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Matt S.

Unidentified Gibson Serial Number

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Hello, I have an old Gibson Les Paul and I am unable to find the serial number anywhere.  Serial number is 773600.    I believe it is an early 1970's.   I'm trying to get an estimated value.  It is Sunburst,  not mint, a lot of scratches and dings, belt buckle wear down, etc.   I believe the case is original as well, but a lot of wear.  Velvet coming loose, etc. 

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Hello and welcome.

Unfortunately the serial numbers used by Gibson in the late '60s and early '70s  are notoriously unreliable as a means of dating a guitar because the same numbers were duplicated over several years and records were poorly kept. Detail differences exist between the models produced during this period, though, so pictures would help.

An easier - and quicker - way to narrow down the approximate manufacturing period would be to check the numerical codes stamped on to the body of the Tone / Volume potentiometers assuming these are the original items. All USA-made pot's have this feature and the number(s) can be decoded to tell which manufacturing company made the pot and when it was made. As an example 1377125 would break down thus;

137 = CTS (Chicago Telephone Supply - Gibson's usual source).

71 = last two digits of year of manufacture.

25 = week of the calendar-year when the pot was made.

Here's where to type the number.

https://www.guitardaterproject.org/potcodereader.aspx

Remember that this was when the pot was made. The guitar would have been made some time after this date but at least it should give you an idea...

Philip.

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On 9/15/2019 at 12:40 PM, Matt S. said:

Hello, I have an old Gibson Les Paul and I am unable to find the serial number anywhere.  Serial number is 773600.    I believe it is an early 1970's.

Just to add to the info that Pippy provided, yes, your guitar likely dates from 1970-72.  Here is a good source for checking Gibson serial numbers:  http://www.guitarhq.com/gibson.html#serial

It may work fine for pot codes, but in my experience, the "Guitar Dater Project" is not a consistently accurate source of information.

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