Serial Numbers

Serial Number Last Purchase Price Date Last known Location Lipstick pickup Tremolo bridge Detail Other Features
335??? 1991
366??? orange figured top 12-string
36674? 2010 2 Trans Orange Surfcaster 12 Maple/Mahogany body ; black headstock logos
369xxx 1991 Rhythm City,Atlanta GA 2 Yes Orange Surfcaster Signed by Frank Black of the Pixies,white logo
369660 2 orange figured top 4-string bass Charvel on headstock in black
370752 $325 1997 Eugene OR lipstick tube p/u in the neck+ Jackson humbucker p/u
372169 2 tremolo bridge with plate on back of guitar orange-burst 6-string Charvel on headstock in white
372437 02/28/2010 2 red figured top 12-string
3725?? 2010/10/1 CA,USA 2 Black Surfcaster 12 basswood body
374631 2 range-burst 12-string Charvel on headstock in black
374667 1991 Tangerine Tremolo Charvel Surfcaster
37512? 1994 2 Magenta Surfcaster 12 basswood body
375132 $500 Red/orange burst Surfcaster
375412 $2,300 London, England 1991 Seafoam
376031 $500 1992sunbrstsurf
376474 2 tremolo bridge with plate on back of guitar red figured top 6-string
some damage on the back next to the tremolo cover plate
Charvel on headstock in black
3774xx 1992 2 ea-foam green 12-string Charvel on headstock in white
377608 1991 or 1992 orange-burst 6-string
377737 red figured top 6-string belonging to Tim Brewer
378313 2 black 6-string mother-of-pearl pickguard
378321? 2 Yes orange figured top 6-string mother-of-pearl pickguard
378834 1993 2 black 12-string Charvel on headstock in white
3789XX $685 1992 Surfcaster
379XXX 1992 2 Yes Seafoam green Surfcaster green back, white Charvel headstock logo
379004 700 Deutsche Mark late 1994 Germany Charvel Surfcaster Black Bass
379247 2 Ed Roman’s green figured top 12-string no Charvel on headstock; gold medallion on top of headstock
3792?? 2010/10/1 UK 2 Trans Red Surfcaster 12 Maple/Mahogany body;blond stripe down the back
379397 i $100 late 1993 Surrey BC Canada Charvel Surfcaster Bass
380172 2 Yes orange figured top 6-string Charvel on headstock in black
380243 2 black 12-string Charvel on headstock in white
38043? 2010 2 Surf Green Surfcaster 12 updated OHSC with the twist-locks
381351 2 sea-foam green 12-string Charvel on headstock in white; belonged to the band “Nine Inch Nails”
381776 $300 1993 Red Tremolo Surfcaster
381857 2 orange-burst 6-string has C tailpiece
381858 $1,400 Florida 1993 Pink Surf
382??? 2 roller nut black 6-string (Craig’s List Montreal) sold by Yannick Sylvie in 2010
382312 2 tremolo bridge with plate on back of guitar red 6-string Charvel on headstock in white, standard white nut
382818 2 red figured top 6-string tremolo bridge with plate on back of guitar
3832?? 2 sea-foam green 6-string has C tailpiece
383321 1994 UK 2 6-String Sea-Foam has C tailpiece
384893 green Surfcaster reported stolen
385??? 1994 humbucker pickup at bridge green-burst figured top 6-string has C tailpiece
385287 1996 385287
3853XX $725 1994 Surfcaster HT
386081 $2,500 London, England 1994 Orange Stoptail
386525 $240 2007 2 Sunburst Surfcaster 12-string Restored, two long Gotoh vintage tuners needed
386913 humbucker pickup at bridge sea-foam green 6-string has C tailpiece
386938 ’95
387007 Kent Armstrong lipstick tube model SLHC-1 at neck Jackson humbucker model JH-2 at bridge sea-foam green 6-string Charvel on headstock in white pearloid pickguard
387354 $1,500 Germany Ultra Rare 1995 Charvel Surfcaster Humbucker Tremolo
387406 1994 Seymour Duncan humbucker pickup at bridge black highly-customized 6-string has C tailpiece;

Guild tuners, mini toggle switch for in/out of phase

503602 lipstick at neck position humbucker at bridge later model Jackson off-white solid body 6-string Jackson on headstock and on neck plate ;

black pickguard and black headstock with white lettering

018958 3 sea-foam green 6-string has C tailpiece;

Charvel in white across top of peghead;

later model Surfcaster with solid body


Here’s a link to a table of over 200 Surfcaster Serial Numbers:

Table: Surfcaster Serial Numbers

  1. Hi Shannon:

    Thank you for posting details about your Surfcaster. I’m aware of only one other Surfcaster having a metallic-violet body like yours. The other serial number is 387569 and, like yours, it was made towards the end of production of the first edition Surfcasters.

    According to my notes, your guitar has a 1-5/8″ phenolic nut and Gotoh “Kluson” style tuners with enclosed machines.

    The “Links” page on this site has a link to a downloadable pdf file describing the features of every Surfcaster variation. I’m not aware of any additional information about dimensions or materials of construction other than what is included in this file.

    Hoping this helps,

  2. Shannon Edmonds says:

    I have a Charvel Surfcaster C hardtail w/ Metallic Violet finish, Serial# 387769 Wondering if you have any info on this model? Need to replace tuning keys without altering the dimensions of the tuning holes, any suggestions? Anybody know the specs on this guitar like nut width or the direct replacements for the hardware. I love this guitar.

  3. Hello Bryce:

    Thank you for posting photos and a description of your Surfcaster. The original Surfcasters had serial numbers in the range 365XXX through 388XXX and these had colors such as black, red, orange, surf green, etc. There were no Surfcasters in the first series that were finished in gold sparkle.

    Your Surfcaster’s serial number indicates it was manufactured later than 1995. I’m not an expert on the date of manufacture or value of this later series. Maybe some other subscriber to this site has more information about your Surfcaster? I’m afraid I’m not much help.

    Regarding your “C” tailpiece, I’ve never heard anyone else complain about its sharp edges. Perhaps it’s worth searching eBay or Reverb for a “C” tailpiece from the first series to see if the edges are not as sharp as yours.

    All the best,

  4. bryceswanson says:

    Heya heya! I am now a proud owner of a Gold Champagne Sparkle Surfcaster HT, lipstick pickup N, Humbucker pickup B. I’ve only ever seen this finish one other time on a Yahoo Japan listing from like 2015? Fell in love with that particular finish, but I only ever see red orange black seafoam etc. Someone finally posted one here in the US and I snagged it.

    This Surfcaster still has the original plastic on it! But I’m very curious to know more about the actual factory name for this finish, and how many there are like it. I’ve messaged Charvel but was just redirected to Fender, and I don’t expect a reply very soon. Figured I’d give this a shot.

    My serial number is: 9633524

    Here is a link to photos of my Surfcaster, as well as the Yahoo Japan auction of another one like it. I bought mine from a gentleman in Portland Oregon for $1631+taxes/shipping.

    The only thing I don’t like about it is the hardtail C has EXTREMELY SHARP edges; I honestly don’t think it’s safe to play without my forearm being cut up by the end of the night. If anyone has recommendations on how to deal with this I’m all ears.

  5. Michael Yates says:

    One more to add to the database. Just picked up a Sea Foam Green 6-string with vibrola from Strum Guitars in Portland, OR. $1,250. Serial #377593

  6. Farrell says:

    One to add to the database.

    Serial – #384631
    Trans-Red with white logo // C-6
    Original lipstick pups, electrics and pots all untouched, but some pocket cracks
    Bought in the UK

    Previous owner reckons it’s a ‘93, but would love to have a more informed idea. Currently in the process of picking up a ‘96 Jackson SC1 if anyone can help with info on that too.


  7. Michael Yates says:

    Add me to the database: #380128. Trans-Orange Bass. Portland, Oregon.

  8. mike trainor says:

    Thanks!! Mine is currently up for sale to help pay a tax bill, sorry to say.

