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Remember Me? Results 1 to 15 of Thread: Gibson mandolin serial numbers. Thread Tools Show Printable Version. Hi, this maybe one of those daft questions so please bear with me. Mandolin that is it seems quite old. It has a barely readable pencilled label inside it,but I think it reads

Repair label over orville label from the shop that did a refret s Pumpkin top. This mandolin has no pickguard inlaid, though evidence that there was once a clamped style one attached. No inlaid pickguard or evidence of clamping. Single piece mahogany? Same Handel tuner plates as Extremely clean, finish in ver Here's a great example of Gibson's early mandolin production.

In the first couple of years the instruments were a bit primitive, and they ev Black top, handel inlaid tuners, "the gibson" and fleur-de-lis on peghead.

Gibson A1 Mandolin: early A model. Hollow neck, hole in tailpiece cover, volute, steeply arched top & back, fleur-de-lis inlay Images: Gibson A Mandolin: Serial Number not entirely certain. Beautiful "shell inlay" pattern pickguard. Gibson A Mandolin: fleur-de-lis inlay, volute on peghead, shallers Images: Gibson. Apr 30,   Gibson mandolin serial number dating Thorpe April 30, Dating charts as the website to A label inside the label and finally the. Prior to figure out the decade of manufacture date. List of new mandolin archive and dating . L-R: Gibson A3, Gibson F4. Prior to , the only bridges made for Gibson mandolins (A or F) were made from a single piece of wood, with no adjusting screws. Models around have little inserts on the saddle for compensation. If the instrument has an adjustible bridge and a date prior to , it is most likely a replacement bridge.

Inlaid pickguard. Pineapple tailpiece cover with hole in it.

Dating Gibson Guitars

Replaced tailpiece cover and bridge. Orville label, inlaid pickguard, semi-horizontal old-style "The Gibson" inlaid in peghead. At the turn of the century, Orville Gibson was refining his notion of the superior mandolin: carved in the tradition of violins for greater volume and tone as well as comfort. The new design was thinner and much easier to handle and play.

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They were well suited for orchestral arrangements as well as individual play and accompaniment. The Gibson Company was formed in late and the early mandolins evolved from the original Orville Gibson designs.

During the period of to approximately the mandolins sported tailpiece covers with a curly top and internal white labels with an image of Orville Gibson holding a lyre mandolin. Sometimes rarely the labels are easy to read: the model and serial numbers hand-printed in ink and sometimes the information was written in pencil and is now barely legible. Occasionally the labels have fallen out or been removed during repairs making it a bit trickier to date the instruments.

The labels with an image of Orville Gibson are generally found on instruments with serial numbers below 10, If the serial number is legible the instrument can be relatively easy to date. Factory numbers when the exist appear in pencil inside on the block where the neck meets the body. The early models had shallow neck sets and low bridges that increased in angle around with taller bridges. The current bridge height and neck angle was reached around These bridges had movable saddles up to about when they changed to a one-piece compensating bridge design through early Then Gibson developed the adjustable bridge.

Though it has gone through a number of refinements over the years, the basic design has not changed since. It appears that many mandolin owners of earlier models chose to upgrade their bridges to the fancy new adjustable models after It is, therefore, not unusual to find older mandolins with replacement bridges.

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In some cases there are no pickguards. The later pickguard clamps have a stamped patent date of July 4, Some early necks were cherry before Though there appear to be exceptions, necks between and are 3-piece mahogany. Gibson developed the truss rod in This was adapted to the mandolin over the next few years. The introduction of a truss rod cover to the headstock caused the inlay patterns to adjust as well. During the period of through Gibson produced large numbers of mandolins.

These appear to be the easiest to find and quite reasonable to buy. The early models had shallow neck sets that increased in angle around It was the innovations of the Loar period: through that saw the introduction of the truss rod, adjustable bridges, bracing adjustments, thinning and grading of the tops and numerous other refinements to create the standards that are still used today.

The decade following saw a change in finish from varnish to shinier lacquer. This is a headstock that tapers from narrow at the top to slightly wider at the base the reverse of the traditional Gibson headstock shape. The public seems to have favored this shape over time as it fetches better prices now. These can exist on any model numbers including the A-jr.

The L-series is very difficult to properly identify and date as they were inconsistent in their appointments and the catalog descriptions do not always agree with the actual instruments produced. The Gibson LG series of flat-top guitars were developed as the natural evolution of the earlier L-Series. World War II changed many cts of the guitar world.

Gibson had helped in the war effort and seen many employees enlist. During the war years women played a greater role in manufacturing while young men were fighting overseas. Materials and methods of production were reviewed and revised.

