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Figuring out age of a Gibson Les Paul electric guitar unlocks the worth however it requires more than simply looking at the serial number. SN's have inconsistency, and that can become more of a obstacle as opposed to a benefit. Guidlines for finding the guitar's correct age can certainly be just like an activity taken from an episode of "CSI," in which you determine a age determined by several different forensic research examinations, not simply the serial number.


1. Gibson Les Paul Serial Numbers

1. Seek out some sort of ink stamp. The actual serial number found on Gibson Les Paul electric guitars will be found on the backside of your respective necks headstock. The first Les Pauls manufactured in 1952 could possibly not have serial numbers. From 1953, a 3 digit SN had been stamped at the top. Subsequently in that year, in addition to carrying on all the way through 1961, Gibson pressed a 5 or 6 number using ink upon the rear of the electric guitars headstock. The 1st digit will be the year of creation; the other digits will be the production number.

You can even look for a 2nd number on the headstock backside of guitars built earlier than 1961. This is actually the Factory Order Number (FON). The Factory Order Number will include in it, a letter, which will refer to the year, after which a 4 digit number then a 1 or alternatively 2 digit number. Such will help reduce down the actual year of production although not much otherwise, because they had been designated at the start of the manufacturing run.

2. Discover the actual "brand" in the event the ink stamp is gone. Through 1961 to 1969, Gibson made use of SN's that had been stamped within the wood, in no way inked on. These types of numbers do not actually stick to a pattern. As an example, electric guitars designated up to 42440 will be from 61, however a guitar using the number 042400 will be from 67. The most effective way forward for those who have a Gibson Les Paul having a pressed in 6 digit SN is always to seek advice from a useful resource guide just like "The Blue Book of Electric Guitars" which is able to match dates together with numbers. Whatever the case, jot down the particular serial number. This should prevent you from having to return for the guitar over and over again.

3. Thinning down Gibson Les Pauls by using labeling. Through 1970 to 1975, little black colored labels that contain serial numbers had been positioned on the headstock backside of electric guitars. The text "Made in USA" had been also pressed within the backside (although a number of prior models possessed these labels also). The actual label re-structured to a transfer through 1976 to 1977 using 8 digit numbers. Numbers beginning with 99 will be from 1975, figures commencing with 00 will be from 1976, and figures beginning with 06 will be from 1977.

4. Examine the back again for the stamped in 8 digit SN. Should your Gibson Les Paul have an 8 digit SN stamped in the rear of the electric guitars headstock, you are in good fortune. Your electric guitar should really be relatively simple to date. 8 digit Les Paul SN's follow a "YDDDYPPP" structure whereas "YY" will be the manufacturing year, "DDD" will be the day of the particular year, and "PPP" will be the guitar rank and/or plant designation. This is simply not universal certain Custom Shop designs possess 6 digit numbers -- nevertheless it really should permit you to date just about all post 1975 Les Pauls.

5. You should not get worried about an additional "2." Another "2" stamped over the actual serial number signifies your guitar is known as a factory second, not that significant an issue after a guitar has been played and definitely no problem in the event the guitar has become refinished or perhaps got significant repairs.


6. Forensic Research

1 - Try to find the volute. You should attempt to corroborate the actual SN on your own Les Paul using some actual physical evidence. Initially, avoid using easily switched components including tailpieces to date the electric guitar. Numerous earlier Gibson Les Pauls have gotten the awkward trapeze bridge taken off. Having said that, in case your electric guitar features a volute, an additional amount of wood at the bottom of the headstock added in for additional strength, your electric guitar dates out of 1975 or later.

2 - Look at the headstock form and pitch. As soon as Gibson reintroduced the actual Les Paul in 68, the peghead ended up being bigger than the original's. You may have to have a Gibson which has a identified date to match headstocks, however, if your own features a broader headstock that will narrow down the date into the 68-85 era, approximately. The actual headstock pitch for Les Pauls produced from 68 to 73 had been 14 degrees; headstock pitch on others had been 17 degrees. Shallower neck of the guitar pitch signifies an earlier second-generation Gibson Les Paul.

3 - Watch out for forgeries. The Gibson Les Paul is easily the most forged electric guitar available on the market. In the event the serial number does not match with all the physical indications and you are thinking about purchasing, request some provenance before you decide to take the plunge. With Les Pauls, it is better to be cautious.

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