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  #1  
Old 03-25-2023, 10:26 AM
gfa gfa is offline
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Default Epi Olympic Serial Number Lookup

I recently acquired an old Olympic. Serial number is a 5 digit number on a sticker visible through the cutout. I tried a couple of the serial number lookup sites and got very different results, saying either it was built in 1930 something in NY, or in 1960 something in Kalamazoo. The sticker says "Epiphone Inc. New York USA." Does that mean it was built in NY, suggesting it's from the 30s? The guy I bought it from was not the original owner, and he said it was from the 30s. What's the most reliable way to ID the guitar? It was not an expensive purchase, I am just curious.
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  #2  
Old 03-25-2023, 10:35 AM
Silly Moustache Silly Moustache is offline
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I would be very surprised if gibson was producing Epiphone Olympics in 1960.
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  #3  
Old 03-25-2023, 12:23 PM
stevo58 stevo58 is offline
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This is your reliable source :

https://wiedler.ch/nyepireg/
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Old 03-25-2023, 04:39 PM
Dave Richard Dave Richard is offline
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As an Epiphone enthusiast(and owner of several oldies), I'd love to see some photos! The Unofficial New York Epiphone Registry(website, link provided above) has an excellent database of serial numbers which will pinpoint your guitar.
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Old 03-25-2023, 07:27 PM
Steve DeRosa Steve DeRosa is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silly Moustache View Post
I would be very surprised if Gibson was producing Epiphone Olympics in 1960.
They did, but by then it was a solid-body on the same platform as the Gibson Melody Maker, and sold in far fewer numbers; FYI they did keep a nominal acoustic archtop lineup - Zenith, Triumph, Howard Roberts (a floating-pickup carved-top at this time), Deluxe, and Emperor - but other than the H.R. they were built in extremely small lots, sometimes only one or two examples at a time, and often in whole or part from leftover pre-1957 New York parts. Here's some examples (FYI only the '68 Howard Roberts is 100% Kalamazoo in origin):





https://www.archtop.com/ac_59dlx.html
https://www.archtop.com/ac_63emp.html
https://www.archtop.com/ac_64tr_1122.html
https://reverb.com/item/61284018-epi...n-167086-09-26
https://www.archtop.com/ac_68hr_323.html
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Old 03-26-2023, 11:39 AM
DanR DanR is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve DeRosa View Post
My '65 Zenith has the Kalamazoo era taller headstock.
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Old 03-26-2023, 01:52 PM
gfa gfa is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stevo58 View Post
This is your reliable source :

https://wiedler.ch/nyepireg/
Great resource, thank you!
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  #8  
Old 03-26-2023, 02:00 PM
gfa gfa is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Richard View Post
As an Epiphone enthusiast(and owner of several oldies), I'd love to see some photos! The Unofficial New York Epiphone Registry(website, link provided above) has an excellent database of serial numbers which will pinpoint your guitar.
Dave - It seems that my photobucket account no longer allows me to provide a link. If you PM me your email address I'd be happy to send you a couple of pictures. The guitar has a few miles on it! I bought it from an older (70s) gentleman, who bought it used himself. It was at one time owned by someone who performed as "Montana Jim" and has his name etched on the pickguard. The guy I bought it from said he thinks Montana Jim was a "one man band" type of performer. I haven't been able to find anything about him on the web.
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Old 03-26-2023, 03:53 PM
Dave Richard Dave Richard is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gfa View Post
Dave - It seems that my photobucket account no longer allows me to provide a link. If you PM me your email address I'd be happy to send you a couple of pictures. The guitar has a few miles on it! I bought it from an older (70s) gentleman, who bought it used himself. It was at one time owned by someone who performed as "Montana Jim" and has his name etched on the pickguard. The guy I bought it from said he thinks Montana Jim was a "one man band" type of performer. I haven't been able to find anything about him on the web.
I'll send a PM!
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Old 03-26-2023, 05:32 PM
Steve DeRosa Steve DeRosa is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DanR View Post
My '65 Zenith has the Kalamazoo era taller headstock.
I'm just curious as to whether yours was built on the Gibson L-50 platform - distinctly different from the narrow-shoulder, likely-original 1950's New York-era body seen on the '64 (which also appears to have a leftover early-50's Devon neck, with a Kalamazoo logo and trussrod cover) - as well; if so, it's a rare bird by any standard - TMK Gibson stopped building the L-50 in 1966, cataloging/selling on-hand stock through 1970, and the Kalamazoo Epi acoustic archtops always sold in far smaller numbers - and if they kept the 25-1/2" scale characteristic of all NY Epis (but not the L-50) regardless of price, it'll have a distinctive tone as well...
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Old 03-27-2023, 09:22 AM
DanR DanR is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve DeRosa View Post
I'm just curious as to whether yours was built on the Gibson L-50 platform - distinctly different from the narrow-shoulder, likely-original 1950's New York-era body seen on the '64 (which also appears to have a leftover early-50's Devon neck, with a Kalamazoo logo and trussrod cover) - as well; if so, it's a rare bird by any standard - TMK Gibson stopped building the L-50 in 1966, cataloging/selling on-hand stock through 1970, and the Kalamazoo Epi acoustic archtops always sold in far smaller numbers - and if they kept the 25-1/2" scale characteristic of all NY Epis (but not the L-50) regardless of price, it'll have a distinctive tone as well...
Here's a shot of mine. The Epiphone does seem to have a different profile than the Gibson L-50. Excuse the lousyphotography.

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  #12  
Old 03-27-2023, 12:53 PM
Steve DeRosa Steve DeRosa is offline
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Originally Posted by DanR View Post
Here's a shot of mine. The Epiphone does seem to have a different profile than the Gibson L-50. Excuse the lousy photography...
Yours definitely has the post 1951 New York profile and f-holes (subtly different than Gibson's), but I also know of at least two Zeniths - one of which I saw in person in the early/mid-70's, the other of which I saw in a photo (which, given the rarity factor, may in fact have been the same guitar) - built on the L-50 platform, probably to fill existing dealer orders during the final days of Kalamazoo production...

As to the photography, I'm no expert but to my eye it's actually quite good, in terms of both detail and setting/composition...
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  #13  
Old 03-27-2023, 11:52 PM
Sam Sherry Sam Sherry is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gfa View Post
I recently acquired an old Olympic. Serial number is a 5 digit number on a sticker visible through the cutout. . . . The sticker says "Epiphone Inc. New York USA." . . . . What's the most reliable way to ID the guitar?
There is a wealth of generally reliable information at GuitarHQ.com

Sreial numbers, spec-changed over time, labels . . . All the nitty-gritty stuff that helps in authentication and accurate dating.

It's not a store; it's not a forum. One fanatical collector's decades of inside, hands-on info!

Last edited by Sam Sherry; 03-28-2023 at 05:12 AM.
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  #14  
Old 03-29-2023, 09:57 AM
gfa gfa is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam Sherry View Post
There is a wealth of generally reliable information at GuitarHQ.com

Sreial numbers, spec-changed over time, labels . . . All the nitty-gritty stuff that helps in authentication and accurate dating.

It's not a store; it's not a forum. One fanatical collector's decades of inside, hands-on info!
Wow, that's quite a site! Thanks for sharing the info.
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