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About JimR56

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  1. This chart is useful to a point, but it's a bit general and overly simplified. There are more variations, and some of the differences can be subtle. At any rate, the biggest problem with this chart has to do with the logo at middle left ("1933-1947"). Some guitars with this basic logo design featured it in pearl, and some in white silkscreen (painted). Most had it in a horizontal position (no slant), but some did feature a slight slant. This leads me to your L-7, and the fact that your logo is fairly rare and unique. The pearl "slanted script", as it's often referred to only appeared for a short time, with 1947 being the year it was most used. Here's another chart with a bit more detail:
  2. The "C" in "TDC" stands for "Cherry" (red)(finish). The sunburst finish appears original, so...??? I have never encountered that type of stamp on the back of the headstock. Clearly the guitar had a vibrato tailpiece at one time, but these modifications are very (very) common, so no real worries there. I would want to find out whether the pickups are original or replaced, so along with the other question marks surrounding this guitar, a visit to a reputable vintage guitar shop might be a good idea.
  3. I'm far more familiar with archtops than flat-tops, and have never owned a banner logo Gibson. I tried to research this a bit, and the only mention I was able to locate online was that the use of decals began around 1954 (not clear whether they were referring specifically to banner decals as well as "Gibson" logos). Anyway, I wonder whether we ought to request more photos of this guitar from Rah67123, just to be sure what guitar we're discussing. I completely agree with this.
  4. Hi Trey, that's a great looking guitar. From what I can see in your photos, it looks like one of the cleanest examples of this model that I've ever seen. I've never owned one, or even seen one in person, but based on research I think it's what's known as a "Wartime Special". WWII, that is. The black finish and the red pencil suffix on the factory order number both point to this. The white Gibson "script" headstock logo also indicates an earlier date than what you thought. By 1948, Gibson had transitioned to their more modern logo. Anyway, dating these things precisely has proven to be somewhat tricky, as company records for the war years are difficult to sort out. We have analyzed similar guitars on this forum in the past, so I would recommend browsing through these discussions: https://forum.gibson.com/topic/155262-very-old-acoustic-i-think-please-help/ https://forum.gibson.com/topic/155031-need-help-identifying-ww2-gibson-from-my-grandpa/ More general info about dating old Gibsons can be found here: http://www.guitarhq.com/gibson.html#serial Also, here's a link to a google books page where various black Gibson special models are listed by type and date: https://books.google.com/books?id=sgeZ_cISRpAC&pg=PA143&lpg=PA143&dq=gibson+%22wartime+special%22&source=bl&ots=nBtR05Tz61&sig=ACfU3U3wgxKjdVlfyqHWTuhbYkyZzDa7EQ&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwiayuHqt9nlAhVUnp4KHXamAYkQ6AEwEHoECAkQAQ#v=onepage&q=gibson%20%22wartime%20special%22&f=false
  5. I agree with you, the photos can be deceiving. Most of all, they just shouldn't be using the word "Dark" in their description of the finish color.
  6. Congratulations on your first Gibson. 330's have been under-appreciated for so long, and it's nice to see them getting more attention in recent years. I've been a Gibson player for over 40 years, and I've seen a lot of cherry red Gibsons (and have owned several), and I would never ever call this finish "dark cherry". That doesn't mean it's not attractive, it just means it's not "dark cherry". But I'm no longer that surprised by anything I see from Gibson these days.
  7. I have no opinion on AA vs AAA, and wouldn't even bother to think about that if I were buying one. The bottom line is, everyone has their preferences, but to my eye that's lovely flame. Not cookie cutter. It has character, and it looks like it could be a vintage LP (even though it's not). Congrats!
  8. Hi Zack, Wow, what a great guitar to have inherited. Your Byrdland dates to the spring of 1960, during the golden era of Gibson. Both your serial number (the "A" series number) and your factory order number (FON, beginning with "R") confirm this. More info about serial numbers and dating Gibson guitars can be found here: http://www.guitarhq.com/gibson.html#serial Your Byrdland is rare compared to some models, but not really the rarest of the rare. Gibson produced about 50 sunburst finished Byrdlands per year between 1955 and 1965. So they are out there. Not the hardest model to find, but they were a high end model, and are quite valuable. On the down side, some players never cared for the shorter scale length and narrower neck width at the nut, both of which were distinguishing features of the model. So the demand for them was always somewhat affected by that. It's also notable that your photo shows the guitar with a Bigsby vibrato tailpiece. This is a custom feature which may or may not be original to the instrument, and also something that not all players would prefer (opinions will vary). If you are able to, please post some current photos of the guitar. I'm sure we'd all love to see it, and it would help to advise you in more detail about its condition, etc.
  9. Hard to tell from photos, but I don't blame you for being concerned. Even if a wood crack, it might remain very stable, but why spend that much money on a relatively new guitar with a cosmetic issue like that? It could make it difficult to get your money back out of it should you decide to sell it. Here's another I just came across via a web search. $100 more, but maybe it's worth it? https://reverb.com/item/32850923-gibson-es-339-2011-red
  10. I understand your frustration. There just doesn't seem to be much agreement/understanding/scholarship on this topic. Gruhn completely bypasses the subject in his guide, and Duchossoir suggests that wartime Gibsons generally had no numbers. I don't know where guitarhq got their information about the red pencil sequence numbers (and I generally rely heavily on that site for online data). I agree with ksdaddy, but it sure would have been nice if your guitar had a wood crosspiece on the trapeze. For the sake of comparison, here is a similar example I found online: https://www.gbase.com/gear/gibson-l-50-1943-sunburst
  11. Does it have a volute? Not sure why it has an orange label, but otherwise it would seem to be 1970-1972 based on the serial number (or 1970-71 based on your information about the purchase date). With the orange label, '70 may be more likely than '71, but I would have expected a slightly lower serial number in the 900000 range, rather than seeing a 5 as the second digit. But who knows, considering how messed up their numbering system was in those years. Also, I'm not entirely sure exactly when the "Made In USA" stamp was begun. Anyway, that serial number was also used in 1968, but that would contradict the "Made In USA" stamp, and as far as I know, you're correct that the walnut finish was introduced in 1969. Yet another Gibson mystery. You seem to know your facts pretty well already, but in case you would like to look at my preferred online reference: http://www.guitarhq.com/gibson.html#serial
  12. Well done, sir. I used to use a little mirror (with a hole in one corner) tied to a string. Very high-tech. 😀 I agree, if your bridge is operating well in a normal elevation, then no worries. If you have any full frontal photos, I'm sure I'm not the only one here who would enjoy a view!
  13. That's a fairly "advanced" question, particularly on a forum where discussion of vintage archtops has been in a long and slow decline. Although you present the question well, and your photo is very good, I'm not sure there's an obvious answer here. It might help to know which Gibson model you're looking at, but even then, one would need to have some expertise on such a specific topic. Just out of curiosity, what type of internal bracing does the guitar in question have?
  14. JimR56

    1976 ES-345 knobs

    Well, the earlier types from the 1940's and '50's are pretty well-documented. I wish I had details in terms of the 1970's era, but I don't. I would suggest that some extensive searching online might gradually reveal patterns that you can trace. Try google searches using different terms, and be persistent. There will be many exceptions and odd cases where you'll encounter instruments with knobs that were likely replaced, but if you look at enough examples, you should be able to get some idea of what types were in use on different models through a sequence of years. In addition to searching on google for images and info (and don't forget about guitar discussion forums, where this may have been discussed in detail before), you can also through sites like ebay, reverb.com, and gbase.com. You can search the inventory lists of dozens of online guitar dealers.
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