Martin dating by serial number
Serial numbers tend to be stamped or written somewhere on the headstock or neck joint of the guitar.
On some acoustic guitars, the serial number is on the inside of the sound hole.
Not all guitar brands use date stamps, but if you find one, you have your answer.
Look for the brand name decal on the guitar's headstock.
Do you own a Martin Guitar or are you looking to buy an older Martin Guitar and want to verify the model number and the date of it's build? These number include all Martin Guitars, but do not include Mandolins, Basses and Electric Guitars. For most Martin Acoustic Guitars with a round sound hole, both the serial number and the model number are stamped on the head or neck block, inside the instrument.
In the table matrix below is a listing of all the acoustic guitars made by C. You can easily see the numbers by peering through the sound hole while holding the instrument up to a strong natural light source or with a flashlight.
All Martin guitars since 1898 (except solidbody electrics from the 1970s, basses, and tiples) are numbered in consecutive order. Mandolins use a different serial number system than guitars. For example, “OO-28″ stamped above the martin guitar serial number tells use the body is “OO” size (14 5/16″ wide for a 14 fret model, 14 1/8″ wide for a 12 fret model), and the ornamention style is “28” (rosewood body, ice cream cone style neck).
Serial numbers are often at least four digits long, and they sometimes include letters.
Search the area around the serial number for a date stamp.
Each guitar brand uses a different set of serial numbers, so you need to identify your guitar before you attempt to use the serial number to learn when it was made.
Determine the type of guitar (such as Gibson Les Paul or SG, Fender Stratocaster or Telecaster) if possible.
Email the serial number to the manufacturer and ask for help.