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Old 10-06-08, 01:02 PM   #1
hos13
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Gibson Guitar Help needed.

I need help trying to find the age of a Gibson Jr Guitar that I received.

The serial on the back of the headstock is "0 7924". I thought it was a 79 but I'm not sure if Gibson used 5 digit serial numbers that year. It also has a Bigsby vibrato tailpiece on it. Did Gibson produce guitars with this tailpiece or is it after market piece? I can't find any pics of a Gibson Jr with a Bigsby.


It looks like this 59 Jr. Clearly I'm all over the place on the date.

Any help would be appreciated


Thanks

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Old 10-06-08, 01:07 PM   #2
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unusual, but I guess it could be original Bigsby; there'd possibly be holes plugged if the original bridge was removed....what's there for a bridge? Tune-o-matic? (Pics?)

...sounds like it's a '60, assuming it's legit.

pics?
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Old 10-06-08, 01:20 PM   #3
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I'll post some pic's when I get off work.
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Old 10-06-08, 01:53 PM   #4
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I only know how to decipher 8 digit Gibson serial numbers

Try here: http://www.gibson.com/en-us/support/serialnumbersearch/
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Old 10-06-08, 01:55 PM   #5
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go to memphis.
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Old 10-06-08, 02:11 PM   #6
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go to memphis.
once I get my skills back
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Old 10-06-08, 02:13 PM   #7
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I only know how to decipher 8 digit Gibson serial numbers

Try here: http://www.gibson.com/en-us/support/serialnumbersearch/
Thanks for the link. Looks like a 57 or 67, I'll have to read up on it some more.
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Old 10-06-08, 03:04 PM   #8
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Im 99% positive that guitar never came stock with a Bigsby.
Also, I dont think there was a '79 reissue either. Could be wrong
but they werent reissued until much later. If its a 59 or 60 its
worth lot and lots of $$$$$$$$
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Old 10-06-08, 05:19 PM   #9
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Pic's





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Old 10-06-08, 05:51 PM   #10
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Nice.
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Old 10-06-08, 06:30 PM   #11
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Pull the cover off the back and check the codes on the pots. That'll get you in the ball park. My '74 LesPaul Deluxe has a 6 digit serial number. The codes on the pots are coded for mfg date. There are a couple of on-line references that will tell you how to read the codes.

Or

Go to Borders or Barnes & Noble and look for the books on vintage guitars.
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Old 10-06-08, 07:19 PM   #12
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from pics it looks to me like could be an original 1960 and yeah, the Bigsby coulda been an aftermarket add on to the original bridge/tailpiece.....that's one of the cheaper Bigsbys with no stabilizer bar....I am guessing there is very little tension on the strings in present configuration, and maybe compromised tuning stability? The case certainly wouldn't be original for a 1960. The Blue book doesn't mention Bigsbys for Jrs, but they are pretty crappy on accuracy imo.

Did you pay a lot of money for this? If you think it's worth your trouble and a little money you could always get it appraised by George Gruhn or someone knowledgeable.
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Old 10-06-08, 07:27 PM   #13
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very very cool...
i thought those were from the early to mid 70s...
were i you, i'd just contact gibson in the US and ask them. They almost certainly have the answer and serial number. it's in great condition BTW....
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Old 10-06-08, 07:33 PM   #14
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very very cool...
i thought those were from the early to mid 70s...
nope - Jr was single cutaway till 58, then this style till it became an SG body in 61.

If the Bigsby is a mod, it's not abad one imo....looks like an old unit and it's prolly been on there for many years....plus no big screws I can see, which means you can just pop it off and reverse to stock...which is what I personally would do 5 seconds after getting that thing in my hands.....

in addition to being fast rising in value those gtrs just sound fantastic! P90 is my favorite pickup, period. sounds great with every amp imo. Looks like you've got jumbo frets too, and judging from condition of the finish I am guessing they are the originals.
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Old 10-06-08, 07:36 PM   #15
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from pics it looks to me like could be an original 1960 and yeah, the Bigsby coulda been an aftermarket add on to the original bridge/tailpiece.....that's one of the cheaper Bigsbys with no stabilizer bar....I am guessing there is very little tension on the strings in present configuration, and maybe compromised tuning stability? The case certainly wouldn't be original for a 1960. The Blue book doesn't mention Bigsbys for Jrs, but they are pretty crappy on accuracy imo.

Did you pay a lot of money for this? If you think it's worth your trouble and a little money you could always get it appraised by George Gruhn or someone knowledgeable.


It stays in tune pretty well and the action is very smooth. This Guitar feel like a piece of furniture very heavy and solid.

The story behind the guitar. I didn't pay anything for it. My wife's Grandmother died a few weeks ago. After the funeral she was helping her Grandpa go through the stuff she had saved and collected over the years. My wife's Grandparents saved their sons guitar (he was killed in the early 70's). While my wife was helping her Grandpa she saw it and kept it thinking I would want it (I played in highschool and college a bit). I told her sure not knowing what to expect. I plan on keeping it in the family, but just wondering about its age.
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Old 10-07-08, 02:19 AM   #16
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Def. keep it, man. But know that it is worth a solid five-figure price these days....

