Low serial numbers - lets see what ya got

Discussion in 'Electric Instruments' started by Furtive, Apr 23, 2016.

  1. Furtive

    Furtive Knight of Bangin'ess

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    One of the fringes of collector lunacy is interest in low serial numbers. I am not only guilty of this trait, I'm also proud of some of the junk I've accumulated. But to keep this PRS-centric, let's keep this game limited to PRS and models that exceeded 5000 in production.

    In one of my other threads about collecting, I think it was Garrett that mentioned looking for a low serial number first year Santana SE. I've had that on my to-do list since for a long time, and found B00369 yesterday on the bay. All original, Royal Blue and in perfect condition. What does this low number mean to me? It represents the first month of SE line production. I've owned probably a dozen other guits made by WMIC, but SEs represent the high end of what that factory produces. SE line could have crashed, burned, and have been a memory like the EGs - but not only did the venture work, it worked well.

    I'm hoping to do a similar comparison with a very low numbered Standard 24 from Indonesia. If anyone ever sees one under #100, please let me know about it :)

    Some others:

    1986 Standard #1508
    1988 CE #341
     
  2. TrevorSOJA

    TrevorSOJA New Member

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    This thread must include pics!
     
  3. rugerpc

    rugerpc A♥ hoards guitars ♥A
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    I have PRS Sweet 16 amp number 5, but it may be a while before it has 5000 brothers...
     
  4. Alan Manning

    Alan Manning Well Love a Duck Mary Poppins.!!!

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    I really don't know, would this count???[​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  5. Tosca

    Tosca Death by a million mini-toggles...

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    Well...it's the 20th anniversary of Private Stock and they're closing in on 6000 so maybe this (#222) qualifies...either way...sure is worth a look...
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  6. Alan Manning

    Alan Manning Well Love a Duck Mary Poppins.!!!

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    beautiful
     
  7. LSchefman

    LSchefman Hears Tones

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    Gorgeous, smokin' hot!
     
  8. LSchefman

    LSchefman Hears Tones

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    As a non-collector type, this is something I've always wondered about - why is a low serial number desirable/important?

    I'd think the thing that people would want might be a great sounding example of a guitar model, or maybe a classic limited run. I could even understand wanting to own a prototype, as that would be unusual.

    But what's the thing about a low serial number or a production model? It doesn't mean the guitar is any better, different, or unusual. It's just a number.

    This isn't confrontational...I really want to understand why!
     
  9. Furtive

    Furtive Knight of Bangin'ess

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    I'm going to hazard a guess that not everyone has interest in this for the same reason I do, but for me - the low number says "I was from the beginning of that run. This is what the model looked/felt/sounded like originally. Before changes were made." If a model exists for 5+ years, we usually start to see changes. Instruments evolve and I like to experience those differences directly.

    So - a low number does not directly corelate to "better". Maybe more desirable for one feature or another, but not "better".

    Low numbers may be different via tiny details. Trivial, but it's out there. Like those little filled in nail holes on the back of Fender headstocks in the 1950s. Consistency is vastly improved these days, but no factory running for 15 years will be exactly the same from day 1 to day 10001. I want to see if I can spot those differences. It'd be in the finishing details.

    Unusual? A PRS Santana SE is not unusual. Quite the opposite, they've been making them for 15 years - but this was made in the first month. A three digit CE? Maybe that's interesting if you can compare it to a brand new one, or ones from different anniversaries. Now we know people like the first 400 Customs - are they better? Different? Unusual? Maybe not now, but they created an uproar in 1985. How about a three digit Fender be unusual? 70 years down the road, a three digit serial number becomes anything but usual ;). "I didn't know such a thing existed" is a comment I hear when I bring out certain items.

    That's my thought-out answer, Les. Hope it helps :). The other two options were:

    - "Jeez, Les, I don't know... why don't you come over, try em an see if *you* can figure it out?" ;)
    - "In the beginning, PRS were made of free-range mahogany. Newer ones are made from GMO wood from corporate tree farms, which triggers my Adult Hyperactive Tone Disorder (AHTD). So the early ones sound better for this reason."
     
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  10. fender1punk

    fender1punk Certified Guitar Hoarder

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    I find that I constantly flip guitars over and glance at the numbers when I pick up use guitars in the store.
     
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  11. veinbuster

    veinbuster Freeze zone

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    I kind of understand a low serial number for a manufacturer, but I've never really felt there was a value to having a low number in a small run.
    I'm pretty sure there is no more magic to Dirty 100 number 5 of 100 than my 96 of 100.
     
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  12. Alan Manning

    Alan Manning Well Love a Duck Mary Poppins.!!!

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    Do some peeps like that sort of thing = yeah & fair play to you if that floats your boat.
    Would it matter to me = Nah, definitely not.
    Does it look, feel & play well = That'll do for me & that = empty wallet!!!!!;)
     
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  13. LSchefman

    LSchefman Hears Tones

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    I like these reasons. They make at least as much sense to me as anything else! ;)

    BTW, I'll be right over. What are we having for breakfast tomorrow?
     
  14. Furtive

    Furtive Knight of Bangin'ess

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    Coffee, rye toast and tone from a `55 Super :)
     
  15. The Fight

    The Fight Long Hair Demigod

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    Oh Les your no fun~
     
  16. LSchefman

    LSchefman Hears Tones

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    Oldest child syndrome. I've never been fun.
     
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  17. Stephen Rudnick

    Stephen Rudnick New Member

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    While I remember low serial numbers being a "thing" back in the 1970's, and yes, for awhile I was caught up in it, now all that matters to me is that the serial number does not have three consecutive 6's in it.

    I sent a Jeff Beck Strat back to Dave's one time after seeing the serial number end in 666. While I liked the guitar, I didn't like it THAT much!
     
  18. Mixstar

    Mixstar Just too tired . . .

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    Oh that's just a myth, I would have cherished it;)

    I have a friend who has a mobile phone number that ends in 666666 and he's had all sorts of big financial offers for it.
     
  19. Bill SAS 513

    Bill SAS 513 Just another old guy in a T-shirt

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    I used to live in a house address 666 in Carroll County, Maryland, with previous owners named "Devilbiss"...That was quite a coincidence...and still here to talk about it, although my head occasionally spins 360 whenever it feels like it.
     
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  20. Stephen Rudnick

    Stephen Rudnick New Member

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    I also heard and saw movies where the "666" thing is "supposed to be" 999" .
    I do plan to tell PRS, when I order my guitar, not to give me a serial number with any of those sequential numbers in it.

    While I 'm not really superstitious, theres no reason to take any chances, even if it means nothing. It might mean something to the next person who is looking to buy after I'm done with it.
     

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