Dating heritage guitars
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 in 1902, meaning that some formats and numbers overlap across decades.This is sometimes referred to as the slanted script logo.
Most will be 5 to 6 digits in length, but the earliest examples feature 4 digit serial numbers. Many players don't, and sometimes (unless you bought it from new) it can be hard to tell.Also, Gibson, as we all know, is one of the greatest manufacturers of guitars, and having the status of one of the most desirable guitar brands ever has some disadvantages, too: counterfeit Gibsons have been sold for many decades now, and many players sometimes don't even realise they've been fooled. This Article is designed to assist in dating and/or identifying instruments manufactured or distributed by Gibson Guitar Corp.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 1961 to 1981, but the main logo had the same look.
Aside from the logos, each era of manufacturing included certain identifying traits such as the hardware (tuners, knobs, plates, etc.), the pickups, the type of finish, and the electronics inside that can give clues as to when an instrument was made. Many older instruments may have reproduction or other non-original parts, including a non-original finish.