American strat dating
Most models have a three-ply guard of either black/white/black or the reverse.
The ASAT model generally has a single-ply pickguard that is either white or black.
ABOUT THIS SECTION The information in the table and text below the horizontal bar was compiled by Paul Bechtoldt, columnist for Vintage Guitar Magazine, and is included in his book G&L: Leo's Legacy.
While the serial number information below refers only to instruments produced through 1992, a significant change in serialization of instruments occurred in 1997, with the advent of 4-bolt neck guitars.
This is sometimes referred to as the sickle headstock with or without the bump.
The first style headstock mentioned was used from 1980 until early 1983.
When G&L changed the construction method of the necks, the stripe disappeared and the sculpted "bump" on the headstock was added.
The third and fourth versions were the modernistic design.
Guitars and Basses had their own numbering system, the only other instrument to receive its own system was the Broadcaster.
Black chrome was used for some pickguards on the early S-500 and Skyhawk models in 19.
Black "crinkle" plates and pickguards started appearing in 1983.
The bodies that are stamped may have been stamped prior to the final finishing process, which would account for some of the signature series having 19 body dates.
Some quick references for dating would be the shape of the headstock, the kind of volume and tone knobs used, and the plating of metal parts.
The second and current version was introduced in late 1982.