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Kenny202

Epiphone BB King serial number mystery

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Tried to date this online, I believe Korean Epiphone BB King. Serial number R0003026.

R should indicate Peerless factory, first letter should be year (2000? 2010?) and next 2 letters the month but month can't be 00?

Can anyone give me some information on this guitar please

20191114_110905.jpg

20191114_170836.jpg

Edited by Kenny202

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It is possible that this Lucille is not an Epiphone or Gibson product.

On Guitar InSite lookup shows the SN in the Gibson Decoder...

Factory Order Number (FON): R0003026

Construction year: 1960

FON (Fabrieks Order Nummer) Sequence number: 26

Epiphone Signature guitars are very popular for copying.

There are quite a few Lucille's on DHgate and Aliexpress...

Epi Lucille's started production in 1996 in Korea and the R could indicate the Peerless factory and the SN data can be flakey at best..

The SN could break down like listed below

R = Peerless

00 = 2000

03 = March

026 = does not equate for a product number.

but if you add a zero to the product number the Epiphone Decoder shows

Serial number: R00030026

Built: March 2000 (serial: 0026)

Made by Peerless, Korea

Basically the SN is missing one digit could be the month like R000    3026

Peerless did manufacture Lucille's

Note Epiphone marks its bridges and stop bars on the bottom with "Epiphone"

Note Note I could be totally wrong, but you could have a fake serial number, that was copied incorrectly...

If needed.... Report Counterfeits

Edited by mihcmac

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On 11/16/2019 at 7:39 AM, mihcmac said:

It is possible that this Lucille is not an Epiphone or Gibson product.

On Guitar InSite lookup shows the SN in the Gibson Decoder...

Factory Order Number (FON): R0003026

Construction year: 1960

FON (Fabrieks Order Nummer) Sequence number: 26

Epiphone Signature guitars are very popular for copying.

There are quite a few Lucille's on DHgate and Aliexpress...

Epi Lucille's started production in 1996 in Korea and the R could indicate the Peerless factory and the SN data can be flakey at best..

The SN could break down like listed below

R = Peerless

00 = 2000

03 = March

026 = does not equate for a product number.

but if you add a zero to the product number the Epiphone Decoder shows

Serial number: R00030026

Built: March 2000 (serial: 0026)

Made by Peerless, Korea

Basically the SN is missing one digit could be the month like R000    3026

Peerless did manufacture Lucille's

Note Epiphone marks its bridges and stop bars on the bottom with "Epiphone"

Note Note I could be totally wrong, but you could have a fake serial number, that was copied incorrectly...

If needed.... Report Counterfeits

Yes no way its a copy. Literally had hundreds of guitars over the years and fakes even good ones are not hard to spot.  Pick ups, bridge everything marked Epiphone. Do they even make fake Epi's? I live in Thailand and see tons of fake USA Fenders and Gibson's and believe it or not some excellent players but their logos, printing etc you would know in a heartbeat it was a fake.  Some excellent stuff coming out of China now. I had an Epi RIviera Epi Chinese factory made, one of the best guitars I ever played. Build and hardware very good. They can't be ignored anymore same as Japan used to be known for junk.

This is BB King is an excellent guitar by the way, in fact I sold my Joe Pass in favour of it.

Appreciate the info though

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You got me worried now lol. I went and had another look and I notice mine doesn't have the tuneable bridge, has the standard Gibson bridge.

I just assumed earlier models didn't have this feature. Had a look on google images and the bulk of them have the tuneable bridge but quite a few also normal bridge. Still, the inlays etc look a bit too good to be a fake and from what I can see online I can't see any reference to fake Epiphones anywhere, particularly Lucilles. Anyone have anymore info?

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The Asian exact copy market seems to focus on the upper end models including Signature editions.

I have seen some  impressive reproductions, the Chinese are really good and getting better at making them..

The copiers do not bother to to put the Epiphone logo on the bottom of the bridge or stop bar...

Edited by mihcmac

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I had another look and there is no logo on stop tail or bridge but the stop tail is clearly not original anyway as it doesn't have the micro tuners. I am so paranoid I plugged the guitar in today and was only getting an output on the treble pick up. Detuned it, checked the pickups, then removed the back cover until I remembered I probably plugged into the stereo outlet instead of mono. Yep, thats what I did lol. I did remove the back cover and have a look at the electronics and one glance with the tiny pots etc and thought it must be a copy. I googled wiring photos EPI Lucille and exactly the same as what I have to the last detail. These Epi BB Kings are pretty expensive you would think they could put full size decent pots in them. I had a look at the back of the pick ups and have Epi logo and says Dot, LP rear etc. Do these come with the same stock pick ups you get on a Dot? In any case the guitar sounds amazing and the action is silky. Neck is really nice. Hear a lot of people saying these necks very chunky but my neck thickish but very thin across the fret board.

So I don't know. I would be extremely surprised if the guitar is a fake. By the serial number is about a 2000 mod Korean made so I am guessing very different to how they are produced now and I think back then they even varied from factory to factory when doing some research on an Epi Riviera I had. I am still unconvinced they do copy Epiphone Lucilles. I have seen plenty of copy GIBSON Lucilles on Aliexpress etc but no Epi's.  Would love to see some images of one if anyone has. The copy GIBSON Lucille's look absolutely fake with different logos on the headstock etc. To top that off the copy GIBSON Lucilles I have seen are around the same retail price as an EPI Lucille even from China. 

