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Did you know that you can use Epiphone serial s to discover the age of your guitar? If you have a vintage Epiphone or Gibson guitar, you could be sitting on a gold mine. Many older models have a rich history, and better than that, they could be worth a lot of money.
To understand the ificance of the Epiphone serialwe first need to look at how their company history intertwines with that of Gibson. Epiphone started as a family business in as a luxury banjo manufacturer. As they already owned Gibson, Dating epiphone guitars by serial number merge brought the two powerful brand names under one umbrella.
Ina second purchase occurred. During each of these transitions, there were also changes made to how the instruments were labeled, which is part of the reason why the serial identification process is so confusing. Image via: Pixabay. When trying to date your vintage Epiphone or Gibson instrument, the most accurate way to do it is by decoding the serial.
Because there is not a single, central database for any of the models manufactured prior toyou have to dig deep into the code to figure out from where and when it originated. If it Dating epiphone guitars by serial number manufactured afterthe process is easy. A serial not only confirms the authenticity of your guitar but can impact the value. If, for example, you have a Gibson Explorer that was made from toyou have one of the few models produced in that period.
If it was manufactured afterthe build date is included in the sequence. The first and fifth ifies the year it was built, and the second, third, and fourth are the day of the year. For example, if the first five digits of your eight-digit serial arethen you know that the guitar was made on the th day of the year in The sixth in the modern sequence will tell you the batch, and the last three indicate the rolling production.
Unfortunately, prior to the system instituted inthe process is anything but simple to decipher. There are entire books written on how to decipher your Epiphone serial sequence, but here we will outline the basics of what you need to know based on year ranges that have commonalities. In the first two years, andEpiphone die-stamped the serial on the inside of the back of their instruments.
Beginning inthey moved the Dating epiphone guitars by serial number directly onto the label itself. This sequence begins in with theand the last documented serial in this series is When Epiphone launched the Electar line inthey also began using a new system for serial s on their electric instruments.
Inthere were some shakeups inside of Epiphone which resulted in the creation of a new ing system. Most ificantly, Epi died, and his widow gave up her shares which opened the door to a financial restructuring of the company. At the same time, the new shareholders decided to change some of their production methods which had a direct impact on their inventory. This, in turn, affected the ing scheme.
This is one of the many spans of time where there is a ificant amount of grey area around dating the serial on your instrument. We know that from tothe manufacturer introduced a two-digit prefix in front of the actual three-digit production of all of its electric models. However, there is no data that tells us how many guitars were made each year, which makes it impossible to pinpoint an estimated date the instrument was manufactured. InEpiphone transitioned their electric models to the same five-digit ing scheme as their acoustic models.
Beginning with inand ending with the last known New-York made model, the Epi Zephyr, After Epiphone and Gibson merged under the same umbrella, Gibson started following their lead and placing serial s on their guitars. During this time period, they ink stamped the digits on the back of the peghead and used the last of the year as the first in the serial sequence on their solid body models.
For example, inthe first digit in the serial is 8. Inthe first was 0. From toGibson branded guitars used a different ing series than Epiphone. Inall of the guitars produced that were not part of the A-Series by both Gibson and Epiphone followed the same serial series. The manufacturers stamped it on the top backside of the peghead. The sequence begins with serial inand bythe six-digit code emerges. During that year, all started with the zero, and by the companies were up to Notably, from tothey made an adjustment to differentiate between the low and high-end models.
In that span, guitars ed between to were lower quality. Then, inthey changed things up and used the sequence to to denote the more expensive, high-end guitars.
There are many variations of serial s, and it can sometimes be difficult to decipher the code. In the Gibson forumstheir support staff has broken down all of the possibilities for you and tried to help make sense of it. They share the four distinct formats, as well as a full list of factory later and codes, and special deations found on the Les Paul models.
We may also earn commissions on purchases from other retail websites. What is the History of Epiphone and Gibson? What is an Epiphone Serial. How do Serial s Affect Value? Serial s from to Epiphone Acoustic Guitars — to Epiphone Electric Instruments — to Epiphone Electric Guitars — to Epiphone Acoustic and Electric Guitars — to Gibson Solid Body Guitars — to Gibson Hollowbody Guitars A Series — to Gibson and Epiphone Guitars — to Modern Day Serial s.
Serial s From To Epiphone Acoustic Guitars — To Epiphone Electric Instruments — To Dating epiphone guitars by serial number range from into in The new serials began at 50, in and ended at 59, in Epiphone Electric Guitars — To Gibson Solid Body Guitars — To Beginning with A inthis series goes to A in Gibson And Epiphone Guitars — To Additional Resources.
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