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Dating an ES355


Sonplaysblues

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Guest Farnsbarns Wunterslausche

Found this great guitar, but want to verify age and authenticity. Would also love any comments on quality, history, playability of the guitar.

 

Again, it's an ES355 ser# 52522

 

Thanks so much.

 

You can email service@gibson.com but you'll need to provide photos. I think they ask for a full frontshot, full rear and close up of the rear of the headstock.

 

If you post pics here there are a lot of clued up people around, detail is the key.

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Okay, a 5-digit serial number beginning with "5" would normally indicate 1962. However, after looking at the photos, there are a couple of things that may contradict this.

 

First, the photo of the serial number on the rear of the headstock looks a little odd to me. The number does not seem to be "centered" (symetrically), if indeed it's a 5-digit number. I'm not saying that I'm sure there's something fishy here, but it's something to consider.

 

Also, the deluxe "lyre" engraved vibrola tailpiece is of the type that is generally found on 355's later than 1962. The earlier design was the "sideways" vibrola, and Duchossoir states that the sideways type was phased out and "replaced after 1962" by the lyre type. Again, this is slightly fuzzy in terms of timing, but also something to consider.

 

As with the tailpiece, the tuners changed "after 1962" from Grover rotomatics with "half moon" buttons to Kluson "super tuners". This guitar has the later type.

 

I'm wondering if it's possible that the serial number is actually a 6-digit number, and that this guitar dates to 1965. It looks more like a '65 to me.

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