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Help Verifying 1975 LP Deluxe

#1 User is offline   AboutK 

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Posted 01 December 2017 - 07:14 AM

I have recently come across what is being purported as a 1975 Gibson LP Deluxe. Played a 70s LP Deluxe many years ago but couldn't afford it at the time and it has been a modest regret of mine ever since. So when I noticed this one up for sale, I gave it a test drive. From a sound and feel perspective everything checks out. But the inconsistencies of that Gibson era always give me pause. So first time poster here, coming to this group for help. Here's what I know...

- wine red, pancake body
- I didn't think to look when I tested, but did not notice a volute
- original mini HB in neck position (though previous owner replaced bridge pup)
- serial number is 6-digits beginning 321XXX
- does NOT have "Made in the USA" stamp

Now the six digit SN beginning with a 3 along with pancake body would suggest 1975 based on everything I've read. But the missing of MITUSA stamp and volute all make this one a puzzler. Could it actually be older than that? It definitely feels and plays like the real deal but I was hoping this group had a suggestion for verifying the authenticity. Is the serial numbering and the lack of stamp consistent or at least a reasonable possibility for the era?

Thanks in advance!
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#2 User is offline   Grog 

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Posted 01 December 2017 - 07:44 AM

If it were a '75, it would have an oval decal on the back of the headstock 8 digit number starting with a 99. The decal would have the model and "Made in USA" on it. It likely would have a maple neck. It's possible that it's a very early "75, but it would have a volute & the "Made in USA" stamp. If you get a chance, unscrew the plate behind the pots & see if one of the pot codes are readable. it should say something like 1377512. 137=CTS, 75=Year & 12=week of year that the pot was produced. If it's one of the later weeks in 1974, that would make sense. The pot codes are usually, but not always close to a few months before the guitar was finished & one of many factors to consider when dating a guitar. If the pots were changed, it doesn't help.
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#3 User is offline   AboutK 

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Posted 01 December 2017 - 08:29 AM

View PostGrog, on 01 December 2017 - 07:44 AM, said:

If it were a '75, it would have an oval decal on the back of the headstock 8 digit number starting with a 99. The decal would have the model and "Made in USA" on it. It likely would have a maple neck. It's possible that it's a very early "75, but it would have a volute & the "Made in USA" stamp. If you get a chance, unscrew the plate behind the pots & see if one of the pot codes are readable. it should say something like 1377512. 137=CTS, 75=Year & 12=week of year that the pot was produced. If it's one of the later weeks in 1974, that would make sense. The pot codes are usually, but not always close to a few months before the guitar was finished & one of many factors to consider when dating a guitar. If the pots were changed, it doesn't help.


thanks. super helpful. I will check out the pots when I go back today. My plan is to pick it up after further inspection of things. I will say the only thing that confused me about what you said is that '75 Gibsons have 8-digit SNs. I read (link below) that they were still using 6-digits in 74 and 75. But the same document also said they started stamping MITUSA on them in 1970. I will definitely look at the pots (assuming original).

http://archive.gibso...RIALNUMBERS.pdf

Thanks!
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#4 User is offline   Grog 

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Posted 01 December 2017 - 11:18 AM

View PostAboutK, on 01 December 2017 - 08:29 AM, said:

thanks. super helpful. I will check out the pots when I go back today. My plan is to pick it up after further inspection of things. I will say the only thing that confused me about what you said is that '75 Gibsons have 8-digit SNs. I read (link below) that they were still using 6-digits in 74 and 75. But the same document also said they started stamping MITUSA on them in 1970. I will definitely look at the pots (assuming original).

http://archive.gibso...RIALNUMBERS.pdf

Thanks!


The six digit serial number was replaced sometime in 1975 with an oval decal with an eight digit serial number. These only lasted three years. Starting with 99=1975, 00=1976 & 06=1977. Sometime in 1977 they switched to a stamped eight digit serial number. The six digit serial numbers prior to the oval decals can be the most confusing to try to date. Here is a pic of the pot codes for my 1969 LP Deluxe.


Posted ImagePosted Image
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#5 User is offline   AboutK 

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Posted 01 December 2017 - 11:36 AM

Thanks for the great direction. Agree, the information on this era is inconsistent at best but I'm pretty confident now on how to proceed. Most important thing I guess is that it plays well and feels right (which it does), and that I'm getting a fair deal for it (which is why I came to you guys). Thanks so much for the help!
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