  9. Hello Mike:

    Thanks for posting details of your 12-string black Surfcaster. This guitar is already in the “database” but I’ll update it with your details. I typically update the online downloadable file each year about August.

    Welcome to the small but enthusiastic community of proud Surfcaster owners.

  10. Mike Trainor says:

    Don’t know how to add mine to the database, so here are the details:
    Serial #: 378694
    Black 12 string, two Chandler lipstick pickups, standard bridge.
    Current Location: Kansas City, MO
    Purchased in 2018 from a Guitar Center in Plano, TX.

  11. Pete Moses says:

    I have a red CHARVETTE electric guitar with nickel Chrome plate on back where neck bolts on. It has serial 009319 and says Charvette by Charvelle. Black headstock on right handed guitar turns up and not down. No engraving on black plastic neck plate on headstock.
    Three pickup model and pickups say Charvette by Jackson/Charvel. Any idea if it’s just junk knockoff of old and of some value?

  12. Alex says:

    Charvel Surfcaster 12 string Black Serial #380244 (2) lipstick pickups, White Chavel on headstock.

  13. Thanks to everyone who has posted details of their Surfcaster. I’ve tabulated all this info in a pdf file you can download from the Links page on this site. The pdf file has 330 entries.

    You can also download a small pdf that is a matrix of all known Surfcaster variations and the number of each variation I’m aware of. Each of the 330 entries is accounted for in this matrix. So, for a specific Surfcaster model, this gives you an idea of how many are known.

    Lastly, there’s a General Description pdf that describes the history of the early Surfcasters, materials of construction, colors, etc. Please let me know of any errors in this description.

    The Surfcaster is a good investment as well as a super looking and sounding guitar. If you’re a proud owner of one of these great instruments and your details are not included in the first pdf file, please post the details here.

    Many thanks to all our subscribers,

  14. Hynek Dvorak says:

    I posted earlier this year and see that I forgot to add a few details. Here is the requested information for my 2 surfcasters…

    6 string tremolo, orange, black logo, 2 lipsticks, SN 374584, changed tone pot to 500k.

    6 string tremolo, seafoam green, white logo, 2 lipsticks, SN 380333. Not aware of any modifications.

  15. Wayne Miller says:

    I own 377718. 6 string red quilted top. Tremelo. Bought it new with case. Stock lipstick tubes.

  16. To register your Surfcaster so it’s included in the serial number pdf file, downloadable from the “Links” page, please let me know the following information:

    1. 6-string tremolo, 6-string “C” tail, 12-string, bass, or double-neck?
    2. Body color
    3. Charvel logo color (black or white)
    4. If 6-string, describe pickup configuration (2 lipsticks, or bridge humbucker / neck lipstick)
    5. 6-digit serial number on neck plate
    6. Has your Surfcaster been modified in any way?

    You can either post the above details here or email me the details to

  17. Steve Sartore says:

    Cool site, thanks for the hard work to make it happen. How does one go about registering a serial here? I have a 90s seafoam green, 2x lipstick, tremolo version. Absolutely wonderful guitar.

  18. Hynek Dvorak:
    Please give us more details about your 2 Surfcasters. 6-string or 12-string? if 6-string, tremolo or “C”tail? Two lipsticks or one lipstick and one humbucker? Thanhks, Graham

  19. Hynek Dvorak says:

    I would like to add my 2 surfcasters to the data base.

    Orange. SN 374584. Original owner. Purchased in 1992. No modifications.
    Seafoam. SN 380333. Purchased in 2012?. No modifications.

  20. arron says:

    Thanks for replying Graham with the information you have on my 12 string surf caster, really useful.

  21. arron says:

    Hi, I have a Black 12 String Surfcaster in England. Its serial number is 370672. Would Love to know a little more about the guitar – ive sent some photos to

  22. Kate Cogswell says:

    Hi there! We have a seafoam #377710 that will be for sale very soon. Perhaps you’d want this on your data base for the moment. Was purchased in Baltimore about 20 years ago and will be making it’s way to a new home soon if all goes well. Would love any info you have to offer. Have plenty of pics.

  23. Hello Dan:

    Thanks for posting your question on our site. From the serial number, we can tell that your guitar is one of the original-run Surfcasters with the single shark-fin sound-hole and the shark-fin inlays.

    You’ll find a complete description of the original-run Surfcasters under the “Links” page on this site. If you check the “Classifieds” page and send me the information we ask for advertising a Surfcaster for sale, I can give you an idea of your Surfcaster’s value. I do this from looking at the recent sales of models like yours. If you can send pictures, all the better. My email is

    Thanks again for getting in touch and I look forward to hearing from you.

  24. Dan Harryman says:

    Trying to find what Model is my Charvel 6 string electric guitar is. Serial number 372600

  25. hendri humaedi says:

    I have a purple charvel surfcaster std with 3 lipstick pickups with serial number C109113, body basswood

  26. Wynand Van Reenen says:

    Hi Guys, I have Surfcaster #386869 Black with the Jackson Hum in the bridge and lipstick in the neck. It says SFC-HT 3-2 in the neck pocket.

  27. Tokumei says:

    hello, i’m livein Shizuoka JPN
    Few month ago, I’ve got Surfcaster#367186.
    Black Logo, Cherry Sunburst(Star-Glo? Fire-Gro?) finish, 2Lipsticks, JT490 Tremoro, Firdt selled day is “8 oct 1992”.

  28. Phil Rosenthal says:

    Graham – I am sending in my details now for my Surf 12-string

  29. Charles Hoernemann says:

    Hi charvelsurfcaster
    Here’s another one for your database:
    Black Surfcaster 12-string
    Serial # 374377
    2 lipstick pups
    Original grey hard case
    Bought new in Munich/Germany for 1,200 Deutschmark in 1992
    Brought it over to Perth/Western Australia in 2010
    Guess it’s rare bird over here ;-)
    Keep up the good work!

  30. Linda L says:

    I have one with a serial #9409470. Is this possible? It’s clearly marked Charvel Surfcaster. It’s eggplant. Any expert advise?

  31. The owner of this site has given me editorial privileges. Currently, I’m still learning the intricacies of WordPress. My first effort was to trash all of the spam posted to the various pages. I’ve also added 3 new links.

    The link above is a pdf table that lists over 200 Surfcaster serial numbers and a brief description of each entry in the table. Please contact me at if you wish to provide any updates to this table.

    The second link is on the About The Surfcaster page and is a pdf document that attempts to describe all of the Surfcaster variants manufactured during the first run 1991 through 1996. Again, please contact me at if you have any suggestions for improving this document.

    The third link is on the Variations page and is a pdf matrix that illustrates all known variants of the Surfcaster and how many of each are known.

    In the future, I hope to check each of the posts for dead links – there are many such links to expired eBay auctions for example. What should I do? Delete the post unless it provides information other than just a dead link to an old eBay auction?

    Looking forward to hearing from fellow Surfcaster enthusiasts.

  32. Robert says:

    Hey everyone. I thought I left a message here yesterday so if I am repeating myself I apologize! But, I am in possession of a Surfcaster with a Kahler vibrato. The routing looks so perfect, like factory, but did they ever make such a beast? Anything anyone can tell me would be a help.

    Much appreciated,


  33. John Sutton says:

    Hi Eric, Noticed your surfcaster info on this site March 16th. just wonder where you were located and also whether the guitar is still for sale.

  34. Eric Anderson says:

    I am the only owner of a MINT Orange Surfcaster, 2 lipstick pickups, tremolo, coil tap. Never played outside of a bedroom or recording studio! SN#376078

  35. Six String Richie says:

    I’ve posted this in another place on the site but I wanna make sure people see it:

    I don’t know if you are aware of this but an awesome company called Eastwood Guitars is looking for funding to recreate Surfcasters. Eastwood makes many great retro style guitars and I would love to see them bring back the Surfcaster. They have 10 days left and are 75% done with their funding. If it doesn’t reach its goal they won’t produce it. They only need $400 more.

    Here’s the link to their project:

    I promise these guys are awesome. Hopefully this is helpful to somebody.

