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JimR56

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About JimR56

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  1. As it pertains to this reissue of a 1959 guitar, yes, it's accurate to have no number stamped on the back of the headstock. However, the above statement is a bit misleading (wrong, I would argue). I think most people would agree that Gibson's golden years included the 1960's (or at least the first half of the 60's, depending on who you ask), and serial number stamping on the back of the head (on all models) was done starting in 1961.
  2. JimR56

    Boog330

    Look carefully to see if there's an FON (factory order number) stamped inside the back on the opposite (treble) side. If it's from 1959, the number should be preceded by the letter 'S'. Like this:
  3. There's an active Epiphone forum right here at Gibson (and I wish more Epiphone topics like this one would be posted there instead of here): https://forum.gibson.com/forum/90-epiphone-electrics/
  4. Not sure, but that's a great looking color. In the 60's, Gibson offered "Cardinal Red" and "Ember Red" (Ember being the darker of the two). Looking at examples of both in an image search, it's hard to get a firm idea on what those colors should look like (especially aged), because of the difficulty of accurately capturing colors in photos. Anyway, something else to chew on. Any chance it was refinished? For whatever it's worth, here's a topic on red Gibsons from another forum: https://www.lespaulforum.com/forum/showthread.php?182784-The-Red-Thread-Factory-Red-Gibsons-from-the-Golden-Era
  5. The SG is not a vintage guitar. The relative values of the two guitars is something that's going to be somewhat subjective, and it's up to you to decide whether a trade makes sense (in terms of value and otherwise).
  6. That's not a vintage guitar, and no, a competent fret repair should not decrease its value.
  7. I have had experience over the years with off-gassing pickguards, on two different vintage archtops (a Gibson, and a D'Angelico). I have also read quite a bit on the subject, and seen horror stories that were similar to or worse than mine. It can be very nasty business (see image below). Saving the original binding is one thing, but when it comes to people trying to salvage the whole guard (especially leaving it in the guitar's case, where it's going to damage metal parts, the guitar's finish, the case lining, etc etc), or suggesting that a deteriorating piece of material that's releasing hazardous gas has "value", I've never understood the concept. Why would a rotting guard have any value to anyone? Don't get me wrong, I'm all for trying to maintain the originality of fine old guitars as much as possible, but when an old phenolic pickguard starts to go, it's only going to get worse, and it becomes (unfortunately) a disposable object. Saving the original binding to create a new guard, sure. Frets wear out, and of course strings wear out, and pickguards can wear out. Not everything on a guitar can last forever.
  8. Doesn't seem very likely, to be honest. I wonder whether you might be able to find the image somewhere online. I just tried some searches of vintage catalogs, including those marketed in the UK, and so far no luck. I did find a couple of potential links that looked promising, but the links were dead.
  9. I don't know why there isn't a "Made In USA" stamp on there, but the guitar definitely appears to be 1970's (1973, if the serial number is legit). The so-called "harmonica" bridge, if original, dates it to no earlier than the early 70's, and the presence of a volute at the head/neck junction is also a 70's feature. The split diamond also seems to have the 70's look to it (although it hard to examine it in your photo).
  10. I've never seen one, but I suppose it could have been a custom order (or perhaps a refin). Even in the 60's, before the advent of the 347 model, Gibson had used a light blue (named 'frost blue') as a custom color option. Here's an article with more information: https://www.vintageguitar.com/26671/gibson-custom-colors-in-the-1960s/ Also, I tried a web search and found an example (sold a year or two ago) in purple that was advertised as having been a custom order. https://reverb.com/item/11655269-1980-gibson-es-347-td-metallic-purple-custom-ordered-original-finish-gibson-hard-case?gspk=VHJvZ2x5&gsxid=bbDbF7yC61G6
