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Ergo, your guitar was made in the 3rd. Hope this helps, kcbuck. Per your on-line data base dating this guitar was made in Korea in March of with a Production Number of It think I'll switch to this method, which is easier. The Blue Book can be confusing.

My initial reason for this question was, 1 I want to know personally because it's an enigma to me! I will throw out this last question to all of you because I know there will be differing reactions but I think I might be a dead end otherwise. Yes, send it to Gruhn's for an in-hand inspection and appraisal. I think the results would give you the piece of mind you're looking for.

Thanks for sending the pictures. The instrument appears to have been refinished. It may be from early Best Regards. Bob Burns. Gibson Customer Service. For anyone who is interested have a look:.

It wasn't clear regarding my Goldtop if Bob Burns meant that the headstock had been refinished on mine which was proposed by one person or the whole guitar. I doubt the entire guitar as it has great greening and aging in the gold finish.

As in my LP Standard June 23 and a penciled date of Odder yet, is in the picture above it looks like NAT stamped for 'natural', but in a pickup route is stamped CHSB for 'cherry sunburst' If the pots are original and American made, there is another number on them somewhere. You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account. Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Paste as plain text instead. Only 75 emoji are allowed. Display as a link instead. Clear editor. Upload or insert images from URL. Vintage Corner Search In. Vintage Corner Yet Again! Yet Again! Reply to this topic Start new topic. Recommended Posts. Report post. Posted March 30, Hello to all. I am a new member who has been playing for 30 some years.

I've had my guitar set up specialist do a setup and he thought is was a 69' I have tried contacting Gibson directly with no response. Let me just say this, I have tons of pics if any one would like to see it. I will simply list off important points to consider: single piece body- three piece neck with wide headstock- pots date to mid 69' Share this post Link to post Share on other sites. How would one ever know these things though!

Posted March 31, I found it Thanks for your input and photo's. Tell me, is your Goldtop's tenon considered the long version or medium or what? This debate I find confusing and very vague and nonspecific. Posted April 1, There is no way it could be a 68 if the pots were from 69 unless they have been replaced.

Varitone Circuits, pre Varitone Circuits.

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Varitone Bypass Circuits. The exact model within the type. Oringinality have any of the parts been changed or modified? First Determine the Type of Guitar and the Model. Sometimes there is a tag inside the guitar stating the "style" or model. If the model is hollow, look on the inside for any tags and made note of any ink stamps sometimes the model is ink stamped inside the guitar. But unfortunately, especially on the low to mid line models, usually there is NO tag or label inside the guitar specifying what it is.

If this is the case, start at the beginning and first determine what type of guitar you have. These are several different types of Gibson guitars made. Once this is known, go directly to the section about that type listed in the blue table of contents text aboveand look at the model pictures and descriptions that matches your guitar. Here are the general types of Gibson guitars: Electric Solid body Gibsons : body is a solid piece of wood no soundhole or cutouts1. Flattop Acoustic Gibsons : single round sound hole under the strings, body 3.

Acoustic Archtop Gibsons : two "f" hole style sound holes cut in the top, body 3" to 4. Electric Thinline Archtop Gibsons : same as above electric with two "f" holes in the topbut the body is thinner at 1. These are always electric from the factory. Electric Lapsteel Gibson : a small solidbody guitar no cutouts or sound holes that is played in the lap, Hawaiian style, with a metal slide bar, pickup and knob routed into the top.

Once the type of guitar is determined, figuring out the exact model is MUCH easier! Next Determine the Year or Approximate Year. Various serial number systems were used by Gibson, and often the same serial number could be used in the s, s, and s. Also mid to top end instruments usually have a label inside the guitar with the serial number. Guitars with no label are usually lower end instruments or are a solidbody guitar! Probably the first thing when trying to determine the year on an old Gibson is whether the guitar was made "pre-WW2", during WW2, or "post-WW2".

This is easy to do, as Gibson used different peghead logos for pre-WW2, "wartime", and post-WW2 see the General Specs section for more details.

