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Dean Back to top of Every Dean guitar made in United States comes with a seven digit serial that is printed on the back of the hetock some 90s models may be stamped on the fretboard. First two s in the sequence are the last two digits of the production year. If you see a seven digit serial on the back of a Dean guitar, you can be sure that it was produced in United States.
Dean's more affordable line made outside the US may require looking at features and hardware and some knowledge of the line. The following two digits indicate year, then two-digit month, then production . Here the serial is decoded as:. Epiphone Back to top of Below appear some of the serial schemes that an Epiphone serial can use. Happy hunting! Pre productions also frequently omit the factory letter codes and appeared as all digits, e.
A single digit month of manufacture may occur for some and earlier models. The ranking may consist of any of digits. The new "F" models are made in China. The system uses running model s rather than a dedicated code for year, month, and place of manufacture. They were made by Terada and usually have an Orange Epiphone label. So the serial "" would indicate a guitar produced the 2nd day of November in OR and was the th guitar off the production line. Like some other serial schemes, this one may require you to know something about the ESP guitars of the period because the "Y" digit could mean multiple years.
For example, an "8" can indicate or Also note, some guitars may omit a leading zero. For example day "02" could be "2," and thus the serial would be only 7 digits long. Last, some older ESPs may have no stamped serial. You can check the neck, neck pocket, or even pickup cavity for a written serial.
For example, serial "K" would indicate a guitar made at the Kiso Factory in in the 44th week of the year on a Tuesday and being the 99th guitar off the line. Factory deations include:. Some other things to note. Bolt-on guitars may have a 5-digit code stamped on the neck plate but because of materials being used inconsistently at the ESP factories these s cannot be trusted. Check the neck and neck pocket for a date. Fender Back to top of . Fender is notorious for being a little tricky. This is partially due to their production methods, which often involved using parts throughout different models and years, so that tracing the year of one part may not accurately indicate the production year of the instrument.
If you're not averse to removing the neck on a guitar, Fender often wrote a date on the heel of the neck, as well as a date in the neck pocket. This method can often clear up a situation where the serial is inconclusive. Pot codes may also point you to a general date range, but don't expect them to always be accurate. So to get right into it:. A , usually 5 to 7 digits long, follows the letter and helps to further identify the year.
There is known overlap between years, and looking at the date on the neck heel should be more accurate. Note: US Vintage series starting in onward begins with a "V". You must remove neck to accurately date those.
Made in Korea Serials may or may not have letter prefix. Below are random tidbits that may help you date yours. You should find two stamped dates--one in the neck pocket and one of the butt of the neck. In Sept. Then in Feb. All the Tribute Models have the build year and month coded in the serial .
Gibson Back to top of . NOTE: Detailed info appears below on early Gibsons, but to save you time, the paragraph in bold below covers most Gibsons dated to present:. In , Gibson began a steady and reliable ing scheme, in which, the first and fifth digits of the serial indicate the last two digits of the production year. For example, , means production year The FONs appear below followed by serial s. After that, a much more complex table from that may take you further. Note, this is one of the most convoluted Gibson periods, and your serial may indicate more than one possible year.
At that point, observing your model's features and comparing to other examples will be helpful. Note: Read the detailed table carefully. You will find that some years appear several times with various serial ranges. However, two de changes make it fairly easy to pinpoint a post Gibson. After you'll see a "volute" on the back of the neck where it meets the hetock. It's basically a little bump of extra wood to help prevent hetocks from snapping off the neck.
Second, starting in , "Made in USA" is stamped on the back of the hetock below the serial. Basically the first and fifth digits of the serial will indicate the year. Though serial info is scarce on the web, I found info on two websites: jedistar. There are three distinct periods in Godin's serial ing: Pre The serial will be six or seven digits. Six-digit serials will not help you date the guitar and you must contact Godin for help info godinguitars. Info provided from a quoted Godin company does not give any more info on how this digit indicates year, and it seems more research is needed.
First two digits indicate production year. Third and fourth are production week. If you don't want your brain to hurt, I suggest stopping right here, otherwise read the following paragraph for more detail. Now stay with me--this is confusing. To more exactly figure your Godin's production date, you should know Godin's production year runs from August 1 to July of the following year. So as an example, a serial such as starts with "06"--a guitar, right? Well, not so quick. So this actually indicates the guitar was made five weeks after August 1, pointing to a September production date!
