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Gibson ES-125t


1080tommy
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I have been super impressed with the knowledge on this forum and how willing you guys are to help each other. I have looked I think at every thread involving a the ES-125t and have not seen any like the one I have. I got this guitar from my uncle and am trying to accurately date it. I do know that it is a later model because it has 20 frets and different knobs than the early models. It has no FON number that I can see and in one of the f holes I can see a inked ES-125t. The serial number is 253970 and it seems that that dates to 64-65 because I did find a similar one with a later serial number on reverb.com. I was just wondering if any of you could help me because the serial numbers are so vague. I thought I knew my Gibsons because they are my favorite guitar but as I have been checking this site out, I do not appear to know all that much. Thanks in advance.

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Like you said, the serial number places it in '64 or '65. One thing you might look at is the nut width. It's been my belief for many years, with no way to prove it, that they went to a narrower 1-9/16" nut width in 1965. I'm sure it didn't happen all in one day and some models may lag behind.

 

If you find yours has the narrower nut, all that will tell you is that between 64 and 65, yours would have been later in that window. If yours has the 1-11/16 nut, it was made earlier.

 

Another thing is the headstock angle. In 1965 (says me, with no proof) they went from a 17 degree peghead angle to a 14. They kept the 14 degree angle until sometime in 1973. I don't know how a person would measure it other than compare it to a 'known' model, i.e. one that was made way outside that 65-73 time frame.

 

Yet another thing is the pots. The volume and tone controls will tell you when THEY were made, and you can assume the guitar was made some time afterwards. You will find a number beginning with either 137 or 304. The next two digits are the year, and the final two digits are the week of that year. This is what you are likely to find in this era. Older stuff used one digit for the year. So if you found 1376504, the pots were made in the 4th week of 1965 and therefore wouldn't be a 1964. This is only true if the pots are original, and that comes down to a best guess...observing the solder joints and hoping to guess whether they've been disturbed, etc.

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Thanks so much. That helps a lot. I figured after looking and looking and looking at different forums. This one really has the best knowledge base. I appreciate your help. I believe it is 100% original because my uncle's other stuff is all original. He passed away and left me all his guitars and musical instruments because I am the only one that plays. I also happen to love Gibson Guitars and have a bunch myself. This was the only one that I was having a bit of difficulty dating. Thanks again!!!

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Like you said, the serial number places it in '64 or '65. One thing you might look at is the nut width. It's been my belief for many years, with no way to prove it, that they went to a narrower 1-9/16" nut width in 1965. I'm sure it didn't happen all in one day and some models may lag behind.

 

If you find yours has the narrower nut, all that will tell you is that between 64 and 65, yours would have been later in that window. If yours has the 1-11/16 nut, it was made earlier.

 

Another thing is the headstock angle. In 1965 (says me, with no proof) they went from a 17 degree peghead angle to a 14. They kept the 14 degree angle until sometime in 1973. I don't know how a person would measure it other than compare it to a 'known' model, i.e. one that was made way outside that 65-73 time frame.

 

Yet another thing is the pots. The volume and tone controls will tell you when THEY were made, and you can assume the guitar was made some time afterwards. You will find a number beginning with either 137 or 304. The next two digits are the year, and the final two digits are the week of that year. This is what you are likely to find in this era. Older stuff used one digit for the year. So if you found 1376504, the pots were made in the 4th week of 1965 and therefore wouldn't be a 1964. This is only true if the pots are original, and that comes down to a best guess...observing the solder joints and hoping to guess whether they've been disturbed, etc.

 

Very nice job. I pride myself on the volumes of useless information in my head that are useless until someone needs them then they are of the utmost importance.

 

rct

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