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Serial #'s What good are they???

#1 User is offline   justjoshin 

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Posted 07 February 2019 - 03:47 PM

So I have noticed a few threads on here where people are having a tough time figuring out what a guitar is from Gibson. The local GC has a 2016 LP Gold Top that I was interested in that has a "Traditional" truss rod cover installed, but a buddy of mine says it is actually a Traditional Pro model. I sent the serial # to Gibson customer service to see if they could give me any info and they replied with nothing. The reply wanted the serial # (already sent it???), pictures, and to open up the guitar and inspect to any writing.... [thumbdn] What is the purpose of the serial #??? Might as well stamp the year and call it good if they do not have a database with the info. I work in a field where the serial # is used to pull up all of the info for a product within minutes of the request, and this is just hard for me to understand.
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#2 User is offline   Twang Gang 

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Posted 07 February 2019 - 03:57 PM

It is a little hard to understand, but this has been going on with Gibson serial numbers for decades. They never stuck with one method where one digit meant the model, and another meant the year and another meant the finish or features. Over the years the meaning of serial numbers has changed several times.

A truss rod cover means nothing as they are so easily changed.

There are some pretty good books out explaining the various serial numbers and what they stand for. I apologize as I don't recall the authors or names of the books, but there are some good references outside of Gibson itself. Do some internet searching and I bet you can find out (almost for sure) the info you seek.
2017 Custom Shop 356 Mahogany/Maple Antique Natural
2017 Les Paul Standard T Honeyburst
2013 L5-CES Natural (Maple/Spruce)
2013 Les Paul Custom Lite (Mahogany/Maple) Ebony
2007 Taylor Solid Body Custom (Sapele/Walnut)
2018 Taylor 814 CE DLX (Rosewood/Spruce)
1981 Ovation Balladeer
1963 Walthari Mittenwald Classical
Rivera Venus 6 (1 X 12)Combo
Blackstar HT-5R (1 X 10) Combo
AER Compact 60-2
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#3 User is offline   Black Dog 

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Posted 07 February 2019 - 04:18 PM

I have wondered that myself. It doesn't seem to make sense. They have an electronic ordering and production system. It would not make sense that they would not save any of that data. They have also been using RFID chips for some time, not sure exactly how long.

It's so odd that I have wondered if they are not giving out detailed info about a given SN because they are afraid of a counterfeiter trying to copy it?? I know that's a real stretch, but it has crossed my mind.
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#4 User is offline   Wmachine 

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Posted 07 February 2019 - 07:33 PM

View Postjustjoshin, on 07 February 2019 - 03:47 PM, said:

So I have noticed a few threads on here where people are having a tough time figuring out what a guitar is from Gibson. The local GC has a 2016 LP Gold Top that I was interested in that has a "Traditional" truss rod cover installed, but a buddy of mine says it is actually a Traditional Pro model. I sent the serial # to Gibson customer service to see if they could give me any info and they replied with nothing. The reply wanted the serial # (already sent it???), pictures, and to open up the guitar and inspect to any writing.... [thumbdn] What is the purpose of the serial #??? Might as well stamp the year and call it good if they do not have a database with the info. I work in a field where the serial # is used to pull up all of the info for a product within minutes of the request, and this is just hard for me to understand.
Quite honestly, the experience you relate does not make any sense. For quite a few years back, they do have a database and should know whar it is by serial number. I've done that often.

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#5 User is offline   kidblast 

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Posted 13 February 2019 - 01:00 PM

Well, no one in this bizz sticks to the same format serial numbers,, not just Gibson. People complain quite a lot about Fender serial numbers. It's just an artifact of time and lessons learned.

Some one has the information, you just gotta find the source.. sounds nutty, yea.. but it's the way things go.

This post has been edited by kidblast: 13 February 2019 - 01:01 PM

/Ray
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#6 User is offline   pippy 

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Posted 13 February 2019 - 02:00 PM

View Postjustjoshin, on 07 February 2019 - 03:47 PM, said:

...What is the purpose of the serial #???...

So you can photograph your guitar with it and report it to the authorities - and anywhere else such as here - if the guitar ever gets stolen?

Pip.
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