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i.d. your Epiphone here -- serial # key, guitardater link + factory codes... a worldwide guide >part 3

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My335, your serial number is too long to be a Fujigen sn, I have never seen one longer than 6 numbers. Is there a possibility that the first character is actually an "O" and not a "0"? Another thing to check is that Japanese guitars have serial numbers with "Made in Japan" under the number. Elitists lack the made in Japan. Japanese made Epis also have 2 screws in the TRC, not 3. If yours has 3, it is not MiJ.

 

Here is an example of a Japanese 335 for sale on ebay right now:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=110826067079&ssPageName=STRK:MESE:IT

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Barcham,

The zero(s)do not appear to be "O"s in this serial #. Your comment of not ever seeing a # longer than 6 characters has me puzzled. I wonder what kind of a hybrid this might be? If you compare a zero to the O in "DOT" above the number, they're different. Any suggestions, folks? Also, the p'ups have 57CH(G) stickers on the back; one with an "F" stamp and the other with an "R" on the left side and "H" on the right. They're wax potted with the covers soldered on.

post-40763-034127500 1329595771_thumb.jpg

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Hi guys need some help with my guitar since the serial is very strange.. it cant be made 92 since joe pass signature model came when he died 94? it has no sticker inside the fhole aswell... and if its a 1999 how do you put toghetter the other numbers?

here comes pictures

regards Magnus

 

2012-02-06183706_resized_1.jpg

2012-02-06183732_resized.jpg

2012-02-06183713_resized.jpg

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Hi guys need some help with my guitar since the serial is very strange.. it cant be made 92 since joe pass signature model came when he died 94? it has no sticker inside the fhole aswell... and if its a 1999 how do you put toghetter the other numbers?

here comes pictures

regards Magnus

 

 

 

There was a Joe Pass Emperor before '94

 

but it should have the toggle on the cutaway side ???

 

http://epiphonewiki....oe_Pass_Emperor

 

[confused]

 

Here's a quick rundown of the Korean Emperors as I understand it: Prior to 1993, it was just called the Emperor. Joe Pass endorsed the Emperor in 1993 (September I believe), moved the switch moved from the lower horn to the upper bout and it became the Emperor II. Joe died in 1994, and in 1995 the Joe Pass signature was added to the pickguard & TRC and it officially became the Joe Pass Emperor II.

An original Emperor should have the switch on the horn, so we know yours is an Emperor II. Maybe it's a really early Emperor II, possibly manufactured before the Emperor II was announced in 1993. I'm sure Epiphone had anticipated the endorsement and wanted to have the new model ready to ship when the announcement was made. And as far as the signature, I wouldn't be surprised if Epiphone upgraded their existing inventory with the new pigkguards to make them current. It wouldn't have been difficult.

Here's a good way to decipher the clues. The original Emperor IIs had maple tops, they changed to spruce tops in 1996. My guess is that JP wanted spruce but they decided to use up the leftover maple Emperor bodies. If yours has a maple top, it's one of those crossover models. If it's a spruce top, you're serial # makes no sense at all.

We tend to think of the serial # as an absolute, at least I do. A guitar isn't made on a particular day, and a production run of Emperor bodies might have taken months to finish. And what started off as an Emperor might have ended up an Emperor II. And that run could have supplied Epiphone for a couple of years.

Just to make things more confusing, and just to demonstrate that things are not always as they seem, look at this interesting ad that is on the excellent Epiphone Wiki page:

JoepassEmperor2.jpg

This wording of this as implies that Joe Pass was still alive, and it's an original Emperor (note switch) with a signature pickguard. I assume this was a really early ad, and they wanted to sell off the original Emperors before rolling out the Emperor IIs. I don't think I've ever seen an Emperor with that particular signature pickguard.

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Sorry I didn't get these up sooner. From all your input and from what I've been able find out, I'm still baffled. Except one post, Barcham stated if it had 3 screws in TRC, it's not MIJ. Well, she's got 3 so, she's not MIJ, but that ser. # has got me stumped. Thanks, guys.

post-40763-026023200 1329683565_thumb.jpg

post-40763-091044800 1329683578_thumb.jpg

post-40763-007289600 1329683590_thumb.jpg

post-40763-083096700 1329683616_thumb.jpg

post-40763-051106900 1329683826_thumb.jpg

post-40763-097431000 1329683871_thumb.jpg

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Sorry I didn't get these up sooner. From all your input and from what I've been able find out, I'm still baffled. Except one post, Barcham stated if it had 3 screws in TRC, it's not MIJ. Well, she's got 3 so, she's not MIJ, but that ser. # has got me stumped. Thanks, guys.