Dating gibson mandolin serial number

The flood of returning soldiers with a broader world-view brought new musical tastes and new hopes for the future. Several other forces were at work for change:. Introduce these were designed as dual-purpose instruments. They could be strung with steel or nylon strings.

Folk Jumbo Natural and Folk Martin introduced the large body dreadnaught in - It was bigger, bolder, and louder than anything Gibson had to offer. At the time, the Nick Lucas model was the largest flat-top Gibson offered.

It took Gibson 2 years to develop their response: The Jumbo of The bass of this model will amaze you, and of course the clear brilliant treble is in perfect balance. Not many were sold and the production run was therefore limited to 2 years.

Because there are few of these instruments around, little has been written about them, though some did find their way into the hands of influential artists of the day. The sides and back were tinted mahogany with a sunburst red spruce top. There was some amber color. The was single bound, front and back with dot markers on the rosewood fretboard and a horizontal script logo inlay on the headstock. The rosettes were simple white-black-white.

The bridge were early simple rectangular with through-saddles. The tuners were individual. The bracing for the new larger models was X braced: there were 3 transverse tone bars between the braces - 1 more than the Martin - as Gibson experimented with bracing design heavy enough to support the large tops and light enough to be resonant and responsive. Several cost-cutting measures existed between the Advanced Jumbo and the J including scalloped braces on the advanced Jumbo and not on the J Over time the J braces began to appear scalloped.

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By the 3 tone bar system was reduced to 2 tone bars and the angle of the X braces change to approximately 95 degrees. This moved the X away from the soundhole a bit. Between an Gibson only offered the sunburst finish. According to the Gibson catalog, natural finish was the only option in but we are told that at least 2 examples exist of a cherry sunburst from the same period.

Byeither natural or sunburst were available. A total of 2, Js were made according to Gibson records. The Advanced Jumbo has been described by some as the finest - no compromises - most powerful flat-top guitar Gibson ever designed and built. Though it was discontinued inthe last Advanced Jumbo left the Kalamazoo plant in The back and sides were Brazilian rosewood and the tops Adirondack red spruce.

Due to the plain marks on the bracing, it is believed that every top was tuned by the same Gibson employee. Worthy of mention is the Jumbo Deluxe, though it is believed that only 3 were ever made in They are essentially an Advanced Jumbo with minor compromises: they filled a gap between the J and the J They had dot markers on the fretboard and a moustache bridge with individual adjusters on each string. The Jumbo 55 J was introduce in late and discontinued in Like the SJ of the same year, the J had a stair-step headstock that persisted for only 2 years.

The pickguard was longer than earlier models and it had a moustache bridge though slightly smaller and less ornate than that used on the SJ The tuners were individual Kluson with amber buttons.

The neck was a broad round profile single piece mahogany with a bound coffewood fretboard and dot markers.

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In the fretboard became Brazilian rosewood. The bracing was revised to accommodate the moustache bridge and generally heavier than earlier models. The first Gibson J45 guitars were only slightly different from the discontinued J The back braces were tall and thin and Gibson scalloped the top braces. Sunburst was the only finish available for the J until much later as the sunburst finish can hide flaws in the wood; this was a significant advantage during WW2 when clear wood was being used for the war effort.

In a natural finish J was finally offered and given the designation: J Also, the first batch of Js had more binding both on the body and soundhole. The Southerner Jumbos were the most expensive flat-top guitars Gibson offered at the time. The concept behind the J was a high quality, affordable, big-sounding acoustic flat-top guitar.

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It worked. The Gibson Southerner Jumbo was introduced in and discontinued in It was reintroduced in limited editions in Mythology has it that the Southerner Jumbo was specifically targeted at the Southern market honoring rising Country music trends.

When it came out in it was the most expensive Gibson flat-top in the line. During two new models were introduced to the Gibson line-up to replace the J and J They were the J and the Southerner Jumbo.

The appointments of the Southerner Jumbo included more top binding and an additional set of rosette rings. The 1st year of the J actually had similar appointments but they were reduced and simplified for model clarity in The back and sides were still mahogany but the Southerner Jumbo had a dark wooden stripe separating the 2 back pieces. The neck heal had a white plastic cap. The Gibson Super Jumbo first appeared in Western movies were tremendously popular and the singing cowboy heroes needed instruments as big and bold as untamed West.

As a consequence, the details were grand in scale and the bindings high in contrast to look good in black and white on the silver screen. The soundboard was so large and the body so deep that the sound was immense.

