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JimR56

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Everything posted by JimR56

  1. This inlay is usually referred to as a "crown" inlay. If you look at the headstock inlay on an L5 or a Byrdland, you will see the "flower pot" design.
  2. Welcome. What "war time fon registers" are you referring to? Just curious. Some online sources seem useful, and others not so much. I've always relied heavily on this one (http://www.guitarhq.com/gibson.html#serial), but no source is perfect- especially considering Gibson's inconsistent history with numbers and dating. Based on the site I've linked, the fon's you posted would seem to suggest 1938 to 1940, which in my opinion would tend to jibe with the style of the logo on your guitar. And I would actually suggest that it looks to be on the earlier side of that (I once owned a 1940 ES250, and the script logo was of the later, slightly thicker type than the style of your L50 logo (some info about logos here: https://www.allgoodguitars.com/2020/01/23/gibson-headstock-logo-in-pictures/). The tailpiece featuring a wooden cross piece would suggest that it dates to the early 1940's, but that could have been changed during the war.
  3. Interesting. I exchanged messages with the OP, and sure enough, the owner was someone with a lot of guitars and a lot of experience with them. He apparently was quite particular about neck sizes, and as already mentioned above, he wasn't shy about modifications. In this case, I would say that I've seen far worse in terms of aesthetic results. By the way, and just as a footnote to all of this, I don't see anything to make me think that this guitar was necessarily refinished. Looks like a nice original 1968 Gibson sunburst finish. The "lines" in the surface of the finish are very common on vintage guitars (we refer to this as finish "checking").
  4. Just an FYI... this topic was posted in two places. The more updated discussion is located here:
  5. JimR56

    ES-125C 1969

    According to A.R. Duchossoir's book, 475 ES-125C's were produced between 1965 and 1970. He specifies that 87 were produced in 1965, but he doesn't list the totals for each year after that (the book's parameters cut off at that point). The finish on your guitar absolutely appears to be original. Refins- especially sunbursts- are almost never able to be duplicated to that level of quality of color and shading. Congratulations on finding a pretty rare Gibson beauty!
  6. Thanks for the photos. Beautiful specimen! I think there are a couple of things that point to the later production date. First, that guitar looks completely unmolested, and I think it's pretty safe to assume that it's all original. With that in mind, that "reflector cap" style of vol and tone knob did not yet exist in 1954, and although they had been replaced by a different knob design on many models by 1967, I've seen them on ETG-150's into the latter 60's. I don't know why that is, but as you noted, tenor guitars kind of march to their own drum, and that's what I've observed (here's a 1969 example I found online: https://www.creamcitymusic.com/vintage-1969-gibson-etg-150-tenor-archtop-electric-guitar-sunburst-finish/). Also, I think that the tuner buttons might have yellowed far more (or disintegrated) on a 1954 example, and you would very likely have more checking in the finish on a 50's example. These may be sort of circumstantial factors, but taken together I think they are fairly good evidence.
  7. One thing I forgot... if you can, please try to post a photo of the label, or describe it in more detail. More photos in general might be helpful also.
  8. Mwaidelich, I hope you're still here. Having been a member here for a long time, I have a great deal of respect for jdgm, but I'm not so sure about his take on this one. At first glance, there are things that seem puzzling (as mentioned), but I'm seeing too much that looks "right" for me to conclude that this couldn't be a genuine Gibson L4. The first thing we need to consider is that although the L4CES eventually became a standardized model in later decades, it was not a regular production model back in Gibson's golden era (prior to 1970). In A.R. Duchossoir's "Gibson Electrics", the "model" is listed as sort of a footnote and the end of the section covering the ES-175 and ES-295 models, which of course have similar construction features. No production totals are available for electric L4's from that period, but it's safe to assume that they're pretty uncommon if not rare. Also, it's notable that as a non-standard model, the electric L4's that do exist tend to have been custom orders, sometimes with appointments from other models. In this case, L5-style fretboard inlays and an ES-175-style tailpiece. The fact that the f-holes are bound is also curious, but not necessarily a red flag for me. I've seen this done before on custom guitars. The thing that stands out most here is the 22-fret neck, and the resulting short-scale appearance (like a Byrdland), with the neck pickup being positioned closer to the bridge pickup than would be standard on a full-scale example of an L4. To me, with so many other things looking right, I get the impression that this guitar was either a custom order or an aftermarket customization. This could be an explanation for the odd shape of the headstock. With regard to what looks "right"... I'm struck by first by the placement of the vol/tone knobs. The asymmetry that was created by Gibson's placement of the volume knob for the neck pickup (slightly inset toward the bridge) is a subtle thing that I would rarely expect to see