 

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Found an Epiphone Lucille on eBay with a similar SN that doesn't track either. The Peerless made Epiphones seem to have very good reputations.

It is looking like the reported tracking data may have been incomplete which was not unusual for some Korean era Epiphones and looks like the factory just put in a "0" where the month code should be.

R = Peerless

00 = 2000

0 = no month indicated

3026 = 3026th guitar built

maybe......

Korean Lucille on eBay..... this one, I think, would translate to Peerless, 2004, no month, 3012th built...

s-l1600.jpg

SN decoding explained from Guitar InSite

One letter seven digits
The letter indicates the factory code and the first digit is the last digit of the year. 
The 3rd and 4th digits represent the month.
The last 4 digits form the series sequence number.
Because the year is only represented by 1 digit, guitars with this coding from the 80s, 90s or a decade of 2000. (depending on the factory code)
Example: Serial number S6031234 is the 1234th guitar built in 1986, 1996 or 2006 at the Samick factory in Korea.

Two letters six digits
The letter indicates the factory code and the next two digits are the last two digits of the year.
The second letter (third character) stands for the month. (A = January, B = February, etc.)
The last 4 digits form the series sequence number
Example: Serial number R04E0123 is the 123st guitar of May 2004, built in the Peerless factory, Korea.

Note I have several old bridges and stop bars spanning the last 25 years all marked Epiphone, but none of them are Gold plated.

Edited by mihcmac

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4 hours ago, mihcmac said:

Found an Epiphone Lucille on eBay with a similar SN that doesn't track either. The Peerless made Epiphones seem to have very good reputations.

It is looking like the reported tracking data may have been incomplete which was not unusual for some Korean era Epiphones and looks like the factory just put in a "0" where the month code should be.

R = Peerless

00 = 2000

0 = no month indicated

3026 = 3026th guitar built

maybe......

Korean Lucille on eBay..... this one, I think, would translate to Peerless, 2004, no month, 3012th built...

s-l1600.jpg

SN decoding explained from Guitar InSite

One letter seven digits
The letter indicates the factory code and the first digit is the last digit of the year. 
The 3rd and 4th digits represent the month.
The last 4 digits form the series sequence number.
Because the year is only represented by 1 digit, guitars with this coding from the 80s, 90s or a decade of 2000. (depending on the factory code)
Example: Serial number S6031234 is the 1234th guitar built in 1986, 1996 or 2006 at the Samick factory in Korea.

Two letters six digits
The letter indicates the factory code and the next two digits are the last two digits of the year.
The second letter (third character) stands for the month. (A = January, B = February, etc.)
The last 4 digits form the series sequence number
Example: Serial number R04E0123 is the 123st guitar of May 2004, built in the Peerless factory, Korea.

Note I have several old bridges and stop bars spanning the last 25 years all marked Epiphone, but none of them are Gold plated.

Wow thank you so much. This one is a dead ringer for mine down to tone knobs, knurled nut on the switch, machine heads 100% same. Headstock, Mickey mouse ears, bridge. Only thing different the stop tail which must have been replaced for some reason. Was playing it again last night man what a nice playing guitar. I've had a few Gibson ES355's and this thing whole different level in sound and playability. The varitone switch gives so many tones and it really does ring like a bell. Having said that I recently sold an immaculate Joe Pass that I couldn't bond with and had a very sterile tone, or so I thought. The Jazz guy who came around to buy it blew me away with the sound he was getting out of it. The neck is just awesome. Lowest action and the string tension is so soft bends are so easy. Definitely a keeper. Thanks again for your help

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Epi style Lucille on DHgate without Epiphone logo, which they will put what ever you want on the headstock.. Notice too it has a newer style Epiphone SN..

rBVaVF1ikNaAR1IpAANGLuHlL10303.jpg

rBVaV11ikNaAa6jPAAIQ5iQxo8s061.jpg

rBVaV11ikNeAaijLAAH1kIQtNrE637.jpg

Serial number: EE050203329

Built: February 2005 (serial: 03329)

Made by QingDao, China (Epiphone Electric)

rBVaVV1ikNeAYYZuAAGW7GFSBf8730.jpg

rBVaV11ikNeASdmeAAGbrm1K-uQ332.jpg

rBVaVF1ikNeAGiUzAAKWwlzW0XA015.jpg

Hmmmm.

Edited by mihcmac

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First glance differences...wrong colour Varitone plate, heel of the guitar bound, Grover copy Machine heads? Adjustable micro tune stop piece totally wrong. Pretty impressive copy though. If you had a choice of headstock labels I doubt very much anyone would select Epiphone over Gibson lol. 

I tell you one tell tale thing I have seen on all of these copies is the rear cover is much smaller on every copy BB King I have seen compared to real thing. Thanks again for your help

 

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13 hours ago, Kenny202 said:

First glance differences...wrong colour Varitone plate, heel of the guitar bound, Grover copy Machine heads? Adjustable micro tune stop piece totally wrong. Pretty impressive copy though. If you had a choice of headstock labels I doubt very much anyone would select Epiphone over Gibson lol. 

I tell you one tell tale thing I have seen on all of these copies is the rear cover is much smaller on every copy BB King I have seen compared to real thing. Thanks again for your help

You see some differences to look for. But this is only one of many manufacturers which will have other variations.

Edited by mihcmac
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