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The following versions evolved quickly to 14 frets clear of the body. The neck was basically the neck stocks from the L-5 archtop: 3 ply maple with single wide bound scalloped fretboard ends and headstocks and the early models had the L-5 flowerpot inlay on the headstock.

It was initially called the De Luxe Jumbo for the few versions that were delivered before the model went into production.

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The one delivered first to Ray Whitley was not the model now seen as the beginning of the Super Jumbos, but a simpler 12 fret version. The 2nd delivery to Ray Whitley was the more refined 14 fret SJ that is so well photo-dicumented.

The final production versions had a double-braced red spruce top and rosewood back and sides with a sunburst finish. In the name changed to the J and the standard back and sides became highly figured maple. Gibson changed the name again in the s to the SJ In the early years, due to the depression and the following wartime austerity, demand for this expensive instrument was limited and production quantities were small.

It was basically a slope shoulder dreadnaught like a J or Southerner Jumbo and designed for the country and western market. The appointments roughly followed the Southerner Jumbo but the design was primarily electric: it had a 3-ply top with ladder bracing to reduce the low-end response for the single coil pickup placed at the base of the fretboard.

Serial Number Search Gibson Serial Numbers Present This section is designed to assist in dating and/or identifying instruments manufactured or distributed by Gibson Guitar Corp. Please note that most of this information relates to serial numbers used from to present. Jun 11,   Re: Gibson mandolin serial numbers Originally Posted by allenhopkins S.P. Fjestad's Gibson Serialization from the Blue Book of Electric Guitars (linked to Gibson's website) gives the sequence for as to for all instruments, in an initial sequence starting at and running to for the period That is where that serial number falls, but if there is a letter in front of the serial number, that changes the dating by about 40 years. # Posted by Nate Ryan 11 years ago.

To accommodate the pickup, the standard production neck was pushed up to a neck-body joint at the 15th fret. Gibson introduced their first adjustable belly bridge - 2 screws to raise and lower the bridge.

Martin introduced their versions of acoustic-electrics: the DE in and DE in They were too late - Gibson owned the market and the Martins were dropped 6 years later having only sold about combined. Notable endorsers of this model include Leon Redbone.

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The electric version included a P pickup at the end of the soundboard like the later versions of the JE. Mid s: the pickguard changed from the teardrop to the larger undulating shape like the pre-war Js. Instruments will generally have one or both of these numbers stamped or written either inside the body generally the case on earlier models or on the back of the headstock.

These will generally date an instrument earlier than the serial number, as they were typically applied in the early stages of assembly. Some earlier lower-end models had no serial number at all, making the FON the sole numerical identifier in those cases. A FON usually consisted of a 3- 4- or 5-digit batch number followed by one or two other numbers in most cases.

From tothe FON included a letter suffix. The consistency around this stopped during WWII and resumed in the early s. To complicate matters further, there was sometimes a second letter from to indicating the brand G for Gibson, K for Kalamazoo, W for Recording King and sometimes even a third letter indicating "Electric" the letter E.

The year is indicated by the first letter in any series of letters for these years.

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Throughout the war and even for some time after, each year had its own quirks around FON batch numbers and letters. From toa consistent letter code resumed, with the letter appearing before the batch number. Below is a table of the the highest known number for each production year. Early Gibson solidbody electrics received a serial stamp on the back of the headstock, with the first number indicating the year of production.

The serial number on this Les Paul Junior indicates that it was made in Starting inGibson implemented a new serialization system designed to cover its entire lineup.

However, while the intent was to maintain a more organized catalog, this system in practice achieved the exact opposite. Numbers from this era were flipped, reused, and in many cases can date an instrument to several non-sequential years. In Gibson began carving volutes- small bumps of additional wood where the neck transitions to the headstock- to cut down on warranty repair work. Starting inGibson adopted the current date-based serial system which codes for the year and day of production.

54 rows  in Gibson changed the serial number pattern and in went from white labels to . If the serial number is legible the instrument can be relatively easy to date. Serial numbers are addressed elsewhere on the web site but can be found also on Gibson's website and George Gruhn & Walter Carter's book: Gruhn's Guide to Vintage Guitars. The serial number is stamped or punched on the back of the headstock or acoustic in the sound hole. The acoustic models are manufactured since late in Bozeman, Montana. If you want to know the production year of your Gibson guitar or mandolin, you can decipher it with the serial number decoder, or find it in the tables below.

The first number of the sequence indicates the decade of production, followed by the three digit day of the year, and finally the year.

If you feel like your guitar could be highly valuable or just want as much information as possible, we recommend finding an official appraiser or reach out to a Gibson representative.

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