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The most common pickguards are made of plastic with a black crinkle control plate common to the mid-eighties.
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.
When the plates were stamped the spray filled in the numbers making them illegible.
Another problem with serial numbers is the stock piling of stamped bridges and plates, causing them to be used up sporadically.
The serial numbers on guitars and basses started at #500, reserving prior numbers for special instruments or presentation.
Guitars and Basses had their own numbering system, the only other instrument to receive its own system was the Broadcaster.
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.
Below are comments made by author Paul Bechtoldt circa 1992.
Please note that his comments do not reflect changes to G&L instruments since that time.
Most G&L instruments are both body and neck dated, which also adds to the confusion of knowing when an instrument was built.
Some instruments have only neck dates, which appear to have been stamped at their time of final construction, then stockpiled for later use.
The prefix "CL" and "CLF" stand for "Clarence Leo" and "Clarence Leo Fender", respectively. The George Fullerton model, which when changed to 4-bolt neck attachment, continued with serial numbers using the prefix "GF", for "George Fullerton" until discontinued.