Dating guitar pots

Also note that, in mid-1972, the “Les Paul” signature and “Model” inscription were changed from a silkscreen to a decal.It appears that your pickups were changed at some point (although the pickup openings seem to be originally cut for full-size humbuckers), the pickguard is absent, and the tip of the pickup switch is missing, as well.Can you tell me what model this is and how much it is worth today? —Brian Page Left: The mystery ’70s Gibson Les Paul.

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Most of the body appears to be in “very good plus” condition, and based on all of this, your guitar is valued between $2200-$2500.

To recap: Inconsistent serialization and the fact that many Gibson guitars do not have the exact model marked on the instrument, dating and identifying older Gibsons isn’t easy.

It usually takes more than just a serial number to accurately identify and date them, and there are numerous other dating systems and tools that I haven’t mentioned here.

Some serialization systems only apply to certain guitars, and in some cases the same serial number has been used on multiple guitars!

For more information on Gibson or potentiometer serialization and model identification, please refer to our website (bluebookinc.com) or visit Fjestad is a freelance writer who specializes in guitars and amplifiers including the history behind them and their current value.

Fjestad has been evaluating and appraising guitars for over 20 years.

Lower Right: The fourth and fifth numbers of this seven-digit potentiometer date code reveal the last two digits of its year of manufacture. Hi Brian, There’s no question that dating Gibson guitars is challenging—and sometimes downright impossible.

There are two basic components to your Les Paul question: dating it and identifying it.

Gibson has used numerous serialization systems over its 100-plus-year history, and a majority of these numbers were used haphazardly—and rarely in consecutive order—until the system was standardized in 1977.

Up until the early 1960s, serial numbers were fairly consistent, but for most of the 1960s and 1970s, six-digit numbers were used pretty much at random.

I’ll start with trying to date the instrument, but keep in mind that dating and identifying Gibson guitars typically go hand in hand.

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