Juniors were the budget les pauls, sold for much less new, and never really cost alot used until about five-ten yrs ago...I can check production numbers, but I am pretty sure alot more Jrs were manufactured and sold than the upper tier models.


the brown single cuts (54-58) in minty shape fetch the most but these red 59-60 double cuts are right behind them....many people prefer them, and yours looks pretty clean.
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Old 10-07-08, 03:37 AM   #17
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Id love to have that axe.
All my heros play them.
Its a great dry but thick sound due to the old soapbar.
Like PGoat sez, you could probably get a few yeas of college
for your Son/Daughter by how much its worth
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Old 10-07-08, 05:46 AM   #18
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Pull the cover off the back and check the codes on the pots. That'll get you in the ball park. My '74 LesPaul Deluxe has a 6 digit serial number. The codes on the pots are coded for mfg date. There are a couple of on-line references that will tell you how to read the codes.

Or

Go to Borders or Barnes & Noble and look for the books on vintage guitars.
Thanks I'll try doing that tonight. I asked my wife's grandpa when he brought for my wife's uncle but he doesn't recall when he got it.

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Old 10-07-08, 05:49 AM   #19
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Thank you all, for your help.
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Old 10-07-08, 07:27 AM   #20
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Id love to have that axe.
All my heros play them.
Its a great dry but thick sound due to the old soapbar.
Like PGoat sez, you could probably get a few yeas of college
for your Son/Daughter by how much its worth

yeah....if you're looking at a community college. a good school is about $48,000 per year, and that ain't no $100,000 axe. however...it is pretty cool and prolly plays nice. i'd hang onto it rather than trade it fer edjucation....yous can get a edjucation jus bout anwhere anyho
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Old 10-07-08, 07:35 AM   #21
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If the Bigsby was aftermarket, it will lower the value of it.
Id pay $300 if anything. Its worth far more to you as a family heirloom.
Don't sell it.
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Old 10-07-08, 07:45 AM   #22
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If the Bigsby was aftermarket, it will lower the value of it.
Id pay $300 if anything. Its worth far more to you as a family heirloom.
Don't sell it.
Yeah, don't plan on selling it, I'm just interested in learning more about it. Also upon looking at it further, the bridge does appear to the be the original. However I like the look and feel of the Bigsby. I like it better then the Floyd Rose (I'm sure I had a low end FL), I had back in the day.
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Old 10-07-08, 07:46 AM   #23
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Def. keep it, man. But know that it is worth a solid five-figure price these days....

Perhaps not quite five-figures, especially with the non-original tailpiece, but very valuable nonetheless:

http://vintage-guitars.blogspot.com/...ul-junior.html
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Old 10-07-08, 08:17 AM   #24
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Just fyi, in NYC you'll pay no less than $7500 for that...def $10k on 48th street. So, maybe it won't pay for Harvard, but it'll make a nice investment worth holding onto.

Not that those prices fly everywhere, but it is clean, and the mod - assuming it is a mod - is easily reversible, which is all collectors care about...he'll easily get $10k if he wants it and is willing to wait.

If it is an original factory Bigsby, add a few $k for unusual collectability....

Jrs were plentiful but they were also beaters. People didn't buy those gtrs to polish and pamper - they beat the crap outta them and they usually changed hands often as players upgraded to more expensive showy instruments. As humbuckers supreceded single coils, people often gouged larger cavities to replace the P90s with PAFs or DiMarzios.

Hence, while there are tons of these axes out there, many are in abused or (irreversibly) modded shape, making this one highly collectible. People who'll pay $10k will use it for recording or put it in a vault....old Gibsons and Fenders will always hold their value, or rise if anything.

The reason these are so prized now is cause the average collector can't get near a standard or custom Les Paul ($25-50K even in lousy condition). Also, many players feel they sound better (self included) than pricier Les Paul models, as the one-piece mahogany body and p90 pickup is a great combo....your axe has a flat sawn body, which will possibly deaden the tone a bit and it should weigh about 8.5-9 lbs. The flat sawn grain is prettier, but mahogany is somewhat boring to look at compared to maple. So players tend to prefer quartersawn - I had two jr reissues; I sold the gorgeous and decent sounding but heavy flat sawn and kept the boring looking quartersawn with the lighter weight and killer tone.

It's nice that they kept their son's gtr and also that they passed it on to you. Keep it in a good place, in the case, and away from humidity & temp. fluctuations (windows, drafts, heating vents, damp, etc.).
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Old 10-07-08, 05:09 PM   #25
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It's nice that they kept their son's gtr and also that they passed it on to you. Keep it in a good place, in the case, and away from humidity & temp. fluctuations (windows, drafts, heating vents, damp, etc.).

Thanks for tips, I need to invest in a new case for sure for storage.
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