Dating fender telecaster bridge
At that time, Fender USA was still trying to get back up on its feet after the CBS buyout, as USA quality under CBS ownership let their standards really slip.
until the new factory was built in Corona, California.
I have owned, and still own, many of both the MIJ and CIJ guitars and when setup correctly and rewired, they can play, feel, and sound as good (if not in many cases, even better) than their USA counter-parts (especially when rewired with custom pickups!
)and both were being made at the same time from 1994 till 1997.
While there have been periods where dramatic changes have occurred, for example: the transition periods between Leo's Fender and the CBS years, as well as the transition between CBS' Fender and the current ownership, generally speaking, most models are feature specific and do not change from year to year..
Serial numbers have been used in various locations on Fender instruments through the years.
This means that the the serial numbers starting in 1994 ran consecutively on both the MIJ and the CIJ models while the MIJ logo was being phased out.
Mid–1997 the CIJ logo was the only one used on Fender guitars coming out of Japan (with exception the Squire series).
For instance, many of the MIJ/CIJ Telecasters have the serial number on the bridge and they start with an "A".
Given the modular nature of Fender's production techniques, a neck may have been produced in one year, placed in a warehouse and remained in stock for a period of time, and then subsequently paired with a body to create a complete guitar in the following year.
So, obviously a neck date, while being helpful in providing a date range of production, cannot be a definitive reference.
and both were being made at the same time from 1994 till 1997.
Mid–1997 the CIJ logo was the only one used on Fender guitars coming out of Japan (with exception the Squire series). I really don’t know, but the MIJ logo Fenders were for the USA market.