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  1. #1

    Historic Production numbers?

    anyone know if over the past years if the number of historics produced per year has been consistent? anyone have that number?

  2. #2
    Les Paul Forum Member resha's Avatar
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    Re: Historic Production numbers?

    I've asked it a few times: to the customer service and to a couple of sellers. Nobody was able to tell me anything. The customer service said that these are secret numbers and that Gibson is not likely to give them away and the sellers told me they had not idea.

    Probably an experienced insider can shed some light on this

  3. #3
    Les Paul Forum Member vintage58's Avatar
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    The serial number format that Gibson has used for the Historic Collection is one indicator of production numbers. In 2003 and on, for example, the "highest" serial numbers of six-digit '59 reissues have never advanced to a point where the third digit is a "3" (although there have been a year or two where the third digit was a "2"). So, in general, my guess is that they're making somewhere from 1,500 to 2,000 R-9's in a typical year. This, of course, is just for R-9's. I would think that the other most abundant reissue models are the R-8's and R-7's, whose highest serial numbers do not seem to be terribly different from those of R-9's.

    Some years had markedly different production totals for R-9's, though. Like in 2002, far fewer were produced. I also don't think Gibson was making nearly as many Historics in general, during the first few years of the Historic Collection. The numbers then were probably in the low to mid-hundreds rather than the thousands (as they are now).
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  4. #4
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    Re: Historic Production numbers?

    A forum pal had a 2007 R9, around/under #2300, that Gibson told him was made right around Xmas 2007.

  5. #5
    Les Paul Forum Member resha's Avatar
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    Re: Historic Production numbers?

    I'm really looking forward to know this number, at least a near idea.
    My R9 was made in the late March and it's 376 so I guess they produce something near 400 guitars per trimester. That would be a total of about 1600 per year. Probably a single model can go up to 2000 or maybe a little more, but as vintage58 already said it's more likely to be in the 3000 for the most productive years.

  6. #6
    Les Paul Forum Member bluesforstevie's Avatar
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    Re: Historic Production numbers?

    Quote Originally Posted by resha View Post
    I'm really looking forward to know this number, at least a near idea.
    My R9 was made in the late March and it's 376 so I guess they produce something near 400 guitars per trimester. That would be a total of about 1600 per year. Probably a single model can go up to 2000 or maybe a little more, but as vintage58 already said it's more likely to be in the 3000 for the most productive years.
    400 per Trimester....

    400 X 3 = 1600????

    ...

    I know I'm from a cow town, but I come up with 1200?




    PS: I'm just busting your chops...for grins...
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  7. #7
    Les Paul Forum Member Zoomer's Avatar
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    Re: Historic Production numbers?

    Quote Originally Posted by CoolJoMark View Post
    anyone know if over the past years if the number of historics produced per year has been consistent? anyone have that number?
    According to Walter Carter's article "Keeping the Flame Alive" 1999 and earlier they were only making 500 or less guitars per year. I am not sure when the production started to increase but in recent years they have been making tons of them. In 2009 I played one R9 serial number 99238X that's over 2300 R9's alone.

    There is no such thing as too much flame !!!

  8. #8

    Re: Historic Production numbers?

    Quote Originally Posted by Zoomer View Post
    According to Walter Carter's article "Keeping the Flame Alive" 1999 and earlier they were only making 500 or less guitars per year. I am not sure when the production started to increase but in recent years they have been making tons of them. In 2009 I played one R9 serial number 99238X that's over 2300 R9's alone.
    Actually 1999 was the first year of over 2000 R9's produced. Prior to 1999 there were around 300 per year. In 2002 there was a limited amount of R9's, maybe 300-500 and they sold for $5500.00. There have been around 2000 or more in all of the other years since '99.

  9. #9
    Les Paul Forum Member Zoomer's Avatar
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    Re: Historic Production numbers?

    Quote Originally Posted by markguitar View Post
    Actually 1999 was the first year of over 2000 R9's produced. Prior to 1999 there were around 300 per year. In 2002 there was a limited amount of R9's, maybe 300-500 and they sold for $5500.00. There have been around 2000 or more in all of the other years since '99.
    Thanks Mark I didn't realize that Carter was not talking about the year 1999. It's surprising the earlier ones aren't more desirable then they are. That 1998 on your site is spectacular -- rare color for then as well I have seen very few in tobacco burst.
    Last edited by Zoomer; 09-09-11 at 09:32 PM.

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  10. #10
    Les Paul Forum Member resha's Avatar
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    Re: Historic Production numbers?

    Quote Originally Posted by bluesforstevie View Post
    400 per Trimester....

