Where is my CS acoustic made?

After years of collecting the Fender California Series acoustic guitars I still didn't have a definitive way of identifying a Korean made guitar from a Japanese made guitar....until I realized while re-cataloging my collection and preparing for the attempt to create a meaningful database of serial numbers did I realize other than the obvious "Made In Korea" on the sticker visable  through the sound hole and the "Made In Korea" stamp on the back of the headstock, there were some in my collection that didn't have a sticker or the MIK stamp. I assumed that someone had removed both items thinking that a guitar made in Korea was sub-standard. Upon further inspection I realized that was a serial number on several guitars that was located on a vertical stringer above where the sound hole sticker would be. Also, in my collection I had one particular MIJ "Avalon" and it had the same type serial number on the stringer....so....my conclusion is that if you don't have a sticker "Made In Korea" or the MIK on the headstock, and there is a number stamped on a vertical stringer your guitar was likely made in Japan.

 

If anyone has any input as to my conclusion please submit to me at: earl@fendercaliforniaseries.com

 

Thanks....Earl