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What does "Gibson USA Prototype" sticker mean?


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Thanks! I sent an email to support on Feb 19th and I never got a response. This was a going away present when I left my last company five years ago (Hard Rock Cafe). All of my co-workers signed the guitar so it has a ton of sentimental value. I never got the story of the guitar and sticker before I left. It might have been on display somewhere so maybe that is why there are holes? I tried Google searches over the years and never came up with anything.

 

Here are photos of the front.

 

IMG_4865.JPG

IMG_4866.JPG

 

 

I will wait and see if customer service ever comes back with any information and let you know. I will also contact my old coworkers and see if anybody knows the story.

 

Thanks!

Christine

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I can tell you through google searches i Found out that they do make prototypes before guitars go full production and these are used as the standard by which all others are measured....however, as far as i can tell, they do not issue serial numbers to prototype guitars. They usually hand write "proto#1" on the headstock.

 

The holes do look like they are from a wall mount of some sort. You said ou worked t hard rock so that makes complete sense.

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As others have already guessed it was probably a 'mule' used by Gibson to evaluate certain details/aspects of the instrument before any decision about whether or not the guitar should become a production model was taken.

Does it have a mahogany top? There was a 'Classic Mahogany' in production from 2000 - 07 and the 'Classic Antique' with the bound headstock came out in 2007. Perhaps Gibson considered introducing a 'Classic Antique' with a mahogany top and this was the tester?

 

I've never seen a sticker used by Gibson to denote a prototype but I've never seen a prototype made that recently before so it wouldn't surprise me if they have adopted this method nowadays.

 

If you ever get a reply from CS please keep us informed!

 

And, as Bence says, Nice Guitar!

 

FWIW here are four earlier prototypes shown in date order showing how Gibson have used different means of marking Prototypes over the years.

They are all rather special as they were Les Paul's own guitars.

 

The first two have the 'Gibson Original Prototype' cartouche vertically positioned and stamped between the lower 4 tuners.

The first is from '69/'70 and has the (very large!) prototype serial number 001.

The second is from '78. In addition to the prototype number 0001 it also has a regular production serial number.

The third is from '86 and the 'GOP' cartouche is now a decal instead of being stamped; it is horizontally placed and the guitar has a (just visible) regular production serial number.

The fourth merely states PROTOTYPE in an ink-stamp and the guitar has no serial number. It isn't dated but it is a (recent) '54 re-issue and this model was introduced in 1991.

 

Fourprototypes_zps846b2511.jpg

 

P.

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...Ahhh! And that second one: the '78 voluted three-piece, walnut-colored headstock, what a beauty! Wish I had a guitar...oh wait minute! Just bought one ;)

 

(Every time, - during the working days -, I remember that I bought myself a nice Recording I feel the adrenaline rushing through my veins.) [laugh][blush] Sorry, for this insane post.

 

Great post, indeed, Pippy! Always a joy to read Your posts with the interesting background informations You have on topics. Every day, is a school-day!

 

Cheers... Bence

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[lol]

 

If it wasn't for the fact that I'd be going off-topic I'd post a snap of the front of it. It's the prototype of the 25/50 model and it is absolutely stunning!

 

Go on, someone........twist my arm.

 

P.

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[lol]

 

If it wasn't for the fact that I'd be going off-topic I'd post a snap of the front of it. It's the prototype of the 25/50 model and it is absolutely stunning!

 

Go on, someone........twist my arm.

 

P.

 

Hehe! I guess noone would be angry if You posted it...

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... I am not sure how to tell if my guitar is mahogany ...

 

Hello Ckirsten!

 

If You remove the control cavity cover, You should be able to see the inner surface of the top. If it's light, yellow-ish - it's maple, if it's red-brown then it's mahogany. Hopefully the cavity cover haven't been painted. If so, You can still remove one of the pickups to see the top.

 

Cheers... Bence

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The color is "Catalina Red" - if I am correct.

 

 

Hello Bense,

 

I'm not sure it is Catalina Red. I looked that color up on Google and it seems those guitars have a solid color red. Mine is more of a red wood grain color. You can see it clearer in this photo of the back. I am guessing those "holes" are not supposed to be there either.

 

guitarback.jpg

 

Thanks!

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Some models may have used the word "prototype" as a marketing tool,

but Gibson does have true prototypes that sometimes leave the factory.

 

This was discussed recently on the acoustic Gibson forum.

The guitar in question had similar holes drilled in many locations.

The holes are apparently utilized in testing & evaluation.

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Gibson USA Prototype is the brand name of guitar making company... It is mainly stuck on the company's guitar to create attractive look.

 

[blink]

 

 

Welcome dear. This sticker is used for identify the brand of company. The people usually recognize these guitars with the name of their companies and brands. ....

 

Okay . . . one. . . . But two?!? . . . Newbs . . #-o

 

 

[blink]

 

 

Gibson USA - Part of the Gibson Guitar Corporation.

 

Prototype - A full-scale and usually functional form of a new type or design or model. . . . In other words, a prototype is not a production guitar and not meant to be sold. It's an experiment, a test for a possible production run. One or several might be created before a decision is made on whether to run it or scrap it.

 

.

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Hello,

 

I have a Gibson Les Paul Classic Antique from 2007. It has a sticker that says "Gibson USA Prototype", but I am not sure what that means. Does anybody know?

 

IMG_4765-001.JPG

 

Thanks!

Christine

 

 

This was likely a guitar that we donated to the Hard Rock Cafe for display; holes were likely drilled to ensure that the instrument was not resold at any point as a 1st quality product instrument. If there are any other specifics that we can come up with, we'll post here as well.

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