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Since I was having a hard time dating the guitar without a serial number, I decided to remove the electronics to get a look at the pots, switch, and pickups.
Tone and volume potentiometers typically have a series of numbers on them that identify the manufacturer and the production date.
In fact, this guitar sounds great for playing along to Tom Petty’s “Free Falling.” The label inside the guitar indicates it is a Model 5058, serial number 66563.
Can you tell me something about it and give me a value? —Rick in Fort Worth, Texas Hey Rick, Innovation within the guitar industry often separates companies that succeed from those that disappear after a few years.
With the popularity of 7- and 8-string guitars, a 9-string seems like a natural progression for most guitar builders, but in this case a 9-string is hardly what it seems.
This guitar looks like a 12-string because it is derived from one, but has a unique design and sound all its own.
I was looking at an Epiphone-branded, Gibson-made, USA-manufactured 335 with no serial number and no label, but with pickups that gave me the guitar’s production year.
My conclusion was that the guitar must have been either a prototype, or maybe a personal build for someone who worked for Gibson at the time.
Alvarez uses a numbering system to identify its guitars (although some also have a model name), and from the 1970s through the 1990s, this was a four-digit number—which falls in line with your guitar model of 5058.A couple of months ago, I received a call from a friend who runs a drum shop in Southern Illinois.He’d taken in a guitar on trade-a semi-hollow electric Epiphone was as much as he could tell me-and he needed help figuring out exactly what it was.Tim Shaw pickups are easily identifiable because they have a separate, ink-stamped series of numbers on the bottom that indicates the type of pickup (bridge or neck), as well as the date of production.The pickups in question were stamped 329 682, which revealed that the production year was 1982.
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Either way, my friend had himself a great playing and sounding instrument, and I’d had fun doing the detective work.