  11. Looks to me like a modified L50. The cutaway is pretty well done, but it doesn't quite match the shape of the cutaway on a vintage L4C. It's too wide, whereas the L4C has a narrower "U" shape with more vertical sides. Also, look at the "ledge" between the treble side of the neck and the inner edge of the cutaway. Gibson didn't do that. The neck should be flush with the cutaway. Here is a photo of a '54 L4C. Note the smooth junction of the neck and the cutaway. Also, the binding in the cutaway is not what you'd find on a 50's L4C (cutaway binding wasn't tapered like that in 1953). And as ksdaddy mentioned, there's something odd going on with that cutaway binding (paint chipping? color fading?). It makes it more obvious that the cutaway is not original. Also, I agree that the sunburst is wrong for the era. My guess is that the top was refinished when the other mods were done, probably in the late 60's or into the 70's. Obviously the fingerboard is rosewood, and not ebony. This is a "player's" guitar, and hopefully it plays and sounds good (I suspect it does). And hopefully you didn't pay too much for it, because its value has been severely affected by all of the modifications. If you bought this from a dealer, how did they describe it, other than stating that it dates to 1953?
  12. Hard to be sure, but I wonder if your FON is actually 1341G-36. This would suggest a date of 1941. The red pencil sequence number is indicative of a WWII-era instrument, so it could be slightly later (1943-45). The black finish is also consistent with some models of what are called "Wartime Specials". More info on serial numbers and FON's can be found here: http://www.guitarhq.com/gibson.html#serial and more info on "Specials" here: 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 Also, here's a recent topic regarding a similar guitar: https://forum.gibson.com/topic/155031-need-help-identifying-ww2-gibson-from-my-grandpa/?tab=comments#comment-2019164 The condition looks pretty great to me.
  13. Interesting. We're going to need to see some photos. The serial number isn't making any sense to me. Is it a six-digit number, or four digits followed by a space and then two digits? Either way, it's not clear to me that it would make sense for an instrument of that general age. Are you pretty certain about what you're seeing with the serial (or factory order) number? So, photos of the instrument is very important, and if you can manage a photo of the model and serial numbers, that would be great too. Thanks.
  14. Congratulations. What a great thing to inherit! Thanks for sharing the nice photos. These things are fairly rare, and require some research. Here's what I can offer, based on a few reliable sources. Your guitar is a "Black Special" (similar black-finished instruments produced during WWII are referred to as the "Wartime Special"). These black instruments were not cataloged by Gibson, and were sold through dealers as a special order (aka "dealer specials"). If your guitar has a 16" lower bout like an L-50, then (based on the dating info below) it's a "Black Special #4". (black specials can have different number designations from 2 through 7, depending on their size and specs, and years of production . See a list here: 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) EG-5548 is a factory order number, or "FON". It dates to 1939. (see: http://www.guitarhq.com/gibson.html#serial) Gibson Factory Order Numbers with a Letter, 1935 to 1941. Many instruments from 1935 to 1941 have a letter designating the year within the Factory Order Number (FON). The FON consists of a batch number, usually 4 digits. Then there is a letter (and sometimes a space), followed by a 1 or 2 digit sequence (ranking) number. 1935-1937: Letter is between the batch number and the sequence number. Code is ink stamped on the inside back. 1938-1941: two or three letters before sequence number. Code is either ink stamped onto the label or impressed into the back of the peghead (for lap steels, impressed into the back of the body). First letter, indicates the year. Second letter, if there is one, indicates the brand of the instrument: G=Gibson, K=Kalamazoo, W=Recording King (Montgomery Wards). Third letter, if there is one, is "E" for Electric. Exceptions: Some high-end models and lapsteels from 1939 to 1940 have the letter A added to the prefixes D, E, or F. This includes the letters DA, EA, FA, followed by 4 digits. Examples include L-5's and Super 400's which have an EA prefix (suggestiong 1939), in addition to a separate paper label indicating 1940 or 1941. In this case the later serial number is the one to believe, as the instrument was probably started and completed in different years. Year 1st Letter ---- ---------- 1935 A 1936 B 1937 C 1938 D, DA 1939 Ex (where 'x' is any other letter) 1940 F, FA 1941 E (with NO other following letter) 1941 G 1942 H
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