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Where are they now...

El Gringo

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Joined
Apr 8, 2015
Messages
4,482
Sorry for the late reply El Gringo. The justification was usually because of the Finishing Dept. They were always the bottleneck of the process, which caused Final Assembly to miss their production numbers. And yes, it was overtime. But that wasn't always a bad thing, especially when I got paid with a guitar. Remember this thread: https://www.lespaulforum.com/index.php?threads/no-time-like-overtime.209016/
I sure do remember that thread and that awesome beauty of yours ! I wish I had a job that afforded me the opportunity to get a Gibson guitar ! How cool is that ? Very Cool as is your awesome Gibson !!!!!!!!!!!
 

Strings Jr.

Active member
Joined
Jan 17, 2016
Messages
571
As I mentioned in Post #1 of this thread, I not only wanted to share photos of some of the instruments I built, but also some excerpts from my log book / serial number ledger. Now, after about five months of data entry sessions, I finally have every serial number record that I could find of instruments that I built entered into a spreadsheet. The list is definitely not 100% of everything I did. I've found a couple of gaps of missing numbers during dates that I know I was building. But even with the gaps, there are over 10,700 numbers in the list, ranging from September 1978 thru April 1987. Along with being able to instantly search for specific serial numbers, I've found many "hidden" secrets in all that data by applying various filters. Here's a couple of examples.

I actually noticed this while I was entering numbers one day. Apparently, on December 11th, 1984 (Julian day 346) whoever was doing the neck-fit job, set the fifth digit of the serial number to "5" when it should have been "4". They began stamping Explorer Basses with the wrong year number. I built six of these with numbers ranging from 506 to 523. My guess is that there were at least 25 stamped wrong before they caught it.

Exp Bass numbers.jpg

Another bit of info that I never realized was with the LP Reissues, or Prehistorics. Beginning in 1983 they started being pretty consistent about using the first digit of the serial as the last digit of that year. For example, 3 0001 for 1983, 4 0001 for 1984, etc. always starting back at 0001 each year. But at the beginning of 1986, they did not start back at 0001. The serials started with a 6 but continued in sequence from 1985. It looks like somewhere around the 6 0350 mark is when the 1986 models started.

Reissue numbers.jpg

I've spent hours looking at this stuff and found many irregularities, anomalies, and other unknown facts about that era that would otherwise never be known. So glad that I finally got this project completed. Starting to think twice about putting all these facts in a book. What do you think?
 
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brandtkronholm

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 3, 2006
Messages
2,223
As I mentioned in Post #1 of this thread, I not only wanted to share photos of some of the instruments I built, but also some excerpts from my log book / serial number ledger. Now, after about five months of data entry sessions, I finally have every serial number record that I could find of instruments that I built entered into a spreadsheet. The list is definitely not 100% of everything I did. I've found a couple of gaps of missing numbers during dates that I know I was building. But even with the gaps, there are over 10,700 numbers in the list, ranging from September 1978 thru April 1987. Along with being able to instantly search for specific serial numbers, I've found many "hidden" secrets in all that data by applying various filters. Here's a couple of examples.

I actually noticed this while I was entering numbers one day. Apparently, on December 11th, 1984 (Julian day 346) whoever was doing the neck-fit job, set the fifth digit of the serial number to "5" when it should have been "4". They began stamping Explorer Basses with the wrong year number. I built six of these with numbers ranging from 506 to 523. My guess is that there were at least 25 stamped wrong before they caught it.

View attachment 15004

Another bit of info that I never realized was with the LP Reissues, or Prehistorics. Beginning in 1983 they started being pretty consistent about using the first digit of the serial as the last digit of that year. For example, 3 0001 for 1983, 4 0001 for 1984, etc. always starting back at 0001 each year. But at the beginning of 1986, they did not start back at 0001. The serials started with a 6 but continued in sequence from 1985. It looks like somewhere around the 5 0350 mark is when the 1986 models started.

