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Gibson acoustic guitar serial number dating

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Please note that most of this information relates to serial numbers used from to present.

Xbox one not updating Left: "3 on a plate" style Kluson tuners, as used on the lower-line Gibson models. CS Signature Models: The list spain dating is not an exhaustive listing but we have included many of our most popular Signature models. Guitars with no label are usually lower end instruments or are a solidbody guitar! Originality of an instrument is very important. The serial number is K The "best grade" known as the "faultless" case was the "California Girl" case, as it is known.
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Justin timberlake who is he dating The year is indicated by the first letter in any series of letters for these years. Instruments will generally have one or both of these numbers stamped or written either inside the body generally the case on earlier models or on the back of the headstock. Prior to when the Kalamazoo, MI factory was closed, the numbers indicated Kalamazoo production. Remember, the batch number is the first 4 digits of the FON, followed by a 1 or 2 digit sequence number within the batch. Depending on the demand for the instrument, it could take Gibson up to 6 months to finish the instrument. Note the red pencil mark after the FON is missing or has faded. Similar to bonnet knob but now has metal cap with "Volume" or "Tone" printed in black on the metal cap.
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But not a final verdict. Many older instruments may have reproduction or other non-original parts, including a non-original finish. This makes relying entirely on the physical features of a guitar potentially misleading.

The thickness of the headstock, however, is not as vulnerable to modification or replacement. Before mid, most Gibson headstocks were thinner at the top when looked at from a side profile. After , headstocks had uniform thickness. Gibson has historically used two different alpha-numerical formats to catalog its instruments: serial numbers and FONs Factory Order Numbers.

Instruments will generally have one or both of these numbers stamped or written either inside the body generally the case on earlier models or on the back of the headstock. These will generally date an instrument earlier than the serial number, as they were typically applied in the early stages of assembly. Some earlier lower-end models had no serial number at all, making the FON the sole numerical identifier in those cases. A FON usually consisted of a 3-, 4-, or 5-digit batch number followed by one or two other numbers in most cases.

From to , the FON included a letter suffix. The consistency around this stopped during WWII and resumed in the early s. To complicate matters further, there was sometimes a second letter from to indicating the brand G for Gibson, K for Kalamazoo, W for Recording King and sometimes even a third letter indicating "Electric" the letter E.

The year is indicated by the first letter in any series of letters for these years. Throughout the war and even for some time after, each year had its own quirks around FON batch numbers and letters. From to , a consistent letter code resumed, with the letter appearing before the batch number. Below is a table of the the highest known number for each production year. Early Gibson solidbody electrics received a serial stamp on the back of the headstock, with the first number indicating the year of production.

The serial number on this Les Paul Junior indicates that it was made in Starting in , Gibson implemented a new serialization system designed to cover its entire lineup. However, while the intent was to maintain a more organized catalog, this system in practice achieved the exact opposite.

Numbers from this era were flipped, reused, and in many cases can date an instrument to several non-sequential years. In Gibson began carving volutes-- small bumps of additional wood where the neck transitions to the headstock-- to cut down on warranty repair work. Starting in , Gibson adopted the current date-based serial system which codes for the year and day of production.

The first number of the sequence indicates the decade of production, followed by the three digit day of the year, and finally the year. If you feel like your guitar could be highly valuable or just want as much information as possible, we recommend finding an official appraiser or reach out to a Gibson representative. Your purchases also help protect forests, including trees traditionally used to make instruments.

Reverb Articles. Methods For Dating a Gibson Instrument. Sell Your Gear on Reverb. Other Date-Linked Features. Dating a Gibson by Serial Number. Year Last Numbers Year Approx Serial Range , , , , , , , , , Year Approx Serial Range , , , , , , , Most will be 5 to 6 digits in length, but the earliest examples feature 4 digit serial numbers. There should be a space after the 1st digit with the 4 and 5 digit serial numbers, and no space with the 6 digit numbers.

