Time-gap from serial-stamp to inspection date?

JeffroSlagen

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Hi all,

I've played a few sweet LP's in the past month, on the hunt for my first. Two of them are brand-new '13's... about these, I noticed something different that I found strange:

the one had a serial number that placed it in late-September, and the inspection card was signed on October 12th (2013.)

The other had a serial number that placed it in May, and the inspection card was signed on December 9th (less than a month ago!)

I guess my questions are 1) What accounts for these very different gaps in time? (3 weeks vs. 6 months) and 2) What are the gaps for your LP (s) for those that have the inspec paper?

Just curious, trying to wrap my head around this, although I suspect it's not relevant to my hunt, just curious is all...

Thanks for any insight!

Jeffro
 

Paulinator

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If you're looking at a chain store, like Guitar Center, they often don't match the case with the guitar it shipped with. Sometimes they'll grab any old Gibson case that fits. That card may be for a totally different guitar altogether. Your inquiry begs the question though, how are you seeing the inspection card prior to making a purchase?
 

Graham H

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My Sig "T" came with a tri-folded card that was a final inspection checklist saying "GIBSON WE SWEAT THE DETAILS" and you open it, and it has a Quality checklist, all signed off with a date, model, serial number, and who it was inspected by. I found it interesting that the guitar was made in Oct. 2012, and it must have been shipped to the retailer and sat in the warehouse for almost ayear. I made my purchase on Sept. 1st, 2013. And the back of the headstock says Made in USA, 2013 Model. I give up, but I love it anyway !!!
 

ARandall

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The 2013 model simply referred to guitars that had the 2013 spec...not necessarily when they were made. There were some big changes for that year so they wanted to make sure you knew which construction technique was used with that guitar.
 

patsanger

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Remember, Gibson is not making these, completing them and immediately shipping them. There could be a variety of reasons, but many times they build up stock and only when it goes through final QC (no jokes here please) do they fill out those cards (or so I have been led to believe). So there could be a decent delay in inspections if there is a big shipment that has to go out of X guitars but yours is a Y. Also, if there is an electrical problem or something non critical I believe they send it back in the line to be fixed, which can also delay things. Also, its Gibson... who knows.. :)
 

ctkarslake

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It used to be that you could tell pretty much exactly when your guitar was stamped with a serial and from there you can tell when the guitar was started/made. NOW, it seems that Gibson has switched to a system where the serial number only tells you what MODEL YEAR you have, not even what year it was made. How else can you explain all the 2014 Standards that were on the market LAST DECEMBER, 2013?? Thanks for all the consistency Gibson, we really appreciate it!
 

JeffroSlagen

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If you're looking at a chain store, like Guitar Center, they often don't match the case with the guitar it shipped with. Sometimes they'll grab any old Gibson case that fits. That card may be for a totally different guitar altogether. Your inquiry begs the question though, how are you seeing the inspection card prior to making a purchase?
It was the right card/case. In the first case, it was a guitar from the back, so the case was right there, with the guitar. In the second case, I asked to see it, just because I was curious after seeing the quick turnaround from the first.
 

JeffroSlagen

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My Sig "T" came with a tri-folded card that was a final inspection checklist saying "GIBSON WE SWEAT THE DETAILS" and you open it, and it has a Quality checklist, all signed off with a date, model, serial number, and who it was inspected by. I found it interesting that the guitar was made in Oct. 2012, and it must have been shipped to the retailer and sat in the warehouse for almost ayear. I made my purchase on Sept. 1st, 2013. And the back of the headstock says Made in USA, 2013 Model. I give up, but I love it anyway !!!
Hmmm... yeah, I can see that, and I get that something can be a "2013" model but actually have been made in 2012. But, what about the first five digits of the serial number? My only experience with this is looking at the new "2014s", that were obviously made in '13... but of course they changed the method of serial numbering, so that doesn't tell me how they handled it in late '12.

I guess I'll ask you--what are the first five digits of your "2013"? Are the first and fifth digits 1 and 2 or 1 and 3?
 

MineGoes211

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Gibson does make the next years models early. I purchased a 2013 70's Tribute in Dec of 2012. No big deal.
 

Graham H

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Hmmm... yeah, I can see that, and I get that something can be a "2013" model but actually have been made in 2012. But, what about the first five digits of the serial number? My only experience with this is looking at the new "2014s", that were obviously made in '13... but of course they changed the method of serial numbering, so that doesn't tell me how they handled it in late '12.