View attachment 15005

I've spent hours looking at this stuff and found many irregularities, anomalies, and other unknown facts about that era that would otherwise never be known. So glad that I finally got this project completed. Starting to think twice about putting all these facts in a book. What do you think?
I think this is great stuff! Thank you for your care and effort!
 

El Gringo

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 8, 2015
Messages
4,482
As I mentioned in Post #1 of this thread, I not only wanted to share photos of some of the instruments I built, but also some excerpts from my log book / serial number ledger. Now, after about five months of data entry sessions, I finally have every serial number record that I could find of instruments that I built entered into a spreadsheet. The list is definitely not 100% of everything I did. I've found a couple of gaps of missing numbers during dates that I know I was building. But even with the gaps, there are over 10,700 numbers in the list, ranging from September 1978 thru April 1987. Along with being able to instantly search for specific serial numbers, I've found many "hidden" secrets in all that data by applying various filters. Here's a couple of examples.

I actually noticed this while I was entering numbers one day. Apparently, on December 11th, 1984 (Julian day 346) whoever was doing the neck-fit job, set the fifth digit of the serial number to "5" when it should have been "4". They began stamping Explorer Basses with the wrong year number. I built six of these with numbers ranging from 506 to 523. My guess is that there were at least 25 stamped wrong before they caught it.

View attachment 15004

Another bit of info that I never realized was with the LP Reissues, or Prehistorics. Beginning in 1983 they started being pretty consistent about using the first digit of the serial as the last digit of that year. For example, 3 0001 for 1983, 4 0001 for 1984, etc. always starting back at 0001 each year. But at the beginning of 1986, they did not start back at 0001. The serials started with a 6 but continued in sequence from 1985. It looks like somewhere around the 5 0350 mark is when the 1986 models started.

View attachment 15005

I've spent hours looking at this stuff and found many irregularities, anomalies, and other unknown facts about that era that would otherwise never be known. So glad that I finally got this project completed. Starting to think twice about putting all these facts in a book. What do you think?
I would love and welcome a book about your time with my favorite guitar maker and would pay for it . Seriously go for it . Along with your detailed record keeping , I would love insights on certain models that were liked and disliked and all of that insider info knowledge and wisdom that you could graciously share please !
 

Texsunburst59

Member
Joined
Feb 15, 2004
Messages
758
For years I've wanted to know exactly the origin of my '80 Gibson LP Standard.

I ran into Jimmy Wallace at a Vintage Guitar show in Austin Texas in '05 and I had my guitar with me.

He told me that it is was one of the very 1st Gibson "Test Run" guitars he had Gibson build spec'd out after his own personal original '58 Gibson LP Standard.

He said he wanted to make sure that Gibson got it to his satisfaction before he ordered his 1st bulk order of these with Quilt tops.

Here are some pics Strings Jr. that I hope will help finally identify this LP.

Thanks in advance for this amazing thread, and I too would buy a book your talking about publishing.

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51382144495_2418de2c71_z.jpg

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51382147570_57d75a73ed_z.jpg

51381140546_6336d932d1_c.jpg

51381402228_1fb7c5553a_z.jpg
 

agogetr

Active member
Joined
Jan 22, 2019
Messages
451
this is such an awesome thread! so many ultra cool guitars!
strings i cant find the post but you mentioned some namm guitars you made and took to namm, one you listed as a purple and violet explorer? something like that? i had to pause for a second, i have a guitar that could fit that description, its not with me at the moment but i do have the number its 802646 i got it out of a pawnshop in the northwest about 5 or 6 years ago for 550 dollars, i thought with the paint job it was part of the artist series done around 84? i figured it had to be one of a kind or only a few made. its uber cool looking came with a brown case that looks to be original. does that number come up?
 
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Strings Jr.

