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Damocles

Flying V dating from...?

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Trying to pin down a date for a Flying V that appears to have been refinished (making the serial number nearly impossible to see):

 

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Since I can just make out the Made in USA and the volute looks post 1970 that's what I'm assuming; that it's 1970 or later. The serial number looks to be 5 digits, maybe 53674 or 23674. Are there any other ways of telling?

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Are there any other ways of telling?

 

Yes, it's very easy. There are two foolproof ways.

 

1. Make a pencil rubbing like you did in grade school: Take a thin sheet of white paper. Hold it tightly in place over the SN area. Get a wooden pencil with a lot of lead showing. Rub the side of the pencil lead across the area with medium pressure to reveal the number.

 

2. Take a penlight type flashlight and shine it at a very shallow angle across the SN area from the side. This will create a shadow area in the indentations. Shining from a few different angles and sides may be necessary.

 

 

Other information: From the photos posted - I see no evidence of refinishing, and the shallow serial number is not definitive evidence of such. Sometimes the numbers just don't get impressed very deeply.

 

One you get the full and correct serial number, it still will most likely NOT help you put a mfg date to the guitar. Gibson SN's of this era have no rhyme or reason, nor is there a sequential "list", only approximates.

 

Make sure to look for a 6th digit to the serial number. A 5-digit SN puts it an even darker gray area of dates.

 

In any, and all, cases above, the accepted way to put a mfg date to Gibsons of this era has become the potentiometer codes. The pots will have a 7-digit code number on the back usually starting with "137". The following 4-digits are the date code for the manufacture of the potentiometers. It is generally accepted that the guitar was made within 6 months after this date.

 

The mfg/date code is read as follows:

MfgYyWw

 

Mfg = Manufufacturer. "137" is CTS Corp.

Yy = the last 2-digits of the year of made.

Ww = The week of that year, 01-52.

 

 

Let us know what you find out.

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