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Can anyone ID my guitar? Help ID Gibson model

#1 User is offline   StevieCtree 

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Posted 28 February 2018 - 05:40 PM

Hey friends,
Can anyone help ID my guitar? I've asked the Service guys at Gibson, but they couldn't ID the model. I bought it second-hand in 1983 in the UK when I was 16. It is a Les Paul single cut shape, mahogany body & neck, sprayed black, but no maple cap, no binding, no scratchplate. 2 covered humbuckers with black plastic surrounds, 4 'speed' knobs (2 vol/2 tone), white capped 3-way toggle for pick-up selection located behind bridge and a black capped 2-way toggle for active circuit towards rear near strap button. Jack input on face of body near volume knob. Rosewood fretboard has pearl dot inlays. Bevelled black on white truss rod cover is blank. Gold Gibson logo, but no model name on headstock. Rear of headstock in centre is stamped Made in USA. There are 2 serial numbers. The 1st 80280248 has a 2nd superimposed over it 80980088, so I deduce it was made in 1980 at the Kalamazoo factory. Tuners have Gibson logo on backs. Bolt-on neck has metal neckplate. 2 covers on rear of body, smaller one is to access 9v battery to power active circuit. Guitar came in a rectangle dark brown 'leather' covered hard case, lined with red fluffy material, with Gibson USA in gold lettering on front. Years ago some guitar shop employee said he thought it could be a Sonex, someone else said The Paul. I tried adding photo but file size too big - sorry. Be glad if someone can positively ID the model.
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#2 User is offline   Johnny 6 String 

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Posted 28 February 2018 - 11:49 PM

View PostStevieCtree, on 28 February 2018 - 05:40 PM, said:

Hey friends,
Can anyone help ID my guitar? I've asked the Service guys at Gibson, but they couldn't ID the model. I bought it second-hand in 1983 in the UK when I was 16. It is a Les Paul single cut shape, mahogany body & neck, sprayed black, but no maple cap, no binding, no scratchplate. 2 covered humbuckers with black plastic surrounds, 4 'speed' knobs (2 vol/2 tone), white capped 3-way toggle for pick-up selection located behind bridge and a black capped 2-way toggle for active circuit towards rear near strap button. Jack input on face of body near volume knob. Rosewood fretboard has pearl dot inlays. Bevelled black on white truss rod cover is blank. Gold Gibson logo, but no model name on headstock. Rear of headstock in centre is stamped Made in USA. There are 2 serial numbers. The 1st 80280248 has a 2nd superimposed over it 80980088, so I deduce it was made in 1980 at the Kalamazoo factory. Tuners have Gibson logo on backs. Bolt-on neck has metal neckplate. 2 covers on rear of body, smaller one is to access 9v battery to power active circuit. Guitar came in a rectangle dark brown 'leather' covered hard case, lined with red fluffy material, with Gibson USA in gold lettering on front. Years ago some guitar shop employee said he thought it could be a Sonex, someone else said The Paul. I tried adding photo but file size too big - sorry. Be glad if someone can positively ID the model.



Hey Stevie;

First thought was an Invader
https://reverb.com/c...ader-black-1984

Most Sonnex I remember had pick guards, but found one that didn't, Artist version, there may have been others.
http://greenwichguit...on-sonex-artist

Not sure that's much help, but its all I got.

Pics will help, other guys here are know their stuff and can probably nail it down for you.

Johnny
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#3 User is offline   pippy 

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Posted 01 March 2018 - 03:24 AM

Pictures would definitely help an awful lot.
It does sound a bit like an Invader but with an active circuit!?!

View PostStevieCtree, on 28 February 2018 - 05:40 PM, said:

...I tried adding photo but file size too big - sorry...


Try the following.
First try to get your image a reasonable size. 30cm x 20cm @72dpi or thereabouts. Probably 500 - 900kb.
Set up an account with a picture hosting site. FWIW I use postimage. It's easy to use and it's free. Here's the relevant link.

https://postimages.org/

When you have uploaded the image you will see a screen selection showing various options. Click on the one titled 'Hotlink for Forums'..
By way of illustration, image uploaded is seen top left. Click Hotlink for Forums (here circled green);

Posted Image

Paste the code into your post. If you delete everything in the opening and closing square brackets sections - including the brackets - the image will be posted 'cleanly'.
Like this;

Posted Image

Hope this helps!

Pip.

This post has been edited by pippy: 01 March 2018 - 03:28 AM

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#4 User is offline   StevieCtree 

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Posted 01 March 2018 - 04:20 PM

View Postpippy, on 01 March 2018 - 03:24 AM, said:

Pictures would definitely help an awful lot.
It does sound a bit like an Invader but with an active circuit!?!



Try the following.
First try to get your image a reasonable size. 30cm x 20cm @72dpi or thereabouts. Probably 500 - 900kb.
Set up an account with a picture hosting site. FWIW I use postimage. It's easy to use and it's free. Here's the relevant link.

https://postimages.org/

When you have uploaded the image you will see a screen selection showing various options. Click on the one titled 'Hotlink for Forums'..
By way of illustration, image uploaded is seen top left. Click Hotlink for Forums (here circled green);

Posted Image

Paste the code into your post. If you delete everything in the opening and closing square brackets sections - including the brackets - the image will be posted 'cleanly'.
Like this;

Posted Image

Hope this helps!