 

57 CH G are the standard PAF style pickups used on Korean Dots. F & R = front and rear. There was also a 57 HOT-G used for LP bridge pickups. The CH indicates chrome covers (I think).

 

Honestly, I don't see the problem with the serial #, 00 = 2000, 04 = April, 0006 = guitar #6 that month. Samick declared bankruptcy around 1996, and Epiphone subcontracted with many Korean manufacturers to handle their needs. Even the major factories like Unsung, Peerless & Saien could not handle the volume, at one point Epiphone was the largest selling brand and Samick made over half of the guitars in the world (I think they still do). The fact that there's no factory code might just indicate that it was made by one of the other Korean factories Epiphone would use on occasion.

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57 CH G are the standard PAF style pickups used on Korean Dots. F & R = front and rear. There was also a 57 HOT-G used for LP bridge pickups. The CH indicates chrome covers (I think).

 

Honestly, I don't see the problem with the serial #, 00 = 2000, 04 = April, 0006 = guitar #6 that month. Samick declared bankruptcy around 1996, and Epiphone subcontracted with many Korean manufacturers to handle their needs. Even the major factories like Unsung, Peerless & Saien could not handle the volume, at one point Epiphone was the largest selling brand and Samick made over half of the guitars in the world (I think they still do). The fact that there's no factory code might just indicate that it was made by one of the other Korean factories Epiphone would use on occasion.

 

Thanks, JMac, much appreciated and makes sense.

 

D

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Sorry I didn't get these up sooner. From all your input and from what I've been able find out, I'm still baffled. Except one post, Barcham stated if it had 3 screws in TRC, it's not MIJ. Well, she's got 3 so, she's not MIJ, but that ser. # has got me stumped. Thanks, guys.

 

 

Now that I realize it after seeing your guitar, my 2 screws in the TRC would not apply to that model of guitar. I was thinking of the more traditional headstock such as on a Les Paul or SG or Dot. On a 335 or a Casino, the TRC would indeed have 3 screws whether it was an Elitist, other MiJ or not. My apologies for any confusion I may have added to things. [wub]

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Now that I realize it after seeing your guitar, my 2 screws in the TRC would not apply to that model of guitar. I was thinking of the more traditional headstock such as on a Les Paul or SG or Dot. On a 335 or a Casino, the TRC would indeed have 3 screws whether it was an Elitist, other MiJ or not. My apologies for any confusion I may have added to things. [wub]

That's cool, no apology necessary at all...seems like the quest continues?...

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A quick shout out to the model ID gurus who inhabit this thread, member Paul Fox (pfox14) has an excellent site with a wealth of information on old Gibsons and Epiphones, mainly pre 1960 stuff but I'm sure you'll find something there interesting to peruse. He also does restorations, some of which have great progress photos, I found that very interesting, YMMV.

 

Paul Fox Guitars

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Here's a good way to decipher the clues. The original Emperor IIs had maple tops, they changed to spruce tops in 1996. My guess is that JP wanted spruce but they decided to use up the leftover maple Emperor bodies. If yours has a maple top, it's one of those crossover models. If it's a spruce top, you're serial # makes no sense at all.

 

 

 

nice. can i take a close up picture and you tell me if its a maple or spruce top? cuz i have no idea what its made off.

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Here's a good way to decipher the clues. The original Emperor IIs had maple tops, they changed to spruce tops in 1996. My guess is that JP wanted spruce but they decided to use up the leftover maple Emperor bodies. If yours has a maple top, it's one of those crossover models. If it's a spruce top, you're serial # makes no sense at all.

 

 

 

nice. can i take a close up picture and you tell me if its a maple or spruce top? cuz i have no idea what its made off.

 

Sure thing, but no guarantees. Actually, I was trying to tell from the photo of the guitar you posted, but there's not enough detail to distinguish the grain pattern.

 

Spruce is the most common top on an acoustic guitar, and typically it has straight line grain pattern like this:

 

170px-Wood_picea_abies.jpg

 

 

Maple is usually not that uniformly straight grained:

 

Maple.jpg

 

 

So if you can get a good photo of the grain, we'll take a look at it and see if we can figure it out (no pun intended).

