Jump to content
Gibson Brands Forums

Need help identifying this Gibson Archtop model and year


Recommended Posts

This was advertised as an L-48 from the 40's, but I'm not so sure. There is no stamped serial number inside the back.  The guitar is the same size as my 1957 L-48, however it has 1 less fret and it has a flat back (2 piece) which really threw me.  732504991_IMG_8430(1).jpeg.5bd25966e1e19264e4f4d13dcd67ff55.jpegIMG_8436.jpeg.791f112e7a3b4e32ba96c71c53a4bfaa.jpeg591757544_IMG_8434(1).jpeg.3f8dae65e09b512de0f1ee8f52de859b.jpeg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

from http://www.guitarhq.com/gibson2.html

Might help you narrow it down.

Model: L-48 Acoustic Archtop
Available: 1946 to 1971.
Collectibility Rating: D- (a very basic non-cutaway model).

1946 L-48 introduction specs:
16" wide, mahogany top (some early models with spruce top), single bound top and back, dot fingerboard inlays (a few early models with trapezoid), silkscreen peghead logo, sunburst finish.
1952 L-48 specs:
Spruce top, maple back, mahogany sides.
1954 L-48 specs:
Some with a spruce top and some with a laminated mahogany top.
1957 L-48 specs:
Laminiated mahogany top and sides, laminated maple back specified in catalog but in reality most had a mahogany back.
L-48 discontinued in 1971.
Gold logo: silkscreened 1947-1954
Gold logo: decal 1954-present
1947-1952: Factory Order Numbers of 3 or 4 digits, followed by a hyphen, followed by by 1 or 2 more digits, ink stamped on the inside back.
1948    1100s to 3700s ('Script' logo no longer used, block logo used.)
1949    2000s
1950    3000s to 5000s
1951    6000s to 9000s


  • Factory Order Numbers with a Letter, 1952 to 1961.
    This letter preceeds the batch number within the Factory Order Number (FON), and denotes the year of manufacturer. Remember, the batch number is the first 4 digits of the FON, followed by a 1 or 2 digit sequence number (within the batch). This letter should be before the FON batch number. This was used on archtop models (ink stamped inside treble F-hole) and on flat top models (ink stamped on the neck block), from 1952 to 1961:
Year    Letter
----    ------
1952    Z
1953    Y
1954    X
1955    W
1956    V
1957    U
1958    T
1959    S
1960    R
1961    Q
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Create New...