We talk to Gibson Family owners and enthusiasts all over the world, and have compiled the most often asked questions with answers for you to view. If you have a specific topic that you do not see addressed here, call 1.800.4GIBSON OR through our Online Contact Form. We’re all ears. Talk 2 Us! We will respond as quickly as possible.
In our constant effort to stand by our consumers, protect them, and bring them the finest products in the world, Gibson Guitar takes a firm and aggressive stance against all makers of counterfeit guitars and their distribution channels. These low-budget, inferior guitars are pale imitations of the quality, performance, and craftsmanship of real Gibsons. We continue to hear complaints from consumers and fans who have purchased one of these guitars from websites and auction sites thinking they were getting a real Gibson. The makers and sellers of counterfeits are scamming our global family of musicians and Gibson does not take it lightly. We would like to urge all our consumers not to be taken in by the works of dishonest sellers.
If you suspect a guitar advertised on a non-Gibson website to be counterfeit you can use our online Counterfeit Urls form to submit the site along with any comments for review.
If a guitar is being sold for a fraction of what it would typically sell for, it is likely not a real Gibson guitar. The best way for consumers to protect themselves against fraud is to purchase your Gibson guitar from an authorized dealer, or consult one in advance. You can also call Gibson Guitar Customer Service at 1-800-444-2766—24 hours a day, seven days a week—for any inquiries or advice. We strongly urge all consumers to be careful and aware of this worldwide problem. At Gibson, we care about our consumers, our legacy, and our name. Remember, only a real Gibson is good enough.
Is the warranty transferable?
The US Warranty is extended to the original retail purchaser only and may not be transferred or assigned to subsequent owners.
For purchases made outside of the US, please contact your authorized distributor for warranty information.
I did not receive an owner's manual with my instrument - is one available?
Our Instrument Information Guide for electric guitars is available here for your convenience. You may also download the Gibson USA Owner's Manual PDF file here
How do I obtain warranty service?
If you require warranty service in the U.S., you may contact your nearest authorized warranty service center.
Please note! For purchases made outside of the US, please contact your authorized distributor or local dealer for warranty service information.
It is not necessary to contact Gibson first. The owner will be responsible for getting the instrument to the Warranty Center. If the instrument is shipped, freight and insurance must be prepaid.
If there is no Warranty Center in your area, you may contact your nearest authorized dealer. Your dealer will evaluate the situation, then contact us for further instructions. All returns to Gibson must have a return authorization- any shipments that do not have authorization will he refused.
Only authorized Gibson service centers may perform warranty service - any service performed by unauthorized persons will void your warranty. Gibson disclaims liability for defects or damages caused by service performed by unauthorized persons and all non-warranty service not performed by Gibson.
When contacting Gibson in writing you should include a complete description of the problem. If non-warranty work is recommended, a quotation will be issued and must be approved by the owner before such work is done. We appreciate a prompt notification of your wishes. It is not necessary to purchase non-warranty work in order to obtain service on materials covered by the warranty.
Subsequent to inspecting an instrument upon arrival, Gibson or the authorized Gibson Warranty Repair Center will advise you or your dealer of the approximate date of completion The repaired instrument or part will be returned to the owner or dealer, freight collect and insured.
No representative or other person is authorized to assume for Gibson any liability except as stated above. For further information contact:
309 Plus Park Boulevard
Nashville, TN 37217
My instrument has small cracks in the finish – what causes this? Is it covered under the warranty?
This is known as 'finish checking'. This is a result of the instrument being subjected to a rapid change in temperature or humidity. In most cases it happens in winter when a chilled instrument is exposed to warm air. The cracks are a result of the wood expanding faster than the lacquer. Since we have no control over the environmental conditions surrounding the use of the instrument we cannot cover this type of situation under our warranty.
What is “stand damage?”
Stand damage occurs when the chemicals in the rubber used on guitar stands react with the nitrocellulose lacquer used to finish our instruments. It can range from a slight discoloration to the finish to actually "eating away" the lacquer topcoat. Unfortunately, this situation is not covered under your warranty. The safest way to prevent this from happening is to cover the rubber parts of your stand with a soft cotton cloth (use guitar polishing cloths). Guitar stands should only be used to 'temporarily' store your instrument, such as on a gig. The safest place to store your instrument is in its case.
What can I do to prevent tarnish on the hardware?
The tarnish on hardware occurs due to a reaction between the plating and moisture, either in the air or from perspiration. Keep in mind that all hardware will tarnish eventually- it is not a sign that your hardware is "cheap." In some areas there is low moisture content in the air so the tarnishing process will be slower, but it will eventually happen. You can slow down the tarnishing process by wiping down the instrument every time you play it! This one step will add life to the hardware and slow down the tarnishing process. Also, make sure you store the instrument in its' case to prevent it from exposure to high moisture content level in the air.
How much is my Gibson guitar, amplifier, or mandolin worth?
Blue Book Publications, Inc. provides excellent online services on both vintage and new Gibson guitar (acoustic and electric), amplifiers, and mandolins – some of them at no charge. Click on this link, and you will be directed to the Blue Book site: www.bluebookinc.com.
For 20 years, Vintage Guitar magazine has been the #1 source for information and values on used and vintage gear. With its expanded 2006 edition of The Official Vintage Guitar Price Guide, VG offers 1,000 photos and even more background and prices on over 1,300 brands of Electric Guitars, Acoustic Guitars, Amplifiers, Basses, Effects, Lap Steels, Steels, Ukuleles, Mandolins, and Banjos! Go here to order your copy!
Additionally, you may want to contact one of the dealers listed below for appraisal services. Please note that there may be a charge for such services.