Pip.


Thanks Pip, I'm new to the forum so this info a great help. Will hopefully get pics up soon.
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#5 User is offline   StevieCtree 

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Posted 01 March 2018 - 04:31 PM

Hey guys. Thanks for looking at my post. After struggling to load photos, Pip helped with some great instructions in his reply. Link to photos on Postimage is https://postimg.org/gallery/2i53fg86o/
Photos show front, rear, close up front headstock and close up rear headstock of the serial numbers (one is superimposed over the other). Hope these pics help. Cheers
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#6 User is offline   StevieCtree 

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Posted 01 March 2018 - 04:50 PM

View PostJohnny 6 String, on 28 February 2018 - 11:49 PM, said:

Hey Stevie;

First thought was an Invader
https://reverb.com/c...ader-black-1984

Most Sonnex I remember had pick guards, but found one that didn't, Artist version, there may have been others.
http://greenwichguit...on-sonex-artist

Not sure that's much help, but its all I got.

Pics will help, other guys here are know their stuff and can probably nail it down for you.

Johnny


Hi Johnny,

Thanks for the info. Both the Invader and Artist look similar, but if the serial numbers are correct, my guitar was made in 1980, so pre-dates these two models. I've uploaded some photos via Postimage so hopefully these will help. Someone thought it was some type of Sonex, and said there were 4 models. Pretty sure it's not a 180 Deluxe and the Artist wasn't introduced till 1981 (according to Wikipedia), so that narrows it down to a Standard or a Custom - both of which had Dirty Fingers pickups with a coil tap switch (possibly the black 2-way toggle). Cheers
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#7 User is offline   Jeffytune 

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Posted 01 March 2018 - 05:09 PM

The first serial number 80280248
Serial: 80280248
Built in: 28-jan-1980 (serial: 248) (Manufactured in Kalamazoo)

The second one: 80980088
Serial: 80980088,
Built in: 07-apr-1980 (serial: 088,) (Manufactured in Kalamazoo)

Either way, I believe you have a 1980 guitar, and that makes since because the 1983 catalog does not show the Sonex line, but several models in 1980.
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#8 User is offline   pippy 

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Posted 02 March 2018 - 02:57 AM

Posted Image

It's a Gibson GK-55 Artist Active...apparently.
I must admit that I'd never heard of it before but anything with active circuitry from those days used to be a XXXXXXX Artist so I did a google and subsequently found a few images of instruments identical to yours including this eBay post;

https://www.ebay.com...s-/152918084010

Unusually for the time it was made (as JeffyTune has already mentioned) in the old Gibson plant in Kalamazoo and not Nashville. I'm guessing the name comes from Gibson Kalamazoo 1955 because the guitar has a certain similarity to the flat-top two p'up Les Paul Special which was introduced in 1955?

EDIT : OK. There's no wiki entry specifically for the Artist Active variant but here is what Wiki has to say about the (basic) GK-55 model;

https://en.wikipedia...ki/Gibson_GK-55

Although this basic version might have been pretty much down at the bottom of the pecking order the active electronics in yours makes it of considerable more interest and, as can be seen in the Wiki entry, this will be a pretty rare guitar nowadays - and probably VERY rare if the notoriously unreliable Moog electronics are still fully-functioning...

All-in-all quite a cool instrument to own!

Posted Image

Pip.

This post has been edited by pippy: 02 March 2018 - 03:28 AM

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#9 User is offline   StevieCtree 

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Posted 16 March 2018 - 04:21 PM

View Postpippy, on 02 March 2018 - 02:57 AM, said:

Posted Image

It's a Gibson GK-55 Artist Active...apparently.
I must admit that I'd never heard of it before but anything with active circuitry from those days used to be a XXXXXXX Artist so I did a google and subsequently found a few images of instruments identical to yours including this eBay post;

https://www.ebay.com...s-/152918084010

Unusually for the time it was made (as JeffyTune has already mentioned) in the old Gibson plant in Kalamazoo and not Nashville. I'm guessing the name comes from Gibson Kalamazoo 1955 because the guitar has a certain similarity to the flat-top two p'up Les Paul Special which was introduced in 1955?

EDIT : OK. There's no wiki entry specifically for the Artist Active variant but here is what Wiki has to say about the (basic) GK-55 model;

https://en.wikipedia...ki/Gibson_GK-55

Although this basic version might have been pretty much down at the bottom of the pecking order the active electronics in yours makes it of considerable more interest and, as can be seen in the Wiki entry, this will be a pretty rare guitar nowadays - and probably VERY rare if the notoriously unreliable Moog electronics are still fully-functioning...

All-in-all quite a cool instrument to own!

Posted Image

Pip, cheers for all the info - appreciate your great work to get an ID on my guitar. Still works great and even though I also have a 335, Custom Shop Goldtop and Custom Shop SG, it's priceless as it was my 1st guitar! Cheers, Stevie

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#10 User is offline   pippy 

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Posted 16 March 2018 - 05:59 PM

Happy to have been able to help, Stevie.
I learned a lot, too, so it was a Win-Win-fest.

Pip.
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