Dating a guitar is not only a useful and interesting thing to be able to do, in financial and historical terms it is vital. Even if you are not planning to sell your guitar knowing a bit about when it was made is a fun thing to do, from there you can read about the history of the company and work out just where your guitar fits into the story. If you are looking to buy or sell a Guild produced piece then the date is vital, this helps provide a provenance or authentic record for the guitar in question and that is one of the key factors which dictates its value. At the foot of this page, you will find a long and detailed list regarding the manufacture date of your guitar and it is as simple as looking for the serial number of your guitar on the list and from that, it will tell you the date. Over the years and due to various changes of ownership some of the necessary documentation has unfortunately been misplaced or destroyed and whilst this has led to a few anomalies and inconsistencies in the dating charts, the information presented here represents the most comprehensive data available for Guild guitar dating. These will not only help confirm the year of production of your instrument but will also help identify the various specifications that define your guitar, explain where it sits on the evolutionary path and put it into a wider historical context.
I will also mention briefly pot-codes as a resource numbers on the internal potentiometers of the guitar. These can definitely be useful in cases where no other numbers exist, but just tell when the pot itself was made.
Who knows how long it was waiting in the Fender factory before finding its way into a Tele? Like the body and neck dates, using serial numbers to date a Fender is not a sure bet.
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At many points in Fender's history, serial number usage overlapped again owing to the modular manner of production. Below we'll go into detail about the various serial number schemes employed by Fender as far back as There are certainly plenty of exceptions, so again, using serial numbers in conjunction with other dating methods is always the best bet. Click on the links here to jump directly to the serial number style that matches your instrument:.
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In the early years, Fender serial numbers schemes were specific to the model. Esquires, Broadcasters and Telecasters shared a serial number sequence, while the landmark Precision Bass had its own system. In this early period, the serial number can be found on the bridge of the instrument see image. Here are the rough serial number ranges for the early Esquires and Telecasters :.
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Also, for the first half or so ofthe inaugural run of Stratocasters had a distinct number sequence all under number By mid, Fender began using a universal serial number sequence for all its instruments.
At this time, the location of the serial number also shifted from the bridge to the neckplate the metal plate located on back of where the neck meets the body. Here's how the serial numbers break down from to the beginning ofthough there are some areas of inconsistency in this era:. At the very end of and intoFender changed to a system where serial numbers began with an "L.
Here the range of the L-series serial used each year. Some of the earliest ones actually popped up in late as well:. After the CBS purchase of Fender inthe factory switched to a new serial sequence with numbers that continued the same general format used prior to the takeover. These are generally referred to as F series due the large Fender branded F on the neckplates of the era.
This period also saw a switch from the orginal four-bolt neckplate of the '60s to a three-bolt neckplate in just one example of cost-saving costs introduced under CBS.
Starting inFender transitioned to a new serial number scheme and moved the placement of most serial numbers to the headstock of the instrument.
Depending on the era and model, the number can be found on either the front or back of the headstock.
Unfortunately the serial number on this Lyle Guitar does not help with dating. But we know Lyle guitars were imported from Japan by L. D. Heater Co. of Portland Oregon in the s and 70s. Neck heel:Serial number on my Takamine means it was made on Saturday, April 07th, It was the 48th guitar made that day. The Guitardater Project cannot verify the authenticity of ANY Guitar, this site is simply meant as a tool to satisfy the curiosity of guitar enthusiasts. This website possesses NO DATABASE of guitars made by manufactures, instead simple serial code patterns that are available on this site and in the wider guitar community are used. Dating Your Takamine. Guitars Made from (excluding G-Series) Japanese-built Takamine guitars made between and mid/late can be reliably dated from the eight-digit serial numbers typically found at the neck block inside the instruments.
After a short period of overlap with the old system, the post numbers will start with a letter that indicates the decade, followed by a number that indicates the year of that decade.
In the s, you'll also see serials starting with a DZ which indicates the Deluxe series, but the format is otherwise the same.
For example, a serial number with N4 would be from One starting with Z5 would be from This is particularly pronounced in the transitional period of the mid-'80s, though the system has been pretty much on point since about Afterthe letter changed to a format starting with US then two digits that tell the year of the current decade. American-made signature series instruments follow a very similar scheme to the above, but use a prefix S before the decade letter.
For example, a Signature Series guitar from would have a serial starting with SN8 followed by five digits.
These have serial numbers starting with V and do not strictly correlate to years. The neck dates on these guitars, however, are usually reliable. Fender Japan serial numbers can usually be found on the back of the neck near the neck joint. Though examples also exist with the number on the headstock or the neck-plate in the case of certain early reissue models.
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Up untilthe serial was paired with the words "Made in Japan. InFender expanded operations with a series of instruments produced in Japan by the Fuji Gen Gakki company. Like the US serial numbers, MIJ made in Japan serials start with a letter or pair of letters that indicate the rough year of production.
This system, however, is notoriously inconsistent and incomplete, which makes dating by serial number even less reliable for MIJ Fenders. While we are happy to buy used guitars and gear, we absolutely love Guild Guitars since they've got a rich history.
Left-handed guitars and righties are welcome, just give us a call and we can work with you to figure everything out.
Every Guild Guitar is different, however you can generally look on the back of the headstock or within the guitar itself in the soundhole. On a heavily used guitar, there is a chance that time has taken its toll and it could be weathered down or off.
Here are a few examples from the store:. Adirondack Guitars specializes in left-handed instruments but we love our righties tooso if you are thinking of selling such a piece then please contact us first for a discussion about date and price and we will be only too happy to help.
The following chart displays the first and last serial numbers of guitars produced in each given year to There are no corresponding model names or numbers available. Between the years an Guild returned to the system which used a separate serial number prefix for each guitar model. The following chart details the year, the guitar model, and the last serial number produced for each model in each given year.
Between the years an Guild continued with the system which used a separate serial number prefix for each guitar model. For the yearONLY the model prefix and last serial number for each model produced is available. For an Guild returned to the system which used a separate serial number prefix for each guitar model, and also the first and last serial number produced for each model in each given year.
The following chart details the year, the guitar model, and the beginning and ending serial number for each model in each given year. Each are numbered on the back of the headstock with the number in the given series, i.
Each also has a seven digit serial number inside the guitar. The first three numbers beginning withrefer to the sequence of units made, i.
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The last four digits refer to the date of production. The first and fourth of these numbers in reverse refer to the year of production. The middle two digits refer to the month.
For example: would mean the seventh guitar made that year, and would date to January Please take a few minutes to explore the Adirondack Guitar Website. Adirondack Guitar is one of the largest left-handed guitar stores in the country.