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Epiphone acoustic! any idea of year of manufacture?

#1 User is offline   stoney07 

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Posted 20 March 2017 - 02:18 PM

I have recently purchased a Epiphone 12 string acoustic. The model number inside says FR212. I have looked everywhere for this model with no success! also the serial number is 86030217. I hope someone out there can throw some light on this! many thanks! Steve

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  • Attached Image: C7Y0I_wU4AAB4LC.jpg

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#2 User is offline   QuestionMark 

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Posted 20 March 2017 - 09:02 PM

 stoney07, on 20 March 2017 - 02:18 PM, said:

I have recently purchased a Epiphone 12 string acoustic. The model number inside says FR212. I have looked everywhere for this model with no success! also the serial number is 86030217. I hope someone out there can throw some light on this! many thanks! Steve


My best guess would be the early 80s. Gibson had moved to Nashville from Kalamazoo circa that time and their Epiphones were being made in Japan at that time as the label indicates.

QM aka Jazzman Jeff
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#3 User is offline   stoney07 

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Posted 20 March 2017 - 11:34 PM

View PostQuestionMark, on 20 March 2017 - 09:02 PM, said:

My best guess would be the early 80s. Gibson had moved to Nashville from Kalamazoo circa that time and their Epiphones were being made in Japan at that time as the label indicates.

QM aka Jazzman Jeff

Thanks Jazzman Jeff! really appreciate the help [thumbup]
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#4 User is offline   Remellick 

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Posted 21 March 2017 - 08:39 PM

Actually Epiphone production left my home town of Kalamazoo 1969-1970. There is a serial number decoder project and an unofficial epiphone wiki website packed with answer like to the questions you are asking.
You'll learn the blue label debacle like the blue labels that say just made in Kalamazoo, some with that plus "union made" in the bottom left corner, some with those two things and "made in Japan" in the bottom right and then there are some with made in kalamazoo AND "made in Japan in the bottom right and nothing in the bottom left side... then after all of those blue label (made in Kalamazoo) stickers ran out I think is when the Norlin (sp) brown square stickers started being put on.. there is a period before or after the use of big brown Norlin (sp) when serial numbering was all messed up, a production move to Korea happened as well as a short production run out west anyway... a hodge podge of stickers was put in epiphones over the years. So stickers like in your picture could be Japan or Korea or ?
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#5 User is offline   Scootch 

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Posted 24 March 2017 - 10:35 AM

Nothing even mentioned for an EPi FR212 in the Wiki or web.

I wonder if it's another makers model they slapped a sticker on for a short run? Or for a special sell, like a this store only model.

I have a Sigma like that. It's a Yamaha with a Sigma label on it.



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#6 User is offline   stoney07 

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Posted 24 March 2017 - 11:09 PM

View PostScootch, on 24 March 2017 - 10:35 AM, said:

Nothing even mentioned for an EPi FR212 in the Wiki or web.

I wonder if it's another makers model they slapped a sticker on for a short run? Or for a special sell, like a this store only model.

I have a Sigma like that. It's a Yamaha with a Sigma label on it.

This is the actual Guitar! any info Attached Image: C7vT-zyVUAAVk2J.jpgwould be greatly appreciated.
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#7 User is offline   L8_4thesh0w 

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Posted 25 March 2017 - 12:51 AM

Looks like Remellick and Scootch are both right.

This is all there is about it from the Epiphone serial key:

"The Aria Epiphone Japan models that were made by Matsumoku from the early 1970s and ending before 1987 do not
have a reliable serial numbering system but can be approximately dated using their Epiphone label colours.

Blue label: early 1970s-1980
Light brown label: 1980-1985
Brown label: 1985-1987"
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#8 User is offline   bobouz 

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Posted 26 March 2017 - 02:21 AM

The first two digits of the serial number most likely indicate the year of manufacture..... 1986.
>Gibsons: '22 "A" Mandolin / '66 ES 125T / '90 Tennessean / '00 J-100 Xtra
'02 J-45 Rosewood / '02 SG Faded-moon / '06 ES 335 / '09 ES 339
'10 ES 330L / '11 ES 335-P90s / '12 ES 330 VOS / '12 LP Special
'12 J-185 / '13 LG2-AE / '13 Midtown Kalamazoo / '14 J-15
>Epis: '66 FT45n Cortez / '00 AIUSA-John Lee Hooker 1964 Sheraton
'05 McCartney-Elitist 1964 Texan / '09 Elitist Casino / '13 EL-00 Pro
>Guilds: '73 F-30R / '74 F-40 / '76 G-37 / '92 D-6 / '94 JF-30 / '14 A-150b
>Martins: '00 OOO-16 / '01 Custom Rosewood D / >Ibanez: '81 M-340
>Breedlove: '10 American Series OO Mandolin
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#9 User is offline   the other side 

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Posted 26 March 2017 - 10:19 AM

According to the Epiphone Dater Project serial number decoder: 86030217
Shows to be made in "Korea"
March 1986
Production number 217

It appears it only supports serial numbers from 1932 thru 1970. Ser#s from 70's to 80's, made in Japan, are not supported because there is no reliable documentation available. I'm just going by what I read on the site. Hope this helps. I ran my 2012 epi bird and it only shows serial # support and country of origin.
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