"3" indicates 1993, or a"93" would indicate the same).Some top of the line Epiphones were producedin the U. at either Gibson's Nashville or Montana facilities in the 1990s.Ibanez serial numbers are unique identifiers placed on instruments sold under the Ibanez brand.Ibanez guitars have used serial numbers since the mid 1970s.The Japanese-made Fenders do have some slight serial number differences (typically a "J" serial number prefix). I believe this was a mistake on Fender's part using the same prefix for both U. Below are some examples of letter prefixes used in recent serial number schemes.Japanese Serial Numbers on Peghead Decal Note the lack of S, E, N series. Epiphone Serial Numbers General Epiphone serial number information.
Guitar production dates and general Epiphone Guitar information. The Epiphone serial number decoder currently supports 12 serial number formats from 25 factories.
The new Fender did not acquire any physical assets of the old company, just the name "Fender".
Hence during 1985 to 1987, production of Fender guitars was only done in Japan, while USA Fender created a new factory in California. BUT note that the "E" and "N" series does sometimes appear on "made in Japan" models. In any case, if it says "made in Japan", then it is... Fender has recently (in the last 20 years) introduced LOTS of different serial numbers schemes, depending on the country the Fender was made (USA, Mexico, Japan, Korea, etc). Sorry, since I do not collect new Fenders, I don't really keep track of these things.
Mid–1997 the CIJ logo was the only one used on Fender guitars coming out of Japan (with exception the Squire series). I really don’t know, but the MIJ logo Fenders were for the USA market.
USA Fender wanted to stop the import of these guitars to the USA due to firing up their Mexican plant and due to the “too good” quality Japan was creating which competed with the USA models.