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This is partially due to their production methods, which often involved using parts throughout different models and years, so that tracing the year of one part may not accurately indicate the production year of the instrument.
In 1997, the prefix CL (Clarence Leo) began use, and a couple years later it was changed to CLF.------------------------------ Perhaps the best way to date your G&L is to take the neck off.
Starting in early 2011 all G&L serials should be in sequence with the serial located on a metal plate on the back of the headstock. 2016, the metal plate was replaced with a waterslide decal. 2017, the serial numbers were laser-etched on the back of headstock.
The serial number format is now: "CLFYYMMnnn", where YY=last two digits of year, MM=two digit month.
F300000 = late 2009 used on LP Std'59/Std'60/Tribute models Continued around F310650~F311050 in spring 2012 on Tribute-Plus models Continued around F305000 in 2011Continued around F310000 in 2012Continued around F317000 in 2013Continued around F324000 in 2014Continued around F330000 in 2015---------------------------------Epiphone Japan Serial Numbers1998 - Current The Yamano Gakki Epiphone Japan serial numbers from 1998 onwards are in a YMMPPP format.
Y = Year of manufacture MM = Month of manufacture PPP = Production number The serial number letters used by the Terada and Fuji-Gen guitar factories are: J = Terada T = Terada, F = Fuji-Gen No Letter = Fuji-Gen Example: J902123 = Terada / 1999 / February / unit 123Example: T902123 = Terada / 1999 / February / unit 123Example: F902123 = Fuji-Gen / 1999 / February / unit 123Example: 902123 = Fuji-Gen / 1999 / February / unit 1231987 - 1997For Yamano Gakki Epiphone Japan semi acoustic models from 1987 to approximately 1997, the serial numbers are in a YCPPP format.