Dating yamaha guitars serial number
For these ones you will also need to know where your guitar was built – which you should be able to be found next to the serial number of your guitar and will say “made in..” and then the country it was built in (either Japan, Taiwan or Indonesia).
Note: The following only applies to acoustic, acoustic-electric and classical guitars.
These serial numbers have 1 letter followed by 4 numbers. For example: J7012 This would be a guitar built in March of 1987 and it was the 12 Unit made that day in the Japan custom shop. For example: 790507 This is simply the 7 guitar built in May (05) in 1979 (79). For example: 860102 This represents the 102(0102) guitar built in 1986 (86). The last 4 (instead of 3) represent the unit number, the rest are the same.
The letter represents the month and follows the same system for months as the most common system above. The J is March as per the main system above and the year has to be 1987 since this system was only used between 19. For this short period there is also a 6 digit serial number but doesn’t show the month. This is the same system as used for “Made in Japan Custom Shop 1991 – 1996” except that the unit number started at 501 except for 701. This is the same as for 1997-1999 except there are 10 numbers.
I’ve written other articles on: the history of the Yamaha FG 1966-1981 & FG-3XX series; vintage Yamaha truss rod adjustment procedure; vintage Yamaha neck reset procedure; replacement nuts & saddles; Yamaha FG weights; Japanese emperor date codes; Republic of China date codes; and I’m working on many others.
My latest interest is decoding the mystery of the 6 & 7 digit serial numbers.
First Letter Years H 1961, 1971, 1981, 1991, 2001 I 1962, 1972, 1982, 1992, 2002 J 1963, 1973, 1983, 1993, 2003 K 1964, 1974, 1984, 1994, 2004 L 1965, 1975, 1985, 1995, 2005 M 1966, 1976, 1986, 1996, 2006 N 1967, 1977, 1987, 1997, 2007 O 1968, 1978, 1988, 1998 P 1969, 1979, 1989, 1999 Q 1960, 1970, 1980, 1990, 2000 I can only assume that this has been continued beyond 2010 because I haven’t been able to find any information for a different system but I can’t confirm this.
If anyone knows please feel free to leave a comment in the comments section at the end of this post.
The closer to 001 it is the closer to 1966 and the closer to 1042, the closer to 1985. This is the same as for 1990 to 1996 except there are 9 numbers.Here’s the system that Yamaha uses for their acoustic guitar serial numbers and what those numbers can tell you about your guitar.If you don’t already have your serial number, you’ll need to locate it and in some cases you’ll need to find out where your guitar was made as well – this information will usually be found next the serial number and will say “made in..” and then the country that the guitar was built in (either Japan, Taiwan or Indonesia).So, in our example we have an “M” – so it could have been built in 1966, 1976, 1986, 1996 or 2006 (and maybe 2016? The second letter represents the month that the guitar was built.
A similar number system is used but includes 3 extra letters (X, Y & Z) to represent 10 (October), 11 (November) and 12 (December).
Second Letter Month H January I February J March K April L May M June N July O August P September X October Y November Z December In our example, M = June.