Active member
Joined
Jan 17, 2016
Messages
571
this is such an awesome thread! so many ultra cool guitars!
strings i cant find the post but you mentioned some namm guitars you made and took to namm, one you listed as a purple and violet explorer? something like that? i got chills for a second, i have a guitar that could fit that description, its not with me at the moment but i do have the number its 802646 i got it out of a pawnshop in the northwest about 5 or 6 years ago for 550 dollars, i thought with the paint job it was part of the artist series done around 84? i figured it had to be one of a kind or only a few made. its uber cool looking came with a brown case that looks to be original. does that number come up?
Hello! Yes, not a lot of Explorers made with that finish. Please check your serial number again. There should be 8 digits in the number. Looks like you're missing the last two. However, a quick check in my new database shows that I built 11 Explorers with serial numbers beginning with those six numbers. Maybe one of them was yours!
 

agogetr

Active member
Joined
Jan 22, 2019
Messages
451
Hello! Yes, not a lot of Explorers made with that finish. Please check your serial number again. There should be 8 digits in the number. Looks like you're missing the last two. However, a quick check in my new database shows that I built 11 Explorers with serial numbers beginning with those six numbers. Maybe one of them was yours!
awesome, i will try to dig it out, im in the middle of a move!
 

agogetr

Active member
Joined
Jan 22, 2019
Messages
451
i really had to dig but i got the explorer out! the number is 80264662 the whami says gibson on it also 'patent applied for'.
im terrible at pictures i will get one outside in the morning, its an uber cool guitar has a real quality feel to it as well
 

agogetr

Active member
Joined
Jan 22, 2019
Messages
451
here it is. my friend reminded me it was more like 16 years ago it came from the pawnshop. not sure if the pointer knobs are original. i usually dont keep newer guitars but i love explorers and i cant afford an original, this one really spoke to me so i snagged it. killer playing neck too, havent tried the wami yet theres no bar for it.
 

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KS 5150

Member
Joined
Sep 18, 2012
Messages
113
Hi, this is a great thread! Just went down the rabbit hole this morning. I just recently acquired a 1987 Custom with the serial number 82937538. Is there any chance you had a hand in building it?

i3-Em-BXn5-Rx-Kt-WKKHLo-KO4g.jpg
 

KS 5150

Member
Joined
Sep 18, 2012
Messages
113
Hello String Jr. I dont have the word to explain how much I have learned from you. This thread fells like a good book you never want to put down. I also have a question for you, I have a Gibson Les Paul custom from 1987 with a bridge I have never seen on another custom. Other then that it is a normal custom but plays amazing the serial number is 82937565. I hope this helps I am trying to figure out how to upload pictures. Thank you for all you have shared.
Wow, mine was built on the same day...serial # 82937538. That's crazy we both ended up in this thread.
 

djcmusician

Active member
Joined
Apr 29, 2015
Messages
164
what a great thread. I may have missed this, but what were things like at Gibson when ownership changed to the Henry J era? Was that early 1986?
 

Strings Jr.

Active member
Joined
Jan 17, 2016
Messages
571
For years I've wanted to know exactly the origin of my '80 Gibson LP Standard.

I ran into Jimmy Wallace at a Vintage Guitar show in Austin Texas in '05 and I had my guitar with me.

He told me that it is was one of the very 1st Gibson "Test Run" guitars he had Gibson build spec'd out after his own personal original '58 Gibson LP Standard.

He said he wanted to make sure that Gibson got it to his satisfaction before he ordered his 1st bulk order of these with Quilt tops.

Here are some pics Strings Jr. that I hope will help finally identify this LP.

Thanks in advance for this amazing thread, and I too would buy a book your talking about publishing.

Wow! That's a beautiful guitar. As far as the origin of your guitar, I assume it was made in Kalamazoo. I don't remember any of the Jimmy Wallace models being made in Nashville.

I noticed your guitar seems to have a black, or graphite type nut. Is that original? Seems odd on a guitar spec'd out to a '58. Also, it appears the fret nibs are missing. Is that original?

Very interesting guitar! Thanks for sharing.
 

Strings Jr.