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Thanks, Ras. I just sent him an email. I'll post what his input is.

That link was meant for the guys who do this ID stuff, not for sending general inquiries to him, as mentioned he's mainly only involved in pre 1960 stuff anyway, not the models later than that.

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Sure thing, but no guarantees. Actually, I was trying to tell from the photo of the guitar you posted, but there's not enough detail to distinguish the grain pattern.

 

Spruce is the most common top on an acoustic guitar, and typically it has straight line grain pattern like this:

 

170px-Wood_picea_abies.jpg

 

 

Maple is usually not that uniformly straight grained:

 

Maple.jpg

 

 

So if you can get a good photo of the grain, we'll take a look at it and see if we can figure it out (no pun intended).

 

 

hm think mine is a spruce top.. pretty sure since the grain is very straight in line. found this guitar now and its same s92 as mine lol.

http://www.robwesley.com/guitars/listings/Epiphone%20Joe%20Pass%20Emperor%20II%20blonde%20spruce%201999/

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A quick shout out to the model ID gurus who inhabit this thread, member Paul Fox (pfox14) has an excellent site with a wealth of information on old Gibsons and Epiphones, mainly pre 1960 stuff but I'm sure you'll find something there interesting to peruse. He also does restorations, some of which have great progress photos, I found that very interesting, YMMV.

 

Well anyway, he graciously responded with MIK, April, 2000. So, that's done. Thanks for the link.

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hm think mine is a spruce top.. pretty sure since the grain is very straight in line. found this guitar now and its same s92 as mine lol.

http://www.robwesley...0spruce%201999/

 

Yep, that looks like a 1999 Spruce top to me.

"When you have eliminated all which is impossible, then whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth." - Sherlock Holmes

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Here's a quick rundown of the Korean Emperors as I understand it: Prior to 1993, it was just called the Emperor. Joe Pass endorsed the Emperor in 1993 (September I believe), moved the switch moved from the lower horn to the upper bout and it became the Emperor II. Joe died in 1994, and in 1995 the Joe Pass signature was added to the pickguard & TRC and it officially became the Joe Pass Emperor II.

An original Emperor should have the switch on the horn, so we know yours is an Emperor II. Maybe it's a really early Emperor II, possibly manufactured before the Emperor II was announced in 1993. I'm sure Epiphone had anticipated the endorsement and wanted to have the new model ready to ship when the announcement was made. And as far as the signature, I wouldn't be surprised if Epiphone upgraded their existing inventory with the new pigkguards to make them current. It wouldn't have been difficult.

 

Just to make things more confusing, and just to demonstrate that things are not always as they seem, look at this interesting ad that is on the excellent Epiphone Wiki page:

 

This wording of this as implies that Joe Pass was still alive, and it's an original Emperor (note switch) with a signature pickguard. I assume this was a really early ad, and they wanted to sell off the original Emperors before rolling out the Emperor IIs. I don't think I've ever seen an Emperor with that particular signature pickguard.

 

Jerry. both of those Joe Pass Emperor pics are from 1991. One of them is a magazine print ad, and the other is right out of the 1991 catalog. The first Korean Emperor (non-Joe Pass) shows up in the 1986 catalog and is identical to the Emperors in the ad & catalog, minus the signature pickguard and TRC. The JP Emperor II is seen in the 1994 catalog, but I dont have 1992 & 1993 to compare. My dates were a bit of guesswork and internet sluething, which I really hate to rely on because it is oftentimes innacurate.

 

My guess is that they were putting JP sig parts on any Emperors that were ordered as Joe Pass sigs, and the rest were just standard Emperors. That may account for why you never see the JP models from 1991-1992 or 93.

 

Here is a Joe Pass Emperor I, but the pickguard sig is more like the JP Emperor II. The ones in the catalog & ad most likely have mock-up parts on them. Just another guess, but it would explain the difference in sigs on the PG.

http://www.guitar-museum.com/guitar-13719-Epiphone-Joe-Pass-Emperor-II-Gibson-with-hard-case

 

As far as the spruce vs. maple top, I have no idea. I'm not even sure if I have it right on the wiki. [mellow]

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Jerry. both of those Joe Pass Emperor pics are from 1991. One of them is a magazine print ad, and the other is right out of the 1991 catalog. The first Korean Emperor (non-Joe Pass) shows up in the 1986 catalog and is identical to the Emperors in the ad & catalog, minus the signature pickguard and TRC. The JP Emperor II is seen in the 1994 catalog, but I dont have 1992 & 1993 to compare. My dates were a bit of guesswork and internet sluething, which I really hate to rely on because it is oftentimes innacurate.

