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Vintage Guitar Serial Numbers - Yamaha

Serial numbers on Yamaha guitars repeat every ten years due to the way they are formed.

The first letter indicates the last digit of the year of production. (Their numbering system began with "H" for 1.)

The second letter indicates the month.

The first two numbers indicate the day of the month.

The last three numbers represent order of production on the day the guitar was made.

Example: hm02316 = the 316th unit made on June 2 of 1961, 1971, 1981, 1991, or 2001.
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


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


A lot of people have written in to say, "Hey! My Yamaha serial number looks nothing like this!" To you folks, we offer the following: Several other serial number configurations used by Yamaha over the years. If you still can't figure it out, please see Yamaha contact info at the bottom of this page.

Alternate serial number configurations for Yamaha Classical and Acoustic Guitars

Custom Shop, Made in Japan, 1966-1985:
001-1042 in sequence

Custom Shop, Made in Japan, 1986-1990:
Letter-####, like so: J7012.
The letter at the beginning represents the month, so J would be March (see chart above).
The number following the letter is the year, in this case 7 for 1987.
The last three numbers indicate unit number. 012=12th unit.

Custom Shop, Made in Japan, 1991-1996:
Letter-letter-###-letter, like so: HP213J.
Using the charts, we see that H=1991 and P=September. 213=unit number; and that last letter is an internal code.

Custom Shop, Made in Japan, 1997-2003:
Letter-letter-###, like so: NK333.
Using the chart, N=1997 and K=April. The three numbers are again, unit number. Unit number 333 in this case.

Custom Shop, Made in Japan, 2004-:
Letter-letter-letter-###-letter, like so: QLY111C.
Q=0 and L=5, so 2005. Y=November. 111 is the unit number; and the final letter is an internal code.

Yamaha Music Craft, Made in Japan, 1997-1999:
Letter-letter-###-letter, like so: ON521J. (That first letter is an "oh" not a zero.)
The first letter is the year; O=1998. The second letter is the month; N=July. The three numbers are the unit number; this started over each month at 500, so unit number 21. The final letter is an internal code.

Yamaha Music Craft, Made in Japan, 1999:
Letter-letter-###, like so: PM222.
The first letter is the year; P=1999. Second letter is the month; M=June. The last three numbers are the unit number. During 1999, they starting the count each month at 200 rather than 500. (See previous entry for Yamaha Music Craft for more on the numbering.)

Yamaha Music Craft, Made in Japan, 2001-:
Letter-letter-letter-###-letter, like so: QIL123A.
The first two letters are the year; Q=0 and I=2, so 2002. The third letter is the month; L=May. The three numbers are the unit number; 123. The final letter is an internal code.

Tenryu/Wada Factory, Made in Japan, 1946-1968:
#####. 12233. Just five digit numbers in sequence. No year of manufacture can be determined.

Tenryu/Wada Factory, Made in Japan, 1969-1984:
######. Six numbers, like so: 710502.
The first two numbers are the year. In this case 1971. The second two numbers are the month; here, May. The final two numbers are the unit number.

Tenryu/Wada Factory, Made in Japan, 1985-1986:
######. Six numbers like so: 860021.
The first two numbers are the year; 1986. The last four numbers are the unit number; 21.

Kaohsiung Factory, Made in Taiwan, 1971-2001:
########. Eight numbers, like so: 10918111.
The first number is the year; 1971. The second and third numbers are the month; 09=September. The fourth and fifth numbers are the day; 18th. The final three numbers are the unit number; 111.

Kaohsiung Factory, Made in Taiwan, 2001-:
Letter-letter-letter-######. Three letters, six numbers, like so: QIM183112.
The first two letters are the year; Q=0 and I=2, so 2002. The third letter is the month. M=June. The first two numbers are the day; 18th. The final four numbers are the unit number; 3112.

YMMI (Yamaha Music Manufacturing Indonesia), Made in Indonesia, 1990-1996:
########. Eight numbers, like so: 20918022.
The first number is the year; 1992. The second and third numbers are the month; 09=September. The fourth and fifth numbers are the day; 18th. The last three numbers are the unit number; 22.

YMMI, Made in Indonesia, 1997-1999:
#########. Nine numbers, like so: 803180011.
The first number is the year; 1998. The second and third numbers are the month; March (03). The fourth and fifth numbers are the day; 18th. The last four numbers are the unit number; 11.

YMMI, Made in Indonesia, 2000-:
##########. Ten numbers, like so: 0002180013.
The first two numbers are the year; 00=2000. The third and fourth numbers are the month; 02=February. The fifth and sixth numbers are the day; 18th. The last four numbers are the unit number; 13.

YMMI, Made in Indonesia, 2001-:
Letter-letter-letter-######, like so: QIM180013.
The first two letters are the year; Q=0 and I=2, so 2002. The third letter is the month; June (see chart above.) The first and second numbers (following the 3 letters) are the day; 18th. The final four numbers are the unit number; 13.