on a faked Gibson. A lot of Gibson aficionados even seem to overlook this. The fact that this guitar's top looks like a legit spruce grain is another thing that a faker might not have used. The tailpiece looks like a legit vintage Gibson part, and even if it's not "correct" for an L4, again, it wasn't a regular production model. An ES-175 zigzag tailpiece (which some people seemed to love), used on a "sister" model certainly lends an air of credibility for me. Would a faker have even thought of something like this? I doubt it. The whole body of this guitar (including all of the parts, with the possible exception of the pickguard) basically looks legit to me. The body shape, and the cutaway both pass the eye test for me, and these things are not easy to fake. The pickguard would have needed to be somewhat custom anyway, due to the location of the neck pickup and the need to cut the guard out in custom fashion, so I'm not going to take a lot of points off for it not being an authentic Gibson part. Overall, this guitar just strikes me as more likely being a custom (or modified) Gibson than a fake. It almost seems too sophisticated to be a fake. So... I'm just offering these thoughts for whatever they might be worth. I admit that I could just be grasping at straws here. It's not easy to examine this based on one photo. If I were you, I would try to take the guitar to a really knowledgeable person for an in-hand inspection, or send photos to a dealer who has expertise with vintage Gibson archtops. In conclusion, I would just add that I can't help but be curious about your brother in law, Mwaidelich. If this was actually a custom order, and if he was the person who ordered it, he must have been a pretty advanced guitar enthusiast. Did he own other guitars? Other Gibsons? Other archtops? If he had friends or fellow musicians who might still be able to be contacted, this might help to clear things up.
  9. You've researched it quite well (although I always try to refer people to this site for reference with models and dating: http://www.guitarhq.com/gibson.html#serial), and I tend to think that your gut feeling is correct. It might of course be helpful if you could post some photos of the instrument. Pot codes are indeed often useful in these types of situations, but they can sometimes be difficult to access.
  10. As the seller's description states, those fretboard inlays are usually referred to as "trapezoid" inlays, not crown inlays (that term is used for another inlay, so it's confusing to refer to the trapezoids as crowns). Trapezoids were used on 125's until the late 1940's, when they started using dot inlays on that model. The so-called "crown" inlay is a common headstock inlay. It's what you see on the headstock of many Gibson intermediate grade models (ES 300, 350, ES5, 175, 295, 335, 345; L4, L7; Kessel Regular...) Gibson "Crown" headstock inlay ==== Also, my understanding is that the modern "Gibson" head logo on this ES-125 didn't appear until 1947. But the transition from the script logo to the modern logo has always been slightly blurry, so I suppose 1946 is possible.
  11. Here's a real one ("Regular" model, as opposed to "Custom" model). Look carefully at every detail.
  12. That is not a Gibson, it's a copy. And with a Gibson label (and headstock logo?... I can't see it very clearly in your photo), I would call it a fake. Dirty business here. If you bought it thinking it was a Gibson, you really need to educate yourself before buying any more Gibsons. Sorry if that sounds harsh, but this one is really obvious. A bolt-on neck (!) is the most obvious red flag, but if you know Gibsons and if you know how this Gibson model is supposed to look, nothing on this guitar is "right".
  13. Nothing up to 9999 9 would really shock me. Gibson's numbering systems were anything but consistent and perfect. Also, I've seen plenty of cases where employees forgot their coffee. 😉 I was actually hoping to see a photo of the whole guitar, to see the logo, the pickup, the control knobs, etc etc, but again, I think you're practically there when it comes to dating it. Hope it's a fine player!
  14. It would be best if you could post some photos (or at least one photo) of the guitar. You're right about the probability of 1951 for that FON, especially with the space between the 4th and 5th digit (and if the number is stamped inside the back of the body)... but since 125's were produced for many years beyond that, I'm wondering whether we might possibly be dealing with a serial number here, and not a FON. I'm just basing that on helping inexperienced folks here over the years, but you seem to have done your homework, so 1951 seems likely in this case.
  15. I think you are correct that it is an EH-500 Skylark. The serial number suggests 1961 (first digit being a "1"). The control knobs and the tolex case also seem right for 1961. As far as the value, I would search for comparable items on ebay, Reverb.com, and Gbase. I would also browse other forums such as this one: https://bb.steelguitarforum.com/index.php
  16. Sorry for the delayed reply, Dirk. You should inform the seller that the table they refer to is for dating 1952-1961 solid body models only. If you follow the link I provided above (http://www.guitarhq.com/gibson.html#serial), and read through it, you will find this information and much much more about Gibson's serial number (and FON) history. The webpage is quite thorough and informative, and anyone who is reading this ought to bookmark that page for future reference. An ES-125 is not a solid body guitar, and thus the seller was wrong to refer you to the table they attached.
