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WScott

Four Gibson Guitars

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Hi,

 

I am 78 and new to Gibson guitars this year --when I decided to try to learn how to play jazz guitar as best I can before I die. [wink]

 

Over the past year I have purchased four beautiful Gibson guitars. I love them all. I plan to pass one on to each of my four children and I would like to provide them as much information as I can about each of them. So I am posting pictures, information, and serial numbers in the hope that you will be able to help identify at least the correct production place and date. Thank you for your time and help.

 

1. Gibson ES-175. Serial Number: 71368009.

I was told this is a 1978 model but the serial number makes me wonder if it is a 1977. It has "second" stamped on the back of the head stock along with the serial number. There is no label on the inside that I can see. It is pictured below along with the ES-335. It came to me in what was clearly not the original case.

 

2. Gibson ES-335. Serial Number: 70222.

This one was listed as Gibson Memphis 1963 ES-335 VOS. There is an orange GUARANTEED label inside that has handwritten "ES-335TD" after "Style"on it. The label is also stamped "GUITAR" after "Gibson" and the serial number after "number." No other hand written information on the label. The lower part of the label under GUARANTEED only says "against faulty workmanship and materials" and "Gibson." The serial number is stamped on the back of the head stock. It came to me in what appeared to be an original black, five hasp, case with plush yellow lining but no logos on it.

 

3. Gibson Custom L-5 CES. Serial Number: 91456004

I was told this is a 1996 model but the serial number makes me question that. The orange GUARANTEED label inside has hand written "Guitar" after "Style", "L5-CES" after "Gibson", and the serial number after "Number." The bottom of the label says "Gibson Custom Nashville, Tennessee U.S.A." The serial number is stamped on the back of the head stock. It is pictured below with the Switchmaster. I have no other pictures that I could make small enough for the system to accept. It came to me in what appears to be its original brown case with the combination lock, silk cover and the "USA GIBSON" logo on it.

 

4. Gibson Custom ES-5 Switchmaster. Serial Number: 90947007

I was told this is a 1997 model but the serial number makes me question that. The orange GUARANTEED label inside has hand written "Guitar" after "Style", "ES-5 Switchmaster" after "Gibson", and the serial number after "Number." The bottom of the label says "Gibson Custom Nashville, Tennessee U.S.A." The serial number is stamped on the back of the headstock. There is a horizontal grain pattern on the top and back that is beautiful but does not show up well in the only picture I was able to post. It came to me in what appears to be its original brown case with the combination lock, silk cover and the "USA GIBSON" logo on it.

 

Thank you again for you help. Regards, Scott

post-96904-008658700 1546522582_thumb.jpg

post-96904-065083100 1546521198_thumb.jpg

 

post-96904-056233500 1546521250_thumb.jpg

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Hi and welcome to the forum, Scott.

I wish you well in your Jazz-quest!

 

As far as the serial numbers are concerned;

Starting in 1977 Gibson (USA line) used a system where the first and fifth digits denote the build-year.

Hence (and as you were informed) your 175 is, indeed, a '78; the L-5 is a '96 and the ES-5 is a '97.

 

The re-issues use a different system. I can't remember how the semi-hollow RIs were numbered and serial numbers - at least as far as the solid-bodies are concerned - do tend to repeat themselves every 10 years but for what it's worth the VOS treatment was introduced in 2006.

 

Pip.

Edited by pippy

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Hi Pip,

 

Thank you very much for your response and the information. Although I am still expecting to live a while, I have already passed the '78 on to one of my sons. I appreciate your help.

 

Regards, Scott O:)

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Hi Scott: Too much in common. I am in the exact same quest, just slightly younger and with fewer children, currently focusing on L-5s and looking at an ES-5 pre-Switchmaster. I'd love to hear your comments about which guitar pleases you most and why! The 335s are, of course, totemic, but there's a whole lot less posted on the other instruments. Cheers, Ty

 

Hi,

 

I am 78 and new to Gibson guitars this year --when I decided to try to learn how to play jazz guitar as best I can before I die. [wink]

 

Over the past year I have purchased four beautiful Gibson guitars. I love them all. I plan to pass one on to each of my four children and I would like to provide them as much information as I can about each of them. So I am posting pictures, information, and serial numbers in the hope that you will be able to help identify at least the correct production place and date. Thank you for your time and help.

 

1. Gibson ES-175. Serial Number: 71368009.

I was told this is a 1978 model but the serial number makes me wonder if it is a 1977. It has "second" stamped on the back of the head stock along with the serial number. There is no label on the inside that I can see. It is pictured below along with the ES-335. It came to me in what was clearly not the original case.

 

2. Gibson ES-335. Serial Number: 70222.

This one was listed as Gibson Memphis 1963 ES-335 VOS. There is an orange GUARANTEED label inside that has handwritten "ES-335TD" after "Style"on it. The label is also stamped "GUITAR" after "Gibson" and the serial number after "number." No other hand written information on the label. The lower part of the label under GUARANTEED only says "against faulty workmanship and materials" and "Gibson." The serial number is stamped on the back of the head stock. It came to me in what appeared to be an original black, five hasp, case with plush yellow lining but no logos on it.

 

3. Gibson Custom L-5 CES. Serial Number: 91456004

I was told this is a 1996 model but the serial number makes me question that. The orange GUARANTEED label inside has hand written "Guitar" after "Style", "L5-CES" after "Gibson", and the serial number after "Number." The bottom of the label says "Gibson Custom Nashville, Tennessee U.S.A." The serial number is stamped on the back of the head stock. It is pictured below with the Switchmaster. I have no other pictures that I could make small enough for the system to accept. It came to me in what appears to be its original brown case with the combination lock, silk cover and the "USA GIBSON" logo on it.

 

4. Gibson Custom ES-5 Switchmaster. Serial Number: 90947007

I was told this is a 1997 model but the serial number makes me question that. The orange GUARANTEED label inside has hand written "Guitar" after "Style", "ES-5 Switchmaster" after "Gibson", and the serial number after "Number." The bottom of the label says "Gibson Custom Nashville, Tennessee U.S.A." The serial number is stamped on the back of the headstock. There is a horizontal grain pattern on the top and back that is beautiful but does not show up well in the only picture I was able to post. It came to me in what appears to be its original brown case with the combination lock, silk cover and the "USA GIBSON" logo on it.

 

Thank you again for you help. Regards, Scott

post-96904-008658700 1546522582_thumb.jpg

post-96904-065083100 1546521198_thumb.jpg

 

post-96904-056233500 1546521250_thumb.jpg

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