Gruhn Guitars www.gruhn.com 615-256-2033
Mandolin Bothers www.mandoweb.com 718-981-3226
GuitarGallery www.guitargallery.tv 724-746-9686 firstname.lastname@example.org
How can I date/ID my instrument by serial number?
Gibson and Epiphone guitar serialization (both vintage and new) can be found at: www.bluebookinc.com - there is no charge for this service.
Identifying a particular model/variation can be difficult, please send the following information to assist us in identifying and/or dating your instrument quickly and accurately.
A complete description including the serial number and any other information written on or inside of the instrument.
Any information relating to the known history of the information (such as when and where purchased, any known repairs or modifications made).
Photos of the instrument (please limit to 2MB total size - emails larger than 2MB will not reach us) - full front, full back, as well as close ups of the front and back of the headstock, also of any inside labels that the instrument may have.
How can I find a dealer in my area?
US dealers can be located online by clicking here. If you are outside of the US, you can locate your country’s distributor online by clicking here.
Do you have an online warranty registration?
Yes – you may register your Gibson product here. If this is for Baldwin registration, please click here.
I’ve placed my order through an authorized dealer, but how do I check on it’s status?
For the most accurate up to date information regarding your order, please contact the dealer with whom you placed the order.
Does Gibson sell direct to the public?
Presently, we sell instruments, parts, and accessories exclusively through our dealer network.
Does Gibson offer factory tours?
Our Memphis location does offer an opportunity for visitors to experience the craftsmanship and tradition that goes into each Gibson instrument. For insurance regulations, our other manufacturing facilities are prohibited from offering factory tours.
Why are there not more left handed models?
Currently the demand for right-handed instruments far outdistances that of left-handed models. Since left handed models require a complete re-tooling of our production line it should be impractical for us to devote equal amounts of resources to producing both varieties. There are several regular production lefty models and many may be special ordered. Please contact an authorized dealer if you are interested in ordering a left-handed model. If you are outside of the US, you can locate your country’s distributor online by clicking here.
I have a Gibson instrument or amplifier and need a schematic – are they available?
Many schematics and wiring diagrams are available online here. However, we do have an extensive archive of schematics and wiring diagrams at our disposal. Please contact Gibson Customer Service if you cannot locate the one you need online. If it’s available we will be happy to send you a copy.
How can I locate parts for instruments that are no longer in production?
At this time Gibson sells only pre-packaged parts through our Gibson Gear division. All packaged Gibson replacement parts listed here can only be ordered through an authorized Gibson dealer. You can find dealers online here.
For all other replacement parts, we suggest the aftermarket parts suppliers listed below;
WD: 1-877-WDMUSIC www.wdmusic.com ; www.pickguards.com
All Parts: 1-800-327-8942 www.allparts.com
Stewart-McDonald (OH): 1-800-848-2273 www.stewmac.com
Warmoth: 253-845-0403 www.warmoth.com
The combination lock on my case won’t open, how can I open it without damaging or removing the lock?
If the combination was somehow changed, try shining a flashlight into the spaces where the thumbwheels turn. As you rotate the wheel, you'll see a small notch once it gets to the correct number. Line up all three thumbwheels in this way, and it should open.
You can also use a thin strip of metal if you have trouble using the flashlight method. Using a thin strip of metal – (we suggest one cut carefully from an aluminum can) - to insert into the space beside each thumbwheel - hold pressure on the metal strip as you rotate the wheel - you'll feel the notch as you rotate - stop when you feel the notch and move on to the next wheel until you have all three set.
The long way around this is to start at "000" and work through the 1,000 combinations - it can take a few hours, but it does work!
If the lock is seems stuck or is actually damaged, we do recommend having a locksmith open/repair the damaged lock.
Below are listed the instructions for resetting the lock combination:
The locks are set at the factory to open at 0-0-0.
To set your own combination;
1) Choose 3 digits which you can recall easily-address, phone, birthday, etc.
2) Press the button in a direction toward the dial with your thumb and hold with your other hand (Use point of ballpoint pen) rotate the dials to the desired setting. Then, release the button.
3) Your lock is now set to open on the three digits engaged at the time you release the button.
4) Accordingly- NEVER rotate the dials with the button held open UNLESS you make careful note of the dial setting upon release of the button.
5) The manufacturer is not responsible for damage resulting from misuse, abusive handling, or failure to follow instructions.
Remove the red arrow before setting the lock.
* Please note: Make sure to cut down the red plastic pin before operation.
Does Gibson offer product donations?
Founded in 2002, the Gibson Foundation is committed to making the world a better place for children by creating, developing and supporting programs and other non-profit organizations in their efforts to advance education, music and the arts, the environment and health & welfare causes.
For more information, Go Here!
If you are an individual seeking support, we recommend you contact a charity in your area. Charities supported by The Gibson Foundation can be found online here.
I purchased an Epiphone Les Paul Pee Wee model and it won't stay in tune - how do I keep this in tune?
The short scale models, such as the Epiphone Vee-Wee, Les Paul Pee-Wee, and Maestro Mini-V are not designed for standard tuning due to the much shorter scale length. For information regarding tuning this type of guitar, please see the user guide here.
How do I receive a product endorsement from Gibson?
Due to the high volume of requests we receive, please send a press kit to our Entertainment Relations department at:
309 Plus Park Blvd
Nashville, TN 37217
How do I become an authorized dealer?
The Gibson/Baldwin family of Brands has Territories available in select markets Worldwide. If you are a business entrepreneur who would like to build a new or existing business around exciting Icon brands with great Market Share and a successful 113 year history, please complete the online form here. A Gibson/Baldwin representative will contact you with further information.
PLEASE NOTE: GIBSON IS NOT CURRENTLY SEEKING WEB-ONLY RETAILERS
Which strings do you recommend for my Epiphone instrument?
Epiphone string gauges can be found online here.