    400 X 3 = 1600????

    ...

    I know I'm from a cow town, but I come up with 1200?




    PS: I'm just busting your chops...for grins...

    Well, a year has 12 months and a trimester has 3. So 12months per year/3 months per trimester=4trimesters per year
    RIGHT?!
    400guitars per trimesterx4trimesters=1600 guitars per year



    Just kidding bluesforstevie!

  11. #11
    Les Paul Forum Member bluesforstevie's Avatar
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    Re: Historic Production numbers?

    Quote Originally Posted by resha View Post

    Well, a year has 12 months and a trimester has 3. So 12months per year/3 months per trimester=4trimesters per year
    RIGHT?!
    400guitars per trimesterx4trimesters=1600 guitars per year



    Just kidding bluesforstevie!
    I always thought there were 3 per year...hence the word "tri" 12/3 = 4 months per trimester. Right? I mean I don't know...maybe its a business cycle thing??

    You know Semester...there are 2 per year. Quarter...there are 4 per year. Tri-mester...3 per year. Least when I went to school...many, many moons ago...We had 3 trimesters per year.
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  12. #12
    Les Paul Forum Member resha's Avatar
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    Re: Historic Production numbers?

    Quote Originally Posted by bluesforstevie View Post
    I always thought there were 3 per year...hence the word "tri" 12/3 = 4 months per trimester. Right? I mean I don't know...maybe its a business cycle thing??
    Well...

    A trimester is period of 3 months. Hence TRImester. 4 TRImesters make a year.
    A semester is a period of 6 months. 2 semesters make a year.

    Probably the error is that you have 4 trimesters in a year, so a trimester is a quarter of a year being indeed 12/3=4. A trimester is a quarter of a year, hence it's got 3 months.

    In Italy we also have quadrimester, which is a period of 4 months, and it is logically a third of a year.

    This causes the confusion! 4 trimesters in a year VS. 3 qadrimesters (I don't even know if this word exist in english language ) in a year


    Quote Originally Posted by bluesforstevie View Post
    Tri-mester...3 per year.
    That's wrong because a you don't have 4 quadri-mesters in a year, that would be 16 months!
    Or 6 sem-ester: you don't have 6 semesters in a year, that would be 36 months!

    Quote Originally Posted by bluesforstevie View Post
    Least when I went to school...many, many moons ago...We had 3 trimesters per year.
    In a school year you have 3 trimesters and the fourth is holiday, isn't it?
    Indeed in Italy we use the quadrimester and not the trimester at school.


  13. #13
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    Re: Historic Production numbers?

    First of all- "trimester?" Who talks like that? Trekkies?

    A trimester refers to a period of time divided by three. "Trimester" and "semester" are used when talking about periods of time that are NOT yearly or monthly. There is no reason to use the term trimester because the year is already broken up into months. If there are 4 in a year it is quarterly. If there are 2 in a year it is bi-annually. "Tri-annually" really isn't used, but it would be the proper term. Pregnancy is the most popular use of trimester. Some colleges use this term, as well. But if referring to something that happens 3 times per year the best form is "every 4 months" because "trimester" is a bit too "Robin Leach" for the world to handle.

    Now you know. You're welcome.
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    Re: Historic Production numbers?

    Quote Originally Posted by markguitar View Post
    Actually 1999 was the first year of over 2000 R9's produced. Prior to 1999 there were around 300 per year. In 2002 there was a limited amount of R9's, maybe 300-500 and they sold for $5500.00. There have been around 2000 or more in all of the other years since '99.
    I bought a 2001 R9 and I printed a short article off of the Gibson site that said either 400 or 500 were made that year- I don't remember which it was at the moment. It is in the case of the guitar and I'll check it later.
    I don't think I want to be cremated. I figure I have a better shot of making it through the ordeal if I am buried.

  15. #15
    Les Paul Forum Member bluesforstevie's Avatar
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    Re: Historic Production numbers?

    Quote Originally Posted by resha View Post
    Well...

    A trimester is period of 3 months. Hence TRImester. 4 TRImesters make a year.
    A semester is a period of 6 months. 2 semesters make a year.

    Probably the error is that you have 4 trimesters in a year, so a trimester is a quarter of a year being indeed 12/3=4. A trimester is a quarter of a year, hence it's got 3 months.

    In Italy we also have quadrimester, which is a period of 4 months, and it is logically a third of a year.

