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Epiphone Serial Number Decoding

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This is a guide to help you identify your guitar's place and year of manufacture by the instrument's serial number alone, based on the information given on the unofficial Epiphone wiki here, which mostly seems down nowadays.

 

There are basically four distinct formats, also called identifiers, in which order serial numbers occur on Epiphone instruments. For Japanese and refurbished models, which are special cases, see bottom.

 

YYMMFFRRRRR

 

  • YY = year of manufacture
  • MM = month of manufature
  • FF = factory ID
  • RRRRR = ranking number

Example: 08121520333 = 2008 / December / factory 15 / unit 20333

 

Note: Models from 2008 and onwards omit the factory ID letter prefix. Pre-1994 productions also frequently omit the factory letter codes and appeared as all digits, e.g. 3042779.

 

FYYMMRRRR

 

  • F/FF = factory ID
  • Y/YY = year of manufacture
  • MM = month of manufacture
  • RRRR = ranking number

Example: 3021234 = Samick Korea / 1993 / February / unit 1234

Example: S3021234 = Samick Korea / 1993 / February / unit 1234

Example: S93021234 = Samick Korea / 1993 / February / unit 1234

Example: SI01021234 = Samick Indonesia / 2001 / February / unit 1234

Example: SI010212345 = Samick Indonesia / 2001 / February / unit 12345

 

Note: There may be no factory designator for some 1993 and earlier models. A single digit month of manufacture may occur for some 1997 and earlier models. The ranking number may consist of any number of digits.

 

FYYMRRRR

 

  • F = factory ID
  • YY = year of manufacture
  • M = letter code to corresponding month
  • RRRR = ranking number

Example: R01B0123 = Peerless Korea / 2001 / February / unit 0123.

 

Note: The month of manufacture is single letter corresponding to each month such as A = January, B = February, etc.

 

FYYSSSS

 

This serial number formats is solely used on Epiphone Elite or Elitist models.

 

  • F = factory ID
  • Y = single digit year of manufacture (2002-2009)
  • YY = double digit year of manufacture (2010-Current)
  • SSSS = sequential ranking number

Example: F21234 = Fuji-gen Japan / 2002 / unit 1234

Example: T101234 = Terada Japan / 2010 / unit 1234

 

Factory Letter Codes

 

The following is a comprehensive list of factories and countries for serial numbers that start with at least one letter.

 

  • B - Bohêmia Musico-Delicia (Czech Republic)
  • BW - ____?____ (China)
  • CI - Cort (Indonesia)
  • DW - DaeWon (China)
  • EA - QingDao (China) = Epiphone Acoustic
  • ED - Dongbei (China) = In Chinese "Dongbei" means Northeast.
  • EE - QingDao (China) = Epiphone Electric
  • F - Fuji-gen (Japan) = Elite/Elitist models (see post below on Epiphone Japan Serial Numbers)
  • F - Qingdao (China) = Les Paul Standard '59 / '60 / Tribute Models (see bottom of post on F-Serial Numbers Used on LP Std'59/'60 models and Tribute/Plus models)
  • F/FN - Fine Guitars (Korea) = non-Japanese models
  • FC - ____?____ (China 2000's) Possibly "Global Fine Supply Ltd."
  • FC - Fuji-Gen (Japan 1990's)
  • H - _______ (China?) Found on a 1995 El Nino
  • G/GG - Identified as early modern Masterbilt acoustics (Epiphone says they have no record of G serials)
  • GR - Grand Reward (Farida, Guang Dong) China, Seen on some early Masterbilt acoustics
  • GP - ____?____ (Korea) found on a BB King Lucille from 2001 (verified by Epiphone Customer Service)
  • I - Saein (Korea)
  • J - Terada Gakki Seisakusyo (Japan)
  • J - Unknown. Possibly Jakarta, Indonesia - Found on a 1997 S-310
  • JK - ??? Korea or Indonesia - Found on a 1999 G-310 Junior
  • K - Korea Ins. (Korea)
  • L - Leader Musical Instrument Co Ltd (Korea)
  • MC - Muse (China)
  • MR - Mirr factory, China
  • N - See: FN
  • O - Choice (Korea)
  • P/R - Peerless (Korea)
  • QG - Qingdao Gibson (China) - Interim designation used prior to "EA" & "EE"
  • S - Samick (Korea)
  • SI - Samick (Bogor, Indonesia)
  • SJ - SaeJun (China)
  • SK - ???
  • SM - Samil (Korea)
  • SN - ____?____ (Indonesia)
  • T - Terada Gakki Seisakusyo (Japan)
  • U - Unsung (Korea)
  • UC - Unsung China (China)
  • WF - ____?____ (China) found on an Accu Bass Junior from 2001
  • X - ____ (China) - Early to mid 1990's serial number label - Verified by Epiphone Customer Service. Seen on "Epi" brand guitars.
  • Y - Korea (seen on a PR775CE)
  • Z - Zaozhuang Saehan (China)

Factory Number Codes

 

Some models from 2008 onwards have serial numbers that begin with a certain digit.

