Cover image for Gruhn's guide to vintage guitars : an identification guide for American fretted instruments
Gruhn's guide to vintage guitars : an identification guide for American fretted instruments
Gruhn, George.
Personal Author:
Second edition.
Publication Information:
San Francisco : Miller Freeman Books, [1999]

Physical Description:
x, 581 pages : illustrations ; 23 cm
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
ML1015.G9 G765 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
ML1015.G9 G765 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Non circulating

On Order



For collectors, dealers and players, this updated guide provides specifications, serial numbers, and more for determining the originality of vintage American acoustic and electric fretted instruments. Detailing thousands of models of major manufacturers, the book now includes expanded coverage of Martin, Guild, Mosrite, Dobro, Gibson banjos, Fender amps and Gibson amps, plus updates on the latest models from Fender, Gibson, Reickenbacker and others since 1990.

Author Notes

A native of Atlanta, Georgia, Walter Carter was born on July 2, 1950 and earned a BA from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In 1971, Carter moved to Nashville, Tennessee, to pursue a career in songwriting. He is a writer and musician, and has applied both of these talents to further his chosen career.

From 1978 to 1982, Carter's background brought him success as a reporter on the Nashville music scene. This led to his first book, The Oak Ridge Boys: Our Story, published in 1966. From 1988 to 1992, he was a writer and researcher for Gruhn Guitars, completing Gruhn's Guide to Vintage Guitars in 1990. He then joined the Gibson Guitar Corporation as a historian and researched and wrote Gibson Guitars: One Hundred Years of an American Icon. In addition to his writing, Walter Carter is still active on the Nashville music scene. Since 1995, he has been a member of the Nashville Mandolin Ensemble, also serving as a songwriter, and he is an active member of the American Federation of Musicians.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 1

Library Journal Review

The market for vintage American guitars, basses, amplifiers, banjos, ukuleles, and other fretted instruments has exploded in the last decade. This updated and expanded second edition of Gruhn's Guide is more than double the size of its first edition (1992) and is superior in breadth, depth, and timeliness. The guide is organized by manufacturer and type of instrument. Every model is described in detail, with introduction date, body shape and size, woods, pickups (where applicable), bindings, inlays, and finish. All changes made from year to year are noted, ensuring the precise determination of model and originality. The book also provides serial number lists, identification charts, and over 100 photos of special features. While many books on individual instrument makers are available, this is the only guide that lists all makers and all their products while also offering comments about the collectibility of specific instruments. Highly recommended.ÄEric C. Shoaf, Brown Univ. Lib., Providence (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

Introduction to the Second Editionp. v
Introductionp. vii
How To Use This Bookp. viii
Major Manufacturers
General Informationp. 2
Serial Numbersp. 8
1928-41 Keyp. 9
1928-41p. 11
1962-70p. 17
OMI/OAIp. 20
General Informationp. 28
Model Numbersp. 32
Serial Numbersp. 33
Acoustic Archtops Keyp. 35
Acoustic Archtopsp. 36
Flat Tops Keyp. 42
Flat Topsp. 43
Electric Archtops Keyp. 48
Electric Archtopsp. 49
Electric Solidbodies Keyp. 54
Electric Solidbodiesp. 54
Electric Basses Keyp. 56
Electric Bassesp. 56
Steels Keyp. 57
Steelsp. 57
Mandolinsp. 59
Acoustic Bassesp. 61
Banjosp. 62
General Informationp. 66
Serial Numbersp. 74
Esquire/No-Caster/Telecastersp. 77
Stratocastersp. 84
Electric Guitars, Mandolin and Violinp. 94
Acoustic Flat Topsp. 98
Bassesp. 99
Steelsp. 106
Amplifiers, General Informationp. 109
Amplifiersp. 111
General Informationp. 122
Serial Numbersp. 129
Acoustic Archtops Keyp. 136
Acoustic Archtopsp. 138
Harp Guitarsp. 144
Flat Tops Key, 16" or Widerp. 145
Flat Tops Key, 14 3/4" or Narrowerp. 148
Flat Topsp. 150
Electrics, General Informationp. 177
Electric Archtops Keyp. 189
Electric Archtopsp. 192
Les Pauls, SGs and Melody Makers Keysp. 204
Les Pauls, SGs and Melody Makersp. 210
Korinas, Firebirds, Misc. Solidbodies and Doublenecksp. 230
Electric Basses Keyp. 246
Electric Bassesp. 248
Steels Keyp. 253
Steelsp. 254
Ukulelesp. 258
Mandolins, General Informationp. 259
Mandolins Keyp. 263
Mandolinsp. 265
Banjos, General Informationp. 272
Banjos, Serial Numbersp. 278
Banjosp. 279
Amplifiersp. 287
Other Brands Made by Gibsonp. 298
General Informationp. 318
Model Numbersp. 325
Serial Numbersp. 328
Acoustic Archtops Keyp. 329
Acoustic Archtopsp. 330
Flat Tops Keyp. 334
Flat Topsp. 335
Electric Archtops Keyp. 338
Electric Archtopsp. 341
Electric Solidbodies Keyp. 347
Electric Solidbodiesp. 349
Bassesp. 352
Steelsp. 353
General Informationp. 356
Serial Numbersp. 359
Acoustic Archtops Keyp. 367
Acoustic Archtopsp. 367
Flat Tops Keyp. 368
Flat Topsp. 374
Electric Archtops Keyp. 386
Electric Archtopsp. 388
Electric Solidbodies Keyp. 392
Electric Solidbodiesp. 394
Basses Keyp. 399
Bassesp. 401
Acoustic Bassesp. 406
Larson Brothers
General Informationp. 410
Maurer and Prairie Statep. 412
General Infomationp. 416
Serial Numbersp. 426
Flat Tops Keysp. 427
Archtops Keyp. 430
Guitarsp. 430
Ukuleles, Tiples, Taropatches and Banjosp. 456
Mandolin Serial Numbersp. 458
Mandolinsp. 460
General Informationp. 464
Guitarsp. 464
General Informationp. 470
Serial Numbersp. 475
National Resonator Models Keyp. 478
National Non-Resonator Acoustics Keyp. 479
National Acousticsp. 480
National Electric Hollowbodies Keyp. 487
National Electric Hollowbodiesp. 487
National Electric Solidbodies Keyp. 490
National Electric Solidbodiesp. 491
National Basses Keyp. 494
National Bassesp. 494
National Steelsp. 494
Supro Electric Hollowbodies Keyp. 497
Supro Solidbodies Keyp. 498
Supro Guitars, Basses and Mandolinsp. 499
Supro Steelsp. 505
Airline Models Made by Valcop. 507
General Informationp. 510
Serial Numbersp. 511
Flat Topsp. 512
Electric Hollowbodies and Solidbodiesp. 518
General Informationp. 522
Serial Numbersp. 528
Hollowbodies Keyp. 530
Hollowbodiesp. 532
Solidbodies Keyp. 537
Solidbodiesp. 539
Basses Keyp. 543
Bassesp. 544
Steelsp. 545
Other Instrumentsp. 548
Independent Makers
Benedettop. 550
Collingsp. 552
D'Angelicop. 554
D'Aquistop. 556
Gilchristp. 558
Monteleonep. 560
Strombergp. 562
Pot Codesp. 564
Patent Numbersp. 565
Recommended Readingp. 566
Model Indexp. 568