If you don't want to ring Robert Godin's neck right now you are a saint. Moving on, the serial 's next digit indicates it was made on a Wednesday, and the final three digits that it was the th guitar made that week. Post Godin switched to a digit serial in late , and those serial s give no information on production date. The first six digits are the SKU for the guitar's model. The seventh digit indicates if it is a factory second "0" means not factory second, while "9" is a second. The last five digits are the production of that model since the switch to the digit serial format.
Gretsch Back to top of - to Pre-war 10xx to 20xx Approximately 20xxxx Approximately 30xx to 40xx Approximately 40xx to 50xx Approximately 50xx to 70xx Approximately 70xx to 90xx 90xx to xx xx to xx xx to xx xx to xx Note: serial s from were misplaced and later turned up, with original 'style labels, in Note: the misplaced serial s, as well as some odd four-digit serial s, show up in , during the transition to the date-coded system in mid-' Notes on early era: - serials will be written in pencil inside guitar body.
May be faded or illegible. In one thousand serial no. This known anomaly can be solved by observing attributes of the given year. Date-coded serial s are typically found stamped on the back or top of the hetock, and "Made in USA" is stamped next to the starting in June Example 1: should be February 2 , 7 and the th instrument made that month.
Example 2: would indicate a guitar made in November 11 of 8 that was the th made that month. For example, would be March 3 , 8 and the 94th guitar made that month. The next digit is the month The next three digits are the model , without the 6 at the beginning. The final s are the sequential order of the model made during the lifespan of the model not that year. Example: A serial of tells us this guitar was made in during the month of August 8 and is a G model , the th to be produced during the Revival Era.
Unfortunately, these guitars followed no clear ing system and appeared on a sticker on the back of the hetock and were often lost. Some believe that the first digit may denote the year, but this pertains only to pre-Fender Korean-made guitars. The Fender-era 51xx guitars follow the normal Fender ing scheme. Example: A serial of JT tells us the guitar was made at the Japan Terada factory JT in 04 during the month of February 02 as the 1,th Gretsch guitar made at the factory that year.
Below we outline a simple way to narrow down the date range of an acoustic Guild. The easy way to narrow down the period your Guild acoustic was produced is by the label, which is located inside the soundhole and should have both the model and serial . From to Guild used a label that showed a white guitar body on a black background. From to , the label is known as the "ghost label" due to its image of a ghost-like character wearing a bowtie and playing a guitar.
From to , the "Oval G-Shield" label is oval, tan colored and says "Guarantee" in large letters. Likewise, from to , the label is oval shaped, but has "Guild" printed in large script lettering at the top. It may also say "Guarantee" up till , but the large "Guild" clearly separates it from the Oval G-Shield label. Hagstrom Back to top of . Not a lot is known about Hagstrom serial s. From different sources I've read that they are often six digits with the first three s indicating the production run and the last three the in that run. The production run can narrow down the year produced but only if you have the mythical Hagstrom book that apparently Hagstrom does not allow to be reproduced.
Later Hagstrom instruments added the prefix "53" to their serial s, but the final six digits still have the same information. So serial : , indicates production run and the th instrument produced in that run. If the serial was , it would still indicate the same information. There is a gentleman on the Canadian Guitar Forum who seems to have the Hagstrom book and as of late was still answering posters questions about their vintage Hagstroms. All this serial information pertains to Hagstroms built in Sweden between and the early 80s.
Re-issues after that time will be different and we've seen no info on their serials. Hamer Back to top of The Hamerfanclub website is a great resource that includes info on all the models ever produced. Early Hamer guitars starting in employed a 4-digit serial impressed into the wood on the rear of the hetock.
The 4-digit s ran from to the early s and were reserved for early Standard models, basses and other custom instruments. Starting in with the "Sunburst" models, Hamer used a different system using five or six digits for "production" instruments. There was a space between the first and second digits until some point in The first digit indicates the last digit of the year it was built, with the final s indicating sequentially the order of production.
For example, serial : 7 was the second guitar built in Serial 0 is a built guitar and the th built. By , serial s were again being impressed into the wood of the hetock. Serial ing sequence by decade approximate : s: 7 - 9 s: 0 - 9 s: 0 - 9 0 - 4Dating japanese jackson guitars
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The Serial () Bowl: Date Your Guitar or Bass