lang, It is possible that it's between July and October 1953.


Basil, surely they couldn't have been making Mk II Stringmasters in 1953?

Regarding serial numbers, based on what we know about Fender's production methods, I would have expected them to start again with 0001 when they started making the new style plates for the Mk II stringmasters, meaning that there could be Mk Is and Mk IIs with exactly the same s/ns as each other?

On an unrelated note, I often wonder why people are coy about revealing the serial numbers of their guitars online such as Miles above quoting 0107x, but what is interesting is that Miles seems to be saying saying he has a 5 digit serial number?

I found an old thread here:
http://steelguitarforum.com/Forum2/HTML/002491.html

In it, Paul Warnik states that many Stringmasters from 1958 start with the double zero (maybe he actually meant that the number had 5 digits with a leading zero) and that many from 1957 have a - before the serial number.

I have never seen this mentioned anywhere else but would be interested to know about anyone here who has 5 digit numbers or dashes on their Stringmaster serial numbers - or anything else interesting. Maybe, for a couple of years at least, the serial numbers did have something to do with the year


Last edited by Jeff Mead on 10 Jun 2015 12:06 am; edited 1 time in total
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basilh


From:
United Kingdom
Post Posted 9 Jun 2015 11:49 pm     Reply with quote

You are correct Jeff, post altered to reflect that. I misread the serial # Whoa!
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John Limbach


From:
Billings, Montana, USA
Post Posted 10 Jun 2015 4:35 am     Reply with quote

basilh wrote:
John, that one puzzles me, 24.25" scale ?? AND 1955 ?


Not sure where my brain was at that day. Of course it's 24.5"
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Miles Lang


From:
Rincon Beach, California, USA
Post Posted 10 Jun 2015 10:23 am     Reply with quote

Jeff Mead wrote:
On an unrelated note, I often wonder why people are coy about revealing the serial numbers of their guitars online such as Miles above quoting 0107x, but what is interesting is that Miles seems to be saying saying he has a 5 digit serial number?


I don't reveal the entire serial number due to the occurrence of falsified theft reports. I've owned this steel for 25 years, and I bought it from a reputable dealer, but I'm still cautious.

Yes, it appears to be a 5-digit s/n, even though the first digit is 0

Will the handwritten date be under both tuning pans?
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Miles Lang


From:
Rincon Beach, California, USA
Post Posted 10 Jun 2015 10:36 am     Reply with quote

And this chart isn't even close?

Quote:
0001 to 6000 = 1954

6000 to 9000 = 1955

9000 to 16000 = 1956

16000 to 25000 = 1957 *some serial numbers started with a “–“ or a “0”

25000 to 30000 = 1958 *some serial numbers started with a “–“ or a “0”

30000 to 40000 = 1959

40000 to 58000 = 1960

55000 to 72000 = 1961

72000 to 93000 = 1962



Read more: http://www.mademan.com/mm/how-date-fender-stringmaster-guitar.html#ixzz3cga1txMR
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Jeff Mead


From:
London, England
Post Posted 10 Jun 2015 10:54 am     Reply with quote

Miles Lang wrote:
And this chart isn't even close?

Read more: http://www.mademan.com/mm/how-date-fender-stringmaster-guitar.html#ixzz3cga1txMR


I tried that web site, but I'm having trouble locating the neck plate on my Stringmaster.

Can anyone help?

Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy
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Miles Lang


From:
Rincon Beach, California, USA
Post Posted 10 Jun 2015 11:40 am     Reply with quote

Jeff Mead wrote:
Miles Lang wrote:
And this chart isn't even close?

Read more: http://www.mademan.com/mm/how-date-fender-stringmaster-guitar.html#ixzz3cga1txMR


I tried that web site, but I'm having trouble locating the neck plate on my Stringmaster.

Can anyone help?

Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy


It's attached to the neck, I think. But only if you believe that it's all neck! Oh Well
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Jeff Mead


From:
London, England
Post Posted 10 Jun 2015 11:51 am     Reply with quote

Miles Lang wrote:
Jeff Mead wrote:
Miles Lang wrote:
And this chart isn't even close?

Read more: http://www.mademan.com/mm/how-date-fender-stringmaster-guitar.html#ixzz3cga1txMR


I tried that web site, but I'm having trouble locating the neck plate on my Stringmaster.

Can anyone help?

Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy


It's attached to the neck, I think. But only if you believe that it's all neck! Oh Well


Actually, the numbers on that site aren't too far out for Fender guitars but are of no use at all for steels.

Except for the really old Fender guitars, of course - according to those serial numbers, Fender never made a guitar before 1954. A few of the "guitar dater" sites seem to use that table.
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Brad Bechtel


From:
San Francisco, CA
Post Posted 10 Jun 2015 11:52 am     Reply with quote

I believe by "neck plate" he means the tuner pan. Look under the tuner pan nearest to your body as you play the instrument. There should be a month and year written in pencil under that tuner pan.
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Jeff Mead


From:
London, England
Post Posted 10 Jun 2015 12:03 pm     Reply with quote

Brad Bechtel wrote:
I believe by "neck plate" he means the tuner pan. Look under the tuner pan nearest to your body as you play the instrument. There should be a month and year written in pencil under that tuner pan.


Sorry Brad - I was being sarcastic - if you look on the web site I was referring to, whoever wrote it is obviously using the regular guitar dating info but substituting the word Stringmaster for Telecaster.

So yes, I think he really is referring to the (non existant) neck plate, illustrating how clueless he is about Stringmasters.
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