  36. I’ve put up a few photos of my surfcaster for sale here:

    After a good polish and play i’m feeling a little sad to be selling it.

  37. Charlie says:

    I’m selling my 1992 orange Surfcaster Serial #374667 on Craigslist. Let me know if you’re interested.

  38. Starkitty says:

    Yes it is green all over, 6 string, with a silver (?) charvel logo on back number plate thing – it has a made in Japan sticker too I have lost the tremolo arm – any idea where you can get it? Kicking myself as the guitar shop offered me the really nice hard case too but it was bulky and heavy – silly silly!!

  39. I know of no other sea-foam green Surfie with a serial number lower than yours A 1991 or 1992 manufacture date is probable. I’m assuming it’s a 6-string with white Charvel logo, with a tremolo and the back of the body is sea-foam green just like the front.

  40. Starkitty says:

    I have a Charvel Surfcaster Seafoam Green, 2 lipstick pick ups, 370471 for your records. Must have bought it 1992?

  41. OBW says:

    Can you help. I have a Charvel seafoam green surfcaster with the serial number 375332 made in Japan. Does anyone know anything about it? What year was it made or something about the build. Thanks.

  42. Nathan says:

    I wonder if anyone can help me… I have recently bought a surfcaster from a second-hand shop. It is orange (woodgrain) serial no. 384522 Any ideas on the year?
    Also, is there an email address I can send all the other details so it can be included on this (serial number) page?

  43. John:
    Your guitar was most likely made in 1991. Is the “Charvel” logo on the peghead white or black? Typically, Surfies with a “star-glow” body finish have a white logo and those with a “cherry-burst” body finish have a black logo. The body finish / logo color determine its rarity.

  44. John Barrett says:

    HI huys….I have a sunburst surfcaster, serial 370956.any idea on year???…two lipstick pickups ,tone boost and tremolo. .original case…any ideas on a value??

  45. Howie:
    Thanks for your reply and for verifying the date of purchase. I’ll update my spreadsheet accordingly.

    If there are any other Surfie owners out there who are the original owners and can verify their daste of purchase, I’d be interested to hear from them.

  46. Howie Walkup says:

    Graham – I do have my sales receipt from Guitar Center showing the serial number as I stated dated 9/6/1991. After seeing the ad in Guitar Player I made a couple trips to Guitar Center to check the guitar out (It was love at first sight). They finally got a couple in and the black one talked to me (Twilight Zone theme insert here). As I remember, I was the first buyer for the model in the store. What happened next is still to come….

  47. Howie: Your information is interesting because of the serial number and date of purchase of your guitar.

    There are several discussion on this site about the correlation of serial numbers and dates-of-manufacture of Surfcasters. It seems there’s not an exact correlation. We imagine a large barrel of neck plates with serial numbers in the factory and employees selecting one at random each time they needed one.

    I keep a spreadsheet of Surfcaster serial numbers with associated body colors, logo colors, pickup configuration, 6- or 12-string configuration, etc. Wherever the date of purchase is known, I also include this with the serial number. I have about 150 entries in the spreadsheet and it confirms an approximate correlation between serial numbers and dates-of-manufacture, so perhaps the barrel was not very big after all.

    Your serial number 378361 puts it closer to September of 1993 rather than September of 1991 so I’d be interested if you can confirm your information somehow.

  48. Howie Walkup says:

    I am the original owner of a midnite black Surfcaster (6 string w/trem) Serial # 378361 bought in Berkeley Ca in Sept. 1991. It is totally stock with no alterations. It has a mahogany body. I will take some pictures in a future posting and have a terrific story of my encounter with FatDog at Subway guitars in Berkeley that took place when I took it in for a initial set-up after purchase. Later!

  49. Charvel Surfcaster, Serial No. 386345. Green Quilt, Humbucker from Jackson, one lipstick, with C-Tail. Current Location: Zurich Switzerland. First Owner, bought new in shop at 08.28.1995. Payed 2’000 Swiss Francs.

  50. I will come up soon with details of mine. It’s an early Charvel 6 String in this fading green finish with black humbucker and the C-bridge. In mint condition. I’ll post serial and pics.
    Thanks. Thomas, Zurich, Switzerland

  51. Geoff Thomas says:

    I folks, I’m a newbie here and have just bought my first Surfcaster as seen here:
    Anyone have any idea who the ex-Pretender might be who played this beauty?
    Thanks in advance!

  52. Wow, that’s unusual. I’ve never seen a 12 Surf with a humbucker. It will have to go under variations. How did you find it?

  53. Mike- that sounds genuine enough, serial # is in the proper range- although you’d need pics and more details to be sure. I’ve got 12 surfcasters reported with that serial prefix in my database, but only one in trans orange.

    TobyP- Your Jackson Surf12 fills me with glee! I never thought that I’d see a 12-string in that color! The serial number could mean anywhere from 1996 to 1999, but I’d be comfortable assuming this was a very early Jackson- probably put together from leftover Charvel parts after the brand’s collapse, (they were both made at Chushin Gakki factory) and then branded with the Jackson logo. The DMV finish color fits that timeline, as it was only available toward the end of Charvel’s Surfcaster run.
    The only real question I have is about that Duncan Designed humbucker at the bridge- I’m assuming it’s an aftermarket mod because while it is correct for the timeline, the 12-string model has always been equipped with 2 lipsticks. I’d be interested in a peek under the pickguard next time you’re re-stringing, just to see if the purple paint is in the pickup cavity or not. If you’re curious enough, you could also check the neck pocket for a birth-date to confirm the serial# timeframe.

    KevanB- My bad! I misread the mention of the sunburst finish in your first post.

  54. mike says:

    Would 378xxx serial be a genuine original surfcaster.
    White charvel lettered headstock, highly figured orange top.
    Mahogony body. Thanks

  55. tobyp says:

    Hi there, The paint job would seem to be the Dark Metallic Violet finish like the one on the Variations page. It’s definitely factory. The humbucker pickup is a Designed by Duncan one. I’ve done some research and the serial number is from 1996 (Japan). This would be before they (surfcasters) went over to Jackson right? Maybe this was some kind of freaky experiment by Jackson in the Charvel factory!! :)

    It’s built like a tank!! :) The neck is awesome and it sounds great!

    It was part of a huge collection (200+) of guitars left to somebody in a will. I got a mint ’62 Fender Tremolux with it as well. I saw this in the corner and jumped on it! :) I paid £500. Probably a good deal although I’m not sure what it’s really worth. Great guitar though!


  56. Kevan B says:

    Absolutely correct description SignoftheDragon – I see i used the term ‘sunburst’ in my initial mail so apologies for not using accurate descriptors. To complete the description, mahogany body, flame maple top, roller nut and looking at the pics here it seems to be a standard model in all respects.


  57. Toby, Kevan B- Welcome to the fold, brethren!

    Kevan- It’s highly unusual for a trans-red Surfcaster to have a black HS logo- I’d love to see pics if you’ve got them. (I’m guessing yours might actually be a cherryburst finish, with the red around the edges of the body fading to the natural wood color in the center?) Please confirm the color, and pics can be sent to john-at-theElemental-dot-com.

    Toby- That Jackson 12er brings up many questions for me- I’ve never seen a 12 with a factory installed humbucker, and what is that gorgeous purple/black finish? Is there any evidence that it could be a refin? I’ll browse the Jackson catalog scans and see if I come up with any relevant answers.

    Cheers- and welcome again!

  58. Kevan B says:


    correct re the tremolo but the headstock logo is black. It has two lipstick pickups. Happy to provide pics if it would be useful?


  59. Graham Pearson says:

    Hello Kevan:

    Thanks for posting details of your star-glow six-string. I’m assuming it is fitted with a factory tremolo and the Charvel logo on the headstock is painted white. The fact that you remember when you bought your guitar new helps date guitars with similar serial numbers.

    There has been some discussion on this site about the correlation between serial numbers and date of manufacture. The concensus is that the manufacturer, Chushin Gakki factory in Japan, had a large bin full of neck plates and they simply picked one at random from this bin for each new guitar.

