Dating yamaha guitars by serial numbers
But the complexity of decoding the number isn’t the most frustrating part of this particular serial number system – it’s the fact that the serial numbers actually repeat every decade – so you actually have to know what decade your guitar was built in to begin with.
Anyway, let’s start with how the main system works – if you don’t have a serial number that looks one of the ones in the next section, then carry on to the following sections for the less common serial numbers. The first letter represents the year that the guitar was built.
Let’s look at an example of what this might look like – MM12022 From this we can tell that this is the 22 guitar built on June 12 of either 1966, 1976, 1986, 1996 or 2006. H = 1 I = 2 J = 3 K = 4 L = 5 M = 6 N = 7 O = 8 P = 9 Q = 0 But it gives no clue as to the decade so for each letter it could represent the following years.
I’ve started a list of guitars I’ve found (including 3 of mine) with the model number, the serial number, and the date code, which will allow the 6 & 7 digit serial numbers to be grouped into a range for each year, allowing any 6 or 7 digit serial number to be cross referenced to the year it was made.
On You Tube I found a guy in Japan who’s posted short videos of many vintage FG guitars, with the year, model number, partial serial numbers, and in a most cases the internal date code.
The purpose of this article is to solve the mystery of the early Yamaha FG serial numbers, internal markings, and labels.
And to be able to fairly accurately determine when they were made.