Gibson Serial Numbers
Gibson has historically used two different alpha-numerical formats to catalog its instruments: Year FON Batch Range - 1 to - to - A to A suffix included - to - 1 to 1 to 1A to A 1B to B 1C to C 1D to D 1E to E - 1 to some with letter, some without. TeleBrew , Mar 3, The pointed pickguard used on most Gibson flattops from to the 's. The "S" prefix denotes I can't help you with figuring out the year it was made, but dang, that's a cool looking Firebird! 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.
Gibson Headstock Logos Through The Decades
It can take Davidson several hours to locate a specific serial number, if he can find it at all. Even then, there may be four other guitars—of all different models—with the same number sequence. Davidson also recommends the Blue Book of Electric Guitars.
Serial numbers can pull up multiple guitars from multiple years. To illustrate his point, Davidson types in a serial number from memory and it quickly pulls up three different guitars—an SG , a Steinberger , and a Les Paul.
Today, Gibson USA takes great pains not to recycle serial numbers. To combat the problem, the company upped its serial number sequence last year from eight digits to nine. Jupiter , Mar 3, Mar 3, 6. She is quite a looker, I can see why you would want to date her.
Mar 3, 7. Nice guitar, there cool looking. Tazz3 , Mar 3, Mar 4, 8. BopT , Mar 4, Mar 4, 9. I sleep with my Firebird VII regularly She's a little bling for a full on marriage but she's like the mistress who likes to wear her finest lingerie.
ReaL Madras , Mar 4, Mar 4, That thing is spookily clean. At least crack the pickguard or break the headstock or something, it is freaking me out!
Manolete , Mar 4, A bird in sonic blue? That is a sweet looking old bird. Shango66 , Mar 4, Blazer , Mar 4, It does indeed look like a V based on the '66 catalog page below. I think it's Frost Blue per the color chart, maybe Kerry Green. Lighting in your photos and color change over the years can do funny things. Things were a bit loose in Kalamazoo in the '60s, I suppose. You should be able to use this guide to determine the year of your instrument and then consult the Reverb Price Guide to find its value, all for free.
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 , meaning 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. 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. 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 to , the 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 to , but the main logo had the same look. Gibson stopped dotting the i in their logo on some of their instruments. Most models get a dotted i again in , with 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.
Imsges: gibson firebird dating
The to orange labels are identical, except for the added text "union made".
Remember, the batch number is the first 4 digits of the FON, followed by a 1 or 2 digit sequence number within the batch. Used from mid to mids.
Postwar full depth, non-cutaway models were generally designed as student models and are not very valuable. All models, NO "made in U. BlazerMar 4, This was used on archtop models ink stamped inside treble F-hole and on flat top models ink stamped on the neck blockfrom to The "single line" refers to the single line of vertical text gibson firebird dating "Kluson Deluxe". Mar 4, 8. fireibrd recently Gibson has copied the original 's Cal Girl case more exactly on their "historic" series reissues.
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