DATING GODIN GUITARS BY REFERENCE OF SERIAL NUMBERS

The serial number systems on Godin guitars are sometimes a bit complicated, but can usually be traced back to a date.

Where to find the serial number
The serial number is stamped on the back of the headstock or on acoustic guitars on the bottom inside the body.


If you want to know the production year of your Godin guitar, you can decipher it with the serial number decoder.

Godin serial number date decoder
Other decoders
Godin history in short
Robert Godin is a Canadian luthier who started his company in 1970 in La Patrie, Quebec.

At the age of 7, Montreal-born Robert Godin learned to play the guitar and soon became fascinated with the instrument.
Robert was 15 years old when he started working at a nearby guitar repair shop where he learned the trade of luthier.
A few years later, he and his aunt took over a small music store owned by another aunt, which became one of Montreal's most successful in the 1960s.

As a 20-year-old Godin was already a successful businessman. In 1970, while on a hunting trip in La Patrie (a Montreal neighborhood), he met Norman Boucher there.
Boucher was a guitarist and had a small woodworking company where he built guitars under the name Norman. Business was going bad with his company and Boucher also planned to sell the company.
Robert was very interested and decided to take his share of the music shop and buy Norman's company.

Boucher remained with the company and was in charge of production. Godin was both a designer and a salesperson. The business in La Patrie flourished and Godin wanted expand it further. Boucher couldn't agree with that, so Godin left in 1978 and set up his own guitar factory La Patrie started. (LaSiDo)

Godin started out making electric guitar parts for American companies, but when some of his customers went bankrupt in the late 1970s, LaSiDo nearly went under.
He stopped supplying the business and in 1980 organized the company into a company focused on building guitars.

A key advantage at the La Patrie site was the proximity to a wealth of woods (cherry, cedar and walnut) used for the soundboards and necks to build quality guitars.

Without Godin, Boucher's company went bankrupt and in 1982 LaSiDo bought the Normandy line. That same year, Godin acquired the Seagull trademark and LaSiDo launched the Seagull line.

The purpose behind the Seagull guitar was to handcrafted guitar features like solid tops and quality lacquer finish in an affordable guitar.


Simon and Robert Godin

In the success of the Norman and Seagull guitars, other lines followed.
The Art & Lutherie line had the important features of more expensive guitars, but was affordable for the beginning guitarist.
Simon & Patrick Luthier line combined traditional acoustic guitar
design with modern innovations.
The La Patrie series has been designed to present a line of classical guitars.
The Godin line of electric guitars grew out of LaSiDo's original outsourcing business.

Although the necks and bodies are produced in La Patrie, the guitars are assembled in Berlin, New Hampshire, USA. This was Godin's third factory which opened in 1993.
A fourth factory is opened in Princeville, Quebec in 1995 and a fifth in Richmond, Quebec in 2002.

In the second half of the 1990s, LaSiDo managed to become a leading North American guitar company.
Influential popular musicians, such as Billy Corgan of the Smashing Pumpkins and Metallica's Kirk Hammett, played Godin guitars, which generated publicity.

Business was so good that in 2001 the company expanded its primary factory in La Patrie, adding some 25,000 square feet for storage and
a separate production line for high-quality acoustic guitars.
Godin Guitars now has 6 factories.
Responsible for the export are Robert Godin's sons Simon and Patrick.
Since 2019, the company has been led by Simon Godin.

SERIAL NUMBERS

4 and 5 digits
The four digit numbers were used from 1982 to 1986.
Five digits from 1986 to 1993.
For dating of six digit serial numbers it is best to contact Godin. (info@godinguitars.com)

7 and 8 digits
Dating the seven and eight digit serial numbers is a bit complicated. Godin started with the seven digit numbers in early 1993
and with the eight digit in 1995.
The method for a seven digit number is the same as for an eight digit.
Godin uses a fiscal year for a year dating, which starts for Godin on August 1.
Example: 02062032
The first two digits02 indicate the year.
The next two digits 06 the week.
This is the week number of Godin's fiscal year, counting from August 1.
In this example, that is six weeks after August 1, 2001, which is September.
The third digit 2 indicates the day of the week (Tuesday) and the
last 3 digits the sequence number.
The year of manufacture of the serial number 02062032 is Tuesday September 04, 2001.

12 digits
At the end of 2007, Godin switched to a twelve digit serial number.
No dating can be deduced from this serial number system. (The model number can be found with the decoder)

The first six digits indicate the model code number.
The seventh digit is a factory code (factory second) indicating whether or not there is damage to the finish.
0= no damage. 9= damage.
Damage does not mean that the guitar has a defect
but rather minor damage to the paintwork.
The last five digits represent the sequential number of the model.
Example: 050406000540
050406 indicates that the model is 'Radium Matte Green'.
De 0 says there is no damage.

In this example of serial number 050406000540, it is therefore the 540th Radium Matte Green guitar, without damage.