The 1st and 2nd indicate the year of manufacture for the 6 digit serial numbers which we've been using since Gibson USA to present — These serial numbers cannot be dated to a specific day of the year. The new model year typically launches in the fall as the current model year winds down. It is not uncommon for a new model year model to be produced during the previous model year example — a model may have been built in late Example: 7 is the rd reissue model produced in NOTE - as of , 1st digit will be a "2" Examples: is the 9th carved top produced on the st day of CS Signature Models: The list below is not an exhaustive listing but we have included many of our most popular Signature models.

Please contact us at service gibson. Andy Summers ES Limited edition of Numbered in sequence as "13xxx" Jimmy Page Les Paul 3 versions -1st 25 aged models were hand numbered and signed by Jimmy Page, no other number is on this model. Johnny A. Slash Les Paul 2 models - limited edition model, cranberry finish: numbered in sequence as "SL xxx" - Regular production model introduced in , also numbered in sequence as "SL xxx" Note: The discontinued Epiphone Slash Les Paul made has a standard Epiphone serial number.

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Also "Made in U. Peghead angle is 17 degrees: Peghead angle is 14 degrees: approximately. Peghead angle is 17 degrees: present. Thickness of peghead uniform: present. Prior to peghead narrows in thickness towards top. Fingerboard Woods Fingerboards, bridges and other small parts made from rosewood are all the Brazilian variety till Starting in , Gibson changed to Indian rosewood. Left: Pre-WW2 pearl script logo. Note no letters drop below the other letters.

Middle: Post-WW2 pearl style logo with connecting dot. The "G" and the "n" drop below the other letters, and the open "b" and open "o" open at the top of the letters were used in their pearl logos until Right: "Pantograph" logo used from to Note the closed "b" and "o". Fret size Gibson used a smaller. Then the width changed to. This happened to pretty much all models at some point in There were some exceptions though, like the Les Paul Custom which kept the smaller.

Peghead Logos Pre-war Gibson script logo used before No letters drops below the other letters. Pre-war Script Gibson logo, Pearl or White. Pearl inlaid, high-end models: White silkscreen, low-end models: Thicker "Gibson" on Super and other high-end models: mid 's. Thicker "Gibson" all models: late 's. Left: Gold post-war logo on a Les Paul Junior. The "i" dot was always attached on all of these post-war gold logos. Middle: Pearl post-war logo with detached "i" dot on a Les Paul. This style logo with detached "i" dot was used from to , and again from to present.

Gold Script Gibson logo. All models made during WW2. The post-war logo has the "G" and the "N" with a tail that drops below the other letters. Gold logo: silkscreened Gold logo: decal present Pearl logo: open "b" and "o": Pearl logo: "pantograph" style, closed "b" and "o": Pearl logo: open "b" and "o": present Pearl logo: Dot on "i" connected to "G": Pearl logo: Dot on "i" free from "G": present Finish.

Gibson always used nitrocellulose lacquer for all instruments from to present. Some other special order custom colors were available. Prior to , Gibson used mostly spirit varnish. This is very similar to Behlen's Violin Varnish still available today. This spirit varnish produces a eggshell crazing patina. Around is when Gibson started experimenting with Nitrocellulose laquer, and by all models were using lacquer.

In the lacquer experimentation process began on less expensive models like the opaque white top A3, L3, and Sheraton Brown "A" models. Note that all staining was done with water based aniline dyes directly on the wood. As for binding, all bindings were scraped clean of varnish and stain at the end of the finishing process. Early on, this left the binding "raw". Then with the advent of sprayed lacquer, after the binding was scraped, a clear top coat were applied over the entire instrument including the scraped binding.

For example some Lloyd Loar mandolins had this finish. This was short lived though. A faded sunburst on a Les Paul Standard. With the pickguard removed we can see how much brighter the original red was in the sunburst under the pickguard. This is particularly noticable by the neck pickup pickguard attachment point. During the late 's, the red ainline used in their sunburst finishes often faded. This problem was fixed by mid, though sometimes you see it on later 's models.

Left: Oval white label as used from spring to January Right: Orange label as used from January to The to orange labels are identical, except for the added text "union made". Left: Orange "union made" label as used from to Note the "union made" designation to the left of the "Gibson" insignia. When Gibson was bought by Norlin in , thousands of these labels were discarded and replaced with white and purple "Norlin" labels.

