Just like many other companies in the late 1980s, Fender decided to start manufacturing products in Korea.
As with any new product line, Fender came up with a new numbering system for these guitars.
You would think after nearly 40 years of producing guitars, Fender would have a standardized serial number system down by now, right? The Korean Fender serial numbers are just as scattered and confusing as all the rest of their guitars.
Guitars produced by Samick used a serial number starting with an "S" followed by six digits.
Usually the first digit represented the year of production.
The Young Chang and Sung-Eum guitars used a serial number starting with an "E" followed by six digits.
The first number on the "E" serial numbers is a little confusing. The first year Young Chang produced guitars with in 1987-1988, but they didn't use a "7" or an "8" as the first number.
They used a "1" because it was the first year of production.
An "E2" serial number was then used for 1989 since it was the second year of production. Here's how to tell the duplicate serial numbers apart.At this point, they decided to start corresponding the serial number with the actual year, so in 1990 they used an "E0" serial number. The 1980s guitars' serial numbers were written in silver ink. Some early Korean serial numbers didn't have a lettered serial number at all.Fender began producing Korean guitars in 1988, but they didn't keep digital records of any guitar serial numbers before mid-1993.Fender admits that there is little to no information about the serial numbers from 1988-1993.Some of the serial numbers have lettered prefixes and some don't.What we do know about the early Korean days was that there were three different plants: the Samick pant, the Young Chang plant, and the Sung-Eum plant.