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I believe the first Tribute Strat is JC044 and the last JC229. Stevie's guitar is one of the most easily identifiable, famous guitars in history, and folks other than Fender have made dozens of replicas of Number One at prices from several hundred to five thousand dollars.
(I do not make copies of the DVD for anyone, so please do not ask.)My initial impressions: excellent tone, love the fat neck, and it's lighter than I expected.As you look at these serial numbers, please note that the same “letter-prefix” on the serial numbers are used for two different sets of dates. AND now Japan as started making the MADE IN JAPAN guitars again and using old serial numbers.The first being the “Made in Japan” date and the second is the “Crafted in Japan” date. In another 5 years there is going to be sooo much confusion, it will not ne funny!Regarding quailty, I have owned many of both these Japanese guitars and it is a fallacy that the than the Mexican made guitars and rival many of the USA models.The JV and SQ guitars, as well as some of the E series, had USA parts (mostly pickups, switches, and potentiometers) that were shipped over to Japan to help speed up production while the new USA plant was being set up in Corona, California.