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BWright
05-07-2010, 03:23 AM
Can anyone give me some background information about a Gibson 694B? The owner thinks it dates from the 1920's.

Thank you, Bill

Tudorp
05-07-2010, 03:28 AM
Not sure about that model, but Gibson I know was making Ukes in the 1930s. The earliest one I have heard of is from the late 1920s. There was a huge Uke craze in the USA back in the 1930s I know, so there are allot of them from that era still around.. The vintage Gibsons command some fairly big dollars. Over a grand, sometimes well over a grand. I have seen certain rare ones go near 10k$ .. Gibson hasn't made Ukuleles for some time, and any of them are highly collectible..

jordan bello
05-07-2010, 04:53 AM
The Vintage Guitar Price Guide says that Gibson was:

"A relative late-comer to the uke market. Gibson didn't get a line off the ground until 1927, fully nine years after Martin had already been in production. Even then they only produced three soprano styles and one tenor version. Worse still, they never made any ukes in koa, sticking to the easier-to-obtain mahogany. ... Nonetheless, Gibson ukuleles exhibit more unintentional variety than any other major maker with enough construction, inlay, binding, and cosmetic variations to keep collectors buzzing for many a year to come. In general, the earliest examples feature a Gibson logo in script, later shortened to just Gibson. Post-war examples adopted a square-ish logo of th rest of the Gibson line, and, at some point in the late '50s, began sporting ink-stamped serial numbers on the back of the headstock like their guitar and mandolin brethren."

The book shows general pricing of Gibson ukuleles in excellent condition to range from $750 to $1250. Major exception is their electric tenor ukuleles from 1949 and 1953 which are priced from $3,500 to $7,500.

BWright
05-07-2010, 06:35 AM
Thank you both. This instument has the 694B inside the body. The size is probably tenor, but it is somewhat different from my modern tenor. The Gibson name is in script. The instument was handed down from a grandparent and has been in a hardcase for years. The condition looks vey good.

Tudorp
05-07-2010, 06:47 AM
With the script, it is an early one, from late 20s, mid 40s. The largest production I think was in the 1930s during the fad. Do ya have any pictures? If ya don't mind me asking, what is he asking you for it?

BWright
05-07-2010, 07:14 AM
A friend hauled it out his closet and showed it to me. It is not for sale. I was curious about its history. Sorry, I did not get a photo.

Bill

Tudorp
05-07-2010, 07:26 AM
If I had one, I wouldn't sell it either. Especially if it came down from my family history.. Gibson Ukes do have some history, and very collectible..

SailingUke
05-07-2010, 11:00 AM
Chuck F. on Flea Market Music has lots of Gibson knowledge.
I have 2 from 1926, a Sunburst Tenor (may be a prototype) and a UB2 banjo.
The logo changed from "The Gibson" to "Gibson" in the late 30's.
As Jordon said there were a great many variances in Gibson ukes as they were always made by hand.
In the early production years I am sure they were searching for the formula.
The models from the 50's are easier to come by, but still rare.
My tenor is a great player with a great voice as well as being a collectors piece.

posborne
10-06-2010, 01:26 AM
I own a Gibson ukulele my mother gave me when I was a boy. She had gotten it when she was a girl... I would imagine in the late 30's or 40's. It's mahogany, 24 1/2" long with five pearl inlays on the fretboard and the Gibson script on the head. I've played it all my life, and, believe it or not, it still has the original strings.

There is a serial number inside at the base of the fretboard: 7004 18

Can anyone give me any information and possible value? It needs a peg... it's needed one for 45 years and this is the first time I've actually looked for one. Of course, it's a little dinged, but I suspect it's 70 years old and I believe in pretty good shape.

Thanks.

Paul

spruce
10-08-2010, 05:39 AM
I own a Gibson ukulele my mother gave me when I was a boy. She had gotten it when she was a girl... I would imagine in the late 30's or 40's. It's mahogany, 24 1/2" long with five pearl inlays on the fretboard and the Gibson script on the head.

Can anyone give me any information and possible value?

I'd keep an eye out here (http://completed.shop.ebay.com/i.html?rt=nc&LH_Complete=1&_nkw=gibson%20ukulele&_fln=1&_trksid=p3286.c0.m283&_rdc=1) to see if you can spot somthing similar...

