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ALOT of "1979" Strats with S9 serial numbers I've recently seen online appear to be from 1980, including the Strat I bought.
Body and Neck: All bodies are Ash, and usually a heavy piece.
They are believed to just be some kind of quality check stamps.
Pot Codes: MMMYYWW Example: 1377818 - In 1977 found on the side of the pots, moved to the bottom (and unfortunately sometimes covered with solder) in 1978.
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.
They seem to be found on the bottom of the neck heel, as well as in the neck pocket of the body, or even just stamped on the front under the pickguard on Natural finished guitars.First four digits are paired up, 09 is the model number for the Stratocaster, and 00 is the neck configuration, in his case a fretted Maple neck with a Rosewood fingerboard. 38 is the week, 9 stands for the year, 1979, and 3 is the day of the week, which is Wednesday.The '*' represents a middle digit that is either an 'X', a '-' or something that resembles a '1/2' or '1/4' fraction.You spot a '79 in a local shop, or online, but how can you be certain it is a '79?Some dealers simply go by the serial number, which you will discover can be far from accurate.