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Help with ES-345TDW


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I own an ES-345TDW with Bigsby and am unsure about the manufacturer date.  I think walnut was introduced in ‘69 so it shouldn’t be any earlier than that.  However, it does have “Made in the USA” stamped into the headstock, which may make it later than that.  I have the original Gibson pamphlet that indicates it was purchased, used, in ‘71.  It’s an orange label 345, all original except for Klusons that were added in the ‘80s.  The label throws me a bit since I remember reading that 70’s built 345s did not have the orange oval label.  It does have a dotted “i” and closed “o” and “b” in the Gibson logo.  SS# is six digit, 9xxxxx.  Anything else I can look for to help with the date?  Here are a couple of images.



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Does it have a volute?  Not sure why it has an orange label, but otherwise it would seem to be 1970-1972 based on the serial number (or 1970-71 based on your information about the purchase date).  With the orange label, '70 may be more likely than '71, but I would have expected a slightly lower serial number in the 900000 range, rather than seeing a 5 as the second digit.  But who knows, considering how messed up their numbering system was in those years.  Also, I'm not entirely sure exactly when the "Made In USA" stamp was begun.  Anyway, that serial number was also used in 1968, but that would contradict the "Made In USA" stamp, and as far as I know, you're correct that the walnut finish was introduced in 1969.  Yet another Gibson mystery.

You seem to know your facts pretty well already, but in case you would like to look at my preferred online reference:  http://www.guitarhq.com/gibson.html#serial

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