Alternate serial number configurations for Yamaha Electric, Archtop, and Bass Guitars

Made in Japan, 1966-1984. For SG, SX, and BB series.
Year Serial Number Sequence
1966 0398-3951
1967 3952-7433
1968 7434-10844
1969 10645-12331
1970 12332-13492
1971 13493-15121
1972 15122-18058
1973 18059-23745
1974 23746-36150
1975 36151-38104
1976 38105-39943 (SG-175, SX-125)
1001-1390 (SG1000)
1001-1126 (SG2000)
1977 001391-002365 (SG1000)
001251-002610 (SG2000)
001001-001270 (BB1200)
001271-001320 (BB2000)
1978 002366-003110 (SG1000)
002611-003760 (SG2000)
001321-002965 (BB1200)
002001-002380 (BB2000)
1979 003111-004445 (SG1000)
003761-005088 (SG2000)
002966-004000 (BB1200)
002381-002920 (BB2000)
1980 (through July) 004446-005329 (SG1000)
005081-005375 (SG2000)
1980 (through December) 013001-024215
1981 025410-059618
1982 059620-096639
1983 096640-126845
1984 (through July) 126846-146196


Made in Japan, 1984-1986:
Letter-letter-letter-letter-###. Four letters and a number, like so: LJQH013.
(See chart at the top of the page.) The first letter is the year; 1985. The second letter is the month; March. The third and fourth letters are the date; QH=01. The three numbers at the end are the unit number.

Made in Japan, 1984-1996:
Letter-letter-####. Two letters, four numbers, like so: MI0031.
The first letter is the year; 1986. The second letter is the month; February. The four numbers are the unit number; 31.

Made in Japan, 1986-1989:
#-letter-#####. 5I04013.
The first number is an internal code. The letter is the month; February (see chart). The next two numbers are the date; 4th. The last three numbers are the unit number; 13. There is no indication of year in this configuration--just "sometime between '86 and '89.

Made in Japan, 1995-1999:
######. Six numbers, like so: 610101.
The first number is the year; 1996. The next two numbers are the month; 10=October. The final three numbers are the unit number; 101.

Made in Japan, 1994-1997:
#-letter-letter-###. Like so: 7FM123.
The first number is the year; 1997. The letter (2nd position) is an internal code. The next letter (3rd position) is the month; in this case M=June (see chart.) The final three numbers are the unit number.

Made in Japan, 1997-:
#-letter-letter-####, like so: 8FJ0013.
The first number is the year; 1998. The letter (2nd position) is an internal code. the letter (3rd position) is the month; March (see chart.) The final four numbers are the unit number; 13.

Made in Japan, 1988:
Letter-letter-letter-letter-###, like so: SMQI123.
The first letter is an internal code. The second letter is the month; June. The third and fourth letters are the date; QI=02. So, June 2nd, 1988. The three numbers are the unit number; 123.

Made in Japan, 1989-2002:
Letter-letter-letter-letter-###, like so: SKJL321.
The first letter is an internal code (both I and S were used). The second letter is the month; K=April. The third letter is an internal code for Japan. The fourth letter is the year; L=1995. The three numbers at the end are the unit number.

Made in Japan, 2002-:
Letter-letter-letter-###-letter, like so: QJM111E.
The first and second letters are the year; QJ=03. The third letter is the month; M=June. The three numbers are the unit number; 111. The final letter is an internal code (could be E, F, I, or S.)

Made in Taiwan, 1984-2002:
Letter-letter-#####, like so: PH07123.
The first letter is the year; P=1999. The second letter is the month; H=January. The first two numbers (07 in this example) are the day; 7th. The final three numbers are the unit number; 123.

Made in Taiwan, 2002-:
Letter-letter-letter-######, like so: QJM120013.
The first two letters are the year; QJ=03. The third letter is the month; M=June. The two numbers that follow are the day; 12th. The final four numbers are the unit number; 0013 (13).

Made in Korea and Made in China, 2003-:
Letter-letter-letter-####-letter, like so: QKJ0011Y.
The first two letters are the year; QK=04 (see chart.) The third letter is the month; J=March. The four numbers that follow are the unit number; (00)11. The last number is an internal code (could be D, R, U, or Y.)


Believe it or not, this list does not cover all possible serial numbers. Hopefully, this will help many of you! Again, if you're still having trouble, you can try the Yamaha Serial Number Wizard or contact Yamaha directly as we have posted all the info we have. Thanks!

Yamaha Corporation of America
6600 Orangethorpe Ave.
Buena Park, CA 90620
(714) 522-9011

Email Inquires:infostation@yamaha.com

Outside the USA, please visit the link below to find contact information by country.

http://www.global.yamaha.com/products/music/guitars.html

Read Yamaha Article
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