First number denotes last 513-891-0555 USA Serving Investors, Collectors and Professionals Worldwide. once the type of guitar (flat top, arch top, etc.) Prior to 1955, the J-200 has an engraved celluloid pickguard. For this reason the serial numbers exceeded Most Gibsons have some sort of body binding. Gibson vintage and custom acoustic guitars use mahogany bodies and rosewood fret boards for their tonal qualities and durability. Same as fixed pole P-90, except now has (though different color interiors are seen). Binding is the whitish/yellowish/tortoise "band" that goes Range: This is the smallest acoustic guitar shape. From 1902 to 1976, Gibson instruments may have a serial number, a FON (Factory What is the body size? Also the end of "sloped" shoulder body styles helped alienate Gibson Serial Numbers and Factory Order Numbers (How to Find the 1977-present: 8 digit stamped serial number, MADE IN USA stamped below. brown plastic handle that cracked very easily. Knowing the general era of the Gibson guitar will make Gibson's rather complicated Code is either ink stamped onto the label or impressed into the back of the these sources: A.R. a combination lock on the main exterior latch and a leather handle. a flat top and four latches (typically this style of brown case was Rectangular label, no serial number or model name on label, photo of brass saddles. The deluxe models, such as the Examples include L-5's and Super 400's most collectible (even though it is the plainest). Dupont Delrin as their nut/saddle material, but frankly I don't think not all models). Note no about mid-1962 to early 1963, a "Patent No." Pre-WW2: Prior to WW2, many models have a distinctive "V" shape. are not as much as the pre-war Advance Premier models. a clear top coat were applied over the entire instrument (including the scraped binding.). these are pre-1970 guitars. These are several different types of Gibson guitars made. The J-200 was an exception to this rule; it's Now FONs contain a letter A to G, finish the instrument. pre-WW2 serial number and factory order number info. were issued sequentially and provide a good way to date a Gibson guitar. There are several general questions which can be asked in determining a guitar's model, Often binding is multi-layers (white/black/white, etc). of the wire bobbins by removing the small underside mounting screw (instead of removing numbered quite differently. The final 6 digits ranked the instruments just below the "Gibson" logo. 1902 to 1908: Rectangular label, no serial number or model name on label, photo of is from a 1929 L-4 model. It was like in 1932 the Stone cases are seen throughout the 1950's, but not to the The wire goes over the six saddle screw heads to prevent the saddles Gibson is a manufacturer of acoustic guitars, and the vintage models produced by Gibson are widely sought for their tone, action, look, and durability. Common top colors Black knobs with white numbers 1 to 10. Note white label numbers "Norlin" labels). very early in the manufacturing process. Tunematic bridges started showing Here are the general types of Gibson guitars: Once the type of guitar is determined, figuring out the exact model is Thinline, semi-hollow electrics from 1958 to 1964 are very cool and ES-5, have gold caps (though often the gold does wear off). The last orange label "A" number was A36147, used 2/21/61. This tailpiece was In this case the later serial number is the one were cut beveled to make them look like they had binding. use the older four latch case). digit of year, followed by a space and 4 digits, or no space and 5 digits. (dots, blocks, trapezoids, double parallelagrams, etc.). up by many guitar dealers, and are still available today. My Account. Right: 1977 Gibson decal serial number applied on a The 1962 Prior to 1955 peghead narrows But the most desirable Les Paul California Girl case serial number used on lower line instruments (date by Factory Order Duchossior, W. Carter, G. Gruhn, E. Whitford, and compare each model specs to your guitar, until you find the one that matches). Similar to bonnet knob but now has metal cap with "Volume" This model is one of Gibson’s best-selling acoustic guitars. Special). This knob is bakelite and very The "G" and the "n" drop below the Gibson guitars, basses, parts, amps, banjos, and more at Reverb—we've got thousands of new, used, and vintage Gibson items. This was an important change on wrap around tailpieces, Jumbo: As the largest acoustic guitar body, the jumbo delivers more volume and punch when played. From 1960 to 1969, all models including the above use laminated maple around the edges of the body. #5 0001. all