    This causes the confusion! 4 trimesters in a year VS. 3 qadrimesters (I don't even know if this word exist in english language ) in a year




    That's wrong because a you don't have 4 quadri-mesters in a year, that would be 16 months!
    Or 6 sem-ester: you don't have 6 semesters in a year, that would be 36 months!


    In a school year you have 3 trimesters and the fourth is holiday, isn't it?
    Indeed in Italy we use the quadrimester and not the trimester at school.


    Straight from Wiki:

    Trimester - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TrimesterTrimester may refer to:

    An academic term comprising one-third of an academic year; The division of pregnancy into three-month sections ...*

    Maybe your getting it mixed up with the trimester in pregnancy which is 3 months. But it isn't 3 months because that's what a trimester is, it is 9 months divided by 3.

    A Trimester can be any number of units or months in this case.
    Last edited by bluesforstevie; 09-10-11 at 07:39 AM.
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  16. #16
    Les Paul Forum Member keef's Avatar
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    Re: Historic Production numbers?

    Quote Originally Posted by markguitar View Post
    Actually 1999 was the first year of over 2000 R9's produced. Prior to 1999 there were around 300 per year. In 2002 there was a limited amount of R9's, maybe 300-500 and they sold for $5500.00. There have been around 2000 or more in all of the other years since '99.
    So that makes before 1999 around 2,500 R9s. 1999-2011 24,500 or so.

    27,000 R9s and counting....how many original bursts were there again.....?

  17. #17
    Les Paul Forum Member bluesforstevie's Avatar
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    Re: Historic Production numbers?

    Quote Originally Posted by keef View Post
    So that makes before 1999 around 2,500 R9s. 1999-2011 24,500 or so.

    27,000 R9s and counting....how many original bursts were there again.....?
    It just shows how killer these guitars are...That's a lot o Lesters!!!

    However, this is one of the reasons I went for one of IA's guitars. Got tired of waiting for Gibson to go ahead and build one just like they did in the glory days. Each year they get closer...but that's part of the plan. I didn't like being a part of this plan...at least not for right now. I wanted something just a little different.
    "bereft of consciousness and self-awareness, yet ambulant and able to respond to surrounding stimuli."

  18. #18

    Re: Historic Production numbers?

    Quote Originally Posted by doodman View Post
    I bought a 2001 R9 and I printed a short article off of the Gibson site that said either 400 or 500 were made that year- I don't remember which it was at the moment. It is in the case of the guitar and I'll check it later.
    Well, here's #945 from 2001 and i know I've seen higher. So I'd say the article was wrong. Wouldn't be the first time.


  19. #19
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    Re: Historic Production numbers?

    Quote Originally Posted by markguitar View Post
    Well, here's #945 from 2001 and i know I've seen higher. So I'd say the article was wrong. Wouldn't be the first time.

    Something I have always questioned was the numbering. Are we sure they started with 0001 and continued without any breaks numerically? I am not trying to be a smart ass (just this time, though)- I have no idea and would LOVE to know if we can guarantee they number "correctly."
    I don't think I want to be cremated. I figure I have a better shot of making it through the ordeal if I am buried.

  20. #20
    All Access/Backstage Pass Black58's Avatar
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    Re: Historic Production numbers?

    Quote Originally Posted by bluesforstevie View Post
    It just shows how killer these guitars are...That's a lot o Lesters!!!

    However, this is one of the reasons I went for one of IA's guitars. Got tired of waiting for Gibson to go ahead and build one just like they did in the glory days. Each year they get closer...but that's part of the plan. I didn't like being a part of this plan...at least not for right now. I wanted something just a little different.
    Discovered, this in '01-'02, myself; Was ROYALLY pissed! I opted to ditch EVERYTHING I had, 'cept fer "Audrey" ('97 R8), and grab a MIGHTY fine sounding '57 Special (7 7457)! ... REALLY, miss that guitar, needed a car, a year later. ... They DO eventually come 'round, though, Dan; You DO know that. ... Patience, and pay attention to that feeling; That feeling gave me a suitable spare in '03, and something WAAAAYY different, in '09, that's blown EVERYTHING I've ever encountered, out of the water! ..

  21. #21

    Re: Historic Production numbers?

    wow thanks for all the great info about the numbers..as well as the definitions of trimester and semester... what a bonus

  22. #22

    Re: Historic Production numbers?

    How many did Gibson make? As many as Gibson could sell at their price points at the time.
    Sacred cows make good steaks.

  23. #23
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    Re: Historic Production numbers?

