Martin serial number dating
Carvin guitars and basses from 1964 until 1978 had bolt on Hfner necks, and the SH225 was made by Hfner and sold under the Carvin name.The headstock on the left is from a late 80's Hfner Nightingale. Although the headstock shapes are different, there is no mistaking the inlay in the center.The curved logo in this era was also inlaid, not a decal as in the block logo of later years.However, there have been a few newer Carvin guitars made with an inlaid block logo - but the rule of thumb is that if the logo was the inlaid "curved C" (as shown at the right), it's pre-1988; if it's a decal block logo (in black or white), it's 1988 or later.Because maple (and birdseye maple) cannot be stamped with a serial number like ebony can, a model with rounded body side (and therefore, no jackplate) with a maple fingerboard would have the serial number on the control cavity cover plate.Models from the 1970s with a bolt-on neck could have the serial number located on the neck plate, as well.For much more detailed information of features, models and the relevant model years, see the Guitar Identification Matrix.As with all Carvin guitars and basses, the presence (or absence) of a specific feature does not guarantee the year of manufacture.
Still, determining the actual model year can sometimes be very tricky, but by paying close attention to these details, a good educated guess can be made.This example (above) shows a relatively new Hfner 500/1 "Beatle bass" and a '79 Carvin LB60.Once again, the "double diamond" logos are identical.Unlike most other manufacturers' serial numbers, there are no hidden "codes" in a Carvin serial number that indicate year or month of production, or anything else. Carvin serial numbers can be located in several different places.Older models, up through the late 1990's, had the serial number on the jackplate.