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  luthiers and guitar makers

B-BC Rich

made

  Be-Bi  | Bj-BoBr-  updated 25/6/2013

 

B3

2006-

"After Baker Guitars bankruptcy, I went to Ernie Ball as we hoped for my designs to emerge with EB's involvement. Gene worked in engineering and quality control for the year and a year later left to mutual differences.

Fine Tuned Instruments home of b3 branded model guitars emerged in mid 2004 although didn't go into producing new models until March of 2006. b3 models continued to expand until Nov 2009 when FTI partnered with Premier Builders Guild aka PBG a true Guild of well known boutique guitar builders where Gene works closely with all designers to replicate their models to their spec and quality control requirements. At FTI Gene oversees a small talented crew crafting 5 brands including b3, Fano, JG, Koll and Giffin. PBG manages, markets and extends its brands into Two Rock, Tone King and Gjika amplifiers.

Dating B3 guitars

All pre PBG built b3 models used a 4 digit sequential serial number starting with 0_001 to 0_229 before partnering with PBG.

For PBG serial numbers please contact PBG at premeir builders guild.com" [Source and images Gene Baker, email 20/3/2012]

B & B Resophonic Guitars

 

2003 to present

Dan Brooks (b.1958) is sole owner and builder of B & B Resophonic Guitars, made since 2003 in Albany, Ohio USA. Influenced by luthiers Don MacRostie (Red Diamond Mandolins), Todd Sams (Sams Guitars), Al Rorick (Mechanical Amplification) and various other resophonic guitar makers.

Solid wood body construction (Various woods), Sound Post/Open Soundwell (occasional clear plexiglas baffle bolted to inner cone ring, Bolt-On Neck, Flat Peghead.

Identifying and dating B & B Resophonic Guitars

Sticker with Name, Address and Date of Manufacture inside body under cone. MOP Logo with "B & B" inlaid at 12th Fret. [Source & images: Dan Brooks, email 12/2/2010]

B & D see Bacon and Day

B & J

B & J was a musical instrument distributor based in New York for most of the Twentieth Century. The company had instruments built for them by many of the factories that we've become familiar with, Stromberg-Voisenet (later to become Kay) among these. The Serenader name was used on a wide variety of guitars and equipment from the 1920's right on into the 1960's. [Source and image of label Folkway Music] other images ebay

Wikipedia

B &  J Guitar label

B and K   B&K Instruments are built in Sherman, CT USA by Frank Brocklehurst and Joseph Keneally.

René Baarslag

Rene Baarslag guitars from Granada, Spain

Image Baarslag:

Rene Baarslag guitar label

Babicz

2004 to present

Founded by luthiers Jeff Babic and Jeff Carano who worked together at Steinberger.  Made in Poughkeepsie, New York and ?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Babicz_Guitars

Bacchus guitars

1994 -

Bacchus started production in 1994 at the Asuka factory in Japan. [Source: Guitars Japan]

Note the Guitars Japan site is an awesome resource for Bacchus Guitars.

http://toguitars.com/gallery-japan/bacchus-guitars.html

http://www.gakki.com/shop3/bacchus_guitars.html

Dating Bacchus Guitars

http://www.japanvintageguitars.com/Bacchus%20History.html

see Headway

Images eBay

Bacchus guitar headstock

Rudolph Bachman

1996-

Bachman guitars, Italy

Pete Back

English luthier, Peter Back.  He made guitars in Rotherham in the 1980s including one for Fleetwood Mac [Source: Andrew Redding, UK email 1/1/2011]. More recent reports are that he made guitars in Reeth and was still in business at 2009. [Source: Mudcat]

Pete Back fan site

J Backlund

Master luthier Bruce Bennett and entrepreneur Kevin Maxfield established the J. Backlund Design shop in 2007 at the Chattanooga Business development Center in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Backlund design

Bacon

1912 Bacon Banjo catalog

Image Bacon Belmont guitar from Guitar Center

Bacon Belmont guitar

Bacon and Day (B & D)

1906-1968

David Day and Paul Bacon. Sold to Gretsch in 1940.  [Source: White Tree Arizona ] They made banjos, ukes and guitars

