ALOT of "1979" Strats with S9 serial numbers I've recently seen online appear to be from 1980, including the Strat I bought.
Most Natural and Sunburts finished guitars seem to be three-piece bodies, painted ones may be more.
Necks are Maple, and are constructed from one complete piece if they have a Maple fingerboard.
My intent with this site is to educate those who are on the hunt for that last affordable vintage Fender Stratocaster.
Have a read through and hopefully you will pickup a few things to better assert yourself in the late 70's Stratocasters buyer's market. M = Model or Manufacturer O = Operator N = Neck configuration W = Week Y = Year D = Day Neck Stamps: MMNN*WWYD Example: 0900*3893 - Found on the very end of the neck heel, if at all, in green or dark red ink.
The first three digits refer to the manufacturer, CTS.
The last four are broken up into pairs, where the first two, 78, stand for 1978 and the last two stand for the week, which is the 18th.
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.
If a solid paint color was applied to the body it was applied right over the shielding paint which may make it hard to see. Finish: Polyester (Aliphatic Urethane Coating), or "poly" as it's most commonly knows as in the guitar industry, was applied as a sealer/basecoat.
Pickup Codes: OOWWYY Example: 202378 - It is believed the first two digits are an operator designation for the person operating the pickup winder, this according to Abigail Ybarra herself.