Korean Fender serial numbers

Korean Fender serial numbers 


Fender started manufacturing products in Korea in the late 80’s and they came up with a complete new numbering system for those guitars.

The Korean Fender serial numbers are just as messy and complicated as with all the rest of their guitars. Here we’ll explain you everything and help you understand Korean Fenders serial numbers.

 

1988 – 1993 Korean Fender serial numbers

In 1988 Fender began producing guitars in Korea but they didn’t keep records of any Korean Fender serial numbers before 1993. Even Fender says there is almost no information about serial numbers of guitars produced between ’88 and ’93. There are some Korean Fender serial numbers who have lettered prefixes while others don’t.

 

korean fender serial

 

 

One thing we know for sure about the early Korean manufacturing days that they had 3 different plants:

  • The Samick plant : The guitars produced here used Korean Fender serial numbers that started with the letter “S” followed by six digits. Most of the time the first number represented the year of production.
  • The Young Chang plant and the Sung-Eum plant: The guitars produced here had Korean Fender serial numbers that started with the letter “E” and followed by 6 digits.

The first number of the 6 digits stands for the year of production in a difficult way.

In 1987/1988 they produced the first guitars in Young Chang, but they didn’t use a “7” or “8” as first number but instead they use a “1” that stands for the first year of production. An “E2” was used for the guitars manufactured in 1989

At this point they started corresponding the Korean Fender serial numbers with the actual year of manufacturing. So in 1990 they used “E0” and in 1991 “E1”. The Korean Fender serial numbers build in the 1980’s were written in silver and those in the 1990’ were black. So this made it possible to differentiate the guitars.

 


 

Some of the early Korean Fender guitars didn’t have a letter in Korean Fender serial numbers at all but just had six, seven or eight digits with the first number representing the year. Some of these no prefix Korean Fender serial numbers have been found on guitars until 1996.

Korean Fender serial numbers starting with an “M” are said to be manufactured out of plywood.

Here’s a reference list for the first years:

Numbers 

Years 

6 Digits 

1988 – 1996 

7 Digits 

1988 – 1996 

8 Digits 

1988 – 1996 

E1 + 6 Digits in Silver 

1987 – 1988 

E2 + 6 Digits in Silver 

1988 – 1989 

E0 + 6 Digits in Black 

1989 – 1990 

E1 + 6 Digits in Black 

1991 – 1992 

E2 + 6 Digits in Black 

1992 – 1993 

E3 + 6 Digits in Black 

1993 – 1994 

S9 + 6 Digits 

1989 – 1990 

S0 + 6 Digits 

1990 – 1991 

S1 + 6 Digits 

1991 – 1992 

S2 + 6 Digits 

1992 – 1993 

S3 + 6 Digits 

1993 – 1994 

 

1993 – 1997 Korean Fender serial numbers


After ’93 Fender started producing in two completely new plants: the Cort plant and the Sunghan plant and decided to change the numbering system again. This time it looks a bit more like the system used with American produced guitars.

Both the Cort and Sunghuan plants used unique Korean Fender serial numbers. Those manufactured in the Cort plant started with the “C” while those produced in the Sunghuan plant started the letter “V” because the “S” was already used by those build in the Samick plant a few years earlier.

They also used the letter “N” to represent the nineties followed by the number that stood for the year of production.  This is like the American Fender serial numbers.

In 1997 Fender stopped producing guitars in the Sungham factory .

Numbers 

Years 

CN0 + 5 Digits 

1990 – 1991 

CN1 + 5 Digits 

1991 – 1992 

CN2 + 5 Digits 

1992 – 1993 

CN3 + 5 Digits 

1993 – 1994 

CN4 + 5 Digits 

1994 – 1995 

CN5 + 5 Digits 

1995 – 1996 

CN6 + 5 Digits 

1996 – 1997 

VN0 + 5 Digits 

1990 – 1991 

VN1 + 5 Digits 

1991 – 1992 

VN2 + 5 Digits 

1992 – 1993 

VN3 + 5 Digits 

1993 – 1994 

VN4 + 5 Digits 

1994 – 1995 

VN5 + 5 Digits 

1995 – 1996 

VN6 + 5 Digits 

1996 – 1997 

 

1997 – present day Korean Fender serial numbers

From ’97 on Fender only manufactured guitars in the Cort factory and decided to change its numbering system once again.

Starting in ’97 al Korean made guitars started with “KC”. In 1997 – 1998 the numbering was still a bit messy because they used “KC97” followed by six, seven or eight digits. From 1998 they used “KC” followed by two number for the year of production and then six digits.

Numbers 

Years 

KC97 + 6 Digits 

1997 – 1998 

KC97 + 7 Digits 

1997 – 1998 

KC97 + 8 Digits 

1997 – 1998 

KC98 + 6 Digits 

1998 – 1999 

KC99 + 6 Digits 

1999 – 2000 

KC00 + 6 Digits 

2000 – 2001 

KC01 + 6 Digits 

2001 – 2002 

KC02 + 6 Digits 

2002 – 2003 

KC03 + 6 Digits 

2003 – 2004 

KC04 + 6 Digits 

2004 – 2005 

KC05 + 6 Digits 

2005 – 2006 

KC06 + 6 Digits 

2006 – 2007 

KC07 + 6 Digits 

2007 – 2008 

KC08 + 6 Digits 

2008 – 2009 

KC09 + 6 Digits 

2009 – 2010 

KC10 + 6 Digits 

2010 – 2011 

KC11 + 6 Digits 

2011 – 2012 

KC12 + 6 Digits 

2012 – 2013 

KC13 + 6 Digits 

2013 – 2014 

 

 

I really hope this text about the Korean Fender serial numbers helped you out.

If you want to find out more about the serial numbers of Fenders guitars produced elsewhere, check out the links below:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Also check this page for extra info on teh Korean Fender serial numbers.