 

  • 11 = MIC sticker on a '08 Masterbuilt 500
  • 12 = DeaWon or Unsung (China - uncertainty remains as to which factory)
  • 13 = China - factory unknown
  • 15 = Qingdao (China) - electric
  • 16 = Qingdao (China) - acoustic
  • 17 = China - factory unknown MIC sticker on a J160E
  • 18 = China - factory unknown found on one 2009 model bass
  • 20 = DaeWon or Unsung (China - uncertainty remains as to which factory)
  • 21 = Unsung, Korea
  • 22 = Korea (factory still unknown)
  • 23 = Samick factory Indonesia
  • I = Indonesia (this letter has appeared as the 5th digit on two authentic new models made in Indonesia)

Note: The factories identified by the codes above are based on patterns which users have observed. The numbers appear as the 5th and 6th digits in the serial number. This information has not been officially confirmed by Epiphone.

 

F-Serial Numbers on Les Paul Standard '59/'60 Models and Tribute/Plus Models

 

The latest serial number system used by Epiphone has not yet been completely deciphered. The new "F" models are made in China. The new system seems to be just continously running model numbers rather than a dedicated code for year, month, and place of manufacture.

 

  • F300000 = late 2009 used on LP Std'59/Std'60/Tribute models
  • Continued around F310650~F311050 in spring 2012 on Tribute-Plus models
  • Continued around F305000 in 2011
  • Continued around F310000 in 2012
  • Continued around F317000 in 2013
  • Continued around F324000 in 2014
  • Continued around F330000 in 2015

Refurbished Models

 

Serial numbers starting with "311xxxx2 on a golden sticker are refurbished guitars as sold by Musical Instrument Reclamation Center (MIRC). There is no way to tell the year or the month it was made.

 

A few points of note:

 

  • The original serial numbers are usually defaced.
  • Original warranty is void.
  • Sometimes the word "2nd" is stamped on the back of the headstock.
  • MIRC specs can often be different from stock specs.

  • Downvote 2

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Thanks for posting that info,I had lost my list of Epi date and factory codes and had to try and guess from memory,the date/factory code of the beautiful near mint EJ-200 natural finish Epi that I bought a few months ago.I had figured that she was made at the Korean Samick factory in August 2002 and was the 30633rd unit made that month and I got it all right-my ancient 63 year old brain can still retain the important things in life,such as guitar and amp specs.....what a relief.

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Hi. I just got an Epiphone DR-100 in a bait and switch last night. Didn't want to feel like i was wasting both our times so i got it anyway. I can learn how to work on guitars at least as it's missing a string and some frets are sticking up.

 

image0.jpg

 

From what i can tell this is a Japan (T) guitar from 2007 but:

 

image0.jpg

 

so i was confused as to which is right.

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Concerned no one is watching this and I really could use a reply. Nobody seems to think this is a valid serial number. Nonetheless, I have had this guitar in my possession since the day it was purchased. Problem is I can't remember if that was 1962 or 1964 or ??? Any help would be GREATLY appreciated!

 

post-96994-094274000 1544040424_thumb.jpg

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Hi. I just got an Epiphone DR-100 in a bait and switch last night. Didn't want to feel like i was wasting both our times so i got it anyway. I can learn how to work on guitars at least as it's missing a string and some frets are sticking up.

 

image0.jpg

 

From what i can tell this is a Japan (T) guitar from 2007 but:

 

image0.jpg

 

so i was confused as to which is right.

 

Hey there ... I can’t believe no one has responded to this post. Anyway, your Epiphone acoustic appears to be one that was refurbished by MIRC in Franklin, TN. MIRC stands for Musical Instrument Repair Corporation, and they buy broken instruments from Epiphone, Fender, Gretsch, Samick, and other low-cost manufacturers, for pennies on the dollar. They fix them and then sell them at very discounted prices to dealers and/or anyone else that wants one. You can Google them and find their company website, and their address in Franklin, TN. You can even go there personally and check out their showroom and buy one onsite, if you wanted to.