    Notice that I specify the manufacturer as the Chushin Gakki factory, not the Fuji-Yen Gakki factory as commonly believed. I’ve corresponded with representatives of both factories to verify the correct manufacturer of Surfcasters in the 90’s.

    Thanks for contributing to this site and please keep in touch.

  60. Kevan B says:

    Niche products are great fun so i thought I’d add my example to the mix – it’s a basic transparent red sunburst six string I purchased new in the UK in January 1992 for £459. The only marginally interesting feature is the S/N which is 371000. It’s still in excellent condition and played regularly as a refreshing alternative to mainstream models.

  61. Toby says:

    Hi, I’ve just come into possession of this Jackson Surfcaster 12 string. It’s kind of blue/purple. Serial is 9629717. Any thoughts as to date/history etc? This seemed like the place to ask! :)

  62. Dave J says:

    Thanks Graham, I only got the 1996 bit from what the shop listed, so be interested to know it’s actual age, it certainly has all the ‘classic’ original Surfcaster features and the logo is indeed white. The top is a subtle but beautiful tiger flame which doesn’t photograph at all easily ! I shall email you some pics … thanks for the welcome, I’ve just been quietly (it’s nearly midnight here) been running through the whole of The Byrds Greatest Hits … can’t put the thing down ! :D

  63. Rob says:

    Rob here again – here’s the new (to me) Surfcaster in action –


  64. Mike D. says:

    I’ve been meaning to put this up for the past month…… Orange Trans 12 string, black toothpaste logo, serial #365636. Believe it to be a ’91(?). I also have two basses that are in the shop right now. This may irk some but I just couldn’t take the pickups in the bass. Tom Brantley, formerly of Lindy Fralin fame, has swapped out the ceramic magnets for alnicos and rewired to vintage specs with a few extra wounds thrown in for some added bite. I also had the phase function changed to tone only. Will post those when I get them back.

  65. Graham Pearson says:


    Welcome aboard and thanks for sharing details of your new acquisition. I keep an off-line database of Surfcaster serial numbers and, given the serial number of your guitar, I would suggest that it was made earlier than 1996, probably 1991 or 1992.

    Please confirm that the “Charvel” logo on the peghead is white and not black. If you send your photos to me, at, I’ll attempt to upload them to this site.

    Again, welcome aboard and I hope your Surfacster gives you many hours of enjoyment.

  66. Dave J says:

    Thanks :) and I forgot to include that it’s a 1996. Still has it’s little Made in Japan sticker, in fact the clear sticky film was still on the truss rod cover too ! (I did remove that .. my only ‘mod’, lol ;)

  67. Mike D. says:

    Congrats! Trans Red are beauties.

  68. Dave J says:

    I can add another here. After being keen on one of these for many years, I just acquired a trans red, mahogany bodied 12 string Surfcaster, serial number is 375726 for the database. Picked her up for 650 CAD plus shipping for the record, so not too inflated at all. Was located in Toronto, Canada, and she’s now located in Devon, England. She’s in great original condition, barely any wear and playing sweetly, just a couple of tiny finish surface dings, with what seems to be an original case going by the perfectly bodyformed internal – rectangular, black leather ends with white piping & stitching. She is very jangly indeed through my old Cornell Romany Plus with a Rothwell Love Squeeze compressor .. love the lipsticks ! Taken some photos already but not sure how to add them here. Loving having something different from the norm. I fancied a tangerine or green one .. but this one is super, sorta candy apple colour with binding and plate aged to a cream :) Nice to see people sharing information on these scarce, ‘cult’ guitars, always remembered them from the 90’s when Musical Exchanges in Birmingham had a display stand full of them in cool colours and I was surprised to see a Charvel without a pointy end :)

  69. Rob says:

    Oops – Serial number is 3809XX.

  70. Rob says:

    Hi there – I just received a Black Surfcaster here in Seattle from a store in NC, Charlette, I think. Guitar matches Bruce Cockburn’s two exactly – black body, white logo on headstock, two lipsticks, tremolo bridge, purchased for $800US. Overall condition is pretty good – no scratches or dents aside from two small indentations in the back of the neck. Minimal fret wear mostly on the first five frets. Tremolo bar missing (of course), as is the back plate. The Chandler in the bridge position was replaced but I’ve already located a replacement, new in box from back in the day. All-in-all it’s just perfect, lovely tone.

    I’m working on finding a tremolo bar and am in contact with the guy referenced above. My luthier will fabricate a new back plate and may have a push-in tremolo bar that will work well. All the electricals seem kind of cheap, so will most likely replace all the wiring, knobs and jack but will keep the originals with the guitar and the old Chandler and the new one will stay in the guitar. But by the time I’m done, it will look completely stock and should play as good as new or better. The guitar came without a case so bought a relatively cheap garden-variety HSC for it locally.

    I do a LOT of Bruce Cockburn covers and even do an annual Cockburn tribute for charity. I have been looking for one of these for years and couldn’t be happier with the one I found.

    I’ll try to forward pictures, but that will have to wait until I get it back. It will be making its debut at this year’s tribute show at Egan’s Ballard Jamhouse June 22, 2013.

    Thanks for maintaining this web site.

  71. Zanna says:

    I’m selling a Surfcaster bass in black. Many dings, truss rod cover missing but. Working conditions. Not original case (included). I’m from Italy, here’s impossible to find anyone who knows the model so I still got it. $550, shipment excepted.
    Contact me if intrested
    Here’s the pics:

  72. JerrySurf says:

    Just bought a black Surfcaster Bass. Still awaiting it’s arrival, but it’s definitely of the prime, early ’90’s period. In fact, I think, correct me if I’m wrong, they only made these for two years, no? $700.00 with ohsc. Not bad at all for 2013.

  73. Jamie says:

    thankyou very much ! i will keep in touch ! i love that guitar i call it my red headed girlfriend ! i am going to get the frets re serfist as open cords are not in perfect tune from being worn over the years! thanks again! does mine get added in this serial no. list ? .

  74. Graham Pearson says:

    Thanks for posting the additional info, Jaime. Although it seems there isn’t a strict correlation between Surfcaster serial numbers and date of manufacture, yours has a fairly early serial number and was therefore manufactured in 1991 or 1992. The “fat” frets are standard.

    Some Surfcaster owners mistakenly think their guitars were made at the Fuji-Gen Gakki factory. In fact, Surfcasters were made at the Chusin Gakki factory in Nagano, Japan. I have an email from a gentleman who worked at the Chusin Gakki factory when Surfcasters were in production.

    I hope your guitar brings you as many hours of pleasure as mine does. Best regards and please keep in touch.

  75. Jamie says:

    sorry i guess i should have thought of that ! the back is mahogany color, the logo is white and it’s a 6 string tremelo with 2 lipsticks in it. it also feels like fat frets.

  76. Graham Pearson says:

    Hey Jamie: Can you provide details of your Surfcaster?

    You say the body color is red. Is the back of the body a mahogany color or is it the same color as the front? What color is the Charvel logo on the headstock? Is it a 6-string or a 12-string?

    If a 6-string, does it have a tremolo or a “C” tailpiece? If a 6-string, does it have 2 lipstick pickups or 1 lipstick and 1 humbucker?

  77. Jamie says:

    hello!!! i have a red surfcaster that i love by the way!! the serial # is 371694 and i was wondering if anybody out their can tell me anything about it like the year it was made and where etc.i would love to know anything! thankyou Jamie.

  78. JohnO: So far with as much info as you’ve posted, it seems like a legit Surfy- and if you can nab it for $700ish, you’ll be getting quite a deal. the 382XXX serial number puts it in the correct general range (we’re still talking the 1000-piece range until we get a dialed in #) as a few others in the database, but without pictures or more detailed info we’re just assuming at this point.

    For the record, I have NEVER seen a fake Surfcaster- there’s a company out there, GRB Guitars that makes a ‘tribute’ guitar called the Kokocaster, but it’d be pretty hard to pass one of those off as a real surfcaster. New paint job, body work and hardware, including the ‘C’ tailpiece and a period-correct neckplate would likely cost a forger more than a true Surfcaster on the used market.

