Gibson is one of the most well known manufacturers of quality acoustic, acoustic-electric and electric guitars in the world. The SG model was introduced in 1961 and was designed by Les Paul. All Gibson Guitars have serial numbers imprinted on the headstock. The numbering system has changed throughout the years, and it can sometimes be confusing to find the specs for a particular instrument.
Find your guitar on the website Guitar Dater Project by entering the serial number in the search area. The site will display specific information on your guitar, such as where it was produced, when it was made and, sometimes, what specific model or line your guitar is. While not every guitar is listed on this database, most modern models can be found, and the site is growing all the time. There is a better than average chance that your guitar can be found by simply entering the serial number in the field provided.
If you enter serial number 01505451, you now know that your Gibson SG is a 2005 American Made model, manufactured in the Nashville factory. You know your guitar's birthday and it's exact production number. Write this information down. You'll need it for Step 2.
Call the manufacturer at 800-4-GIBSON or 800-444-2766. Gibson's Customer Service department is notoriously helpful. Tell the phone representative that you are looking for the specs for a 2005 Gibson SG, and that you have the serial number. The representative will ask you for the serial number, enter it into the company database, and tell you what the make and model of your guitar is. In this case, you've got a 2005 Gibson SG Special, originally manufactured with a warm brown finish. Ask the representative to send you the specs via e-mail. Chances are, the information will be sent to you with pleasure.
Get your specs from the manufacturer directly. This will avoid any confusion. Your guitar might be a standard issue, or it might be a special limited-edition model. Checking with the manufacturer is the best and only way to know for sure what's in your possession.
Check your guitar carefully. The only way to know for sure you're getting a true Gibson guitar is to verify the serial number. Make sure you write the serial number down exactly as it appears on the headstock. Certain instruments may contain a dash or a letter along with a series of numbers. Make sure you include them in your description when speaking to Gibson Customer Service.
Make sure you are accurate when repeating the serial number to the manufacturer representative for verification.