I guess I'll ask you--what are the first five digits of your "2013"? Are the first and fifth digits 1 and 2 or 1 and 3?
The first 5 digits are 12862 , so just out of curiosity, what does that tell us ??? :hmm::hmm::hmm: It tells us first off, that the guitar was made on the 286th day of 2012. I googled that to find out that the actual date is October 12th 2012. Now it gets spooky......my older brother passed away some 32 years ago, he was my best friend, and my life's teacher, his birthday was October 12th !!! Now I'm not big on coincidence, but I just gotta think that this guitar was meant to belong to me !!! Spooky I say !!! Oh yeah, the Inspection date on the card is October 29th, 2012, so that's 17 days from when the number was stamped, or assembly began (according to Gibson Serial number) til it was inspected and packed.
 

Oranjeaap

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I dont work at Gibson so I'm just guessing here, but the serialnumber is stamped in right?. Im quite sure this happens before all the parts are installed. Might it even be possible this happens before the finish is buffed? There surely is some time between the stamping / inking of the serialnumber and the completion of the guitar (installing all parts and electronics, setting it up etc).
Then it goes to the big stack of completed guitars and gets inspected.

I dont think its strange there's several weeks between stamping serial and actual completion of the guitar.
 

Bristol Posse

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I doubt they're inspecting the guitar as soon as the serial is stamped, They probably wait for the finish to gas off and the hardware to be installed before they test it to see if it works

Also unless Gibson has a time machine, they would have to make the beginning of the 2014 run in 2013 (or the 2013 in 2012 etc) in order for them to be on the shelves in time for the new year

Apparently car manufacturers also have time machines because I bought a new 2014 spec car in the last quarter of 2013.


Weird
 

JeffroSlagen

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Okay, that's good--Gibson's serial number's are "honest", so to speak ; )

So the serial number indicates the truth--that the guitar was built in 2012, for this one. And, the year below it ("2013") indicates the model/spec-sheet.

That's good. It is strange though with the new, model-year-'14 guitars, that the serial number system has them starting with a "14" in their serial numbers. Is there another place in the sequence of digits in this new system that indicates when it was made (had to have been last year, 2013, for these guitars in shops last week.) But I digress--not too curious there, it's just a serial number, for goodness sakes!

But, and thanks to the member who commented early in the thread, it made some sense to me when I read it: I still wonder though--why one guitar took three weeks (that's pretty short! in my mind) between headstock stamp and final inspection and another took 5 months! (pretty long time!)

But, I think y'all are right--maybe there was a glitch in the electronics, or maybe it just hadn't been ordered (that color or whatever) by a retailer.... Does anyone want to guess which one was the GC Trad-Pro-ii and which one was a full-gloss Trad at a mom-and-pop?
 

ARandall

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They generally do batches of guitars. That way the machines get programmed for x weight relief, binding type, woods used, finish method etc. They all get stamped and put into the factory awaiting shipment to dealers. It all is down to consumer demand after that as to the speed of it getting to you.
 

snowgod

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my serial number says my 60's tribute was made on the 12th of october, 2013 and the pick ups were made on the 16th or 17th I forget. the warranty card says 23rd of october 2013
 

JeffroSlagen

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They generally do batches of guitars. That way the machines get programmed for x weight relief, binding type, woods used, finish method etc. They all get stamped and put into the factory awaiting shipment to dealers. It all is down to consumer demand after that as to the speed of it getting to you.
That makes sense. Do you think that the checklist is signed off before they store them awaiting shipment or more immediately prior to actual shipment?
 

JeffroSlagen

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my serial number says my 60's tribute was made on the 12th of october, 2013 and the pick ups were made on the 16th or 17th I forget. the warranty card says 23rd of october 2013
Wow! Well, there you go--11 days total from neck to completion of guitar! Pretty cool.
 

garweft

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It used to be that you could tell pretty much exactly when your guitar was stamped with a serial and from there you can tell when the guitar was started/made. NOW, it seems that Gibson has switched to a system where the serial number only tells you what MODEL YEAR you have, not even what year it was made. How else can you explain all the 2014 Standards that were on the market LAST DECEMBER, 2013?? Thanks for all the consistency Gibson, we really appreciate it!
Or.... you used to think you could tell exactly when it was stamped/made and it's been this way the whole time.
 

rjstauber

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I have several Gibson guitars, and there is always a time difference of approx. 2 weeks between the date that is being decoded via the stamped number on the back of the headstock and the date on the inspection card.

I suppose it could be as little as about one week, and normally up to three weeks, but there can always be cases where the time difference is larger, I suppose.

For example, what if they find an issue in the finish or in the electronics which needs to be fixed (assuming that these issues do get caught and are being fixed), this could increase the time.
 


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