    Mostly buyers just need to be aware of the variances between the surfcaster models over the years, and make sure they are getting the guitar they are desiring for th price they are paying. Some unscrupulous seller may try to pass off an india-made (or a Jackson Starz reissue) as a first-gen surfcaster, but these are usually pretty easy to spot if you’ve done your homework.

  79. Graham Pearson says:

    Hey John O:
    If you email me the exact serial number, I can tell you it’s pedigree and if it has any issues.

  80. John O says:

    Oh, and it has the “C” tailpiece

  81. John O says:

    Hi Everyone,

    I found a Surfcaster I think I want to buy and want some help on making sure it’s the real deal. Solid Black, 2 lipstick pickups, white logo on headstock, serial # 382XXX, “Pearloid” pick guard. It seems very clean (almost too clean, not a nick on it) with an original case (I’m told, didn’t see it). He’s asking $700. Does it sound like an original? Is that price fair if it is? Thanks! John

  82. Lorenzo says:

    Sorry, i was looking again at the shots i had from the seller, i forgot that the one with the serial number shows a little label that says “made in japan”, so this is the answer at my questions. Question now is just: in which year do they move to India?

  83. Lorenzo says:

    Thank you Graham, very useful hints.
    So, the guitar i’m looking for seems to be produced after 95.
    There’s a thing i don’t know yet: when they switched from Charvel to Jackson, the production remained for a while in Japan, and then moved to India (losing in quality), or the Jackson batch was fully “Indian”? Which possible details to recognize that change?
    Thanks again

  84. Graham Pearson says:

    Hello Lorenzo:

    The first batch of Surfcasters have a scrolled Charvel signature on a “Gumby” shaped headtock. There are many pictures of these on this web site. These were built in the 1991 – 1995 time frame and have serial numbers in the range 335XXX through 388XXX. These are more valueable than the second batch of Surfcasters that have a Jackson signature on a more plain-shaped headstock. They are fetching upwards of $900.

    The guitar you are interested in should be priced less than $900. Of course, a guitar’s price is what it’s worth to the owner. Hope all of this detail helps.


  85. Lorenzo says:

    Hi guys,
    i’m looking for a surfcaster and i need your help…
    I found this one here:

    The owner doesn’t know the age of the guitar, The serial is 9660037. (?!?) No (reasonable) doubt that’s right, he sent me some photos.
    Having a glance in this beautiful site i’m guessing it’s possibly 92-94, is it right?
    And how much do you think it’s worth paying for it?
    Thank you very much for your help

  86. rob says:

    couple of questions for the surfcaster experts –

    if serial #’s were not sequential and no records were ever kept, please explain what the purpose of a serial # would be?- doesn’t seem like there would be any reason for even putting them on the guitars, and if no records are kept, I mean why spend the $’s to even buy the serial # plates, just lower your cost of manufacturing-

    other question, is what is the best guess on the total # of surfcasters made in japan, before the name change (to jackson) and change in style and manufacturing to india –

    every now and then you see these guitars for sale, but not often enough to think that very many were made, or possibly it means they just weren’t (or aren’t) that popular – thanks for the info, really like this info site – rob

  87. Matt L. says:

    anybody willing to post some pics from inside the pickguard? i’m trying to put my Surfcaster back to stock and want a look inside to see what everything should look like. looks like the knobs, pickups and pots have all been changed since I last owned this. I have the single lipstick in the neck and humbucker in bridge – no tremolo. hit me up if you’d be willing to help out thanks!!

  88. Matt L. says:

    Thanks for the replies. I didn’t see an email for “Surfcaster” (?).
    Moderately interesting story – I recently re-acquired my ’95 Surfcaster (Sea Foam, Hard tail, lipstick/humbuck). I purchased it used from the local paper in 1996 for $400. “Sold” it to a buddy to pay for a transmission in my car in 2000 for $600 – with the intent on buying it back when I saved up the money. Flash forward 12 years – and I had to trade a brand new Reverend Double Agent II to get it back! Now I’m putting it back close to stock from when I originally bought it. I’m really happy to have this back in my herd. It was really the first “nice” guitar I ever owned.

  89. You heretics are ALL destined for the flames! How darest thou defile the sacred Surfcaster?

    Seriously- my two cents is worth about, well, two cents. I love me some Surfcaster, and play all mine un-modded- but that by no means puts any restrictions on what you do with yours. Mod ’em up, and post them on here so we can see!

    WAIT! I DID MOD ONE OF MINE! I re-ordered the strings on my star-glo 12 to the Ricky style! I guess I’m a heretic too.

    @Matt- things move pretty slowly on here owing to the fact that it’s basically one guy managing it out of the goodness of his heart in his free time. Don, if you’re reading this, thank you- and let me know if you’d like any help maintaining/updating etc. I’d be glad to help where I can.

  90. Graham Pearson says:

    NON-PERMANENT MODS??? Don’t feel bad, SS. I disclosed the fact that I string my 12-string as a 6-string and SignOfTheDragon chewed my tail. I’m still darning a new seat in my jeans.

  91. Silversurfer says:

    Yeah… Not a lot of traffic here and not a lot to talk about since there’s no documented history, no company source of info, no real new models and very few original Surfcaster owners. I brought up non-permanent mods once and people acted like I was defacing the Mona Lisa. Email “Surfcaster” with pics and he’ll put them up.

  92. Matt L. says:

    Is this site still active other than this comments section? Who and how can I submit info on my Surfcaster? I would like to contribute to the database.

  93. Gina says:

    I purchased my vintage 1991/92 Charvel Surfcaster in red w/tremolo. How can I find out what it is worth…$?. And I have the original tweed guitar case with the Charvel Guitar Logo in front of case.

  94. Brad Jaffe says:

    Hi: Here’s one for the database: Serial Number 385871. Charvel Surfcaster 6 string “C” hardtail. “Star glo” finish–the brownish-orange sunburst rather than the reddish fireglo sunburst. Here’s something perhaps unusual about this guitar: it doesn’t have the asymmetrical “Gumby” headstock that every other Charvel labeled Surfcaster I’ve seen has. The headstock looks like the Jackson Surfcaster headstock–it’s smaller. Does anyone know when Charvel changed the headstock shape? Here’s a link to a picture of the guitar:

  95. Ken Boyte says:

    Here’s another one for the database
    s/n: 018852
    Price: $700 (1997 – purchased new)
    Location: MS, USA
    Pickups: 3 (5-way switch, vol, tone)
    Bridge: fixed with tapeze “C” tailpiece
    Other: Blue/Purple (blurple) with white Charvel logo, vintage-style tuners, dot inlays
    Basically, the Surfcaster Std. as seen on the Variations page, 94 catalog picture

    I purchased this because it played and sounded better than any comparably priced Fender in the store. Still own it – no plans to get rid of it.

  96. Graham Pearson says:

    Hey F. Rankenstone: Can you provide details of your Surfcaster? 6 string “C” hardtail, 6 string tremolo, or 12 string? Body color? Is the back of the body a mahogany color or the same color as the front? Color of Charvel logo?

  97. F. Rankenstone says:

    hi there , I own serial number 377954, bought it in Belgium in 92 but now living with it her in Switzerland ;-)

  98. Graham Pearson says:

    The Jackson Surfcaster is not one of the first series of Surfcasters that have serial numbers in the range 335XXX – 388XXX. The original Surfcasters have Charvel on the headstock and typically sell for more than the Jackson Surfcasters.

    So don’t buy this guitar as an investment. Buy it only if you like the way it plays and the price is right. Search eBay for pricing on Charvel versus Jackson Surfcasters, bearing in mind that some auctions are way over-priced.

    Hope this helps,

  99. Z says:

    Hi Surfcasters,
    This is Z from Italy. I found a late Surfcaster and I want to figure out if it cuold be a good buy. It is blonde, with grey pearlod pickguard. Maple fingerboard and black inlays. Jackson written on the headstock, no OHSC. Is that a “real” surfcaster? I’m pretty sure it is MIJ. S.n. 96195XX.
    Any help is golden.
    Thanks in advance guys.