Next Determine the Exact Model. There are several general questions which can be asked in determining a guitar's model, once the type of guitar flat top, arch top, etc. Common top colors include "sunburst" a yellow center that fades to a darker red or brown around the edgesblack, natural and "cherry red" a translucent red which shows the wood grain. What is the color of the back of the guitar?

Common back colors include translucent dark brown, translucent light brown, sunburst, cherry red, etc. What is the body size? This is really important for all model types except solidbody electrics.

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What is the style of fingerboard inlays? What is the style of "Gibson" peghead logo? That is, is it white silkscreen, gold silkscreen, or pearl inlay? Also if the logo is pre-WW2, wartime, or post-WW2 see above. Also fancier models can even have some sort of pearl inlaid decoration a "crown" or long skinny "diamond" on the peghead just below the "Gibson" logo. What is the style of binding? Most Gibsons have some sort of body binding.

Some guitars also have binding on the neck. The more binding a guitar has, the fancier the model. Finally Determine the Originality. Originality of an instrument is very important. Modifications any modificationsare a bad thing in the eyes of a collector. This will greatly influence value. Modifications can often be determined by looking at the model specs for a particular year guitar in this web page after the approximate year is determine and compare to your instrument.

Gibson Model Collectibility. Vintage Archtop Gibsons Collectibility. Gibson invented the archtop guitar as we know it and has remained one of the better makers.

The most collectible Gibson archtops are the larger models made from the early 's to The Advance 17" or wider models from late onward are of the same construction used in today's archtops. The pre-war cutaway L-5 and cutaway Super are also known as Premier models. Non-cutaway models are not nearly as collectible as cutaway Premier models. Cutaway archtop models made from to are also very collectible, but are not as much as the pre-war Advance Premier models. Non-cutaway post-war models are interesting but not very collectible.

Archtop cutaway models made from to are also very good instruments, but are not nearly as collectible as the pre models and are more utility instruments. Vintage Flattop Gibson Collectibility. Gibson began to develop professional quality flat top instrument in the 's.

Many concepts were stolen from Martin, which was the company that invented features such as X-braced tops and large dreadnought body sizes. Gibson then modified Martin's designs and developed its own improvements including adjustable truss rods, adjustable saddle sand super jumbo body shapes.

Although workmanship on pre-war Gibsons is not as high as pre-war Martins, Gibson flat tops are well designed and constructed so they have excellent tone.

Many player including me prefer Gibsons of this period to all other flat tops.

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. Dec 21,   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. However, the Les Paul Standard model was not produced between and (it was officially reintroduced in. 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.

Flat tops of the 's and 's are also excellent instruments. Since they are much more common, they are also easier and less expensive to obtain. Gibson flat tops of the 's and 's seem to be inferior in tone and construction to the same models of the 's. This is generally blamed on adjustable bridges that were standard on all models in the 's. Also the end of "sloped" shoulder body styles helped alienate players and collector alike. Vintage Electric Arch top Gibson Collectibility.

How to Find Out the Age of a Gibson Les Paul Guitar

Pre-war Gibson electric arch tops are excellent instruments. Since pre-war models are early in the evolution of the electric guitar, they are historically important.

Postwar full depth, non-cutaway models were generally designed as student models and are not very valuable. Post-war Gison electric archtops with cutaways from the 's are considered to be excellent and collectible. There are two styles of Thinline Gibson models. First is the "fully hollowbody" style. These thinline, fully hollow, models are somewhat collectible.

The single cutaway Byrdland a short scale, thin body L-5CES is excellent in quality, but its short scale length and narrow neck makes it less collectible. The single cutaway EST a plainer version of the Byrdlan having the same problems, also has limited collectibility mostly due to its scale length. Fully hollow thinlines such as the double cutaway ES never had the appeal or utility of the semi-hollow counterparts such as the ES Thinline, semi-hollow electrics from to are very cool and wanted by players and collectors.

Also, the stop tailpiece setup of the ES is more collectible than the vibrato or trapeze tailpiece systems. Vintage Electric Solid body Gibson Collectibility. The Les Paul models from the 's along with the Korina Flying V and Explorer are some of the most collectible solidbody production guitars.