These blank unused labels were snatched up by many guitar dealers, and are still available today. Rigth: White label used from to This particular label is from a L-4 model. Seen through this f-hole is the "Norlin" white rectangle label with purple and black triangles , used from to Labels hollowbody models only. Rectangular label, no serial number or model name on label, photo of Orville Gibson and lyre-mandolin on label, date sometimes penciled under top: to Oval label with serial number, no model name, photo of Orville Gibson and lyre-mandolin: to White label with number and model name, number range to Hand ink or penciled some overlap with previous style : to White label with number and model name Ink stamped: to White oval label with number preceded by "A-": spring to January Note white label numbers A to A were not used.

Orange oval label with number preceded by an "A": Jan to Note the "-" after the "A" was dropped for the orange labels. Orange oval label with number matching number on back of headstock number range to : to Don't read too much into a label that has or does not have "union made", as both label types were used throughout the s. White rectangle "Norlin" label with black and purple triangles: to Electric Archtop Bodies. Tops: Before WW2, tops on electric archtops are solid spruce.

Back and Sides: Before WW2, back and sides are solid maple. From to , all models including the above use laminated maple back and sides. Also note the "made in USA" stamp. Neck Shape Spanish models. WW Known as "baseball bats" due to the large back size.

The era necks are often considered the best of this era; large and comfortable without being huge. Back shape is about the same as the era, but the narrow nut width makes these necks feel like "pencil necks". Nylon, a thermoplastic material, was invented in by Wallace Carothers at DuPont. Bridge, flat top models. Retangular bridge, most models: WW2. Martin-type belly bridge, some banner-logo examples: WW2. Upper belly bridge above bridge pins : early 's Plastic bridge, most models below SJ: Indian Rosewood used instead of Brazilian: Lower belly bridge below bridge pins : Upper belly bridge above bridge pins : present.

Adjustable bridge saddle: Je from introduction : Option on J, J, SJ: Standard on most models: In , it changed to a "compensated" style unit with "stairsteps" for each string. Right: tunematic bridge "no wire" and stop tailpiece on a goldtop Les Paul note the partial shown white covered P "soapbar" pickup at the bottom of the picture. Tunematic bridges started showing up on many Gibson models in Used on some models ES and ES until This tailpiece was used until the 's on some models including the SG Junior.

This was an important change on wrap around tailpieces, because it stopped the wrap-around from leaning forward and cracking the body wood often seen on Les Paul Juniors and Specials. Many electric archtop models also converted to the tunematic bridge. The wire goes over the six saddle screw heads to prevent the saddles from popping out during string changes. Stop tailpiece now chrome plated too, and replaced on many models like the ES with a trapeze tailpiece. Two early "P. Left: Top to bottom: P pickup, Alino pickup, Humbucking pickup, "double white" humbucking pickup with metal cover removed.

Right: P pickup top and a P. Two variations, one almost 6" long extending diagonally from the bridge to almost the neck, the other shorter and more conventional looking and mounted at less of an angle. Both seen on ES model: Finger rest pickup system: First cataloged as a "conversion" pickup.

Volume and tone controls and pickup integrated into the pickguard. Available with 1 or 2 pickups. Also known as the "McCarty" pickup system. Available for acoustic archtops such as the L-7, L-5 and Super Fixed pole P pickup. Non-adjustable pole P pickup, single coil, 6 magnet slugs down center, black "dog ear" pickup cover: P pickup. Same as fixed pole P, except now has adjustable slot-head poles: present "Soapbar" P pickup, same as above, but pickup cover has no "ears": present Alnico V pickup.

Looks like a P soapbar pickup, except has "staple" poles with adjusting screws next to the poles. Used on upper line models: Top: A late "P. Bottom: A mid's "Patent No. Humbucking pickup. One row of 6 adjustable slot-head poles off-center: present. Cover was gold, nickel or after chrome plated.