  100. Nick says:

    Thanks John
    Could newer information be added to the .xls template here?

  101. I’ve got about 110 surfcasters tracked now, based off Graham’s .xls template from above with another 30 or so that’ve shown up on eBay and other sources since I downloaded it- I’d be glad to send a copy to anyone interested. Just let me know: John at theElemental dot com.

  102. Nick says:

    Are there any updates for the serial number chart above?

  103. Mark B. says:

    Graham, if you go to the variations page on this site, look at the second picture. The catalog page with three Surfcasters on it. The one I have looks exactly like the blue one on the right. It’s even that same color.

  104. Mark B. says:

    Sorry I’m typing on my phone. I meant “has” not “had”.

    I think the neck plate was simply replaced and I’ll never know the original serial number. The guitar looks like it had taken a bit of a beating over the years.

  105. Mark B. says:

    No, it had the Charvel logo on the head stock. I’d post a link to a picture but posts with links don’t show up.

    It’s a Surfcaster Std with the chrome tail piece with the “C” cutout. I don’t think the Indian Jacksons came with that, did they?

  106. Graham Pearson says:

    The original issue Charvel Surfcasters, made in Japan in the early nineties with the fancy neck plates, had serial numbers in the range 335XXX – 388XXX. Yours is a later issue, probably with the Jackson logo rather than the Charvel logo, probably not made in Japan.

  107. Mark B. says:

    The neck plate on mine is plain with a rolled number in the 90xxxx range. Should it instead have one of those fancy neck plates with the Charvel logo and a black background?

  108. All Black Surf 12 String
    Lipstick PU w/Coil tap on bridge
    Pearl Pick Guard
    Black Headstock w/White Charvel Logo
    Ser# 375819
    Purchased for around $775.00 off eBay several years ago (2005?)
    Currently resides in Utah, USA

  109. Mick Penkethman says:

    hi Graham,
    ref; serial number 377608
    body is a beautiful flame fireglow
    back is mahogany
    charvel logo is black
    its a six string two pick ups with tremolo
    Its a fantastic guitar and I would buy another
    one if only I could find one!!
    Keep up the good work

    cheers Penky

  110. Jim Kubik says:

    Bought my ’91 Surfcaster brand new in a music shop in San Diego, CA in 1992. I still own it and it is still in perfect condition.

    Body color = red, front and back
    Logo color = white
    6-string with tremlo
    serial = 371337

  111. Graham Pearson says:

    Hey Penky:

    How about some additional details about your Surfcaster?
    Body color?
    Charvel logo color?
    Is back of body same color as front or is it mahogany?
    6-string or 12-string?
    If 6-string, does it have a tremolo?

    Looking forward to your reply.

  112. Penky says:

    Just found your website. I own 377608. I purchased it for £500 in 2002, It is in pristine condition and now lives happily in Stoke on Trent in England. Cheers Penky

  113. Nick Randall says:

    I finally picked up my ‘new’ surfcaster.
    12 String
    Surf Green
    Serial Number 382319
    2 Lipstick pickups.
    It was purchased from a guy who obviously never used it, the guitar is mint original with the exception of the tuners, The originals have been replaced by a set of vintage replacement ‘Single Line’ Klusons*, a very nice upgrade that gives the head a bit more of a Rickenbacker look. They work better than the originals.
    The guitar is in South Australia, professionally set up and it plays like I hoped it would.

    *Single Line Klusons I learned refers to the name stamping style – not the ‘in line’ 12 sting tuners one sometimes sees – don’t worry – no new holes were drilled.

    I’ll post some photos soon.

  114. Graham Pearson says:

    Hi Paul:

    Welcome to the forum. I already have an entry in the serial number database for your guitar. It looks like you bought it on eBay from “gravitymusic”. The entry indicates the Charvel logo is white and the body is all black i.e. the back of the body is not mahogany with a clear varnish finish. Please let me know if either of these details is incorrect.

    Enjoy your 12-string. I have a red 12-string but I string it and play it as a 6-string. If you ever get tired of playing it as a 12-string, the 6-string option works really well.

    Keep in touch.

  115. Paul Butterfield says:

    I recently acquired a black 12 string Surfcaster with original case. It has two lipstick pickups and the serial number is 369361. What else would you like to know for your serial number list?

  116. I bought a surfcaster, orange burst with 2 lipstick pickups, mahogany back, black Charvel logo on headstock in 1996 in UK.

    I paid £300 for it. Serial number 37436x. There was no case with it but I already had a shaped silver Charvel case which I bought second hand because I liked it.

    It looks and feels well-made and is certainly different. Haven’t played it for a while but seing this site has inspired me to get it out more.


  117. Graham Pearson says:

    Hey Jeff:

    I’m assuming the Charvel logo is black and that your guitar has a tremolo and roller-nut. Any chance of posting some pictures? Please send pictures to our site’s owner, Don Rown, at and he’ll post them so we can all see.

  118. Jeff Myers says:

    Hi guys, I bought an orange/burst, twin lipstick pickup Surfcaster in the early 1990’s: Serial number 377639 in the UK from an ad in a quality music magazine (tho I cannot remember which). I think that I paid about £400 for it + case (which is seemingly generic). I absolutely loved the sounds I could get from it – and from looking at other pictures I know that it’s an original – but the build quality is really poor on my model. There are two raised points – ‘nipples’ for want of a better description which have not been smoothed down – these actually push through the final surface varnish in front of the bridge – and there is a really crude – but tiny – right angled cut – hacked through the scratch plate next to one of the ‘nipples’. Almost as if it was done to accommodate the mistake. If it wasn’t for the great sound I would have returned the guitar for a refund. Since then I’ve been offered ridiculous amounts to sell it – but always refused. I assumed that it was ‘rush made on a Friday evening, just before the workers left for the weekend’. Do you guys have any ideas?

  119. Yeah- the acoustic surfys didn’t sell well, so I think they were only available for one catalog year in ’92. Your black one is the slightly lower-priced 325 SL, which I would probably value at $300-350 if it was in great shape.

    Here’s the page from the ’92 catalog:

  120. Silversurfer says:

    Yenshan – The Charvel Surfcaster acoustic electrics seem to usually run in the $300-400 range. From what I can gather, they were made in the mid 1990’s and probably made in Japan, which means the build quality is probably pretty decent, but the design doesn’t really lend itself to a good sounding acoustic guitar, hence, the lack of demand and lower value. Still, an interesting piece of Charvel Surfcaster history.

  121. YENshan says:

    I have what appears to be a Charvel Surfcaster acoustic electric guitar in black… I have only seen them online in colors other than black. It has a sticker inside that says 1809, and I can’t seem to find any other numbers on the guitar…. what is this thing!!! and how much is it worth!!!

  122. Sunburst 12?!? You just made my day! What was the original finish color?

  123. Four years ago, I purchased Surfcaster 12-string #386525 from the original owner, in very poor condition, disassembled, for $240.00.

    The paint was peeling, the binding was damaged, and the neck extension was broken off. Two tuners were missing. The headstock was dented and the neck was scarred on its back. The electronics were present, but non-functional. Pickguard was badly and unevenly yellowed.

    It has since undergone a slow, but complete restoration. It has now been restored to its original glory with a sunburst front and black back and sides, and is undergoing assembly.

    I need two (one of each side) of the long Gotoh vintage tuners that were used on these 12ers. Can anybody help?

    Please add my serial # and details to your registry. Photos, soon!

  124. The serial numbers from that period (along with the neckplates that are found on almost all surfcasters) were spread out over all bolt-on models made in Japan. All of the Charvel guitars that were made there during that period have the same neckplate, and as far as anyone has been able to tell, there really was no attempt to keep them sequential or even grouped in any decipherable way. The 20K spread sounds reasonable considering ALL of the guitars that were made in that period, but I’ve never been able to track down how many of them were Surfcasters. THe most insightful estimate I’ve heard is: “Not many.”

