Gibson dating guitar

O.k., let’s take a look at the different time periods of serial numbers from Gibson Guitars.

The following serial numbers apply just to acoustic guitars.

In addition to serial numbers older Gibson guitars also had Factory Order Numbers (FONs) imprinted.

In some cases, in fact, only FONs were used and there was no serial number (this was mainly for early low-end models). This can help determine if your guitar was from the 1960s or 1970s (some guitars during those 2 decades had the same serial number).

Lower Right: The fourth and fifth numbers of this seven-digit potentiometer date code reveal the last two digits of its year of manufacture. Hi Brian, There’s no question that dating Gibson guitars is challenging—and sometimes downright impossible.

There are two basic components to your Les Paul question: dating it and identifying it.

I was told to check the potentiometer date codes, which all have “1377142” impressed into them.

I read on a Gibson forum that, on seven-digit pot codes, the fourth and fifth numbers represent the date.

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Upper Right: Starting in 1970, Gibson began stamping “Made in USA” on the back of the headstock.

Guitars built in the Nashville Factory from 1990 onwards have production numbers 300-999 – so the first guitar produced that day would have the production number 300.

The Montana factory uses production numbers 001-299 and this was from 1989, when that factory was opened.

Not sure why these numbers were used, but at least it was uniform!

So this serial number represents the 45th guitar built on February 4, 1981 in the Kalamazoo factory.

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