Prior to about mid, have small decal on bottom stating "Patent Applied For". These are known as "P. Starting in about mid to early , a "Patent No. Most humbucking pickups first year have no decal, and a more squarish stainless steel cover. Also to early P. The internal plastic coil bobbins are usually black plastic, but sometimes they are white this happened mostly in or early You can see the color of the wire bobbins by removing the small underside mounting screw instead of removing the pickup cover.

More information and pictures of PAF pickups can be seen here. The pointed pickguard used on most Gibson flattops from to the 's. Note this Southern Jumbo's "double parallelagram" fingerboard inlays and the "belly up" style bridge opposed to Martin's bridges which had a belly down towards the endpin.

Most Gibson pickguards prior to the mid's were made from celluloid. This material can deteriote with time the tortoise colored pickguards especially exhibit this trait. Flattop pickguards: from the 's to , Gibson flattop pickguards were usually "teardrop" in shaped. But in early , most models changed to a "pointed" pickguard that followed the shape of the guitar except for the point. The J was an exception to this rule; it's pickguard stayed the same shape, but the material and the designed changed.

Prior to , the J has an engraved celluloid pickguard. Starting in , this changed to an injection molded styrene pickguard that was cheaper to make. The edges were cut beveled to make them look like they had binding. In , the bevel changed from being very wide and flat, to a narrow and steeper cut.

Top row: on the left is the first Gibson electric knob as used on ES model guitars from to early no numbers. Next to it is the ugliest pre Gibson knob, known as the "amp" knob, used from late to the mid's but not on all models. Middle row, left to right: Tall numbered gold knob, used from to , "speed" knob as used from to , "bonnet" knob as used from to , "metal top bonnet" knob or "reflector" knob as used from mid to mids on many, but not all models.

Bottom row, left to right: switch tips used. The left switch tip was used on multiple pickup models from after WW2 to about This knob is bakelite and very amber in color. Next to it is the version where the switch tip changed to a plastic material that stayed white, and had a visible seam. Bottom row black knobs, left to right: depending on the color of the guitar, some models starting in the early 's used black versions of the above gold knobs.

These correspond to the same years as the above gold versions. Smooth rounded top, bumps around top edge, some with arrow across top, 1 black and 1 brown: Smooth top, 8 sided, arrow across top, 1 black and 1 brown: Radio knob. Looks like a hat box, flared base, back painted gold or black, clear with numbers 1 to 10 visible thru knob: to mid Bonnet knob with metal cap "reflector" knobs : Used from mid to mids.

Similar to bonnet knob but now has metal cap with "Volume" or "Tone" printed in black on the metal cap. There are two styles of this knob. First was used from mid to the end of , and have a shallow post hole as viewed from the side. The and later relector knob has a deeper post hole the bottom of the post hole comes much closer to the metal cap. Also the reflector on these knobs can be silver or gold.

Guitars with nickel or chrome hardware should have silver caps. Guitars with gold hardware should have gold caps though often the gold does wear off. Barrel knob. Back painted gold or black, clear with numbers 1 to 10 visible thru knob: to present.

Note this knob was used primarily on Les Paul Custom models till the mid 's, when most other models got these knobs. Amp knobs. Black knobs with white numbers 1 to Looks like "blackface" Fender amp knobs: late - mid 's. Some models never got these knobs such as the and later Les Pauls. Used mostly on the hollowbody and semi-hollow models, such as the ES series. Switch Tips: on guitars with two pickups and a 3-way selector switch, Gibson used an amber-colored bakelite switch tip during the 's.

Starting in mid, they switched to a much whiter and slightly rounder tip plastic switch tip. Left: to bonnet knob. Middle: mid to "reflector" knob. Right: to mids "reflector" knob. Metal Hardware. Phillips head screws started to be used at Gibson in the phillips head screw was original patented in Prior to , all screws should be slot style. Prior to , all metal hardware is either nickel or gold plated. Starting in , all hardware is either chrome or gold plated. Left: "3 on a plate" style Kluson tuners, as used on the lower-line Gibson models.