  125. Graham Pearson says:

    What’s even more strange is the range of serial numbers reported on this site is from 366XXX to 387406, which is over 20,000 over a 5-year period. I wonder if the same type of neck plate was used on other Charvel or Jackson models? Perhaps the same serial number bins were used for all guitars made in this period?

  126. Silversurfer says:

    Call me pessimistic, but if the serial numbers are indeed sequential, the above serial number records would suggest that in 1992, at least 2869 Surfcasters were made. Seems like an awfully high number to me, even for a mass produced guitar. But I’m no expert – I’ve only owned 2 Surfcasters, not 30 ; )

  127. I’m less pessimistic than Silver. For the most part the surfs I’ve seen are very sequential. I think there might be a few outliers, but I’ve owned more than 30 over the years and all of them made sense and were appropriately sequential. 379 is still within the early tremolo surfs, before the humbucker, which I think are all 380 and above. I think I’d like to buy your surf Scott. Are you selling? Send us a pic.

  128. Silversurfer says:

    Scott – email some pictures per the above email by Graham, just ’cause we like looking at these guitars.

    No one is really sure that there IS any rhyme or reason to the sequencing of Surfcaster serial numbers. On a Jackson Charvel forum, it’s been mentioned that in the 90’s, Charvel import neck plates were just in buckets around the shop and the workers just grabbed neckplates from whichever bucket was closest to them. IF this is true, that makes any sort of date coding based on neck plate serial numbers impossible. Charvel certainly didn’t keep any records and Fender never got a “book” of serial numbers when they acquired Charvel.

  129. Scott Seatbelt McLean says:

    I have a Seafoam green Surfcaster I bought new in 1992, serial number is 379XXX. Seems like this throws your numbering out of whack, but I am the only owner of this guitar and I have my initial receipt. My guitar has the white Charvel headstock logo, two lipstick pickups, the tremolo, and the back is painted green also. What do you think about that?

  130. Graham Pearson says:


    Please email pictures of your guitar to Include pics of the front and back of the body, the front of the peghead, and the neckplate with its serial number. Our highly-paid multi-talented web designer can then post these pics so we can all drool and slobber over your axe. If for some reason you can’t email pictures, please let us know 4 things:

    1. The color of the Charvel logo on the peghead
    2. Does it have 2 lipsticks or 1 lipstick and 1 humbucker pickup?
    3. Is the back of the body red or is it mahogany?
    4. Does the tail piece have a “C” in it?

    Thanks David, and please keep in touch.

  131. David Tschöpe says:

    I inherited my brother’s surfcaster which was bought in 1995 in a german music store. It’s serial number is 381907. It has no tremolo and the color is kind of candy red. Looks really nice and sounds great! Won’t sell it. One problem: when playing muted the volume “fades out” after awhile, because my right hand slightly touches it all the time…



  132. I figure narrowing it down to 10s would be close enough for dating purposes, while keeping enough anonymity for safety’s sake. (i.e. 36674?)

    The 2 I sold over the last year I kept disclosure to 100s, (i.e. 3792??) because I don’t own them anymore- out of courtesy to the current owners’ privacy. We’ll let them fill them in if they like, when they find their way here.

    I’ve heard of many scams involving serial # fraud- mostly in insurance claims when it comes to older guitars. Scammers use stolen pics & serial #s to claim losses on guitars they never owned, and claim them destroyed or stolen during some catastrophe or other- leaving you with a guitar that is on record somewhere as stolen or destroyed, and causing who knows how much future inconvenience (possible arrest? insurance fraud allegations?) when you decide to sell it.

  133. Graham Pearson says:


    Your scam explanation in the previous post sounds plausible, although any criminal investigation would quickly realize that you, as the legitimate owner, had taken the photos that the scam artist was using as evidence against you.

    Thanks for describing a scheme that, in my naivety, I hadn’t thought of.

  134. silversurfer says:

    I’m probably being paranoid, but I was always under the impression that if you buy a guitar second hand, you shouldn’t disclose serial numbers with pics. The thought was that someone could report your instrument as stolen from them, provide the police with the serial number of an instrument they never owned, complete with pictures. Again, probably being paranoid, but in this age of online scams and identity theft, I’d rather err on the side of safety.

    Besides, I’ve read on the Jackson forum that the serial number plates for imports in the 90’s were randomly selected from multiple bins – making any sort of serial number registry pointless and date coding by serial numbers, inaccurate. No way to substantiate this other than postings on the web, but it sounds entirely possible.

  135. Graham Pearson says:

    Why is there a reluctance on the part of some Surfcaster owners to divulge complete serial numbers, i.e. 369XX rather than 36923? I can understand this reluctance for a guitar like the Fender Stratocaster that can be knocked off by some far-east cheapo shop and sold by the hundreds to unsuspecting western white boys.

    But a Surfcaster would be difficult to knock off and the market isn’t that big so the chop shops aren’t going to be interested.

    Apart from helping new Caster owners date their guitars, the real advantage of posting the complete serial number on this site is to help trace the guitar if it is ever stolen. I have a good friend (Chief of Police) who can broadcast the details of a stolen instrument to the majority of law enforcement agencies in the USA and Canada, as well as pawn shops and second-hand musical instrument dealers. To me, this is almost as good as having an insurance policy, except it’s free!

  136. Graham Pearson says:

    My best guess on the year of manufacture of your Surfcaster bass (S/N 379397) is probably 1994, possibly late 1993. There’s a black bass in Germany S/N 379004 that was purchased in 1994 and a 6-string sea-foam “C” tail in the UK S/N 383321 that was purchased in 1994.

  137. Graham Pearson says:

    I just spoke with Eric. The serial number of the Surfcaster he auctioned recently was 380538.

  138. I wish we had the serial number for clapton’s surf

  139. Silversurfer says:

    “….our magnificent in-house research department and dating service date your bass guitar.”

    LOL Good one Graham

  140. Graham Pearson says:

    Please email pictures of your bass to Include pics of the front and back of the body, the front of the peghead, and the neckplate with its serial number. This will help our magnificent in-house research department and dating service date your bass guitar.

  141. CikMick says:

    heres some photos

  142. CikMick says:

    ive been trying to figure out the year of my bass and came upon your site its a charvel surfcaster bass serial 379397 i bought it from a pawn shop in surrey BC Canada for 100$ and a cheap samick guitar i carved a skull into (: its still mint and the richest sounding bass ive ever played im wondering if its japanese made or made in india maybe you would know

  143. Re: Graham- yes, the original production surfcasters were all 2-lipstick configured. The humbuckers started appearing in the ’94 and ’95 HT models.

    Re: David’s guitar- I posted the pic on the Jackson/Charvel forum, and got some interesting responses there. The concensus seemed to be that the neckplate was authentic, but likely sanded down and re-stamped to hide the original. (Most opinions leaned toward it being a stolen guitar, as that would be the most likely reason to modify the neckplate in such a way) Here’s the thread:

  144. Graham Pearson says:

    It seems to me that all the early Surfcasters had 2 lipstick pickups. Certainly all the early Surfcasters registered on this site have 2 lipstick pickups. Surfcasters with humbuckers at the bridge didn’t come along until later. Serial number 386027 is the earliest 1 lipstick / 1 humbucker Surfcaster listed on this site so far.

    This makes the originality of the neck plate with serial number 370752 on David’s guitar suspect, not just because of its unusual appearance with the uneven digits, but because 370??? is a fairly early serial number.

  145. Thanks Silversurfer. I was wondering the same thing. I just couldn’t conceive that the serial numbers would be so far off from mine. It must be some other neckplate. Which is weird. It definitely does not look the same with the crooked numbers on the neckplate. Otherwise David’s surf looks stock and authentic though, exactly like mine.

  146. David Espinoza says:

    Regarding the questions about the neckplate for #370752: I have no idea about the neckplate. It was on the guitar when I bought it. I assumed it was original. At the time I bought this guitar I had never heard of the Surfcaster. All I knew of Charvel & Jackson was Eddie VanHalen and shredders. I bought it because it played very well. I love the wide neck and the low action, the combo of the lipstick tube and humbucker. The fact that it looks cool was also a selling point.

