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Gibson serial numbers starting with 22???? Les Paul Standards...


jeramydavid
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everything I have read on the gibson website says the new USA models will have the year for the first two digits. I have been shopping for a les paul standard 60s and there are several on reverb with 22xxxxxxx serial numbers. Am I missing something?

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I actually just asked a similar question about ones starting with 23 last month.....    I mean, the 22 might make sense, kind of like a car where the 2022 models start coming out in 2021, but I have no idea what is going on with the serial numbers on the new standards...   And no one really had any kind of a good answer to my question either.... 

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20 minutes ago, mrichard27 said:

I actually just asked a similar question about ones starting with 23 last month.....    I mean, the 22 might make sense, kind of like a car where the 2022 models start coming out in 2021, but I have no idea what is going on with the serial numbers on the new standards...   And no one really had any kind of a good answer to my question either.... 

Great. Well i emailed customer support. Hoping for an answer soon.

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You've had nearly 30 views so far. If someone had firm info they would have chimed in by now. Gibson serial number formats are liable to change & its hard to be sure. Hopefully customer support will provide an answer. If you don't get a swift reply back, consider phoning them.

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Gibson's own website is outdated.

As they state, starting in 1977, the serial number format became YDDDYPPP - Y being the third and fourth digit of the year, D being the day of the year, and P being the daily production number. At the time, 000-499 were Kalamazoo and 500-999 were Nashville. For a few years after Kalamazoo closed, no guitars were below 500. In 1993, Gibson Acoustic got 000-299 and Nashville stuck to 500+.

Eventually, it reached a point that they could produce more than 500 guitars per day, so they started including a batch number for Gibson USA (not Gibson Acoustic) in 2005, YDDDYBPPP. A guitar numbered 236551501 was made December 31, 2005, Batch 1, number 501.

In 2014, they switched to a less-specific format, YYRRRRRRR. Y is the last two digits of the year, and the rest is a sequential number for the entire year. 150000001 would be the first guitar made in 2015. Again, this was only for Gibson USA. They also started using "2015 Model" stamps, indicating a model fits the 2015 specs, but it might have actually been made in late 2014.

In 2018, they reverted to the 2005 system. This is still missing from the site. A guitar beginning with 22 means it was made since 2020, between July 19 and October 27, the 200th to 299th day of the year. Likewise, a serial number starting with 23 was made after October 28.

You need the first five digits to determine the year and day.

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44 minutes ago, pohatu771 said:

Gibson's own website is outdated.

As they state, starting in 1977, the serial number format became YDDDYPPP - Y being the third and fourth digit of the year, D being the day of the year, and P being the daily production number. At the time, 000-499 were Kalamazoo and 500-999 were Nashville. For a few years after Kalamazoo closed, no guitars were below 500. In 1993, Gibson Acoustic got 000-299 and Nashville stuck to 500+.

Eventually, it reached a point that they could produce more than 500 guitars per day, so they started including a batch number for Gibson USA (not Gibson Acoustic) in 2005, YDDDYBPPP. A guitar numbered 236551501 was made December 31, 2005, Batch 1, number 501.

In 2014, they switched to a less-specific format, YYRRRRRRR. Y is the last two digits of the year, and the rest is a sequential number for the entire year. 150000001 would be the first guitar made in 2015. Again, this was only for Gibson USA. They also started using "2015 Model" stamps, indicating a model fits the 2015 specs, but it might have actually been made in late 2014.

In 2018, they reverted to the 2005 system. This is still missing from the site. A guitar beginning with 22 means it was made since 2020, between July 19 and October 27, the 200th to 299th day of the year. Likewise, a serial number starting with 23 was made after October 28.

You need the first five digits to determine the year and day.

This is great information. Do you have a reference or source? 

In my opinion having partial or incomplete information on the website is worse than having no information.

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I don't have any official source to reference at the moment. The serial number change coincides with ownership change, so there are early 2018 models that are still using the old system.

I do have some corrections:

The first batch of the day is actually 0, not 1.

Since Gibson Acoustic doesn't use the 9-digit system, Gibson USA now starts at 001 instead of at 500. Gibson Custom also doesn't use this system, and certain Gibson USA models don't either - 1994 100th anniversary guitars all starts with 94, and certain Les Paul Classics use a 50s-inspired serial number format, beginning with the last digit of the year of production. There are probaby others.

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Posted (edited)

For those following this thread... I was able to confirm with Gibson customer support that current serial numbers use the 1st and 5th digits for the year(2xxx0xxxx=2020). 

YDDDYBNNN

so for example..
SN 122290122  would be the 122nd guitar built of the 222nd day of 2019 (August 10th)

SN 215701088 would be the 588th guitar built of the 159th day of 2020 (June 5th)

They did not tell me when they switched to this method, but I am sure pohatu771 is right that it has been since 2018. 

Thank you all for your input on this mystery.

I do hope Gibson adds this info to their website soon. mrichard27 and I can not be the only ones confused by this.

Edited by jeramydavid
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