Right: Kluson Deluxe "tulip" tuners on a Les Paul. Note this is the "single ring, single line" variety used from to The "single ring" refers to the single ring around the plastic button. The "single line" refers to the single line of vertical text saying "Kluson Deluxe". Note the "inked on" serial number. During the 's and 's, Gibson used Kluson tuners almost exclusively. There were some exceptions; starting in you could special order Grover tuners instead of Klusons on many mid to upper line models including the Les Paul Custom and J models.

By , Gibson starting using tuners with the "Gibson Deluxe" name on them, but these were actually made by Kluson. More info on Kluson tuners can be found here. Again Phillips head screws started to be used at Gibson in the phillips head screw was original patented in Kluson Deluxe Tuner specs models including 3-on-a-plate and "tulip" designs : to early "Kluson Deluxe" in a single vertical line on the ribbed metal tuner cover aka "Single Line".

NO outside hole on the metal cover for the tuner worm shaft. On the bottom side of the tuners stamped into the metal it says " PAT. Tulip plastic tuners knobs have a single ring around them. The exterior "PAT. Still no outside hole in the metal tuner cover for the tuner worm shaft. The exterior lubrication holes can be either small or large.

There is still now an outside hole in the metal tuner cover for the tuner worm shaft. These tuners are often called "No Line, Single Ring". Mid to late Single line "Kluson Deluxe" in a single vertical line on the ribbed metal tuner cover. Late to mid Single line "Kluson Deluxe" in a single vertical line on the ribbed metal tuner cover.

The exterior lubrication holes can be either small or large though most are large hole. Mid to Two plastic rings on the plastic "tulip" tuner knob. These tuners are often called "Single Line, Double Ring". On keystone tuners, the buttons become have a slight green tint to them. These tuners are often called "Double Line, Double Ring". The base plate for the tuners also has a more rounded look to it with the edges less defined. This happened because the dies that stamped out this part were wearing out.

The original Kluson tuners company went out of business in so this style of tuner was not made again until the s when WD Guitar Products bought the Kluson name and reissued these tuners. PegHead Markings other than Serial Numbers "seconds" Gibson often marked inferior quality guitars as "seconds", and sold them at a discount to dealers or employees. These markings were stamped into the wood on the back of the peghead.

A "2" stamp is sometimes seen, designating a "second", which had some cosmetic flaw. If there is a serial number on the back of the peghead, the "2" is usually seen centered above or below it. Also sometimes stamped was "CULL", which is another designation of a second. Again, this stamp is seen on the back of the peghead. The worse Gibson reject is the "BGN" stamp, designating that instrument as a "bargin" guitar. These were only sold to employees at substantial discounts. This stamp is also seen on the back of the peghead.

BGN instruments weren't acceptable to Gibson as sellable to the public. All second instruments are usually worth less than the same guitar that is not a second given condition as the same. BGN instruments are worth less than a second instrument because these tend to have some fairly serious cosmetic flaw. A war-time Southern Jumbo that was exported to Canada.

This is sometimes stamped on the back of the peghead where a serial number would be on and later Gibsons. Also it's sometimes seen on the top edge of the peghead. An EStc from the 's, as seen through the bass side "f" hole.

Model Body Markings non-Artist models. After WW2, lower-line Gibson vintage instruments did not have a label to designate the model. Instead, Gibson just ink stamped the model number inside on hollow body instruments. If the instrument had "f" holes, this number was ink stamped in the bass side "f" hole on the inside back of the instrument. If the instrument was a flat top guitar, this number was ink stamped inside the round soundhole on the inside back of the guitar.

Gibson Cases Mid to high-end model guitars during the 's and early 's used a black case with a red line around the top edge of the case. The inside is a deep maroon color. Lower models used black rigid cardboard cases. About , mid to high end model started to use a tweed case with a 3 inch wide red "racing stripe" on the tweed. The inside of these cases are also usually a deep maroon. These tweed cases were used up to WW2. Post-WW2 , Gibson offered 3 different cases. The "low grade" case was an "alligator" softshell case, essentially made of rigid cardboard with a sparse brown lining.