Although the Bacon company built many of the finest (and most expensive) banjos of the 1920's they had no experience, or apparent interest, in building guitars. They had dabbled with ukuleles and mandolins in the early 1920's and had even sold a few Martin guitars with a Bacon stamp, but in the main had been able to prosper with a banjo-only line. When the high-end banjo market collapsed in the early 1930's Fred Bacon and David Day, both older men with decades of experience in the music business, took the expedient route and contracted with outside makers to supply them with guitars that could be finished off as "B&D's". While similar to other Regal-built instruments including the Tonk Bros. Washburn line these "B&D" guitars are always distinctively appointed, and also the best that could be had. [Source and images: Retrofret]

Image at top from the Troubador guitar image right below both from eBay

Bacon and Day Guitar Headstock

Dating B&D Banjos – note system changed after Gretsch took over.

http://www.whitetreeaz.com/vintage/banjomfg.htm

http://www.mugwumps.com/BaconSerialNumbers.html

Bacon Belmont

Made for Montgomery Ward by Gretsch. [Source: Guitar for sale at http://guitarsnouveau.com/ 8/5/2008]

http://www.whitetreeaz.com/vintage/genbanjo.htm

Philip Bacon

Philip Adam Bacon makes guitars in Australia

Image Philip Bacon Picassa:

Philip A Bacon guitar label

Bacorn Guitars

Current at 2011

Roger Bacorn, custom guitars and mandolins, Nichols, New York, USA

Baden

TJ Baden, California, USA

Images eBay.

Baden guitar label

Vicente Sanchis Badia

Vicente Sanchis Badia of Masanasa (Valencia) Spain.

Image eBay:

Bailey Guitars

1998-

Mark Bailey, luthier Kirkmichael Guitar Village, Maybole, UK

At age 18 Mark Bailey started guitarmaking with "Patrick Eggle" guitars. In 1998 Mark started his own guitar making company with his partner Carol Davies. Their first premises were in a double-decker bus!

John Bailey

1960s to 1990s

John Bailey started to make guitars in London in the 1960s and moved to Devon in 1972 where he continued to make guitars until the 1990s. [Source: Wikipedia ]

Example

http://www.theguitarcollection.org.uk/gallery2/johnbailey.html

http://www.marcbrierley.org.uk/guitar.htm

Baker

1994 to 2003.  Currently made by Ed Roman

Gene Baker made his first guitar in 7th Grade and in 11th grade made his first neck, truss rod and and fret board. From 1986 he started building guitars and then worked part time for Ernie Ball for 3 months then sacked for being too slow. At age 20 he started making guitars in his parent's garage under the Mean Gene brand and partnered with .Eric Zoellner which lasted over a year.  From 1991 to 1993 he worked for Master Builder Roger Giffin of the "Gibson West Custom Shop" in North Hollywood, California

As Gibson was planning to close that plant he moved to the Fender Custom Shop in Corona, California in June 1993.  While at Fender Gene established Baker Guitars with Gil Vasquez.  On 1 January 1999 Gene left Fender to take on Baker Guitars full time. [Source: Baker web ]

Baker Guitars stopped production in 2003. Baker guitars name sold to Ed Roman who now makes them see: http://www.edroman.com/guitars/baker.htm

Dating Baker Guitar and specification

The following documents are from Wayback Machine:

2003 Baker guitar brochure

2003 Gene Baker Interview

2003 Baker Robben Forde Press release

2003 Baker Briab Wheat Tesla bass press release

Gene Baker started making instruments again around 2007

Currently making guitars under the B3 brand

James R Baker

1990 to present

"I started serious, regular issue of instruments in 1990...made a couple here & there before that but I don't know where they are.....

I have always used the number system of 4 digits, the first two the number of the instrument issued that year , the second two the year....so 0108 was the first guitar this year....1499 the fourteenth instrument of 1999

For new instruments, I have had a label , that is visible thru the soundhole, that I don't always use anymore that has my family crest on it, we were carvers / designers , it has a latin motto on it that translates to "the end crowns the work"... I don't use it much anymore, generally now I just sign the instrument in black , on the back visible thru the soundhole. On electrics w/o a soundhole, the same system on the back of the headstock. I usually sign the headstock on the front , kind of like PRS does....I also usually inlay a marquetry rose on the headstock, it has always been my "mark"

On vintage restoration instruments that do not have a label, I sometimes put a small label inside that has the name, "Guitare Romantica" and a date and signature....I watch for quality circa 1900 & earlier unidentified instruments and restore & mod them into really nice playing guitars, the 100+year woods are great....its a nice market, a quicker to inventory item thasn a new one, a great old instrument with a real vintage vibe cause it's real vintage for a reasonable price.

