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We use cookies to understand how you use our site, give you an awesome experience, and deliver our services. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. Body Style. I Accept. Please note that most of this information relates to serial numbers used from to present. Corrections and additions to this section will be made as necessary.

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 inGibson 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.

The Gibson Les Paul Special is a variation of the Gibson Les Paul guitar. It was introduced in Single Cutaway. Double Cutaway. 4 External links. Like most of Gibson's other budget models, the Les Paul Special was produced in a TV Yellow finish, which was made by Gibson as a finish that would look good on black and white television Body: Mahogany. Dec 11,   The numbers appear as the 5th and 6th digits in the serial number. This information has not been officially confirmed by Epiphone. F-Serial Numbers on Les Paul Standard '59/'60 Models and Tribute/Plus Models The latest serial number system used by Epiphone has not yet been completely deciphered. The new "F" models are made in China.

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 inGibson 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.

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,, Year Approximate Serial Range, Year Approximate Serial Range The Volute: c. 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 ofand 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 toall screws should be slot style. Prior toall metal hardware is either nickel or gold plated. Starting inall 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.

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ByGibson 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.

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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.

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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.

Aboutmid 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-WW2Gibson 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.

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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 girland 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 latethe brown Les Paul case changed to a five latch model. This is considered the "Sunburst" case even though most models still use the older four latch case.

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These newer cases have a tag on the inside pick pocket that says "Made in Canada". Also, these cases have a pink interior satin cover that goes over the top of the guitar before closing the case.

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And they also have a combination lock on the main exterior latch and a leather handle. There were also some early 's brown reissue cases mostly for Les Pauls and Korina reissues that are starker versions of the Canadian reissue case. Most recently Gibson has copied the original 's Cal Girl case more exactly on their "historic" series reissues.

The easiest way to find the year of a particular Gibson instrument is usually by referencing the instrument's serial number of factory order number. This following information applies to all Gibson instruments including guitars, mandolins, lapsteels, basses and others. This information was compiled from these sources: A.

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Duchossior, W. Carter, G. Gruhn, E. Whitford, D. Vinopal, D.

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To make things even more interesting, they sometimes wrote the serial number or factory order number with a near-invisible pencil, sometimes ink-stamped it in disappearing ink it seemsand sometimes pressed it into the wood. And the placement of these serial numbers and FON's factory order numbers can be different, depending on the era. Gibson serial number consistency was never given much thought, as Gibson changed serial number system many times.

Hence, some serial numbers may be duplicated in different years. This is especially noticable during the 's. Many people ask, "How can I tell the difference between a serial number and a factory order number? Sometimes this is difficult, but you have to look at the format of the number, and the general era of the instrument.

Gibson (Guitars), serial, model, numbers

Does it have a pre-WW2 script "Gibson" logo? If so, then just look at the pre-WW2 serial number and factory order number info. This would be the single biggest question to ask, as pre-WW2 and post-WW2 instruments are numbered quite differently. Also, examine the placement and style of the numbers and make sure it follows the schemes described. Another question asked is, "The FON number says the instrument isyet the serial number says ; why are they different? There is a very logical reason for this.

The FON number is stamped on the instrument very early in the manufacturing process. Most times, the serial number is applied as one of the last steps especially on pre hollow body instruments when the instrument is nearly finished. Depending on the demand for the instrument, it could take Gibson up to 6 months to finish the instrument. Hence the FON number could be one year, and the serial number the next year.

How To Verify Authentic Gibson Serial Numbers

It wasn't till that Gibson came up with a good serial number system that will last them indefinately. This new serial number system allows determination of the exact date the instrument was stamped with the serial number, and the factory of manufacturer. Or serial number and model name on white paper label, number range from tohand inked or penciled toink stamped serial number to Some models with an ink stamped 3 digit number on neck block.

The FONs were issued sequentially and provide a good way to date a Gibson guitar. It was like in the FONs were pre-printed, and someone dropped the pile on the floor. Now FONs contain a letter A to G, ink stamped on the inside back or on the neck block flattopsor on the label.

Pretty much sequentially ordered. Gibson Factory Order Numbers, to - Overview. The Factory Order Number FON consists of a 3, 4 or 5 digit batch number followed by a 1 or 2 digit sequence number usually from 1 to 40, but there were some double or triple batches where the numbers were higher.

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Years Batch Number Range 1 thru thru A thru A "A" suffix used thru 1 thru with some isolated higher numbers 1 thru with some isolated higher numbers 1A thru A most with "A" suffix and some isolated higher numbers 1B thru B most with "B" suffix and some isolated higher numbers 1C thru C most with "C" suffix and some isolated higher numbers 1d thru d most with "D" suffix and some isolated higher numbers 1E thru E most with "E" suffix and some isolated higher numbers 1 thru some with letter suffix or prefix, some with neither Gibson Factory Order Numbers with a Letter, to The FON consists of a batch number, usually 4 digits.

