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Is it a 68 or 69?


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I just bought a great J-50 (I think, or could it be a natural finish J-45?) from a dealer in Seattle. Condition is good, but not great cosmetically, but I don't mind as it plays and sounds fantastic.


There is no interior label. Serial number on the back of the headstock is 533663 which should date this guitar to 1969 as the dealer represented it to be. However, it is a round shouldered, not a square shouldered body, which should make it a 1968.


Since the serial number is near the beginning of the range for 1969, I'm wondering if it could be a 1968 style body which ended up on a 1969 produced guitar. Anybody know of any documented cases of this? Is there a way I can get information on this from Gibson, perhaps?


Any clues?




William Gray, Portland, OR

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'69! I was 12 years old and was being inspired by the best music ever! The music from'64 thru '75. Without a doubt, the best years for rock music. Along with all the things happening in our world at that time, it's a wonder we're all not a lttle "strange". [cool]

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It is my understanding that some 69s were round shouldered while the production run changed over to square shouldered versions.




That would seem the logical explanation. Gibson probably had a few leftover 1968 style tops, backs, and/or sides unless they were super careful in planning for the transition to square shouldered bodies, which I'm guessing they weren't. As several people have pointed out, it WAS the late sixties. Hey man, does that look square to you?


Is there a belief that there is sonic difference between the two body styles? Is one considered superior to the other? My J-50 sounds truly great, and that's compared against a lot of other fine guitars I own or have played. Hard to imagine a square shoulder sounding better.

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