    I have a question. If I'm not mistaken (and I may be), Gibson's numbering system when the originals were produced was inclusive of all guitars produced. Not just Les Pauls or any single model of Les Paul. For example, no. 9 1980 was obviously not the 1980th Burst produced that year but it was the 1980th instrument produced overall that year. If this is right, does it still apply? Would no. 9 1980 produced in 2011 be the 980th overall instrument produced in the custom shop this particular year or the 980th R9? Could someone in the know clear this up?...

  24. #24

    Re: Historic Production numbers?

    Quote Originally Posted by RUFFCUT View Post
    I have a question. If I'm not mistaken (and I may be), Gibson's numbering system when the originals were produced was inclusive of all guitars produced. Not just Les Pauls or any single model of Les Paul. For example, no. 9 1980 was obviously not the 1980th Burst produced that year but it was the 1980th instrument produced overall that year. If this is right, does it still apply? Would no. 9 1980 produced in 2011 be the 980th overall instrument produced in the custom shop this particular year or the 980th R9? Could someone in the know clear this up?...
    No, that original system is not used for the reissues. Each reissue year model has it's own set of numbers. So this year you have R9 serial number "9 1250" but also have R8 serial number "8 1250".

  25. #25
    Les Paul Forum Member Zoomer's Avatar
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    Re: Historic Production numbers?

    I am thinking the production totals for the R 8's might have shot up in 1998 -- I have a 1998 Black R8 serial number 88734

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  26. #26
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    Re: Historic Production numbers?

    Quote Originally Posted by markguitar View Post
    No, that original system is not used for the reissues. Each reissue year model has it's own set of numbers. So this year you have R9 serial number "9 1250" but also have R8 serial number "8 1250".
    With your example in mind, does that mean that we (or Gibson, I suppose) can guarantee that there were 1249 guitars made that year before each of these examples? Do we know that they started with "9 0001" and "8 0001?" And beyond that- do we know if they did or did not skip any numbers?
    I don't think I want to be cremated. I figure I have a better shot of making it through the ordeal if I am buried.

  27. #27

    Re: Historic Production numbers?

    Quote Originally Posted by doodman View Post
    With your example in mind, does that mean that we (or Gibson, I suppose) can guarantee that there were 1249 guitars made that year before each of these examples? Do we know that they started with "9 0001" and "8 0001?" And beyond that- do we know if they did or did not skip any numbers?
    1249 guitars? The serial numbers I used would be the 250th guitar made. But yes, as far as I know they go from 001 to whatever the ending number is in sequence. Sometimes for special runs they will reserve a group of serial numbers so the run is sequential. This was done for the 50th Annv. guitars. But the ending serial number for the year still represents the total number of guitars made for that model as far as I know.

  28. #28
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    Re: Historic Production numbers?

    Quote Originally Posted by markguitar View Post
    1249 guitars? The serial numbers I used would be the 250th guitar made. But yes, as far as I know they go from 001 to whatever the ending number is in sequence. Sometimes for special runs they will reserve a group of serial numbers so the run is sequential. This was done for the 50th Annv. guitars. But the ending serial number for the year still represents the total number of guitars made for that model as far as I know.
    OOPS! Sorry, I typed too fast. I was anxious to go look at the "story" off of the Gibson site I referenced a few posts back about there being only 500 made in 2001. There is a VERY important word in that story that I didn't remember-

    "Only 500 '59 Reissue guitars AVAILABLE in the U.S. in 2001."

    Big difference. Mine is 9 1388, for the record. I'll retype the thing if anyone wants to see it. Coincidentally, I bought it 10 years ago last Thursday (maybe Wednesday.....damn. Gotta do some diggin' and find that date!).
    I don't think I want to be cremated. I figure I have a better shot of making it through the ordeal if I am buried.

  29. #29
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    Re: Historic Production numbers?

    Quote Originally Posted by markguitar View Post
    No, that original system is not used for the reissues. Each reissue year model has it's own set of numbers. So this year you have R9 serial number "9 1250" but also have R8 serial number "8 1250".
    Thanks...

  30. #30
    Les Paul Forum Member wizardmc's Avatar
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    Re: Historic Production numbers?

    Quote Originally Posted by markguitar View Post
    No, that original system is not used for the reissues. Each reissue year model has it's own set of numbers. So this year you have R9 serial number "9 1250" but also have R8 serial number "8 1250".
    This is interesting, but in 2010 I ordered a specific serial number, and this was not my impression. But you are the expert here.

  31. #31

    Re: Historic Production numbers?

    Quote Originally Posted by wizardmc View Post
    This is interesting, but in 2010 I ordered a specific serial number, and this was not my impression. But you are the expert here.
    I guess the number you wanted in 2010 hadn't been used yet so you were able to get it.

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