Les Paul models with Humbucking pickups from the 's are the most desired, with the P pickup models selling for significantly less money. Original series Firebirds with full reverse bodies are also very collectible. Other solidbody gibson may have some appeal, but not to the extent of the previously mentioned models. Vintage Double neck Gibson Collectibility. Double neck models with carved spruce tops are different than any other Gibson design. Because of this they are collectible.

Solidbody double neck SG style guitars are not nearly as desirable, though popularized by bands such as Led Zeppelin in the s. Vintage Gibson Electric Bass Collectibility. Generally speaking, Gibson doesn't have much of a reputation as an electric bass maker. Though the first electric Gibson bass introduced in known as the EB-1 is interesting, it's not desirable to the player.

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The late fifties EB-2 and EB-6 are also interesting, but don't appeal widely to players. Likewise the Thunderbird II and IV basses are nice companions to the Firebird guitars, but again don't appeal to players. Because of this, the collectibility of Gibson basses is somewhat limited, especially when compared to Fender electric basses. Vintage Gibosn Ukulele Collectibility. Gibson ukes, though not as collectible as Martin ukes, has a certain charm.

Although I do not list Gibson uke models here, please email me if you have a Gibson uke you are interested in selling. Vintage Gibson LapSteel Collectibility. Although lapsteels are considered student model instruments, pre-war models are interesting. This is because they are early examples in the evolution of the electric guitar.

Date an epiphone Les Paul. By southpawjam, 8 years ago on Other Guitars Question & Answers. 12, K. Per your on-line data base dating this guitar was made in Korea in March of with a Production Number of It think I'll switch to this method, which . The serial number on Gibson Les Paul guitars is located on the back of the headstock. The earliest Les Pauls made in may lack serial numbers. Beginning in , a three-digit serial number was stamped on the top. Later in the year, and continuing through , Gibson stamped a five- or six-digit number in ink on the back of the headstock. 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.

Today, the pedal steel has made the lapsteel obsolete. Vintage Mandolins by Gibson: Gibson mandolins are the standard of the industry. The original series made by Orville Gibson generally don't sound that good, but are interesting historically. Mandolins from to have a better design, but still lack sound. The high end models from to are excellent utility mandolins. The F-5 design of the mid 's is considered to be high point of mandolin design, and the mandolin by which all others are judged.

By the late 's, the mandolin boom had pasted and demand feel. Because demand was low, so was production. Hence mandolins from the 's are somewhat rare. Until the mandolin became popular in country music after WWII, demand and production for mandolins stayed low.

Discontinued all models except L-5 by Discontinued L-5 Fiber peghead veneer replaces "Holly" wood veneer: to present. 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 inGibson 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.

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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 toand 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.

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Gibson always used nitrocellulose lacquer for all instruments from to present. Some other special order custom colors were available. Prior toGibson used mostly spirit varnish. This is very similar to Behlen's Violin Varnish still available today.

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This spirit varnish produces a eggshell crazing patina. Around is when Gibson started experimenting with Nitrocellulose laquer, and by all models were using lacquer.

Les Paul Artisan. Gibson Serial Numbers, All models, decal, 2 digit prefix followed by 6 digits. The decal can also states the model name/number. Prefix Year 99 00 06 Gibson serial number with "00" prefix. Gibson Serial Numbers, to present. Jan 05,   Hello to all. I am a new member who has been playing for 30 some years. Recently I purchased a Les Paul Deluxe Goldtop and yes I am trying to accurately figure out what year it is from. Ive had my guitar set up specialist do a setup and he thought is was a 69 I .

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 inthousands 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 trianglesused 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.

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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 toall 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.

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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: Init 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.

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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.

How to Date your Epiphone guitar

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 earlya "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 toGibson flattop pickguards were usually "teardrop" in shaped. But in earlymost 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 tothe J has an engraved celluloid pickguard.

Starting inthis 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. Inthe 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.

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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

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