On labeled , important vintage instruments, I sometimes sign & date in pencil, small & hidden inside so that the owner knows where, just for a security measure as well as identifying it....

My website is a new one, had a different one for many years but my focus is changing.. I want to bring my patented archtops to a younger generation, and I am getting heavily into Romantic era instruments, gut string and such, both vintage and my own design for this fall....i will still make electrics & others but I think (I am 55) that it is time for me to try to have my instruments speak to a younger generation....20 - 30 yr olds are so smart, they have no boundaries, and that excites me...it like Dylan said, Lend a hand or get out of the way..." [Source: Jim Baker, email 30/3/2008]

Victor Baker

1998 to present

Victor Baker guitar maker, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA

Bakes Guitars

Chicago [Source: Nate DeMont]

Balastrero

1988-

Roberto Balestrero, was born in 1965 in Vitoria, capital of the state of Espirito Santo in the southeast of Brazil. Made his first guitar in 1988 and moved to the United States in 2001.  Based in Alexandria, VA .

Baldwin

1965 - 1970

Initial models - Burns UK, later Arkansas, USA. Also made in Italy.

http://www.burnsguitarmuseum.com/baldwin.html

Note in 2005 Gibson announced a new Gibson-Baldwin range – aimed at the beginner/ education market. [Source: Mixonline  ]

see Burns

Images 1966 Baldwin Guitar Made in Italy eBay:

1968-1972 Baldwin 801CP label ebay

Ernie Ball   see Musicman

Ballurio

 

Ballurio guitars, Manassas, VA, USA

Dating Ballurio guitars

http://www.ballurio.com/BG/BGSerialNumbers.shtml

Attila Balogh   see Odyssey
Baltimore 2007 to present Baltimore guitars are a budget line imported to USA by The Music Link
Bamburg   Jeff Bamburg, Salida, Colorado USA

Bambu

Bambu brand guitar. Built by a Japanese company called Misato. The neck-thru laminations are made from bamboo.

Back in the mid 1970s the R&D Group from the Misato parent company, Chushin consulted with Alembic luthiers in USA about building a guitar using bamboo as a primary component, a conventional 2 pickup neck-thru-the-body instrument using lamination techniques developed and proven by Alembic. In 1978 the first production run ended after about 20 instruments had been built. [Source: a6string]

Images Bambu guitar with active pickups courtesy Markus Fuchs, Switzerland:

Bambu guitar flyer at Alembic forum

Bandy Studios

Joseph Bandy was a student in the Fall, 2001, class. He then set up a guitar-repair business near Amarillo, Texas. After spending a year-long apprenticeship in Oakland, California with luthier Ervin Somogyi, he started Bandy Studios making custom guitars and performing repairs. [Source: Roberto-Venn ]

Banning   Guitars by Jason Banning, Lodi, California USA

Banus-Ibanex

Spanish made guitars from at least 1969-1980 based on examples on the web:

http://www.ibanezcollectors.com/discus/messages/11/19252.html?1160922929

Image (1969) eBay:

Banus Ibanez guitar label

Banzer

Banzer guitars were made in Asthtabula, Northeast Ohio by Don Banzer (now deceased) . From examples on web he made steel string, classical and flamenco guitars.  DOn's equipment was bought by Trinity Guitars.

Images 1979, 1991 Banzer Guitar eBay;

 

Vicente Barajas

Vicente Barajas Martinez e Hijos Paracho, Mexico

Image Trilogy Guitars:

Vicente Barajas guitar label

Baranik Guitars

1995 to present

Mike Baranik, Tempe, Arizona, USA

Baratto 2000 to present Started making guitars for Hishino (Ibanez Custom 1994-1999). Started Baratto in 2000 in Los Angeles, California USA.

