Gibson produced its guitars in the USA at 3 different factories. After acquiring Epiphone in 1957, Gibson entered into OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) agreements with foreign manufacturers for that brand.
If you’re looking for the country and factory where your Gibson guitar was produced, you need to find the serial number, and then verify it using Gibson serial number lookup tools (charts, database). These tools will provide you with all the information you need about your guitar.
List of Gibson Factories
US Gibson Factories
In the USA, Gibson continues to manufacture guitars at two facilities, providing employment for around 900 individuals.
Established in 1896, the first Kalamazoo, Michigan factory relocated several times within the city until 1917. The factory was situated close to the Michigan Central Railroad and was demolished at the end of the 20th century. Gibson manufactured guitars here until 1985.
In 2000, Gibson opened a factory in Memphis, Tennessee to produce semi-hollow body electric guitars. The Gibson Retail Shop and Beale Street Showcase share the same building. In 2018, the factory and its 85 employees moved to a nearby Nashville location.
Gibson opened a Nashville, Tennessee factory in 1974. Solid-body electric guitars, such as the Gibson Les Paul and Gibson SG, are manufactured here. In 2018, production from the Memphis facility was added, with about 200 guitars handcrafted daily.
Full acoustic guitars, like the Gibson J series, are produced in Bozeman, Montana. The Bozeman factory opened in 1989.
Epiphone’s production under Gibson’s license moved to Japan in 1970 after it was acquired by Gibson’s parent company in 1957.
FujiGen operates three Japanese factories:
- Omachi, Nagano;
- Hirooka factory in Shiojiri, Nagano since 1991;
- Matsumoto, Nagano, which also houses the company’s headquarters.
They obtained a full license for Epiphone guitar production in 1998 after securing a limited contract with Gibson in 1992.
Terada Musical Instrument Co., Ltd., located in Ama-gun, Aichi, builds high-quality instruments and also produces for other major brands. They signed an OEM contract with Epiphone in 2002.
Gibson signed a contract with Samick Guitars in 1983. Samick is one of the world’s largest stringed instrument manufacturers and produces for various major brands, including its own model line. Initially, they made more affordable versions of popular models, like the Les Paul, for Gibson. In 1984, they began producing for Epiphone.
Cort Guitars (Cor-Tek Corporation) is a South Korean guitar manufacturer established in 1960 and based in Seoul. They produced Epiphone guitars from 1988 until the mid-1990s. In 2002, the Korean production contract was terminated.
Peerless Korea Co., Ltd., a musical instrument company with a factory in Gimhae and headquarters in Busan, South Korea, has been operating since 1970. They have OEM contracts with various brands and have been working with Epiphone since 1979. They also produce guitars under their own brand name.
Saein Musical Instrument Co. Ltd., established in 1991, operates a factory and headquarters in Incheon, Korea. They obtained a license to produce Epiphone guitars at the end of 1992 and also built guitars under the Shine brand.
Since 2001, Daewon Musical Instrument Co., based in Dalian, China, has been manufacturing Epiphones under an OEM contract.
In 2004, Gibson opened a factory in Qingdao, Shandong, China. With a few exceptions, Epiphone guitars are now primarily produced at this facility. High-quality Epiphone models, like the Emperor and Rivier, are crafted here according to strict quality standards.
Muse Incorporated, headquartered in Incheon, Korea, operates a factory in Weifang, China, where they manufacture guitars for Epiphone under license.
The originally Korean company has operated a factory in Gaomi City since 2001, primarily producing for Epiphone.
Zaozhuang Saehan Music Co., Ltd., based in Shandong, China, specializes in crafting acoustic guitars. Since 2004, they have been manufacturing acoustic Epiphone models under license.
Following the termination of the contract with Samick in Korea in 2002, production continued in Cileungsi, near Bogor, Indonesia.
Cort-tek, originally a Korean company, is now based in Surabaya, Indonesia. They have been building guitars for Epiphone under an OEM contract since 1995.