Active member
Joined
Jan 17, 2016
Messages
571
here it is. my friend reminded me it was more like 16 years ago it came from the pawnshop. not sure if the pointer knobs are original. i usually dont keep newer guitars but i love explorers and i cant afford an original, this one really spoke to me so i snagged it. killer playing neck too, havent tried the wami yet theres no bar for it.
I didn't have your number in my list, but yes, it was built during the same time as the Designer Series.

The knobs are definitely not original. The originals would have been black Top Hat knobs.

Thanks for sharing!
 

Strings Jr.

Active member
Joined
Jan 17, 2016
Messages
571
Hi, this is a great thread! Just went down the rabbit hole this morning. I just recently acquired a 1987 Custom with the serial number 82937538. Is there any chance you had a hand in building it?
Hello! That's a very nice Custom. Looks almost brand new. Sorry, but I don't have that number. By '87 I had moved on to building carved tops.

Thanks!
 

Strings Jr.

Active member
Joined
Jan 17, 2016
Messages
571
what a great thread. I may have missed this, but what were things like at Gibson when ownership changed to the Henry J era? Was that early 1986?
Things were very "unsettled" right before Henry took over. Kalamazoo had already closed, and things were so slow in Nashville that we began to wonder if our plant would also close. We got word that a potential buyer was coming in for a tour of the plant. Man, talk about going into "clean-up" mode. I remember when Henry and Dave Berryman came through Final Assembly. They actually seemed very impressed. Gibson ownership transferred on January 16th, 1986. On January 17th, Henry came in and fired our Plant Manager, Whitey Morrison, as well as our Quality Control Manager, Alf Fiddler. That scared us to death. We all thought "who's next". But, as we know, things eventually turned around and we were busier than ever.

Thanks!
 
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agogetr

Active member
Joined
Jan 22, 2019
Messages
451
I didn't have your number in my list, but yes, it was built during the same time as the Designer Series.

The knobs are definitely not original. The originals would have been black Top Hat knobs.

Thanks for sharing!
thanks! you know i always wondered who chose the themes for the designer series? i heard it was some artist? do you know how all that hppened? was the artist series done all in one run? i think i have seen artist series basses as well. curious
 

KS 5150

Member
Joined
Sep 18, 2012
Messages
113
Wow! That's a beautiful guitar. As far as the origin of your guitar, I assume it was made in Kalamazoo. I don't remember any of the Jimmy Wallace models being made in Nashville.

I noticed your guitar seems to have a black, or graphite type nut. Is that original? Seems odd on a guitar spec'd out to a '58. Also, it appears the fret nibs are missing. Is that original?

Very interesting guitar! Thanks for sharing.
Thanks very much for checking in. Your knowledge and sharing of Gibson's history is incredible and very much appreciated! 🙏👍
 

Texsunburst59

Member
Joined
Feb 15, 2004
Messages
758
Wow! That's a beautiful guitar. As far as the origin of your guitar, I assume it was made in Kalamazoo. I don't remember any of the Jimmy Wallace models being made in Nashville.

I noticed your guitar seems to have a black, or graphite type nut. Is that original? Seems odd on a guitar spec'd out to a '58. Also, it appears the fret nibs are missing. Is that original?

Very interesting guitar! Thanks for sharing.
Thanks Strings.

The nut was changed out in the early 90's. The original nut was very low in several slots, so I HAD to change it out.

It's an optical illusion Strings,as the guitar does have nibs.

I guess when I really look at the fretboard on this guitar, I guess It kinda looks like the frets are all the way at both ends of the fretboard, and it does look like the guitar doesn't have any nibs.

The only reason I haven't changed out the graphite nut, is since I haven't played the guitar in such a long time, I see no reason to do so.

My son who's the music director and plays guitar at a local mega church, is really wanting to play it at service.

I've got A LOT of good quality guitars in my collection, and he's been taking a different one just about every weekend.

I guess it might be time to get off the pot, and get this beauty gig worthy. ;)
 
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