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Image from Pixabay. Gibson is one of the most celebrated names in guitar history. From Jimmy Page to Peter Frampton and Zakk Wylde, renowned guitarists across the world choose this company as their brand of choice. The superb sound, build, and quality of a Gibson is something wholly unique in the world of guitars. If you own one of these beautiful creations, then you might wonder when your guitar was crafted. Gibson has been around since , after all.

Flat-tops are marked on the neck, F-hole models are marked inside the hole, and solid body models are marked on the back of the headstock. Both F-hole and flat-tops use the same method for dating. The factory order numbers FON feature the batch number followed by a letter.

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These serial numbers look like Z 43, or any similar combination. You can date these models as follows:. Solid body models are marked differently, using the first number in the FON to identify the year.


There are only four numbers following any of these indicating digits from to Some may also appear in an X10 format. Regardless, the first number is specific to each year of production. During this era, Gibson used a standard serial number system.

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Without any prime indicators, dating your guitar can be a little confusing. Some numbers are also repeated in the following decade, adding more confusion into the mix. Luckily, the models in this era are incredibly distinct. This is by far the longest list Gibson ever used, as well.

Each can be either five or six digits, growing in number as time goes on. The only serial numbers used this year range from to These are the easiest to date during this era, and the year with the least amount of models made. Serial numbers for this year include anything from and numbers in the range as well. From here on out, numbers are often repeated, contain more than one year, or fall out of numerical order based on the year of production.

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These are the Gibson serial numbers from this era and the years they represent:. For the 70s, Gibson decided to make things a little easier.

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Now, their serial numbers are featured in ascending order with six digits. You can check the first two to date your Gibson guitar. Gibson ditched their numerous dating systems of old in for a simpler model.

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Now, the first five digits correspond the production date. The first number indicates the decade, the second tells the day of the year, and the third reveals the which year in the decade the guitar was crafted.

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You can determine the day by subtracting the middle three numbers fromthen counting backward from December 31st. InGibson changed their modeling system once again. Now, serial numbers appear in ascending order with the first two numbers indicating the year. Anything starting with 14 would bewhile current models feature an 18 for Both Reverb and Guitar World offer appraisals, helping you identify when your instrument was made and how much it is currently worth.

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Feb 15,   After PAF pickups were gone, the patent# pickups were next and used from to Then from to (note overlap) the next Gibson humbucker is known as the "T bucker" or "T top". They are called this because of a "T" that is part of the molding on the front of the two pickup . Jun 05,   If you have an older model without a serial number, this might be all the closer you'll get to dating your Gibson. There are five iterations of the company's logo dating all the way back to The original logo is a one-of-a-kind, unmistakable italic typeface with pearl inlay. mids Paf looked to create a new guitar pickup different from existing popular single coil designs. Gibson had already developed identification Charlie.

We may also earn commissions on purchases from other retail websites. Quick Navigation Approximating with The Logo. Approximating with The Logo. Codes by Era.

54 rows  Dating Gibson Guitars. from - The Early Years In the first 45 years . Mar 24,   Currently I am at K and 8K, but I had to chop and splice leads to get it that way. I was told these pickups came out of a '57 GT re-issue, and I guess Gibson put the 8K in the neck and the K in the bridge. I have an K currently unused, and I'm not sure if I should slap it in to see how it sounds or just sell it.

For many vintage instruments, determining the date of manufacture involves little more than running the serial number through a reference guide. Whereas Martin guitars have been using a single, consistent numbering system since the 19th century, Gibson has used several different serial number formats since its inception inmeaning that some formats and numbers overlap across decades.

This makes it especially important to first identify the general era during which your instrument was made before pinning down the exact date of manufacture with a serial number. If you know the backstory around when the instrument was purchased, this can provide some rough clues about its era.

The most general physical piece of evidence on the instrument, however, is going to be the logo on the headstock. The original logo featured the words "The Gibson" inlaid in pearl at a slant, with an almost hand-written cursive font. This is sometimes referred to as the slanted script logo.

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Some earlier specimens from to did not slant the logo, or went without a logo entirely. Specimens built before had a star inlay or crescent in place of a logo.

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The script logo continues without the slant. Some flattop guitars of this era started to omit the word "The" from the inlay. By Gibson had dropped the "The" from all of their logos while retaining the script "Gibson.

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.

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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.

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But not a final verdict. Many older instruments may have reproduction or other non-original parts, including a non-original finish. This makes relying entirely on the physical features of a guitar potentially misleading.

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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.

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Afterheadstocks had uniform thickness. Gibson has historically used two different alpha-numerical formats to catalog its instruments: serial numbers and FONs Factory Order Numbers. 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. Some earlier lower-end models had no serial number at all, making the FON the sole numerical identifier in those cases.

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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.

Gibson Pickups Comparison Test Demo - 57 Classic - BurstBucker 1 \u0026 2 - 490R 498T - 496R 500T

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.

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