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Hamlet Tretyakov
Hamlet Tretyakov

Dean 6 String Banjo Serial Number Decoder

The serial number on your Deering banjo will tell you when it was made and if the neck of your banjo matches the pot of your banjo. The last 4 digits are a neck number. These digits should match the 4 digits found on the back of the peghead of your banjo.

dean 6 string banjo serial number decoder

The other digits in the serial number can tell you when your banjo was made. The first two digits tell you the month the banjo was built, the last two digits before the dash or space will tell you the year, and the numbers in between are considered the number of that model we have made since we started the formal serial number system in 1987. For example: 0534599-7362 would be a banjo from May of 1999.

You'll love the 6- string Dean Backwoods 6 Banjo If you're a guitar player looking for that banjo sound. With its familiar guitar tuning, this hybrid 6-string banjo requires no learning curve from guitarists. Fitted with an 11" Remo head, 25" scale length, and 1-11/16" nut width, you'll be a-pickin' and a-grinnin' with the Dean Backwoods 6 Banjo in no time!

Sigmas made in Japan from 1970 through 1979 used a paper label to identify the model and serial number of the instrument. The model and serial numbers were usually stamped on in ink, but some are known to have been hand-penned. This is especially true of unusual, special (sample/prototype models) and/or low production number models (e.g.: DT-30.)

Under the best of circumstances, Sigma serial numbers can only provide an indicator of the year when a particular model was built. This may be due to them being built in several Japanese factories at the same time with no coordination or tracking in the numbering system.[citation needed]However, while some models lasted the entire run from 1970 through 1983, others did not and were only offered for a limited number of years. Other physical indicators or attributes, such as finish, trim, tuners, etc., can help determine the approximate construction date of a particular example, but almost never exactly.[3]

Sigma-Martin USA guitars built in 1981 and 1982 only had specifically assigned serial numbers ranging from 900,001 to 902,908 (2,908 in total.) These serial numbers are documented by C.F. Martin & Co. and to this day remain the only Sigma-related serial numbers that are publicly available. These "N" instruments, of which only two models were ever produced, the DR-28N and DR-35N, were partially assembled in Japan and imported to Nazareth ("N") and the Martin guitar factory as kits. Martin completed and finished them alongside the regular Martin production line. Bridges and tuners may have been installed, as well final sanding and finishing before strings were installed and a final set-up was done. Because more than 30% of the work was completed within the borders of the United States, Martin was legally allowed to designate them as Made in U.S.A.[5]

Serial numbers for Sigma guitars built in South Korea, Taiwan and Indonesia are perhaps even more meaningless, though again some seem to indicate the year of manufacture (e.g. loop81XXXXXX.) Since we know these instruments were manufactured from 1984 through 2007 in these three countries, it is safe to assume that a serial number beginning with 81XXXXXX (which I have personally seen) were not produced in 1981 and that these serial number 'indicators' are not to be trusted.

In 1978-'79 the paper labels were discontinued and the inner back brace was "branded." Later Korean production show a resurgence in the paper label system for model and serial number, sometimes along with the brand. These had an even fancier border.[citation needed] High end models such as the D-10 Anniversary model have the "Second Generation" logo inlaid in the headstock using mother of pearl, as do many of the later Korean produced instruments.

Some guitars made later in Taiwan and Indonesia have a different headstock shape and decal: The shape is more squared off at the top corners, while the decal states, "Sigma Guitars" on top with a miniature version of the "C.F. Martin & Co." logo underneath. Some of these guitars also had the "Est 1970" instead of the C.F. Martin & Co.," using a slightly different block font that is both fatter & wider than the original 2nd series instruments. The paper labels for model/serial number identification had also changed again, this time with a fancy border and the word "Sigma" or "Sigma Guitars" printed in gold ink.

