Schecter guitars are known for their high-quality craftsmanship and unique designs. But sometimes it’s also possible to get a forgery. To prevent this, knowing the serial number and what it means can be valuable! This is one great way to determine the age and authenticity of a Schecter guitar.
You can verify many things about the guitar by performing a Schecter serial number lookup. The origin, production date, and other important information. One problem is that there isn’t much known about the factory codes themselves. Unless of course you contact Schecter direct. But this isn’t always a guarantee.
In this article, we will explore the process of how to do a factory code lookup. We’ll explore what information can be gleaned from the codes, if any at all.
Other guitar serial number lookups:
What Are Schecter Serial Numbers?
Schecter has a system for serializing their instruments. Each guitar produced by the company is assigned a code. This is used to identify and track the guitar throughout its lifetime. The serial code is typically located on the back of the headstock. But it can also be found on the neck plate or inside the guitar.
It’s typically made up of letters and several numbers. There isn’t much information available about them. But they are similar to other builders. The first 2 letters usually indicate the factory of manufacture.
And the first two numbers normally represent the production year. For example, a serial code of S1202101 provides us with the factory prefix which is S. The first two digits, would indicate that it was made in 2012.
Schecter has let us know that the first two digits represent the year of production. But they have not said anything more about the other data. Most guitar are marked with country of origin, so that is helpful. But I have done some digging and have some theories!
There are only so many guitar manufacturers in Indonesia. Well, at least the big ones. They use factory codes that are specific to them, for the most part. There are many guitar brands that use these factories. They also have these similar prefixes in their serial numbers.
This helps us to understand a bit more about any guitars made in Indonesia. It’s very common to find certain letters on Schecter guitars made there. They include W, IC, IW, and N. There may be more, but this is what I was able to find.
I have seen this with some other manufacturers. It has helped me to form some assumptions about the Schecter guitars. Plus, the amount of digits in the serial number is also helpful. Here is what I believe to be true about the letters.
|First Letter||First 2 Digits||Remaining Numbers|
|W = World Musical Instruments|
C, IC, ICF = Cor-tek (Cort)
N = Unknown
|20 = 2020||Could be month and Build Lots|
World Musical Instruments
There is a manufacturer in Indonesia called World Musical Instruments. They produce guitars for many brands and always use W in their numbers. I believe the Schecter guitars are no different and are made by this company.
The IW prefix seems to be a newer factory code. To which I believe is also made by the same company. In a lot of other brand serial numbers, two letters are present. I normally denote the country. In this case, it’s Indonesia, which makes sense. The W would then be the company that makes it.
The first two digits after it is the year, like all other guitars. It’s also possible that the following digits represent the month, as they all seem to top out around 12. But in cases where they are larger, it might just mean that the third number is the month of production.
If your serial number contains IC, I believe this to be a guitar made by Cort. Being as big of a manufacturer as they are, they have used a few different letters in their codes. These are IC, C, and ICF.
The next two digits are the year. But I’m not sure about the month. It looks like it could be the next two numbers afterward. But then it would mean that only 999 guitars could be made per month. Which isn’t unrealistic and could be the way the serial number has been created.
Unknown Serial Numbers
With these specific serial numbers, I’m not sure who makes them. I haven’t seen the letter N used in any other brand codes. I would have to assume it’s a factory specific to Schecter or a model number. But I think the factory makes more sense.
With this code, from the ones I have seen, it seems that the third and fourth digit represent the month. 05 would mean it was made in May. We already know that the digits after the letter are the year.
Korea is also a big guitar producer and has a number of factories available. There are many brands that use them, and it seems Schecter does too. Korea makes great guitars for cheap, and so it’s no wonder they are used.
Some of the letters I have seen from Korea include W, and H. Plus a bunch of codes that don’t contain any letters at all. I have a few ideas of where some of them are made.
|First Letter||First 2 Digits||Remaining Numbers|
|W = P.T. Wildwood|
H = Harmony
|06 = 2006||Could be month and Build Lots|
While there is a W in the Indonesian-made guitars, we also see some from Korea. The biggest difference is that the Indonesian guitars have 9 digits, while the Korean ones only have 8. So we know the structure of the codes is different.
I was able to find out that there is a company called P.T. Wildwood in Korea that makes guitars for Schecter. And so I am quite confident that the W represents this factory. Then we know the next two numbers are the year. And it seems to me that the following two digits are the month. They never seem to go over 12.