Then there is a letter and sometimes a spacefollowed by a 1 or 2 digit sequence ranking number. Code is ink stamped on the inside back. Code is either ink stamped onto the label or impressed into the back of the peghead for lap steels, impressed into the back of the body. First letterindicates the year. Third letterif there is one, is "E" for Electric. Exceptions: Some high-end models and lapsteels from to have the letter A added to the prefixes D, E, or F.

Examples include L-5's and Super 's which have an EA prefix suggestiongin addition to a separate paper label indicating or In this case the later serial number is the one to believe, as the instrument was probably started and completed in different years.

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The format consists of a three or four digit number, a hyphen, then a one or two digit batch number. Only the first number before the hyphen determines the year. Note the red pencil mark after the FON is missing or has faded. Gibson Factory Order Numbers, to Serial numbers are seldon found on instruments made during WW2. These contain a four digit batch number stamped in ink, followed by a two digit sequence number written in red pencil during WW2 only.

After the war, the red pencil wasn't used and on instruments made during the war, sometimes it's really hard to see the red penciled sequence number. Pre productions also frequently omit the factory letter codes and appeared as all digits, e. Note : There may be no factory designator for some and earlier models. A single digit month of manufacture may occur for some and earlier models. The ranking number may consist of any number of digits. Factory Letter Codes.

The following is a comprehensive list of factories and countries for serial numbers that start with at least one letter. Factory Number Codes. Note : The factories identified by the codes above are based on patterns which users have observed. The numbers appear as the 5th and 6th digits in the serial number. This information has not been officially confirmed by Epiphone.

The latest serial number system used by Epiphone has not yet been completely deciphered. The new "F" models are made in China.

The new system seems to be just continously running model numbers rather than a dedicated code for year, month, and place of manufacture. Refurbished Models. There is no way to tell the year or the month it was made.

Why does Epiphone not recognize a G series masterbuilt modern guitar? We can see tgat clearly on the water damaged label. I had figured that she was made at the Korean Samick factory in August and was the rd unit made that month and I got it all right-my ancient 63 year old brain can still retain the important things in life,such as guitar and amp specs I just got an Epiphone DR in a bait and switch last night.

Didn't want to feel like i was wasting both our times so i got it anyway. I can learn how to work on guitars at least as it's missing a string and some frets are sticking up.

Concerned no one is watching this and I really could use a reply. Nobody seems to think this is a valid serial number.

Nonetheless, I have had this guitar in my possession since the day it was purchased. Problem is I can't remember if that was or or? Hey there You can Google them and find their company website, and their address in Franklin, TN. You can even go there personally and check out their showroom and buy one onsite, if you wanted to. What gives it away is the sticker that goes over the original Epiphone serial number.

That white sticker where the original number was is the sticker that MIRC puts on all of their refurbished instruments. The manufacturers they buy from either remove or erase the original serial numbers, and then MIRC puts that sticker where the original serial number would have been.

There are plenty of guitars all over the country but especially in Tennessee that have been refurbished by MIRC. The repairs can be anything from broken necks and headstock to simple minor finish repairs But the value of the instruments go way down from their original value. I hope this helps.

Gibson always used nitrocellulose lacquer for all instruments from to present. The standard colors for most instruments was Sunburst, Natural, black, white, cherry red, (Les Paul) TV yellow, or (Les Paul) gold. Some other special order custom colors were available. Prior to , Gibson used mostly spirit varnish. Les Paul Classic: This model features an ink stamped serial number with no "MADE IN USA" (just as we used on the original Les Pauls). Most will be 5 to 6 digits in length, but the earliest examples feature 4 digit serial numbers. The Gibson Serial Number Decoder currently supports 6 formats from 4 Factories. For guitars made prior to use the extended search function. This new function will try to match the serial number against older formats, details required for an exact match are listed in yellow. Please post any comments, particularly bugs in the user feedback.

I just got an Epiphone DR From what i can tell this is a Japan T guitar from but Yeah, sorry this never got answered. As far as I know, when there's a strip of tape over the original serial number, that means it's a refurbished guitar, which means there was some flaw in its production, big or small, that was identified at the factory, so the guitar was sold wholesale to a refurbishing company, usually MIRC, who looks it over and tries to fix whatever might need fixing.

I have a Blonde made in Japan. The label inside says FT - BL. On the back of the head there is a serial number that states Japan on it.

I bought it new in the 70s and have had it ever since. My wife says it's her favorite sounding guitar of all I've had or have.



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    Kajirr

    I suggest you to visit a site on which there are many articles on this question.

    19.01.2020
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