The numbers 001-499 show Kalamazoo production, 500-999 show Nashville production. When acoustic production began at the plant built in Bozeman, Montana (in 1989), the series' numbers were reorganized.Bozeman instruments began using 001-299 designations and, in 1990, Nashville instruments began using 300-999 designations.Part of the reason for this may be that it's pretty straightforward to date them by model features (e.g., covering, controls, speaker number and size, etc.); which tubes were used on the specific model; and the EIA codes on the pots, transformers, and speaker(s). Sounds like a Gibson 79RVT - does it look something like this?
Though not used on the earliest instruments produced (those done in 1952), a few of these instruments have 3 digits stamped on the headstock top.
Some time in 1953, instruments were ink stamped on the headstock back with 5 or 6 digit numbers, the first indicating the year, the following numbers are production numbers.
The production numbers run in a consecutive order and, aside from a few oddities in the change over years (1961-1962), it is fairly accurate to use them when identifying solid body instruments produced between 19.
Examples of this system: 4 2205 = 1954 614562 = 1956 In 1961 Gibson started a new serial number system that covered all instrument lines.
It consisted of numbers that are impressed into the wood.
It is also generally known to be the most frustrating and hard to understand system that Gibson has employed. There are several instances where batches of numbers are switched in order, duplicated, not just once, but up to four times, and seem to be randomly assigned, throughout the decade.
It should also be noted that the Nashville plant has not reached the 900s since 1977, so these numbers have been reserved for prototypes.
Examples: 70108276 means the instrument was produced on Jan.10, 1978, in Kalamazoo and was the 276th instrument stamped that day. 3, 1985, in Nashville and was the 1st instrument stamped that day. When the Nashville Gibson plant was opened in 1974, it was decided that the bulk of the production of products would be run in the South; the Kalamazoo plant would produce the higher end (fancier) models in the North.
These sites should give you the particulars on what model/features/tubes go with what years, and you should be able to use the EIA codes to fill in the rest: it's this version with blonde tolex, oxblood grill cloth, and 6BM8 triode/pentode tube, then I'd guess '60 or '61 But look at all the details and EIA codes to narrow it down further. My parents bought it for me---I believe Christmas of 1960. Roughly 30 watts from two dual-6BQ5/EL84 power sections.
Darrell I don't remember the model Gibson amp but as a kid I would go to my local music store and there was a Gibson amp that was something like a twin with two speakers but they were at an angle facing (left & right) sounded nice.
On f-hole instruments, it is visible through the upper f-hole.