How to Check Gibson Guitar Serial Numbers. There are a few ways to find out if you’re looking for the serial number of your Gibson guitar. The first way is to look at the back of the guitar, where you’ll find a label that includes the serial number. This information is typically in a format that says YDDDYRRRYY. However, many guitars use a different system. It could be the date-based system or a factory ranking/plant designation number.
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How to Check Gibson Guitar Serial Numbers
Factory ranking/plant designation number
Gibson guitar serial numbers are unique decals that help you to identify the year, model, and factory of your instrument. Gibson started using these numbers in 1902. They were first impressed with the wood but soon moved on to stamping. Several different methods were used, including disappearing ink.
During the 1960s, Gibson’s serial numbers were especially noticeable. They were usually inked for easier reading. These numbers can be a little difficult to decipher, but they are also a very accurate way to date your instrument.
In the early 1980s, Gibson changed the way they used serial numbers. They began using Factory Order Numbers, or FONs. These were internal coding that Gibson used to assign specific instruments to a certain batch. If you find a guitar with a FON, it means that it was ranked in that batch. The serial number and the FON will also help you to date your guitar.
Gibson guitars had three types of cases. In the post-WW2 period, Gibson offered three kinds of cases: the case with a curved top, the case with a plush pink interior, and the case with a brown exterior. These cases had leather-covered metal handles.
Gibson used a serial number system from 1902 to 1947. The system used 5 or 6 digits. They were sometimes inked for easier reading. Some of the instruments were hand-inked and the numbers could be duplicated up to four times.
When Gibson started producing solid-body guitars, they switched to a new serial number system. This new system consisted of three digits stamped on the headstock top. The second type of serial numbers ran from 1947 to 1961. The final numbers are sequential orders of the model made during the life span of the instrument.
During the 1960s, the sunburst finishes on Gibson guitars were often damaged. They were fixed in the mid-60s, but they can still be affected by age. A red line may be visible, or the neck pickup pickguard attachment point might be scuffed.
During the 1990s, a lot of interest in vintage models returned. Gibson reissued some of these models, which use a different serial number format. These models include the Heritage Korina guitar and the Heritage Les Paul guitar.
Date-based serial system
The Gibson guitar serial number is used to decode the age of a guitar. The first digit indicates the year, followed by two or three digits indicating the model. The last digit indicates the production date.
The Gibson guitar serial number is found on the back of the headstock and the inside of the sound hole sticker. This number is important to guitar players because it can give them a lot of information. For example, if you are unsure of the age of your guitar, the first digit can tell you the model and if it is acoustic or electric. The other digits can give you information about the grade of the wood, as well as if the guitar is a B-stock or factory second. The serial number also reveals the origin of the guitar. If you are considering buying a vintage or antique Gibson, you will need to know its serial number.
Gibson started using a new serial number system in 1961. Before this, Gibson used a combination of letters and a space to decode its serial numbers. In addition, they reused the same serial numbers for different years. This meant that some of their instruments were dated incorrectly. In addition, the system wasn’t very reliable.
In the 1960s, Gibson started taking serial numbers seriously. Although the process was not perfect, the new system was relatively simple. Unlike the previous system, this one included a letter prefix for the number and a pair of digits describing the year.
The YYYMRRR digit is a bit more complicated. In addition to the YY, it includes the letters RRR and MM. This is a reference to the plant designation number. It explains the plant where the instrument was manufactured. This is often used as a guide to its age. It is also important to note that a guitar’s age does not necessarily depend on the year.
The 6-digit number is not as common. Instead, they are still in use on certain models. These serial numbers are a bit more confusing. They are usually found on the back of the headstock or pot. Typically, the last five digits are the production number of the model.
YDDDYRRRYY production year
Gibson guitar serial numbers are an easy way to identify a specific guitar model. Gibson has used serial numbers to catalog its instruments since the 1940s. However, it has not always used a consistent system. It was not until 1977 that they developed a new system.
Before the new serial number system was introduced, Gibson had been using a pattern that included eight digits. The first digit was usually the plant designation, the second was the factory ranking, and the last two digits were a “MADE IN USA” mark. The pattern was relatively simple but was not entirely reliable. The pattern was only used for acoustic guitars.
The new Gibson serial number system was not the easiest to use. It reused serial numbers from different years. It also used a white rectangle label for electric models. These models did not have the dotted I, and some bolt-on models had the date inked on the heel. This gave an idea of the year the guitar was made. The block logo changed font connections between 1961 and 1981.
Gibson began to take serial numbers seriously in the 1960s. In addition to a new neck profile, they used deeper beveling and added a real Holly veneer. They also released several reissues of Les Paul, including the SG. The reissues are marked with the reissue (A or B)-MYRRRM.
The Gibson acoustic guitars are built in Bozeman, MT, while the electrics are built in Nashville. Depending on the model, Gibson produces 700 guitars a day when working 5 days a week. The company will change to a 9-digit number in early July 2005. Currently, the Gibson SG has been available since 1997.
During the 1960s and 1970s, the Gibson guitar serial numbers were a bit confusing. Not all Gibson instruments followed the pattern, and some were marked with the “LIMITED EDITION” designation. Fortunately, the Gibson block logo remains the face of the company.
The Gibson serial number chart can help you decipher your guitar’s age. The year marker is usually on the back of the headstock. If your guitar has fret inlays, you can also determine the age of your instrument.
Current model year
Gibson guitar serial numbers are a great way to determine the year of a Gibson instrument. These numbers are stamped onto the back of the peghead. The neck block inside the body is also numbered. However, these numbers are not always easy to read. If you are not familiar with the Gibson guitar serial number system, it can be confusing.
There are two different ways to decode a Gibson guitar serial number. The first is to look at the prefix. For example, an “S” indicates that the instrument is acoustic. A “U” identifies an electric. Another example is the “MX” prefix. These are used on mid to upper-line guitars.
The next step is to find the year of the model. You can do this by examining the specifications of the guitar. If it is acoustic, you may get a more accurate date by examining the shape of the sound hole. Alternatively, you can compare your guitar to a similar instrument to make your determination.
A third way to identify the year of a Gibson instrument is to look at the Gibson factory order number. These are internal codes that Gibson uses to make instruments. This information is usually stamped on the instrument during the early stages of manufacturing. These numbers are also used to help you authenticate an instrument.
These numbers can be combined with the serial number to determine the exact date an instrument was manufactured. For example, a guitar with serial number 82765501 would mean that it was produced on October 3rd. This could be the fifth week of Godin’s 2006 production year.
Some variations are still in use on today’s Gibson instruments. In particular, custom shop models and reissues use a different serial number format. These reissues are usually inked.
A final tip for decoding your Gibson guitar serial number is to remember that the final digit does not indicate the year. The serial number can be duplicated in various years, so you may have to do some research to determine the date of manufacture.
How to Check Gibson Guitar Serial Numbers