Francisco Barba

current

Francisco Barba Martinez is one of Sevilla's most recognized builder. His reputation is known throughout the world and his guitars are in huge demand now. Barba's guitars are played but such artists as Pedro Pena, Nino de Pura, Quique Paredes, Riqueni, Manolo Franco and others. Barba's guitars feature a great setup, necks are very comfortable. Typically, they are fast and very well balanced using very light Spanish cypress creating an incredible amount of volume…a great examples of what a true flamenco guitar should. [Soure: Geert Doumen, Lasonata email, 12/3/2009]

Image courtesy: Classic Guitar, eBay

Francisco Barba guitar label 2000 2007 Barba label

Barbarossa

current

Shoreview, MN, United States of America

Images Barbarossa:

Barbarossa Guitar label

Barber Custom   Barber Custom guitars, Hawkins Texas, USA

Barber

 

  Stephen J Barber, handmade guitars Cairns, Australia

Marcelino Barbero

Marcelino Barbero guitar maker. Madrid from 1882. Made in Japan, Imported to US by Sherry-Brenner, Chicago

Image 1967 Marcelino Barbero label ebay

Marcelo Barbero

1945-1956

Learnt with Jose Ramirez II and following death of Santo Hernandez in 1940, was invited by Hernandez' widow to complete the backlog. Set up own shop 1945 in Madrid and died 1956 [Source: Guitars of Spain ]

Image 1953 The Guitar Salon

Marcelo Barbero

Image of 1950 Hernandez by Barbero courtesy of Guitar Salon International Image of 1950 Barbero (under own name) courtesy of Kent Guitar Classics

Based on Babelfish 'Viuda de' - translates to 'widow of'.

Santo Hernandez guitar label Marcelo Barbero guitar label

Barclay

Barclay guitar headstock

According to Blue Book of Electric Guitars Barclay guitars were built in Japan in 1960s, considered a House Brand but importer to US unknown. However, at the Guitar Site there is a suggestion that there are US made Barclays. At the Harmony Database it is suggested that Barclay was distributed by Unity Buying Service.
http://harmony.demont.net/brands.php

Images of Barclay Electric Guitar courtesy of Sue Blow, Canada.

Barclay guitars label from 1960s classical guitar ebay

Barcley

 

Barcley electric guitar. Made in Japan. Found at guitarbroker.net

Barcus-Berry 1964 to present Founded by Les Barcus an John Berry, the first piezo crystal pick up.

Scott Barette

 

Scott Barette makes D Minus brand guitars. Source Reverb.

Barker

Barker guitars were made in Toledo, Ohio by William G Barker in the 1960s. [Source: Vintage Archtops]

Images 1969 Barker guitar ebay:

Steve Barkman

1989-

Luthier, Dunedin, New Zealand. Fine handmade guitars, mandolins, bouzoukis, citterns, mandocellos.

"I made my first guitar in 1989, at this date (March 2011) I'm working on my 150th instrument.

I was a 'hobby' builder and repairer until redundancy in 1998. Since then I've been full-time building and repairs.

I have a workshop (6m x 10m 2-bedroom kit-set type house) in Macandrew Bay on Otago Peninsula, Dunedin, New Zealand.
Dating Steve Barkman instruments

All of my instruments are signed and dated on underside of soundboard. some have labels also.

More recently I've been marking the back's centre strip with 'SB' #xxx month/year.
Almost all of my modest output is custom ordered and includes acoustic guitars, ukuleles, mandolins and bouzoukis, there are a couple of 6-string electric basses and one 'strat'-style electric guitar.
While most of my output has been with more 'traditional' woods, Sitka, Rosewood, Mahogany etc. I do like to use NZ natives when I can source them, Kauri (not 'swamp') Tanekaha, Black Maire, Puriri Kahikatea, NZ Beech, Matai have all made fine instruments." [Source and image; Steve Barkman, email 5/3/2010]

Barkwood Guitars

1992 to present

Luthier Donnacha O Donnell, Los Angeles, California

Barnes   Barnes handcrafted guitars by Sheffield (UK) based luthier Tim Barnes

Carl Barney Guitars

1968 to present

Carl Barney guitars, since 1968. Bridgeport, Connecticut USA

Carl Barney article 2011

Forum http://theguitarwall.com/forum/index.php?board=22.0

Images 1981 CARL BARNEY Sal Salvadore Deluxeebay March 2012

Carl Barney guitars

Kris Barnett   Atlanta, Georgia USA

Maxime Baron

2007-

Lutherie Baron, Maxime Baron, Luthier of the Great Montreal - Laval, Quebec Canada

"I started the Baron Guitars in 2007 in Montreal, Qc, Canada.

