Note that this does not mean a Muff with a 1978 pot was actually made in 1978, it just means it was not made much earlier than 1978.
The pickups and pots/potentiometers should have close dates to the neck-butt dates ~ then the guitar has a strong possibility to be original & complete (body & neck. I do that to all of my work on other peoples guitars and a letter stating all the mods I did. I was thinking of putting Lip Stick pick ups on my Strat. You can always get 1x10,2x10,3x10,4x10 cabinets and the same with 12" & 15" cabinet combinations. Also, I own several vintage combo amps & amp heads.
Post 1980 Strats & Teles should have a neck headstock decal with a serial number that should match one or two white Fender labels on the guitar body, usually underneath the pickguard and in the body cavity area for the neck bolt assembly. Instead of being great at guitar or as an amp technician, I will get good amps and guitars to create different sounds with different speaker cabinets.
The next two numbers after the manufacturer number are the year, and the last two numbers are the week of the year the pots were made.
So a pot stamped 1377833 is a CTS pot made in the 33rd week of 1978.
If they need replaced just do it they are about $8.00 each.
My discussed pot in this thread is R137yyww = R1378131 = 1981/31st week (R137 = mfg) Typically, before 1981, you will see "wwyd" = week/year/day of week Example on a 1970s Stratocaster neck butt date "0903-2455" 09=Stratocaster 03=Maple Neck 24=24th Week 5=1975 5=Friday What I've been understanding, serial numbers are only an indication of a year, but could be five years off, like my Telecaster. I know nothing about the Lipstick pickups Heard of them and recently saw a Tele with a Lipstick on the neck pickup Kevin, my thing is this. I never heard that term before or did and just forgot it. When I get a slow responce or static as I turn them. When I replace pick ups I put a new set of pots on it. I do an install that is cleaner than the ones that came new on the guitar.The EIA assigns each manufacturer a three-digit code (there are some with one, two or four digits).When dating an instrument by the ‘pot code,’ keep two things in mind: The potentiometers must be original to the piece (new solder, or a date code that is off by ten or more years is a good giveaway to spot replacement pots); and the pot code only indicates when the potentiometer was manufactured!, a 420 friendly dating site built by stoners for stoners.