Era dating articles
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.Based on the charts originally compiled from Gibson’s shipping ledgers by author A. Duchossoir, the serial number you provided could have been used on Gibson guitars produced in 1970, 1971, 1972, 1974, or 1975.The most important dating feature on guitars with six-digit serial numbers is that, starting in 1970, Gibson began stamping “Made In USA” near the serial number on the back of the headstock.Hey Zach, I have a Gibson Les Paul I’m trying to identify.The serial number is 676323, and “Made in USA” is stamped below that.Checking the date codes on pots is usually the second step (after approximating the date of the serial number) in determining the guitar’s year. And because many manufacturers purchased pots in large quantities, the pots could sit on the shelves for weeks—if not months—before they were installed.
Unfortunately, during extremely busy times, production simply trumped serialization.I’ll start with trying to date the instrument, but keep in mind that dating and identifying Gibson guitars typically go hand in hand.I get several questions about Gibson serial numbers every day, and my initial answer is always to not expect or rely on the serial number alone to determine the year of manufacture.It usually takes more than just a serial number to accurately identify and date them, and there are numerous other dating systems and tools that I haven’t mentioned here.Some serialization systems only apply to certain guitars, and in some cases the same serial number has been used on multiple guitars!