Dean Guitar Serial Number China

Posted By admin On 27/11/21

Just like most products in the world, guitars are usually marked with a serial number of sorts.

They have been used for decades to diagnose when and where the guitar was manufactured.

Hi all I know Ibanez ones do, but how about with Deans? And if they do identify date of manufacture, how do you work it out form the number? Imported Dean guitars however (ones made in Korea, or more recently, China) do not have year-coded serial numbers and have to be dated by configuration and design. It would appear that yours was manufactured outside the US.

This allows you to properly determine the value of a guitar and its real age. It is a similar case with Dean guitars.

Now, like most other guitar manufacturers, Dean has two categories of guitars that they offer. You have the more affordable models which are made somewhere in Asia, and then you have guitars which are made in United States. Naturally, the latter offer a higher level of quality, and hence come with a more expensive price tag.

Today we are going to take a look at Dean guitar serial number, and what you can find out using this information.

Guitar Overview

Determining the origin and value of American made Dean guitars is actually quite easy. Every Dean guitar made in United States comes with a seven digit serial number that is printed on the back of the headstock.

First two numbers in the sequence will tell you when your guitar was produced, while the following numbers represent the serial number of the instrument itself. The origin of these guitars is not marked anywhere on the instrument, but it’s pretty easy to determine which factory it came from. If you see a seven digit serial number on the back of a Dean guitar, you can be sure that it was produced in United States.

Now lets talk about Dean’s more affordable line of models that is manufactured abroad. These guitars also come with a serial number of sorts, however these serial numbers are completely different and they follow a different nomenclature. One of the main differences is the fact that these serial numbers don’t indicate the year of production.

Instead, they just tell you which batch that guitar is from while the country of origin is usually written underneath. In order to figure out the production year of an import Dean guitar, you will need to look at all of its features and elements. This requires a more extensive knowledge of their hardware, and is the only way you can figure out when it was made.
Unfortunately, this is a gray area of sorts for many models. Dean used a variety of hardware, including pickups, on numerous guitars.

Sometimes the a same model would feature one set of hardware, while other times it would sport a completely different setup. This is why you need to know exactly what kind of configuration they used for a certain year in order to properly determine the year when these guitars were made.

To summarize

If you were wondering about Dean guitar serial number, and how to use that information to your advantage, hopefully this short article gave you some useful insight.

Knowing how to read the serial number on these guitars can make a big difference if you’re shopping for a used one. It will allow you to fact check the sellers claims with more certainty.


Unfortunally ESP didn't keep good records of old serial numbers. Many records have been lost during years and most of all were destroyed in a fire accident on late '90s in ESP Japan factory. For old guitars we can only know the exact data reading the ESP warranty card (when there is), or unscrewing the neck (if the neck is bolt on) and read under it becuse probably theres the data write on pencil). I keep record of this data in order to try to deduce other correspondences. ESP Guitar Company says: 'Unfortunately the factories at ESP Japan have not kept a consistent and sensible serial number tracking system in place over the years. This has resulted in alot of confusion, and ... you may still come across the occasional serial number that may conflict with, or doesn't fall under any of the listed categories. For this we apologize, and we are working to maintain a more consistent system going forward. The PRE-2015 system doesn't apply to early ESP's, some of which had no serial number tracking system at all and used random numbers. Thanks for your understanding.'

Dean Guitar Serial Number China Post


- Many custom orders or first new model made did not have any serial number.
- The circle logo 'ESP CUSTOM GUITARS' on the back of the headstock is not a typical feature on ESP guitars made for the Japanese market and custom order.
- Serials from 1990 to 1996 are written in a sort of 'Times New Roman' font, otherwise are in a sort of 'Arial' font.
- For the special/custom order guitars the description on this website are based on the 'standard set' (specs, color, construction and hardware can vary).
- The truss rod cover change from rectangular with white edges and bell with white edges to black bullet style in 1993.
- some of the ESPs have black hardware in North America and Black Nickel hardware elsewhere. It all began a few years ago with the EU and a thing called the RoHS (Regulation of Hazardous Materials) and Gotoh in Japan basically changed their production to ensure they didn’t lose the European market, and that being manufacturers who shipped to Europe, which is most everyone. They changed pretty much everything for the “export” market, and export to most makers means anything but US. Kind of a long story. They have a way of producing black again now so expect it to all go back to the way most of us prefer over time.
---------- Before year 2000 ----------

7 or 8 DIGITS stamped in the back of the headstock:
= day of the month (01 to 31)
= month (01 to 12)
Y= last digit of the year (ex: 1992 = 2)
NNN = production number 000 to 999 resetted every year

EXAMPLE: the code of my MX-250 25023072 means the manufacturing date is 25.02.1993 and it was the 72nd guitar producted that year.



- year '7' can be 1987 or 1997, '8' can be 1988 or 1998, '9' can be 1989 or 1999! You have to look at the models in production that year.

- sometimes in old guitars (80s early 90s) 1st and/or 3rd digit is missing when is '0' and the result is serials with 6 or 7 digits (ex. 3038467 or 338467 → means 03.03.1988 number 467)

- lot of old esp's does not have any serial on the back of the headstock. If you are lucky you can find a serial written on pencil where the body is bolted to the neck (or in the neck also) or in one of the pickup cavities.


MM= month (01 to 12)

For example my MX-220 have serial '#80129' that means was made the 08-1991 number 29)

5 DIGITS punched in the bolt plate (for the bolt on versions).
Follow this reference may not be accurate because probably they printed a certain number of plates and then put on guitars in a random manner, without noticing consecutive numeration. This is the reason why we can easilu find guitars with the bolt plate referring to a year or two before or after respect the serial printed on the back of the headstock. To have an exact dating of this guitars you have to unscrew the neck and look at the date could be written below.
1988 -
1989 - 592XX
1990 -
1991 -
1992 - 601XX --> 618XX
1993 - 619XX --> 912XX
1994 - 166XX --> 183XX
1995 - 191XX --> 244XX
1996 - 257XX --> 261XX
1997 - 273XX --> 294XX
1998 - 301XX --> 357XX
1999 - 339XX --> 369XX
2000 - 379XX --> 387XX
2001 - 388XX --> 416XX
2002 - 402XX
2003 - 4170X

8 DIGITS stamped in the back of the headstock:
PPYYWWDNN (stamped on the back of the headstock).
Dean Guitar Serial Number ChinaPP = place of manufacture:

Dean Guitar Serial Number China Airlines

K = ESP Kiso Factory (Japan) / set-neck and neck-thru only;

S = ESP Sado Factory (Japan) / bolt-on only;

T = ESP Takada Factory (Japan) / ESP Custom Shop

SS = ESP Standard Factory / Signature Series or Standard Series

CH = Craft House

CS = Craft House (used rarely)

TH = Technical House

N = Nagano Factory

YY = last two digits of the year
WW = week of the year (max.52)
D = day of that week: 1 = monday, 2 = tuesday,... (max.7)
NN = number off the line that day (max.99)
EXAMPLE: the code of my MX-250 K0604202 means the manufacturing date is 24.01.2006 and it was the 2nd guitar built that day.

8 DIGITS stamped in the back of the headstock:
NNNN= production number
YY = last two digits of the year
1 - Custom Series
2 - Original Series and Signatures Series (i.e. guitars produced by the Custom Shop that are production models)