Lots of variation in those old Gibsons....

mm stan
10-08-2010, 04:57 PM
Can anyone give me some background information about a Gibson 694B? The owner thinks it dates from the 1920's.

Thank you, Bill
Aloha Bill,
I'd go to: Http://www.elderly.com/brand/GIBSON.html
They have alot of vintage gibsons and pics ....just look on the right side of the page and click on which you want ot see
I hope it helps..Good Luck!! MM stan

rbury
02-12-2011, 02:31 AM
I have two ub-1 gibson banjo ukes. One has logo 'The Gibson' in script. The other has the same logo but there are spaces in the script making it look more like a silkscreen or decal (I don't think it's a decal.) I could use some help in dating these instruments. When did Gibson switch to just 'Gibson' on the peghead? Thanks...rbury

coolkayaker1
04-03-2016, 08:40 PM
I have two ub-1 gibson banjo ukes. One has logo 'The Gibson' in script. The other has the same logo but there are spaces in the script making it look more like a silkscreen or decal (I don't think it's a decal.) I could use some help in dating these instruments. When did Gibson switch to just 'Gibson' on the peghead? Thanks...rbury

I think it was early 30's...like 1932 or so.

But, Lardy's database suggests that The Gibson on the headstock went away in 1929.
http://database.ukulelecorner.co.uk/ghij/gibson

Pukulele Pete
04-04-2016, 12:18 AM
Geez , that poor guy has waited 5 years for that answer.

ukulelekarcsi
04-04-2016, 10:29 PM
The 694B Gibson tenor is most likely built in 1936, the 7004-18 Gibson ukulele (probably a style 3) is most likely built in 1943.

Joe Spanns book covers everthing you need to know about the strange numbering systems used to track production batches in Kalamazoo, but basically a number followed by a B is part of a batch built in 1936, and a 7000s-number followed by a hyphen and a sequential number within that batch, was built in 1943. The Vintage Guitar Price Book is not a very good reference at all, alas.

They are not 'experimental' in that Gibson was already building and selling tenors and sopranos from the mid-1920s. But the way they were built continually changed: shallower bodies, longer fretboards, different finishes, ladder-bracing to X-bracing and back... very interesting.

Logo styles do give an indication of the period, but are not decisive: Gibson used lots of old stock and supplies, and had a free replacement policy with their dealers, leading to re-builds.

coolkayaker1
04-05-2016, 04:57 AM
The 694B Gibson tenor is most likely built in 1936, the 7004-18 Gibson ukulele (probably a style 3) is most likely built in 1943.

Joe Spanns book covers everthing you need to know about the strange numbering systems used to track production batches in Kalamazoo, but basically a number followed by a B is part of a batch built in 1936, and a 7000s-number followed by a hyphen and a sequential number within that batch, was built in 1943. The Vintage Guitar Price Book is not a very good reference at all, alas.

They are not 'experimental' in that Gibson was already building and selling tenors and sopranos from the mid-1920s. But the way they were built continually changed: shallower bodies, longer fretboards, different finishes, ladder-bracing to X-bracing and back... very interesting.

Logo styles do give an indication of the period, but are not decisive: Gibson used lots of old stock and supplies, and had a free replacement policy with their dealers, leading to re-builds.

Great information, sir. Thanks. I have to agree, the Gibbys are much more varied than the Martys. I collect only The Gibson models (I hate, hate, hate, that they shrunk the body size on the later year models, starting in 1950 or so). I have two Gibson Style 2s, one with an extended fretboard, and one with a short standard fretboard. And I just scored a Gibby Style 3--my fourth--that has a light colored fretboard. The other three have a dark fretboard, and I don't know if it's ebony or just stained dark. I thought this newest one might have had the fretboard stripped or sanded, but I see no evidence of that now that I have it in hand; original frets, no stray sanding marks or leftover stain. Perhaps it was ordered by someone to be unstained, or maybe it's a different wood altogether. The fun of Gibsons!

Pete, it appears rbury did not feel the Aloha when no one answered his question; he's not been seen since. ��