Dating a guitar
If it is a USA model, it will say "Made In The USA" on the headstock just below or beside the B. The neck plates were pre-stamped and pulled out of a box at random when it was time to install the neck onto the guitar or bass. Rich instruments and also used the "BCXXXXX" numbering scheme as well as "RXXXXXX" for it’s imported models.The Bolt On guitars serial numbers started with "BC" followed by five digits (BCXXXXX). Class Axe did make some USA instruments of very good quality.Assigning a date to Duesenberg instruments both new and old is not difficult.This is because, with very few exceptions, Duesenberg instruments are numbered according to a straight-forward system.The USA bolt on guitars never followed the same serial number sequence as the neck thru models, which were numbered using the (YYXXX) format with the first two digits being the year, and the last three digits being the production number.Also, keep in mind on the 2 3 (five digit) serial numbers, they got out of sequence in the early to mid 80's.This system was used for the guitars distributed by L. In the late '70s as production grew, the serial numbers begin to get ahead of themselves since only 1000 numbers were available in a series.
After 2009, however, solid body instruments likewise had their serial numbers etched into metal plates mounted on the back of the headstock.
Originally published on uk Mon March 13, 2006 Dating B. Rich neck-through guitars is relatively easy, although slightly imprecise by the 1980's. These consecutive numbers ran up to between 340 and 360. Throughout the '70s, production numbers were low enough that the serial numbers pretty much reflect the year of manufacture.
Rich guitar was stamped 'Proto', and subsequent guitars were consecutively numbered beginning 001, 002, 003, etc. That would make the first guitar of 1974 to have been numbered 74000, followed by 74001, 74002, 74003, etc.
A small number of Duesenberg guitars were built under the aegis of Rockinger in the 1980s. The official Duesenberg time frame, along with serial identification of instruments according to a unique numbering system, did not begin until 1995.
It was in 1995 that the first Duesenberg instruments were made available.