DATING GUITARS AND MANDOLINS
Manufacturers sometimes want to change their serial number format, especially in Asian countries to which many
Western companies have outsourced their production.
The decoders are updated when the format of a new serial number format from a recognized manufacturer is known.
Fake or real
If a serial number is not in the lists or is not recognized in the serial number decoder, it does not mean that the guitar is a fake.
Conversely, it is of course no guarantee whether the guitar is authentic, as a serial number is easy to copy.
Example of a Gibson serial number:
Brands such as Gibson, Fender, PRS or other renowned brands also issue a certificate of authenticity, but this can also be used for fraud.
An authorized dealer will certainly not sell you a fake, but if you want to buy a guitar privately or via the internet, be careful.
What you should pay attention to is first of all the price.
Authentic guitars and vintage versions keep their value or increase in price. This of course depends on the condition of the guitar.
If the price seems very favorable, that is already a reason to doubt.
What you should also pay attention to is the appearance of the guitar.
Note the shape of the headstock, the font used, and the position where the serial number is affixed. You can compare this with original images of the model.
The manufacturers have advanced equipment to accurately place the inlays between the frets. On a fake you often see a deviation with respect to the original model.
There are more external features that you should pay attention to, such as the logo and printed or stamped serial number, but that differs per brand.
With acoustic guitars, the most common trick is that forgers use cheap plywood instead of solid wood.
To do this, look at the inner edge of the sound hole to see if the wood grain also continues.
If you are in any doubt about the guitar's authenticity, please first contact the manufacturer's service department and provide the features (or a photo) that you are unsure about.
The manufacturer will certainly respond to this because they want to combat counterfeits and will take action against them.