The letter H on the other hand has not been used anywhere else I can see. This might be specific to the model of the guitar. They seem to be used with the C-1 plus models. Otherwise, I am not sure who makes them. It could be Cort, but there is nothing specific to confirm it. Let me know if you have any information about these codes.
Serial Numbers Without Letters
Serial numbers that don’t have any letters at all might be made by Cort guitars. I have seen other factory codes like this on other brands of guitars. They are usually 7 numbers long and seem to be from around the same decade.
If your serial number is like this, then it’s possible that it was made by Cor-Tek. The first two numbers are the year it was made. The third digit might be the month of production. The remaining digits would more than likely be the batch quantity.
Again, this is only what I believe the numbers mean. This hasn’t been confirmed by Schecter.
Schecter has also been making guitars in Japan. The SD, BH, and Exceed series are a few examples. These serial numbers are a bit different from those above. They have unique identifiers.
Some of the more common serial numbers on Japanese builds contain an S or SA. These guitars might be made in the same factory as ESP instruments. The owner of ESP guitars also owns Schecter. And so this would only make sense. I suspect this factory is in Tokyo.
They may have a few factories in Japan that are specific to their own guitar lines. It would make sense to mark them accordingly. The S probably implies it is a Schecter guitar. Other than that, all we really know is that the first two numbers tell us what year the guitar was made.
It seems to me that the third and fourth numbers in the factory code might also be the month. Again, they don’t seem to go over 12. There are only 7 digits total, so it would mean that only 99 of them could be produced each month. But these would be more expensive guitars and may not sell more than this.
You will also find some serial numbers that either don’t contain a letter. Or even have the model included in the code. I suspect these all work the same as the others I mentioned above.
Schecter has had some guitars produced in China. But it seems there are not as many produced here as in Indonesia or Korea. Some of the letters I have seen in factory numbers from China-made guitars are L and SK.
However, I was not able to find any information on who makes them. These factory codes do not align with any others I have seen. If you have any information, be sure to let me know. Otherwise, all we really know is the year they were made. I suspect the month can be determined by the third and fourth digits as well.
Schecter custom shop guitars and early models are what you will find with American serial numbers. These are usually found on the back of the headstock or on the neck plates. It looks like they range quite a bit.
Some of the more common ones have the letter A followed by 4 numbers. I have seen some older ones with the letters B, C, and G used as well. Perhaps for custom-builds?
However, some of the serial numbers don’t specify the year they were made. A guitar made in the 1980-83 era didn’t have numbers to specify this in the factory code.
Another way to identify early Schecter builds is to remove the neck and look at the heel. Most guitars had the date and technician written there. This is a great way to identify your instrument if you suspect it’s an early one.
The best way to find out what you have would be to contact Schecter directly. They are the only ones who would know what you have. This is after all their information, they don’t have to share it publicly.
How Can You Find the Factory Code on Your Guitar?
Schecter has been pretty well organized when it comes to applying the codes to their guitars. You will normally always find them on the back of the headstock. They will show you the factory code plus the country it was made in.
Some of the guitars also had the serial number stamped into the neck plate. This is not as common, but if it’s not on the headstock, this is the next place to look. If neither of those areas have the factory code, then you will want to inspect the neck heel. But this will require you to remove the neck from the body.
Can You Order Parts Using the Serial Number?
Having the serial number, even if you don’t understand it, can be helpful. If you break or damage the guitar, you can use it to get replacement parts. This will allow Schecter to figure out what you will need to get your guitar working again.
If you are not sure how to go about this, contact a technician to help you. Using a certified Schecter dealer can also be a great way to get your guitar fixed if you need to. So that serial number is pretty important!
Other Benefits of Knowing the Serial Number
Aside from helping you to identify your instrument, knowing a Schecter serial number also has certain other benefits. Here are a few of them:
- It can help you to recognize a fake instrument.
- Potentially offer insight into when modifications or repairs were made to your guitar
- Knowledgeable Guitar techs or luthiers may be able to use a serial number to trace the history of an individual instrument.
- Knowing the serial number may help you find the original retail price of your instrument.
- In some cases, it can be used to find out more information about the origin of the wood used in production.
The factory code of your Schecter guitar provides invaluable information! It allows you to make informed decisions when purchasing replacement parts or evaluating an instrument’s authenticity.
This is important as there have been many fakes spotted on the market. In the end, little is known about the serial numbers. Everything I listed above is just a guess, except for the year code. To know for sure, you will need to contact Schecter.