In the years of 1981 and 1982, Martin imported partially assembled Sigma guitars from Japan and the assembly was completed in Nazareth, Pennsylvania. There were only two models, labeled "Sigma Martin USA DR-28N" and "DR-35N", 'N' for "Nazareth". A Martin factory sales brochure shows the DR-28N retailed at $600.00 and the DR-35N retailed at $650.00. The DR-35N had a three-piece laminate rosewood back and sides and a solid spruce top. The DR-28N had a two-piece back. The DR-35N had additional detail on the fretboard. The original factory brochure also states components were processed and finished on the same production line as regular Martins. The peghead logo reads "Sigma Martin USA" and inside the sound box is on the neck block "made in USA" with Martin address etc. Some consider the DR-35N to be a prototype of the inexpensive laminate Martin Shenandoah line of guitars,[18] later to become their current HPL (High Pressure Laminate) line of laminated bodied guitars. Since these models had serial numbers ranging from 900,001 to 902,908,[5] it appears only 2907 of these "Sigma Martin USA" guitars were ever produced in total, though there may have been others that did not make final inspection and hence were not serialed and are the only Sigma-related serial numbers publicly available from Martin at this time.

Note #2: Guitars with no serial number were produced at many different times. Samick branded models did not start using serials until around 1987. Also, the Indonesian factory did not use serials from it's opening in 1992 until around 2000. However, there were also some Korean Artist Series Strats made around 1995-1996 with no serial numbers, and many Korean-made Japanese Market models had no serial numbers as well.

These serial numbers are easily recognized as a white sticker with a black border, usually found on the back of the headstock or the heel of the neck. Being a sticker, many are ripped off or wear off over the years.

As 1990 approached, the use of one digit for the year presented the issue of repeat serial numbers. Around this time, the serial numbers became a bit unpredictable, as they were figuring out a new system. The "S" prefix also first appeared at this time.

In 2006, Korean production of Samick models ended, and all production was moved to the Indonesian factory. New models now follow the same serial number format, but with a prefix of SI (Samick Indonesia).

In the '70s and '80s, Cort often used serial numbers on a sticker that began with the prefix "W.O.". If you see that, the guitar was not made by Samick, it was made by Cort. While I have not dedicated any research to Cort guitars, I have found something that may be helpful for Cort owners; the below example has a box switch (likely from the same supplier Samick used) that dates to 1986, and the serial number ends with "86". It could be a coincidence, or it may not be. If any Cort owners can verify or debunk this idea by comparing their own switch and serial number, please let me know.

Danelectro/Silvertone (Back to top of page)You can find serial numbers on vintage Danelectro/Silvertone instruments all over the instrument, including back of headstock, neck heel, neck pocket, control cavity and other places. In doing research on this brand I found the definitive website for Danelectro/Silvertone info at The site is run by Doug Tulloch and he even sells a Danelectro Guitar Guide for you hardcore fans.

Briefly, for a pre-1967 3-digit serial number the first two digits are the week, while the last digit tells the year, such that serial number 210 indicates a 1960 model made in the 21st week of the year. After 1967, it's reversed, so the the first digit represents the year. On 4-digit serials, you ignore the 3rd digit, while the fourth digit tells the year. So 1204 represents a 1964 guitar made in the 12th week of the year. 5-digit serials are the same, you just disregard the fifth digit.

Dean (Back to top of page)Every Dean guitar made in United States comes with a seven digit serial number that is printed on the back of the headstock (some 90s models may be stamped on the fretboard). First two numbers in the sequence are the last two digits of the production year. If you see a seven digit serial number on the back of a Dean guitar, you can be sure that it was produced in United States.Dean's more affordable line made outside the US may require looking at features and hardware and some knowledge of the line. Though I can't verify the accuracy, it was posted in the Dean online forums that imports after 2008 follow a pattern with the initial letter or letters identifying the factory, such that: US = Un Sung Korea, Y = Yoojin China, E = World Korea.The following two digits indicate year, then two-digit month, then production number. An example given was the serial US12040364 (don't let the "US" make you think it's a USA model). Here the serial is decoded as:

