While this neck dating is useful in roughly determining the age of a guitar, it is certainly not definitive.So, obviously a neck date, while being helpful in providing a date range of production, it cannot be a definitive reference.
Neck-dating can be useful in determining the was produced, rather than the complete instrument.
I've looked at a number of sites, but I can't find a year of manufacture for a Fender Stratocaster made in Mexico with a serial number that begins with MZ.(I presume this isn't MN and the N is on it's side??
In March 1985, CBS sold Fender to a group of private investors.
The serial numbers do not reflect this change - Fender continued to make instruments using existing serial number schemes.
Instead, the instrument’s country of origin appears on the decal on the back of the headstock, near the serial number.
The Fender serial number decoder currently supports all documented MIA, MIJ, MIM, MIK and MII formats with the exception of Custom Shop, Relic and Reissue instruments.I've only played a USA strat in a shop as a comparison.It just felt like another strat, nothing special compared to mine. What differs generally depends on the relative models and relative years.Each guitar John Cruz makes, regardless what kind of guitar, gets the next serial number in line.I do not see it as different from any other product - where there is a demand, someone is going to fill it.Unlike the auto industry which has specific model years for their products, most specifications for a given Fender instrument model, change little if any, through the lifetime of the model.