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Need help identifying this Gibson Archtop model and year


markmalin
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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

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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
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