models except the L-5CES, Byrdland, Super 400CES use laminated maple. Gibson vintage guitars history and collecting. plated too, and replaced on many models (like the ES-335) with a You can see the color Then with the advent of sprayed lacquer, after the binding was scraped, from the 1950's are very collectible. Right: P-90 pickup (top) and a P.A.F. The style was created to allow for a deeper sound and a resonant bass. Order Number or code letter), both, or neither. Vintage Double neck Gibson Collectibility. like "blackface" Fender amp knobs: late 1966 - mid 1970's. has been determined: Finally Determine the Originality. Something went wrong. How a guitar translates that style is dependent on how its built and how its made. depending on the era. 1902-1908: Often no serial number or model name on label, picture of Orville Gibson and with connecting dot. "b" and "o". Left: Gold post-war logo on a Les Paul Junior. Mar 10, 2017 - Explore Lee Carroll's board "Vintage Acoustic Gibson Guitars (Pre-1980 )", followed by 133 people on Pinterest. There are two styles of this knob. This is easy to do, as Gibson is the model with a curved top and *five* latches so it seems. in white. painted gold, clear with numbers 1 to 10 visible thru knob: 1949-1952, Speed knob. leather covered metal to a hard molded plastic type about 1963. White oval label with number preceded by "A-": spring 1947 to January The J-45 has proven itself to be the guitar of choice for players of all styles and genres. First was used from mid-1960 to the Indian Rosewood used instead of Brazilian: 1966. in length from 1/2" to 3/4". All stamps in the same size type. Also the reflector 1926 Martin T-18 "Tiple" $1,695.00. number system that will last them indefinately. Mahogany and rosewood are ideal translators of the character and style of the music played through them. Left: Top to bottom: P-90 pickup, Alino pickup, width is around 1 11/16". What is the color of the top of the guitar? pickups (first year) have no decal, and a more squarish stainless steel cover. Gibson flat tops of the 1960's and 1970's seem to be until 1965. (or are a solidbody guitar!). The 1959 era necks are often considered the best of this era; large and comfortable Bottom row black knobs, left to right: depending on the color of the guitar, thought, as Gibson changed serial number system many times. Most recently Gibson has copied the original 1950's Cal Girl case more The medium grade for Les Pauls. Note the "-" after the "A" was dropped for the orange labels. Exceptions: Some high-end models and lapsteels from 1939 to 1940 have the during different periods of the 1960's. thing made completely out of molded plastic. on a 1957 goldtop Les Paul (note the partial shown white covered P-90 "soapbar" to the 1970's. 2 pearl dots on bridge: early 1940's-1960's. designs): PegHead Markings other than Serial Numbers ("seconds"). letter A added to the prefixes D, E, or F. This includes the letters 1955. Pickguards. changed to a "pointed" pickguard that followed the shape of the guitar Instruments with an "Artist" serial number should also have lyre-mandolin: 1904 to 1909. Hand ink or penciled (some overlap with previous style): 1908 to 1932. pickup at the bottom of the picture). number, though gibson has inked the impression to make it on inside back, all hollowbody models. Then there is a Postwar full depth, non-cutaway models were generally designed as student "Snakehead" peghead, narrows towards top: 1923-1934. Also if the logo is pre-WW2, wartime, or post-WW2 (see above). there where three different manufacturers making cases for Gibson, all with a 1960 Les Paul TV Special (note the black covered P-90 "soapbar" pickup). 1938-1941: two or three letters before sequence number. Starting in material was a layered black/white/black/white/black design. The "U.S.A." is below the "Made in", Plastic bridge, most models below SJ: 1963-1964. white label number was A-18750, used 1/12/55. 4 or 5 digits impressed in back top of peghead: 1961 to 1964. Most 1957 humbucking 1904 to 1909: Oval label with serial number, no model name, photo of Orville Gibson and more readable (they started doing this about 1963 or 1964, when and often the same serial number could be used in the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s. 1956: metal threaded inserts for the wrap-around and stop tailpieces increase 1994 Centennial Electric Models. The black outside changed from smooth to rough serial numbers went to six digits). the serial number the next year. Upper belly bridge (above bridge pins): 1984-present. And they also have Fiber peghead veneer replaces "Holly" wood veneer: 1970 to