Dating Baron guitars

The year of manufacture is written on the label, and the number represent the amount of guitars I've built.

I have a lot of pictures of guitars in the process on my facebook page. [Source and images Maxime Baron, email 1/3/2011]

Maxime Baron

Baron

 

 

Baron Custom guitar Made in USA. Images from ebay August 2012

Baron Custom guitar Made in USA

Baron

Cheap electrics - a brand mentioned in Canada.

German Perez Barranco

Granada

Barraza  

Made in China.

A brand of M&M Merchandising. Fort Worth, Texas. Made in China.

"Barraza - 2007 - Named after a family member - nice instruments .

Dating Barraza Guitars

Our serial number has the date made in it: K0612t0516 - this one was built in the 12th month of 2006." [Source: Mark W. Jabben, M&M Merchandisers, Inc, email 6/1/2009]

see M&M Merchandisers

Image eBay

Barraza guitar serial number

Barrington

Barrington guitar headstock

1940s

From Guitarsite: Barrington Acoustic Guitar with label "Hand Made by Arthur Hensel Especially For Baere & Son circa WWII.

However, the example in these photos from Len is a Barrington with the label suggesting Artist RS Williams and Son.

The Barrington link with Beare and Son appears to be explained in a forum. Beare and Sons evolved from Beare, Goodwin, established 1865, England's first musical instrument wholesaler. Richard "Barrington" Beare joined the family company in 1931. So from this one would assume that Hensel made a Barrington model for Beare and Sons and perhaps the same model was distributed by Williams and Son. Beare & Son did not appear to coninue beyond 1950.

This Barrington Artist in these pictures appears very similar to the Hensel Artist at Folkway Music but the headstocks are slightly different (square v rounded - see below)

see Beare & Son

Barrington guitar

Artist RS Williams guitar label

See Hensel

Barrington Guitar Werks

1988-1991

Barington Guitars Werks, Barrington, Illinois imported guitars from 1988 to 1991.

Barrington is still in business but not as Barrington Guitar Werks. (sp is correct) They became L A Sax company and that is gone too, changed to Dakota Sax; but the principal for all those entities is Peter La Placa & I called him in Barrington Illinois. He asked that I e-mail and he would give me a package of info on the Barrington line. He said they put it together because they had so many requests. He told me that the line just couldn’t make a go of it ; he was up against Washburn for example. I know that around that time, the bottom fell out of electrics just as it has currently. Based on the cover sheet of the Barrington price list - Foxxe and Armitage were related to the Barrington brand. [Source and images courtesy Ben van Dyk, email 6/4/2013]

Headstock lower left and guitar below from Barrington 275 made by Terada, Japan courtesy Ben van Dyk email 25/1/2013 - it is a fantastic playing & sounding guitar.

 

 

 

Barron River Guitars   Allen McFarlen builds custom guitars and ukuleles in a workshop located in Cairns, Australia.

GW Barry

1980 to present

Gordon Barry, Toronto Canada

Bartell of California

1964-1969

Founded by Paul Barth (Magnatone, worked for Rickenbacker, and built Black Widows for Acoustic in 1972).  Instruments built in Riverside, California, USA 1964-1969.  Bartell of California appears on label inside Hohner fretless basses.

The best resource for Bartell is the Unofficial Bartell Fan Site

http://www.allthetransients.com/subdomains/blackwidow/story.html

Image eBay:

Bartell of California bass guitar

Tom Barth 1971-2005

Tom opened the Music Box in 1971, making prototypes for a few years. His first guitar was made with Bob Benedetto, an original Benedetto and Barth Vintage electric guitar before anything was vintage and cool, he says. They made the body from a headboard and Tom did the electronics. In 75, he made the full-sized BarthVader, one of the first graphic-equalized guitars. [Source:njskylands ]

Tom passed away in 2005 .

