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How to spot a USA Riviera


tokaitelejohn

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I am thinking about buying what I believe is a '93 USA Riviera in Cherry Red. I have not seen the guitar in the flesh yet but I am concerned by a couple of things. First it has full size humbuckers. Secondly there is no serial number stamped on the back of the headstock (as I would expect of a Gibson USA manufactuired guitar). The label does not mention USA though there is a serial number and the model is 'Rivera CH'. Is this really a USA model or a late period Japanese one? Grateful for any advice.

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I am thinking about buying what I believe is a '93 USA Riviera in Cherry Red. I have not seen the guitar in the flesh yet but I am concerned by a couple of things. First it has full size humbuckers. Secondly there is no serial number stamped on the back of the headstock (as I would expect of a Gibson USA manufactuired guitar). The label does not mention USA though there is a serial number and the model is 'Rivera CH'. Is this really a USA model or a late period Japanese one? Grateful for any advice.

 

I own two 1993 USA Rivieras (both sunburst but they also came in cherry) and they have serial numbers (Gibson format) and "Made In The USA" stamped in the back of the headstock and they have mini humbuckers. The 70's/80's Matsumoku-made Japanese Epiphone Rivieras had full-sized humbuckers as did the 90's Korean-made versions. The Elitist Rivieras and post-2001 or so standard Asian Rivieras had mini-humbuckers but no American-made Riviera ever had the full-sized ones. The Riviera being offered for sale is NOT one of the very limited production (250) 1993/1994 Rivieras, it's probably a 90's Korean-made Riviera..

 

...and Al's your uncle.

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