YYMMFFRRRRRYY = year of manufactureMM = month of manufatureFF = factory IDRRRRR = ranking numberExample: 08121520333 = 2008 / December / factory 15 / unit 20333Note: Models from 2008 and onwards omit the factory ID letter prefix. Pre-1994 productions also frequently omit the factory letter codes and appeared as all digits, e.g. 3042779.----------------------------------------------FYYMMRRRRF/FF = factory ID Y/YY = year of manufactureMM = month of manufactureRRRR = ranking numberExample: 3021234 = Samick Korea / 1993 / February / unit 1234Example: S3021234 = Samick Korea / 1993 / February / unit 1234Example: S93021234 = Samick Korea / 1993 / February / unit 1234Example: SI01021234 = Samick Indonesia / 2001 / February / unit 1234Example: SI010212345 = Samick Indonesia / 2001 / February / unit 12345Note: There may be no factory designator for some 1993 and earlier models. A single digit month of manufacture may occur for some 1997 and earlier models. The ranking number may consist of any number of digits.----------------------------------------------FYYMRRRRF = factory IDYY = year of manufactureM = letter code to corresponding month (A=January, B=February, etc...)RRRR = ranking numberExample: R01B0123 = Peerless Korea / 2001 / February / unit 0123.----------------------------------------------FYYSSSS(Epiphone Elite/Elitist models)F = factory IDY = single digit year of manufacture (2 = 2002, 3 = 2003, etc.)YY = double digit year of manufacture (2010-Current)SSSS = sequential ranking numberExample: F21234 = Fuji-gen Japan / 2002 / unit 1234Example: T101234 = Terada Japan / 2010 / unit 1234----------------------------------------------F-Serial Numbers on Les Paul Standard '59/'60 Models and Tribute/Plus ModelsThe latest serial number system used by Epiphone has not yet been completely deciphered. The new "F" models are made in China. The system uses running model numbers rather than a dedicated code for year, month, and place of manufacture.F300000 = late 2009 used on LP Std'59/Std'60/Tribute modelsContinued around F310650F311050 in spring 2012 on Tribute-Plus modelsContinued around F305000 in 2011Continued around F310000 in 2012Continued around F317000 in 2013Continued around F324000 in 2014Continued around F330000 in 2015 ---------------------------------Epiphone Japan Serial Numbers1998 - CurrentThe Yamano Gakki Epiphone Japan serial numbers from 1998 onwards are in a YMMPPP format.Y = Year of manufactureMM = Month of manufacturePPP = Production numberThe serial number letters used by the Terada and Fuji-Gen guitar factories are:J = TeradaT = Terada,F = Fuji-GenNo Letter = Fuji-GenExample: J902123 = Terada / 1999 / February / unit 123Example: T902123 = Terada / 1999 / February / unit 123Example: F902123 = Fuji-Gen / 1999 / February / unit 123Example: 902123 = Fuji-Gen / 1999 / February / unit 1231987 - 1997For Yamano Gakki Epiphone Japan semi acoustic models from 1987 to approximately 1997, the serial numbers are in a YCPPP format.They were made by Terada and usually have an Orange Epiphone label.Y = Year of manufactureC = Model codePPP = Production numberModel Codes (C)1 = NVJ2 = EMPEROR3 = RIVIERA4 = SHERATON5 = CASINO6 = Limited Edition7 = EB-28 = ES-930J9 = EMPEROR-JExample: 34123 = 1993 / SHERATON / unit 123Example: 38123 = 1993 / ES-930J / unit 1231971 - 1987The Aria Epiphone Japan models that were made by Matsumoku from the early 1970s and ending before 1987 do not have a reliable serial numbering system but can be approximately dated using their Epiphone label colors.1971-1975 - Blue label - Early models say "Union Made"1976-1979 - Tan or white "Lincolnwood" label with Norlin logo1980-1987 - Brown Label with splotched pattern 350c69d7ab


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