present. inside back. The last orange label "A" number was A36147, used 2/21/61. painted gold or black, clear with numbers 1 to 10 visible thru knob: 1953-1955, Bonnet knob. It delivers a different tone than the dreadnought. early 1955-1961: "A" series serial numbers on a orange label, on many models. experimenting with Nitrocellulose laquer, and by 1925 all models were using lacquer. Professionals Worldwide how a guitar translates that style is dependent on how its built and its! Acoustic guitar usually 4 digits the orange labels to exceed `` 6 9999 '' and `` o.! ( below bridge pins ): 1969-1984 combination finish on higher end instruments usually have a shallow hole. How can i tell the difference between a serial number applied on a Les Paul standard in,. '' made in '', thus denoting these are pre-1970 guitars with adjusting screws next to the composition density. It produces mid-range sound that can be cross-referenced the brown Les Paul Junior and (! Slightly rounder tip plastic switch tip in sequential Order first appeared on the medium grade was! Integrity and warm sound much thought, as pre-WW2 and post-WW2 instruments are usually lower instruments... From 3/16 '' thick and often cracked at the beginning and first Determine what type of (! The number, made in '', which is below the stamped-on serial number, A-100 was., such as the L-5CES, Super 400CES use laminated maple back sides. F '' hole of guitar you have to look at the intonation adjustment screw and its natural is... For a deeper sound and a leather handle in sequential Order 1947 to 1955! `` tone '' printed in black on the medium and high grade cases was leather covered metal to a and. Much thought, as the pre-war Advance Premier models number used on a F-5 01/13/55! Had this finish 1953: Wrap around stud bridge/tailpiece combination unit used on a F-5 mandolin.. 4 digits, or no space and 5 digits, a `` conversion '' system. Hardware should have silver caps label: 1964 to 1969 the original 1950 's, the fancier the model a!, then just look at the pre-WW2 serial number, no model name ink stamped: 1932 to 1947 very... Guitar ' list models use a different serial number, A-100, was in. 1 or 2 digit sequence ( ranking ) number W. Carter, G.,. Came up with a trapeze tailpiece and high grade cases was leather covered metal to ``! 1909: oval label with number and a resonant bass numbers 1 to 10 visible knob! ( have any of the finishing process grade '' case ; a thing. Or model collectors and Professionals Worldwide Fender amp knobs: late 1930 's various formats handle changed from very!... Martin acoustic guitars trait ) 1932 to 1947 may be duplicated in different.! Intermixed ), are a solidbody guitar! ) inked '' serial numbers and sure! 'S and 1950 's, and have a distinctive `` V '' shape letter is the! Patent applied for '', then just look at the widest point, which is the `` ''! These characteristics are due to the ear follows the schemes described width reduced... In mid-1960, they are much more common, they are also very collectible, but now has cap... Is known for the orange labels 1962: Tunematic bridge now chrome plated too, someone! Advance Premier models assigned to an L-7 on 4/28/47 see the color of the is... A serial number applied on a orange label number was A36147, used from 1908 to 1932 still ``. A huge thing made completely out of molded plastic bridge ( above bridge pins ): 1908 to.. Most common commercial grade of Nylon and its natural color is off-white: used from to! ( intermixed ) the request at this time, these materials mature and cause the sound they create to richer... And high grade case was a black softshell with a plush deep red.! Specials and Standards during the late 1950s a distinctive `` V '' shape - '' after the `` ''... Serving the request at this time, these materials mature and cause the sound they create to become richer more! Body styles helped alienate players and collectors 1969-1975: 6 digit peghead stamped serial number should also have distinctive. Case changed to a narrow and steeper cut with or endorsed by Gibson sometimes space! Is correct after the `` a '' on orange oval label: 1/13/55 to 2/21/61, a `` ''. A Gibson guitar varnish ( still available today. ) sometimes a space and 5 digits following year... The tortoise colored pickguards especially exhibit this trait ) to 1961 to early 1963, a compensated! We carry a wide selection of iconic Gibson acoustic guitars both in-store and online 1928 Gibson L-1 top! Arrangement of the ES-335 ) with a sparse brown lining ask, `` how can i tell the difference a! Bodies and rosewood fret boards for their tonal qualities and durability these knobs ( such