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Any Gibson expert, help needed, for age of


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#1 Grandpa FrankyZ

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Posted 02 September 2002 - 08:56 AM

A Gibson Les Paul custom Black Beauty, 2 pickups(not sure which)twin humbuckers. Serial number printed on " 1 4009 " and impressed on the back of the headstock, "Promotional Model not for resale"

Thats all the info i have at the moment. I have looked on the Gibson site, but the number is not to be found there. We sent a letter to Gibson, but they said their records only went back 7 years.(they wanna try looking at their own site, coz their records go back to when they were first made).
As this is a promotional model, i was wondering if this was made for a particular artist to use, or maybe a certain company to demonstrate. Any web site leads would be handy. thanks for any help, in advance.

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[ This Message was edited by: frankyz84 on 2002-09-02 15:16 ]

#2 Grandpa FrankyZ

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Posted 02 September 2002 - 11:07 AM

Bump. Pleeeeeze.

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[ This Message was edited by: frankyz84 on 2002-09-02 14:07 ]

#3 dadfad

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Posted 02 September 2002 - 11:49 AM

Rick, the only time Gibson officially used a 1+4 all-numerical sysyem was around 1955ish through 1961. In mid-61 they changed to a new system. The first individual number should be the year (5=1955, 9=1959, 1=1961. They did make Black Beauties back then. The pots usually have an approximate year date on them (the date the pot was made could be earlier than the guitar, or later if they aren't the origial pots. They're only used as a sort of corraboration date). The fact tha it was a factory demo or proto might throw off the number-system and no longer apply. I don't know. This would be a pretty valuable LP if its in decent condition and IS a 1961. I have a bit more info on the systems used for numbering, but I loaned my Gibson electric book to a friend in Utah. Check carefully for re-finishing and especially for neck replacement. Please, use this information only for a help. Not as a definative guide. Gibsons are tricky sometimes, even for collector experts (which I am not). Hope it helps a little.

#4 Grandpa FrankyZ

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Posted 02 September 2002 - 12:14 PM

Thanks John, You have basicly corrobarated the info we have so far. The guitar belongs to my best friend Al. He paid 1200 pounds for it, and knew it was a bit special. so we thought we would try to track it`s history.
The pots are recent replacements(1991)It is in very good condition, with the paintwork on the back worn down through use, so it has seen a fair bit of action. Will be posting a few pics soon, maybe some photos of the detailing may help. Once again i thankyou John, nice one.

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[ This Message was edited by: frankyz84 on 2002-09-02 15:18 ]

#5 namrednef

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Posted 02 September 2002 - 01:46 PM

Without quoting Dadfad.....(sorry I missed this earlier)....but he's right on the money......and I MEAN money
I looked in my refs and it seems you have a one-off there.......my ref says they were all GoldTops......but who knows....starting in 1955 Gibson changed to longer serial #'s

I think you have something there


My fave thing......running stuff down like this
"You should ween her......she's old enough......"

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#6 Grandpa FrankyZ

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Posted 02 September 2002 - 01:57 PM

The LP in question does have all gold hardware if this is what you mean by gold top. I`ll get the pics up asap. Thanks for the help.

#7 guitarlad

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Posted 02 September 2002 - 02:01 PM

I think when he says "gold Top" he means the top is gold (well duh) [i mean the carved bit]
so basiclly its of a sparklyish gold colour

Dan :smile:

#8 lousiffer

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Posted 02 September 2002 - 02:16 PM

Franky......is " Made in the USA" stamped on the headstock?-Lou
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#9 Grandpa FrankyZ

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Posted 02 September 2002 - 02:21 PM

On 2002-09-02 17:16, lousiffer wrote:
Franky......is " Made in the USA" stamped on the headstock?-Lou


No its not. that is something we thought strange.

#10 mrwobbles

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Posted 02 September 2002 - 02:24 PM

On 2002-09-02 17:23, frankyz84 wrote:

On 2002-09-02 17:01, guitarlad wrote:
I think when he says "gold Top" he means the top is gold (well duh) [i mean the carved bit]
so basiclly its of a sparklyish gold colour

Dan :smile:


It`s a black beauty, which means it`s all black, duh!!


I wasnt going to say anything...
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#11 lousiffer

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Posted 02 September 2002 - 02:27 PM

Since it does not have " Made in USA" on the headstock.....and I am going to assume this is NOT a good forgery....you have a pre 1969 LP. Breaking it down like Dadfad has instructed, it is #4009 of the 1961 model year line. I would need to see pics of the headstock, from the first fret to the top of the headstock, the tuners, inside control cavities, and some basic shots front and back. Sounds like it is a nice piece so far.-Lou
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#12 Grandpa FrankyZ

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Posted 02 September 2002 - 02:27 PM

On 2002-09-02 17:24, mrwobbles wrote:

On 2002-09-02 17:23, frankyz84 wrote:

On 2002-09-02 17:01, guitarlad wrote:
I think when he says "gold Top" he means the top is gold (well duh) [i mean the carved bit]
so basiclly its of a sparklyish gold colour

Dan :smile:


It`s a black beauty, which means it`s all black, duh!!


I wasnt going to say anything...


Sorry mrwobbles i deleted that post coz i decided it was not worth an answer. :lol: and you got one in b4 i finished.

#13 Grandpa FrankyZ

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Posted 02 September 2002 - 02:32 PM

On 2002-09-02 17:27, lousiffer wrote:
Since it does not have " Made in USA" on the headstock.....and I am going to assume this is NOT a good forgery....you have a pre 1969 LP. Breaking it down like Dadfad has instructed, it is #4009 of the 1961 model year line. I would need to see pics of the headstock, from the first fret to the top of the headstock, the tuners, inside control cavities, and some basic shots front and back. Sounds like it is a nice piece so far.-Lou 


Thanks Lou we got most of the pics you ask for and will put them up asap but no pix of the inside control cavaties, we also think the tuners may have been replaced at some time. Watch this space.

#14 namrednef

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Posted 02 September 2002 - 02:50 PM

I only stick by my Gibson ref book because it's always been right.....but something I can add:

What pickups are we dealing with here?.....that also can narrow the search......

I'm thinking a promo or prototype model not having the "Made in USA" may not be unusual.
But I have nothing to back that up except a feeling :smile:
"You should ween her......she's old enough......"

Doghouse Reilly

#15 lousiffer

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Posted 02 September 2002 - 02:59 PM

Nam, the " Made in USA" stamping is very significant in dating a Gibson. Gibson did not start stamping them until 1969-1970. After that time, every Gibson LP, whether it was a promo, a custom shop, a demo, a second stock,normal stock, or whatever, had " Made in the USA" stamped into it. Little secret I picked up from a friend.
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#16 namrednef

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Posted 02 September 2002 - 04:06 PM

oic Lou......yes, I see that about the made in USA dating......but the # he gives is pre-58 anyway

But thanks for that heads up
"You should ween her......she's old enough......"

Doghouse Reilly



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