  147. Silversurfer says:

    Yeah mine looks like this one currently posted in the Links section:

  148. Graham Pearson says:

    I agree with Silversurfer. That neck plate looks quite different to mine. On mine the following areas are shiny chrome: the Charvel logo, the rectangular area used to stamp the serial number, and the frame around the edge of the neck plate. i.e. all the raised areas are chrome and the other area is black.

  149. Silversurfer says:

    David, is that the original neck plate? The stamping of the serial number looks so different than any of mine or others I’ve seen.

  150. Wow: That’s exactly like my number 1. Exactly. We’ll post it to the database. I’ll post mine too so you can see that they’re identical twins. I’m assuming you love it? For me, it’s the best guitar I’ve ever had. Mine is serial number 386027. I wonder how it’s possible that the serial numbers are so far apart?

  151. David Espinoza says:

    I finally got some photos posted to a Picasa web album. Here is the url:

  152. You can either email them to or give us a url and we’ll just link to it from the serial number database. Thanks.

  153. Send me a picture and I’ll tell you the exact year. Thanks.

  154. barney says:

    Sure. Depending on the (rather shaky) dollar back in 1994, my 2nd hand Surfcaster must have cost between 395 and 470 US-Dollars then – i paid 700 Deutsche Mark, way less than the retail price around the time.
    I’ll be happy to provide a photo once i’ve only managed to come up with a decent one… (only have detail photos at the moment). Soon, i promise!
    Could you maybe add ‘Surfcaster Bass black’ to the year in the details field?
    Thanks, best

  155. Hi David,

    Nice to meet you!

    You can submit you image link in the comment sector so we can add it to the database.

    Thanks for sharing information with us :)

    Best Regards

  156. Hi Barney,

    Thanks for your information :)

    Could you please send us a link to your guitar image so that we can add it to the database? Also, If you don’t mind, may I know how much it cost?

    Best Regards

  157. barney says:

    Great thread + site! I have been looking for a japanese-Surfcaster ser.-no. chart for ages.
    I own a black bass – no. 379004.
    Bought it in late 1994 (2nd hand already; the previous owner must’ve made a bad buy for whatever reason – the bass sounds marvellous). Now i can assume it’s either built in ’92 or ’93, right? I wished i would know which year for sure…
    Btw, mine’s also a mahogany body version: strangely, in germany i’ve only seen Surfcasters made of lighter-coloured (bass?)wood so far, even back then when they were still produced and out in the shops.
    Thanks a lot for the infos – cheers!

  158. David Espinoza says:

    I have a Surfcaster that I would like to add to your table of serial numbers and post a photo or two. The serial number is 370752. I bought it for $325.00 in 1997 and it currently “resides” in Eugene OR. It has the lipstick tube p/u in the neck+ Jackson humbucker p/u in the bridge. Let me know how to get you photos for your site.

  159. Nice Link ToddR. I’ll add it somewhere appropriate here on the site. Thanks.

  160. Oh, yeah! Those scans are sweet. I’ll add it to the links tab right away. Thanks.

  161. silversurfer says:

    Of course; happy to provide images. Let’s see if this link code works:
    Seafoam Green – Serial No. 3853XX

    Star-glo – Serial No. 3789XX

    Also, here’s a URL for a scan of the ’92 Charvel-Jackson catalog, including pages for the Surfcaster. It’s interesting as it provides a listing of all available finish colors, and at the back of the catalog, a description of Surfcaster parts (i.e. bridge, pickups, etc.).

    Great job on putting this site together, so far BTW

  162. Thanks for the info. I’ll post his link on the links page. It seems like every surfcaster owner at some point needs that trem arm.

  163. Great info todd, can you send me a picture so I can add it to the database? or just a link that i can link to? Thanks.

  164. Yes, silversurfer is exactly right. I just need to get the pictures to go with the serial numbers. It would be nice to get an overall average. I just bought a surf for $550 on craigslist. It’s not all original (duncan pickups, grover tuners) and a little beat up, but there are definitely bargains to be had out there with a little patience. The mint surfs go for a lot of money. But any significant blemish or customization really makes them affordable. Can you send me pics silversurfer so I can add yours to the database?

  165. Silversurfer says:

    ToddR – that’s what ive got, but sounds like you got a hell of a deal on yours. Go to for the trem arm you need. It’ll cost you about $30.00 but it will fit perfectly – I just got mine on Saturday.

  166. ToddR says:

    I picked up a red/orange burst Surfcaster for myself as a birthday present a couple years ago. It has the sound hole, mahogany back, beautiful bookmatched flamed maple top, tremolo (missing arm – help!?), shark fin inlays and black Charvel logo. I paid $500 for it. Serial number is 375132. I love it. One of the best made, best finished guitars I have owned.

  167. Silversurfer says:

    Hey, just a suggestion, but I’d post James Rs last purchase price in your chart, as low as it was. Sounds like he got an incredible bargain, but that’s the point: Everyone has this impression that original Surfcasters are super expensive, but the truth is, most of the prices on eBay are super inflated (they rarely sell) and from the looks of this chart, some people are paying a LOT for their Surfcasters. But there are good deals to be had… I got my ’94 Surfcaster HT, Sea Foam Green for a $725.00, with orig. case (Serial No. 3853XX). I got my ’92 Surfcaster, a Star-glo w/trem for $685 (Serial No. 3789XX). This was in the past 2 years, and yes, both of them are “real” MIJ Surfcasters (sound hole, shark fin inlays, toothpaste logo, etc.) and both are in excellent condition. So how about if we post ALL last known prices, no matter how low? For the purposes of the chart, you can use my info above (I’m in NJ).

  168. James R says:

    bought it for $300. he didn’t know what he had

  169. James R says:

    serial # – 381776

  170. Awesome. Thanks. I’ll add it to the database. I can’t make out the serial number. Can you tell me what it is? That’s a classic surf by the way. Probably a ’92. A real keeper.

  171. James R says:

    i just posted ’em on here anyway

  172. Silversurfer says:

    I have to agree with Graham; sounds like it’s legit. The only company making a Surfcaster copy is GRB, but they call it a “tribute” and they’re very easily distinguished from Charvel Surfcasters.

    It’s less common to see the white Charvel logo on the quilt top Orange color, but it’s quite common to see the black logo on the Trans Red finish. Perhaps yours is the transparent Red? To make things more confusing, there appear to be 2 different Sunburst finishes: 1. More like a Rickenbacker Star-glow finish (Red to Natural fade) and 2. More like a traditional Cherry Sunburst finish (Red to Yellow fade). The former had white Charvel logos and the latter had black logos.

    The tracking of serial numbers is going to tough; I contacted Fender, who now owns Charvel and they said that Charvel didn’t really keep serial number records and that no information was turned over to them.

    Please keep the Surfcaster dialogue going – I’d love to hear from other owners!

  173. Hi James: Most Surfs had the white Logo. There are some exceptions, but generally the logos were white. Send in your picture and I’ll post it on the site. It sounds authentic, and the serial number is appropriate. I agree with Graham, it is probably a ’93 or ’94.

  174. Graham Pearson says:

    James, if the back of the body of your Surfcaster has a mahogany finish and it has 2 lipstick pickups, this was known as an orange figured-top model. From the serial number, I would guess it was made in 1993 or 1994.

    I have a red figured-top 12-string (back of body has a mahogany finish) and the Charvel logo is white like yours, serial number 372437 (1992 ?). I suspect the pickups and electronics in the 12-string are identical to the 6-string. I use mine as a 6-string and it sounds really good.

  175. James R says:

    glad to see somebody’s made a site for these guitars. i’ve had one for a couple years after finding it in a pawn shop. mine is a transparent reddish-orange, but the Charvel logo on the headstock is white. i haven’t seen any pictures of one exactly like mine, so kinda wanted to make sure it was authentic. serial number is 381776

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s