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I’ve written other articles on: the history of the Yamaha FG 1966-1981 & FG-3XX series; vintage Yamaha truss rod adjustment procedure; vintage Yamaha neck reset procedure; replacement nuts & saddles; Yamaha FG weights; Japanese emperor date codes; Republic of China date codes; and I’m working on many others.My latest interest is decoding the mystery of the 6 & 7 digit serial numbers.This information is usually found inside the sound hole of your guitar.Yamaha’s serial number system is one of the more complicated ones I have come across – so it’s a little bit involved.So, in our example we have an “M” – so it could have been built in 1966, 1976, 1986, 1996 or 2006 (and maybe 2016? The second letter represents the month that the guitar was built.
The letter represents the month and follows the same system for months as the most common system above. The J is March as per the main system above and the year has to be 1987 since this system was only used between 19. For this short period there is also a 6 digit serial number but doesn’t show the month. This is the same system as used for “Made in Japan Custom Shop 1991 – 1996” except that the unit number started at 501 except for 701. This is the same as for 1997-1999 except there are 10 numbers.There is a different system for electric guitars and bases.These were just sequential serial numbers from 001 up to 1042. The fourth and fifth numbers represent the day of the month. Because there is only 1 number representing the year, there are possible duplicates using this system.Second Letter Month H January I February J March K April L May M June N July O August P September X October Y November Z December In our example, M = June.Guitar Dater Project Yamaha Serial Number Wizard Note: The Serial number wizard at the link above only works for serial numbers that follow the format above.
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For these ones you will also need to know where your guitar was built – which you should be able to be found next to the serial number of your guitar and will say “made in..” and then the country it was built in (either Japan, Taiwan or Indonesia).