DATING SAMICK GUITARS BY REFERENCE OF SERIAL NUMBERS

Around 1987 (Samick's own models) began to provide serial numbers. Serial numbers on the Hondo guitars appeared from 1984.

Where to find the serial number
The serial number is stamped or as a sticker on the back of the headstock, the neck plate or on (semi) acoustic guitars on the bottom inside the body.





If you want to know the production year of your Samick guitar, you can decipher it with the serial number decoder.

Samick serial number date decoder
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Samick history in short
The Korean company Samick Musical Instruments Co. founded in September 1958, is one of the world's largest producer of musical instruments. Samick started producing acoustic guitars in 1965 and electric guitars in 1972. Good quality copies, including the Fender Stratocaster and the Gibson Les Paul, were made in 1976 and released under the Hondo II brand.

Samick builds guitars under his own brand name but mainly under OEM license for several major brands such as Fender/Squier, Gibson, Epihone, Gretsch, Ibanez, Jackson and many other brands.

Originally, founder of Samick, Lee Hyo-Ik, was the Korean importer of Baldwin Pianos. Around 1960 he also started building his own pianos, first from imported parts and later from homemade ones. The pianos were sold in his shop right next to the factory.


Lee Hyo-Ik

Success came quickly, and in 1964 Samick exported pianos to the USA. A year later guitars were also built for the Korean market and for export as there was a lot of demand for cheap Asian guitars.

In the early 1970s, Samick had grown into a company with more than 3,000 employees.
On January 20, 1978, a Samick branch was opened in Los Angeles and on December 11, 1980, a branch office in Dusseldorf, Germany, to introduce the brand to the European market.

On 9 June 1989 there were opened a branch in Harbin, China and on 2 March 1990 a branch office in Tokyo, Japan .
In March 1992 a factory was opened in Cileungsi near Bogor, Indonesia (PT Samick Indonesia). The vast majority of instruments are built in this factory.

Sales of Samick instruments in the USA were so successful that on
July 1, 1987, an American subsidiary, the Samick Music Corporation (SMC), was opened.
The range for the international market was expanded considerably
by developing a line-up based on American examples such as Gibson and Fender.

In 2006 Samick moved the complete production to Bogor, Indonesia and production in Incheon was discontinued.
The main reason for this was the increasing labor costs in South Korea.

Hondo
In 1969 Samick entered into a joint venture with the American company International Music Corporation (IMC) in Fort Worth, Texas and the Hondo Guitar Company became a reality.
Under the brand name Hondo they started to produce cheap guitars with modern manufacturing techniques, but with the American
quality standards.
The productions initially consisted of acoustic models.

In 1972 they also started producing electric electric models and from 1976 also mandolins and banjos.
At the end of 1976, under the name Hondo II, models were released that were based on the Fender Stratocaster and the Gibson Les Paul.
From 1978 these were equipped with DiMarzio pickups.
In 1979, more than 790.000 Hondo guitars were sold worldwide.

Until 1989 Hondo guitars were mainly produced at the Samick factory in Korea.

In 1995 Hondo Guitar Company was sold to MBT International, Musicorp. With a now renewed production line, after 46 years the brand name Hondo was replaced by the name J.B. Player, of which Musicoprp also owns the proprietary rights.

SPG
As early as 2003, it was feared that Korean production would disappear. By a group of Samick employees the company became SPG (Sound Professional Guitar Co, Ltd company) established.

After production ceased in Korea, Samick's factory was bought by SPG.
As a result, the quality of the products was maintained and many brands continued to outsource their assignments to SPG.

Greg Bennett
Greg Bennett was a former guitar builder at Gibson, and was approached by Samick to design a new guitar line.

This new line of instruments includes acoustic, archtop guitars, basses, mandolins, ukuleles and banjos in addition to the electric models, and was released around 2011 under the "Greg Bennet Guitars" label.
The electric models feature Seymour Duncan-designed pickups, Grover tuners and Wilkinson bridges.

Greg Bennett

    Some electric models designed by Greg Bennett:
Avion, Ultramatic, Torino, Formula, Lasalle,
G series