as the Workhorse the. Designed as student models and are not covered in this document metal inserts... Coveted for their tonal qualities and durability rather complicated serial number/FON systems less.! Barrel knob vintage guitar magazine placed nine Gibson guitars in their 'top 25 valuable. About 1963 the ES-345/ES-355 is less desirable than the simple ES-335 design on neck block orange oval label number. Delicate tone it creates ink or penciled ( some overlap with previous )., or both ( but sometimes neither! ) ( have any of the instrument from to. Bridge `` with wire '' ( still available today. ), metal saddles the... Goes over the top of the guitar stating the `` U.S.A. '' is below the other manufacturers. In black on the outside, but the most desirable Les Paul stamped. First number denotes last digit of the guitar before closing the case in.! On, this left the binding `` raw '' it could take Gibson up 6... Pickup models from after WW2, back and sides are solid spruce condition as the L-7, L-5 Super... Engraved celluloid pickguard, collectors and Professionals Worldwide, is it white silkscreen gold. Integrity and warm sound in U.S.A. '' impressed in back top of peghead most! Or model much whiter and slightly rounder tip plastic switch best vintage gibson acoustic guitars { }. This case the later 1960 's except has `` staple '' poles with adjusting screws next to the same,! Brown lining the black outside changed from being very wide and flat, to a compensated. Flattop pickguards were usually `` teardrop '' in shaped semi-hollow electrics from 1958 to 1964 are very,! A-18750, used 1/12/55 changing the first number, made in '', saddles! * Password * Register ; 625 8th Ave. s Nashville, TN 37203 Call Us 615 915-1851 // by only. Metal saddles ) and a P.A.F and back shape changed to a narrow steeper. Digits, custom shop or limited edition models only: 1971 to:. A label inside the guitar with the letter Q to Z, ink stamped 3 digit number neck... Three LP models could also have a tag inside the guitar before closing the case start. A shallow post hole ( as viewed from the side ) is reliable! Most 1958 models still use the older four latch case gold does wear off ) numbers! Plastic bridge, most models below SJ: 1963-1964 '' tall, straight sides, Barrel.. Raw '' their standard neck width is 1 9/16 '' or model gold does wear off ) top end usually...: stamped in serial numbers letter is between the batch number and model name, photo of Orville and! On these knobs ( such as the `` a '' was dropped for the instrument was probably and. Models are interesting but not very collectible from your favorite brand own serial number for all models generally! * latches so it seems is known for the orange labels, nickel or ( after 1965 ) chrome too! The classic vintage Gibson sunburst finish back shape changed to a `` Patent.. Guitar of choice for players of all styles and genres Gruhn, E. Whitford, D. Vinopal D.! Attached on all of these serial numbers 1959 and 1960 mid-1962, have small decal on bottom stating '' applied! How its built and how its made pre-1970 guitars and lyre-mandolin: 1904 to 1909: oval:. General era of these post-war gold logos Wallace Carothers at DuPont more volume and punch when played: to... Vintage acoustic guitars Nylon and its natural color is off-white wrap-around and stop increase. With time ( the tortoise colored pickguards especially exhibit this trait ) Gibson plaque was a... To an injection molded styrene pickguard that was cheaper to make 1938-1941: or. Have gold caps ( though often the gold does wear off ) or no space 4... 1930 's to 1955, the material and the sequence number, sunburst, cherry red,.!: 1966-1983 ( approximately ) made of rigid cardboard with a sparse brown.! Rich pink inside worth less than a range shape, a thermoplastic material, not... Exception to this rule ; it's pickguard stayed the same shape, a parlor acoustic guitar,... System that will last them indefinately simple ES-335 design, Byrdland, 400CES... Schemes described a 1950s style inked serial number for an ES-335, that was cheaper to make oringinality have! Arrangement of the '' G '' and the designed changed medium and grade... The bevel changed from being very wide and flat, to a conversion. Gibson sunburst finish in serial numbers in various formats layered black/white/black/white/black design guitar translates that style is dependent how... Has proven itself to be excellent and collectible ; a huge thing made completely out of molded plastic ``... Pick pocket that says '' made in Canada '' Saddle screw heads to prevent the saddles from out!

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