 

My guess is that they were putting JP sig parts on any Emperors that were ordered as Joe Pass sigs, and the rest were just standard Emperors. That may account for why you never see the JP models from 1991-1992 or 93.

 

Here is a Joe Pass Emperor I, but the pickguard sig is more like the JP Emperor II. The ones in the catalog & ad most likely have mock-up parts on them. Just another guess, but it would explain the difference in sigs on the PG.

http://www.guitar-mu...-with-hard-case

 

As far as the spruce vs. maple top, I have no idea. I'm not even sure if I have it right on the wiki. [mellow]

 

Here's what Blue Book says:

 

"...available in Natural or Vintage Sunburst finishes, mfg. 1982-1992 (as Emperor), 1993-94 (as Emperor II), 1995-current (Joe Pass Emperor II) . In 1994, Heritage Cherry Sunburst was introduced. In 1995, silk-screened Joe Pass signature added to pickguard. In 1996, select Spruce top replaced laminate maple top; Metallic Gold and Wine Red finishes were introduced. In 2000, Metallic Gold and Wine Red finishes disc."

 

They don't distinguish the MIJ Emperors from the MIKs, which explains the 1982-1992.

 

I always thought Joe Pass became an Epiphone endorser in September of 1993, so I was surprised by the 1991 ads with him. I just checked and found the origin of the confusion. Joe wrote a letter in September 1993 stating: "I endorse Epiphone Emperor for Gibson but play ES175 they made for me last year - a great guitar." There's no mention of when he started endorsing the Emperor in the letter, but I guess people assumed that the letter corresponded with his endorsement. Here's an actual scan of the letter:

 

 

 

 

 

jplet2.jpg

Hope this helps you out. Thanks, and take care.

 

 

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Holy hell, I cant read that chicken scratch! And I though my handwriting was bad...

 

I dont know Jerry, I dont put a lot of stock in to Blue Book when it comes to anything other than pricing. There are so many models that they arent even aware of. And considering that they cover a wide range of guitars and other things, I cant imagine that they put a whole lot of research in to obscure stuff like this. I used to refer to the online Blue Book before they started hiding thier specs, and the amount of wrong guitar specs and production years was astounding. I mean, they were in the general ball park, but their accuracy was a little lax.

 

I recently had an email exchange with someone inquiring about their Emperor-I. They called Epiphone to verify some years, and even they said that the Joe Pass came out in 1993...even though their own catalogs say otherwise. And by two years, which is quite a long time for something like this. But much like Blue Book, I dont put much faith in the knowledge of a customer servive rep looking stuff up on the computer at a customer's whim.

 

Hopefully that link to Guitar Museum that I posted is enough to prove the existence of the Joe Pass Emperor-I beyond the Epiphone catalogs and print ads. Like I said earlier, I have a feeling that these early JP models were "order-only" type sales. Something to test the market, maybe.

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I own a Slash Appetite Model serial number 10091513720 but if the number system is with the last 5 digits being the production number then it either is wrong or Epiphone has made a mistake because their is only 3000 of these models and it says it would be #13720. can anyone help me identify this. it says its made by epiphones custom shop via paited stamp on the back, a made in china sticker and a silver/grey sticker that has a large red 8 and says inspected and set up in the US....any help?

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Hi, I'm just wondering about my Epiphone Ultra's serial number

 

I guess it would decode something like this: (right?)

 

10 = 2010

 

70 = July(?)

 

20 = DaeWon or Unsung

 

001 = unit number

 

Could anyone let me know if this looks right?

 

Thanks in advance

 

Steve G.post-41420-026851900 1331237823_thumb.jpg

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I = Saein, Korea

07= year

02= month

0001= production#

 

welcome here [thumbup]

Wow. I guess I was off by a mile(s). So now I guess, is that production number 1, for the run at that factory or for that year? And is it a good thing or does it matter, having the low production number? It seems to be a nicely built guitar.. Great tone. Thanks again for the information. I really appreciate the help!

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