As one of the oldest and most widely recognized brands in music, Gibson has crafted some of the most cherished and valuable instruments of all time. Determining exactly when your Gibson specimen was made can have high stakes attached to it. A difference of only one year - sometimes even several months - can mean a four-figure difference in value. Our hope is to make the dating process and, in turn, the valuation as easy, accurate and transparent as possible. You should be able to use this guide to determine the year of your instrument and then consult the Reverb Price Guide to find its value, all for free.
Since your guitar has pots dating from and they appear to be original, we know it was produced in or later.
Now comes the identifying part. Your guitar has cosmetic features and specifications similar to a Les Paul Standard.
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However, the Les Paul Standard model was not produced between and it was officially reintroduced in The Gibson Les Paul Deluxe, which was nearly identical to the Standard with the exception of mini-humbucker pickups, was produced during this time. Further, beginning inGibson began offering the Les Paul Deluxe with a special order of full-size humbuckers.
I believe your guitar is a circa- Gibson Les Paul Deluxe with optional full-size humbuckers.
While the serial number could apply to and as well, it is widely reported that the pots were used in a timely manner from this era at Gibson. It appears that your pickups were changed at some point although the pickup openings seem to be originally cut for full-size humbuckersthe pickguard is absent, and the tip of the pickup switch is missing, as well.
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Some serialization systems only apply to certain guitars, and in some cases the same serial number has been used on multiple guitars! For more information on Gibson or potentiometer serialization and model identification, please refer to our website bluebookinc. For more information, visit bluebookinc.
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Gibson les paul serial number dating
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Your Pedalboards ! By Gibson had dropped the "The" from all of their logos while retaining the script "Gibson.
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. The age of a Gibson guitar, along with the physical condition and relative rarity, are the major factors in determining its value. While physical condition can be assessed with a careful inspection, rarity and date of manufacture are not always easy to determine. But the serial number on a Gibson can tell you when the guitar was made. 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. -Limited run of aged models are numbered in sequence as "PAGE xxx". -Unlimited run of Custom Authentic models are numbered in sequence as "JPP xxx".
From tothe logo was a thick golden script, known as the banner logo. The block logo debuted after WWII and remains the face of the company.
There were minute changes to which letters were connected in the font between tobut the main logo had the same look. Gibson stopped dotting the i in their logo on some of their instruments.
Most models get a dotted i again inwith the rest following suit from onward. Aside from the logos, each era of manufacturing included certain identifying traits such as the hardware tuners, knobs, plates, etc.
But not a final verdict. Many older instruments may have reproduction or other non-original parts, including a non-original finish.
An Epiphone with NO Serial Number??? How to date
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.
The Gibson serial number decoder Date a Gibson guitar by serial number From to Gibson have used an 8 digit serial number on all of their guitars. This can be easily decoded to show the exact day that the guitar was manufactured along with the location of the Gibson factory. Gibson used 5 or 6 digit ink stamped serial numbers on Les Paul guitars from until The first digit of this style serial number indicates the last digit of the year it was manufactured. For example, this Les Paul's serial number is "7_" so it was made in Do you have a Gibson Les Paul with an ink stamped serial number? Thus, from the production in , a 1, 2 or 3 may be the second digit. Gibson stopped the stamped serial numbers at the end of , although a few instruments were made in with a 1 as a prefix. Some lap steels and Les Paul's from have such a serial number.
Afterheadstocks had uniform thickness. Gibson has historically used two different alpha-numerical formats to catalog its instruments: serial numbers and FONs Factory Order Numbers.
These dating 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 gibson serial number at all, making the DATING the sole numerical identifier in those cases. In , Gibson's Centennial year, many instruments have a serial number that begins with "94" for the year, with the remaining 6 digits indicating the ranking number. Gibson Custom Les Paul, Explorer, Flying V, and Futura reissues (since late ). May 22, It's frequently not up to date on serial changes. It's also not based on any manufacturers shipping records so it can't tell you if the serial is re-used, fake or what the details are of any particular guitar. Contact Gibson at [email protected] and provide them with the serial number and a good photo or two of the guitar (2mb limit).
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.
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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 tothe 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 toa 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.
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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. 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.