 

What gives it away is the sticker that goes over the original Epiphone serial number. That white sticker where the original number was is the sticker that MIRC puts on all of their refurbished instruments. The manufacturers they buy from either remove or erase the original serial numbers, and then MIRC puts that sticker where the original serial number would have been. There are plenty of guitars all over the country (but especially in Tennessee) that have been refurbished by MIRC. The repairs can be anything from broken necks and headstock to simple minor finish repairs ... and most of the time they do a very good job. But the value of the instruments go way down from their original value.

 

I hope this helps. But more importantly, I hope you didn’t trade an instrument that was worth much more than about $100 ... because that’s what this one would have sold for at MIRC.

 

Best of luck ... Gatorgabe

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Hi. I just got an Epiphone DR-100 in a bait and switch last night. Didn't want to feel like i was wasting both our times so i got it anyway. I can learn how to work on guitars at least as it's missing a string and some frets are sticking up.

 

image0.jpg

 

From what i can tell this is a Japan (T) guitar from 2007 but:

 

image0.jpg

 

so i was confused as to which is right.

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I know this was a couple of months ago but If you haven’t gotten an answer I might be able to help you. Could you post, or send me a picture of Front and back of the headstock and look about 4” down from where the neck and headstock meet and tell me If you see a scarf joint in the neck. Also All My epiphones from the 70’s have had blue labels

Edited by wolfman2020

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Hi. I just got an Epiphone DR-100.... From what i can tell this is a Japan (T) guitar from 2007 but:.... so i was confused as to which is right.

Yeah, sorry this never got answered. As far as I know, when there's a strip of tape over the original serial number, that means it's a refurbished guitar, which means there was some flaw in its production, big or small, that was identified at the factory, so the guitar was sold wholesale to a refurbishing company, usually MIRC, who looks it over and tries to fix whatever might need fixing. Their s/n numbering system is completely different from Epiphone's, so that's why you're getting "mixed signals." So that guitar was made in China, but you're unlikely to be able to find out much more about it, other than that's a "refurb."

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I have a 570 Blonde made in Japan.  The label inside says FT 570 - BL.  It's a blue Kalamazoo label with no  serial number on it.  On the back of the head there is a serial number that states Japan on it.  I bought it new in the 70s and have had it ever since.   My wife says it's her favorite sounding guitar of all I've had or have. 

What if anything does the serial number tell me about this guitar?

1543413251570.jpg

Edited by DenBo
Corrected typing error

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On 10/30/2017 at 9:15 AM, Leonard McCoy said:

reserved for Japanese s/n

Any help would be appreciated. 

The blue label inside my guitar says Epiphone. Kalamazoo, Michigan. Made in Japan. FT-350.   There’s a sticker on the back where the neck meets the body that has 6 digits. S. No. 532xxx (x’s are illegible).  There’s another stamp inside the guitar where the fingerboard hits the soundhole. That number says F3242. No mistake about that number. 

Any ideas or knowledge on this guitar?  Thank you !

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3 hours ago, Paul-les said:

Any help would be appreciated. 

The blue label inside my guitar says Epiphone. Kalamazoo, Michigan. Made in Japan. FT-350.   There’s a sticker on the back where the neck meets the body that has 6 digits. S. No. 532xxx (x’s are illegible).  There’s another stamp inside the guitar where the fingerboard hits the soundhole. That number says F3242. No mistake about that number. 

Any ideas or knowledge on this guitar?  Thank you !

Unfortunately, the post that I reserved for Japanese serian numbers can no longer be edited which is why I never could finish the work. I refer you to the unofficial Epiphone wiki for further reference: http://www.epiphonewiki.org/index/Epiphone_Serial_Number_Decoding.php

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(Epiphone says they have no record of G serials) Must be why they never responded to my request on the info for my Masterdilt AJ-500 m. Its a G serial. Ghost guitar :-). It is an amazingly built guitar with resonance that lasts for days.

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On 8/17/2019 at 5:59 PM, AzariahJames said:

(Epiphone says they have no record of G serials) Must be why they never responded to my request on the info for my Masterdilt AJ-500 m. Its a G serial. Ghost guitar :-). It is an amazingly built guitar with resonance that lasts for days.

My EF-500 RAVS has a G serial too.  (G0411 etc...) Odd Epi denies any knowledge of it.  It's my prized possession. I love it so much I just bought another Masterbilt to go with it, an AJ-45 ME. I keep them in stands in front of my chair and spend the days switching from one to the other. The AJ has an 11 digit number with 23 in the factory code position. At least I hope it's the factory code otherwise mine is like the 2 million 3 hundred thousandth AJ made.

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