  17. R = 1960. You can check for yourself by following the link I posted above: http://www.guitarhq.com/gibson.html#serial
  18. #54439 falls between 42441 and 61180, and thus would indicate 1962. Here's the info from the source I linked: Gibson Serial Numbers, Feb 1961 to 1970. All models, stamped in back top of peghead. No "MADE IN USA" stamp below serial number! Note many serial numbers are duplicated from 1963-1969. In these cases, to figure out which is the exact year for a guitar, see the General Specs section for more details. ALSO note: It is easy to confuse 5 digit and 6 digit serial numbers from this era, and hence get the wrong year for a guitar. That is, 55555 is not the same number as 555555 (but when reading the number off the back of a Gibson peghead, these two numbers do look very similar!) Range Year ----- ---- 0100 to 42440 1961 42441 to 61180 1962 61450 to 64222 1963 64240 to 71040 1964 71041 to 96600 1962, a few from 1963/1964 96601 to 99999 1963
  19. Technically, there may be sunburst finish names (in catalogs) that we're overlooking. "Viceroy Brown" is one example I'm sure of. But I basically agree with all of Nick's comments. The only area of slight confusion for me here is the use of the term "modern". Gibson were offering specifically-named sunburst variations as early as the late 1950's, and personally I wouldn't use the term "modern" to refer to that period. Anyway, there are certainly some period-specific trends (like the cherry sunbursts of the 60's), but it's not always safe to generalize about such things. Not only were some brown sunbursts still produced concurrently with the cherry sunbursts, but some "cherry sunbursts" were more orange than others. There are some (although few) examples of specific Gibson finish names being more consistently executed and universally recognized. "Argentine Grey", which Gibson used in the late 50's/early 60's, is an example (btw, this name variation dates back in Gibson catalogs to the 1930's or maybe even earlier). "Viceroy Brown" might be another, but frankly I haven't exactly researched this. I think of the term "Tobacco Sunburst" as having originated in the 70's, but I don't always want to trust my own memory. Edit: I was just browsing some online uploads of old Gibson catalogs (here: https://www.vintageguitarandbass.com/gibson/L5S.php), and found a reference to Tobacco Sunburst being introduced (in this case on the L5S model) in 1976. In 1978, Tobacco was replaced by "Fireburst" on that model. I'm not sure whether I've never heard of "Fireburst", or had just forgotten about it, but my sense is that this might have been the early stages of Gibson's slippery slope of trying too hard to come up with hundreds of gimmicky new finish names, confusing hybrid models, and various other bad ideas. But it was the 70's, so I'm not too surprised.
  20. Sorry we missed your question, Don. According to my go-to source (http://www.guitarhq.com/gibson.html#serial), which I provided above, just prior to your first post, that number could indicate either 1963 or 1967. If you could post a photo of the guitar, that might help narrow it down (or not).
  21. I would be curious to know what source you used. The source I've used for years (either from my books, or the same data shown on this website: http://www.guitarhq.com/gibson.html#serial) show that number dating to 1965. 332241 to 348092 1965
  22. I like the way you think, and kudos for trying to do that for your dad. Unfortunately, I also agree with your feeling that this is a long shot. After 16 years, the guitar could be just about anywhere. If I were you, I'd start by doing a serious and persistent search on the web for (at least) a visual match. Besides Reverb.com, Gbase, ebay, etc, you could also bookmark as many dealer websites as you can find (there are a LOT of them out there). It would be time consuming, but the possibility is there if you're persistent. If your Byrdland had any distinguishing characteristics (say from wear and tear, or a particular identifiable grain in the maple back or neck, etc etc), you might be able to use that to your advantage. Sellers don't always include the serial number in their listings, so having that may or may not help you unless you first find an instrument that appears to be a match. For a variety of reasons, the chances of your guitar being for sale currently or going up for sale any time soon are slim, but you never know. Maybe others will chime in with other ideas. Good luck!
  23. To everyone with this type of question regarding Gibson serial numbers (and in this case, factory order numbers), you can find your answer on a webpage that I've linked here dozens of times over the years, including earlier in this same thread. I would recommend bookmarking this page, which is very handy: http://www.guitarhq.com/gibson.html#serial Yes, a factory order number beginning with "S" dates to 1959.
  24. Don't know exactly what this is... might have been modified:
  25. 1951 Deluxe Regent with floating DeArmond. Maybe you had a Deluxe Regent Zephyr (built in pickup)? Here's a sunburst 1953 example with two pickups: Anyway, I'm guessing it was a Deluxe, with those cloud fretboard inlays.
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