Barthell Guitars 1975 to present "I started building classical guitars in 1975.  Each guitar I build has a label visible through the soundhole.  The label carries either my signature or my initials (JPB) and  a date showing the year it was completed.  In most cases the serial number is also shown.  I'm just now finishing up number 135, and that will be its serial number.  In some cases low serial numbers will be repeated, because I started from zero again when my good lady and I left the Chicago area to move to the Olympic peninsula here in Washington state.  I did not keep careful records before moving here, but my guess is that numbers below about 30 or 40 could be duplicated.  The dates, however, will establish the age." [Source: Pete Barthell, email 20/3/2008]
Bartlett   Bartlett woodworking - custom made parts to build your own. Guelph, Canada
Bartolini 1973 to present Pat and Bill Bartolini. Pickup manufacturer since 1973.

Bartolini

1960s

European (? Italy) guitars made for Bartolini Accordian Company

http://www.greenbuddha.de/guitars/index_b.php?mod=bartolini&lang=de

http://www.fetishguitars.com/index/bar_gem.html

Image eBay:

Bartolini guitar Italy 1960s

Peter Barton

1986 to present

Established 1986 in Addingham, West Yorkshire

Image Stafford Guitar:

Peter Barton  guitar label.

Richard Bartram

Early 1970s-

Luthier Cambridge, UK

Baruke Guitars

Allen Williams, USA

Bascetta

2001 to present

"I started manufacturing under my name in 2001 and my instruments were first made in Leeds, UK, then in Port Sunlight, UK and 3 months ago I setup my current shop in Spital, UK.  The date and location of manufacture is always on the label next to my signature as well as written on the underside of the top. " [Source: Matthew John Bascetta, Luthier, email 11/7/2008 ]

Matthew John Bascetta guitar label

Bashkin

1996 to present

Manufacture since "1996 in Fort Collins, Colorado, USA.

First two (soon three) digits is the guitar number and the last two represent the year. For example, 8108 is my 81st guitar made and it was completed in 2008." [Source: Michael, Bashkin Guitars, email 16/4/2008]

Article at Guitar Bench

Basone   Small custom guitar company specializing in hand crafted high quality electrics. Vancouver, British Columbia.

Bass Art

 

Bass Art guitars

Bass Collection

Bass Collection guitars - a brand name of Nanyo Boeki Japan

Bass Collection, Registered trademark of Nanyo Boeki Co Ltd

Bass Collection Catalog

see Nanyo

BassLab

2001to present

"The 2001 Frankfurt Musikmesse was somehow our official start. There were just a few instruments - the earliest from 1993, but most of them were prototypes and experimental R&D stuff. Made in Kassel, Germany.

Dating BassLab Guitars
All serial numbers are in the housing of the electronics.
A typical number would be like
LB0508D50
"LB" stands for the L-bow model
"05" is the number of strings
"08" is the date of manufacture
the rest is an internal code.
[Source and image courtesy of: Heiko Hoepfinger, BassLab, email 14/8/2008]

BassLab guitar serial number

Bastin current at 2010 Metal guitars by Bastin guitars, Kentucky USA.

Olivier Bataille

Olivier Bataille, luthier Normandy

Batson

1997-

Batson guitars, Nashville USA

Luthier interview

"We started building guitars in 1997, I believe.
We currently make them in Nashville, TN

Dating Batson guitars
Our serial numbers have a date included in the number scheme."  [Source & images: Grant Batson, Batson Guitar Co email 26/6/2010]

Batson guitars label

Giovanni Battelli

Guitars made in Naples, Italy

Images eBay:

Richard Baudry    

George Bauer

George Bauer guitar headstock

1894-1911

George Bauer was a Philadelphia luthier who made guitars and mandolins. [Source: Bills Banjos]

Images 1890 George Bauers eBay.

George Bauer guitar label

Baxendale & Baxendale 1975 to present Scott and John Baxendale, guitars from Denver Colorado

Bay State

1865-1910

Bay State was the brandname of high end acoustic guitars manufacturered by the John C Haynes Company in Boston from 1865 past the turn of the century.

http://personal.dougschmude.net/Bay%20State/Bay%20State.html

http://billsbanjos.com/baystate354.htm

Catalog page and images from eBay

Bay State guitar

Bazzolo

1983 to present

BC Kingston   see K for Kingston

BC Rich

BC Rich guitar headstock

1968 to present

Bernardo Chavez Rico established BC Rich in 1968. BC Rich branded guitars were made in USA. B C Rico brand was used to distinguish Japanese made guitars early on. [Source: wikipedia ]
BC Rich history from bc-rich.com 2002

