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The Lead Series headstock was smaller than that of the then Stratocaster models and similar though not identical to the 1954 Stratocaster design.

The Stratocaster models at the time of the Lead Series release in late 1979 were still using the larger headstock design until the introduction of the Dan Smith Stratocaster in 1981.

At the top of the neck plate, at the front or at the back of the head or on the cover plate of the vibrato.

(Stratocaster) Between 19 there were periods that this is not consistently done.

The original concept for the Lead Guitar series, including the name lead came from Dennis Handa, then Marketing director for Fender Guitars.

The idea was to have a guitar that was cheaper than the Stratocaster and be attractive to players because of the neck feel as well as the pickup options.

So, obviously a neck date, while being helpful in providing a date range of production, it cannot be a definitive reference.

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.

Most notably, production dates have been penciled or stamped on the butt end of the heel of the neck of most guitars and basses.The smaller headstock and the neck were both patterned after earlier Fender necks.Originally Steve Morse of the Dixie Dregs was the first endorser of the guitar and premiered it at a NAMM Show show in Atlanta Georgia. It was established in 1890 by Victor Carroll Squier in Battle Creek, Michigan. By 1975, Squier became defunct as a manufacturer and a brand name for strings, as Fender opted to market its strings under the Fender brand name. Squier Company manufactured strings for violins, banjos, and guitars.

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