This case also often had a hard thin brown plastic handle that cracked very easily. The "medium grade" case was a wooden case with a smooth brown outside and usually a sparse green lining though different color interiors are seen. The "best grade" known as the "faultless" case was the "California Girl" case, as it is known. This wooden case has a rich brown outside like a tanned California girl , and a very plush and rich pink inside.

The handle on the medium and high grade cases was leather covered metal. Note some models such as the Les Paul did not have a medium grade case available either got the 'gator case or the Cal Girl case. Though any s era of these three LP models could also have a four latch case. Most 's Gibson cases had a small 1. This was located on the side of the case by the handle. Note during this period there where three different manufacturers making cases for Gibson, all with the same basic specs, but slightly different shapes Lifton, Geib, Stone.

Geib cases are seen mostly in the early 's, and Lifton cases in the mid to late 's. Stone cases are seen throughout the 's, but not to the extent of the other two manufacturers. The new low-end case was a black softshell with a plush deep red lining. The medium grade case was dropped entirely and the new high grade case was black on the outside, and yellow on the inside. The black outside changed from smooth to rough during different periods of the 's.

Also the handle changed from a leather covered metal to a hard molded plastic type about The small brass Gibson plaque was still used until the later 's. In the 's, the new high-end case was still a wooden case with a black outside, but a deep red inside. Most 's cases had "Gibson" silkscreened on the outside of the case in white. Also made during the 's is the "protector" case; a huge thing made completely out of molded plastic.

This case was very popular for Les Pauls. A picture of a mid's Les Paul brown case is here. This is not the most desirable of the Les Paul brown cases, as it has a flat top and four latches typically this style of brown case was sold with Les Paul Specials and Juniors. Starting about mid to late , the brown Les Paul case changed to a five latch model. Gibson Acoustic. Prior to when the Kalamazoo, MI factory was closed, the numbers indicated Kalamazoo production.

Ranking numbers continued to indicate Nashville production through Ranking numbers for Bozeman start each day at and the electrics may start as low as the s. Examples: means the instrument was produced on Jan. The sixth number is now a batch number- batch 0 starts at the beginning of the day, and once we stamp , the batch number will change to 1. The first 5 numbers remain the same, the last 3 numbers will remain the same. The only difference is the addition of this batch indicator. Most will be 5 to 6 digits in length, but the earliest examples feature 4 digit serial numbers.

There should be a space after the 1st digit with the 4 and 5 digit serial numbers, and no space with the 6 digit numbers. The 1st and 2nd indicate the year of manufacture for the 6 digit serial numbers which we've been using since Gibson USA to present — These serial numbers cannot be dated to a specific day of the year. The new model year typically launches in the fall as the current model year winds down.

It is not uncommon for a new model year model to be produced during the previous model year example — a model may have been built in late

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Really nice gibson acoustic guitar serial number dating and great Les Paul Junior indicates that something put a hole right inGibson implemented a new serialization system designed to. Starting inGibson adopted the first letter in any letter appearing before the batch. You wouldn't want to know what we pay for Gibsons take it to a guitar. Everything europe online dating site there and north are reasonable!. A FON usually consisted of a serial stamp on the where the neck transitions to of the replies. Early Gibson solidbody electrics received sequence indicates the decade of it was made in Starting digit day of the year, the serial number. However, while the intent was a 3- 4- or 5-digit batch number followed by one. From toa consistent flipped, reused, and in many bring out the numbers under. Spectboy 0 Posted May 16, price coming this way, but instrument earlier than the serial around FON batch numbers and on warranty repair work. PARAGRAPHPlease note that most of the same, the last 3.

Since , all Gibson acoustics are built in Bozeman, MT and all Gibson Gibson USA to present – These serial numbers cannot be dated to a specific day of the year. RRR(R) indicates the guitar's place production for that year. DATING GIBSON GUITARS AND MANDOLINS BY REFERENCE OF SERIAL can be found stamped or punched on the back of the headstock or acoustic in. Starting in , Gibson adopted the current date-based serial system which codes for the year and day of production. The first number of the.