BC Rich FAQ from bc-rich.com 2002

Vintage BC Rich Maniacs

Ronz BC Rich Temple of Worship

Dating Your B.C. Rich Guitar [Source: Wayback Machine 2006]

Dating B.C. Rich neck-through guitars is relatively easy, although slightly imprecise by the 1980's. Begining in 1972, the first B.C. Rich guitar was stamped 'Proto', and subsequent guitars were consecutively numbered beginning 001, 002, 003, etc. These consecutive numbers ran up to between 340 and 360. This system was used for the guitars distributed by L.D. Heater.

When distribution came back to B.C. Rich in 1974, a system of serial number coding began using a 5-digit code (XXYYY) with the first 2 digits indicating the year and the last 3 indicating the production number. That would make the first guitar of 1974 to have been numbered 74000, followed by 74001, 74002, 74003, etc. Throughout the '70s, production numbers were low enough that the serial numbers pretty much reflect the year of manufacture.

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. With production growing rapidly by 1980, the serial numbers had gotten about two to three years ahead. For example, a bass guitar that is documented to have been purchased (not necessarily made) in 1980, bore the serial number #82595. Although neck-through production never surpassed approximately 2200 guitars a year, as the '80s progressed, the serial numbers continued to get ahead of the actual year. By 1981 the numbers were about four years ahead. This gap remained fairly constant until Bernie Sr. turned the production over to Class Axe in 1989.

Bolt-neck guitars are less precise for the usual reasons. The serial number is stamped on a neck plate, and like every other company, when the guitar was being finished, someone grabbed a plate out of the box and put it on in no particular, precise or documented order. These do not follow the same XXYYY dating scheme as the neck thru models. If a guitar has a number of 89321, for example, it was probably built in 1987, but it could have been assembled a bit earlier or later than 1987.

If it is a USA model, it will say "Made In The USA" on the headstock just below or beside the B.C. Rich script logo. The serial numbers are a bit hard to date because there was no uniform way they were assigned a number at Bernie's original shop. 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.

The Bolt On guitars serial numbers started with "BC" followed by five digits (BCXXXXX). Between 1989 and 1993 Class Axe took over production of B.C. Rich instruments and also used the "BCXXXXX" numbering scheme as well as "RXXXXXX" for it’s imported models. Class Axe did make some USA instruments of very good quality. Once again, the guitar will indicate that it was made in the USA by the "Made In The USA" stamp on the headstock. These will also have a small "TM" next to the script logo.

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. In other words, a guitar with serial number "84532" could have been made in 1982 or 1983, not 1984 as the number would suggest. They got back on track in 1993. Also, at some point in 1999 or 2000 the "Made In The USA" below the script logo disappeared on most of the guitars built.

In the year 2000, they changed to the letters "BO" (Bolt On) and three digits (B0XXX), which was the actual production number, but there was no number stating the year the guitar was built. The import guitar models before November of 2000 have a serial number starting with the letter "F", the USA models do not.

F7XXXXX (1997)
F8XXXXX (1998)
F9XXXXX(1999)
F0XXXXX (2000)

In November of 2000 B.C. Rich implemented a new date stamp format for serial number coding of it’s imported models. . This started on the January 2001 models. All B.C. Rich models, both imported and usa handmades implement this same year time date stamp and guitar production number format:

121XXXXX first digit = year of manufacture
second digit = means nothing until double-digit years get here again
third digit = quarter of manufacture
digits 4 thru 8 = production number

Current US-made B.C. Rich serial numbers follow the same year and guitar production number format. (example - serial number #24123 was the 123rd guitar made in 2004)

BC Rich catalogs and pricelists

http://vintage.catalogs.free.fr/Index.htm

http://bcrich.net/local/2nd_e.html

2002 BC Rich USA handmade pricelist

2003 BC Rich handrafted USA Pricelist

2008 BC Rich catalog

2010 BC Rich catlog

2011 BC Rich catalog

2012 BC Rich catalog

 

BC Rich Forum http://www.bcrichplayers.com/forum/

Images 1972 BC Rich from eBay

BC Rich acoustic guitar label

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