NOTES ON SERIAL NUMBERS:
7 or 8 DIGITS stamped in the back of the headstock:
DD = day of the month (01 to 31)
MM = month (01 to 12)
Y = last digit of the year (ex: 1992 = 2)
NNN = production number 000 to 999 resetted every year
- year "7" can be 1987 or 1997, "8" can be 1988 or 1998, "9" can be 1989 or 1999! You have to look at the models in production that year.
- sometimes in old guitars (80s early 90s) first digit is missing when is "0" and the serial is 7 digits total (ex. 3038467, means 03.03.1988 number 467)
- lot of old esp's does not have any serial on the back of the headstock. If you are lucky you can find a serial written on pencil where the body is bolted to the neck (or in the neck also) or in the pickup cavity.
SERIAL UNDER PICKUPS:
For example my MX-220 have serial "#80129" that means was made the 08-1991 number 29)
5 DIGITS punched in the bolt plate (for the bolt on versions).
NOTE: Follow this reference may not be accurate because probably they printed a certain number of plates and then put on guitars in a random manner, without noticing consecutive numeration. This is the reason why we can easilu find guitars with the bolt plate referring to a year or two before or after respect the serial printed on the back of the headstock. To have an exact dating of this guitars you have to unscrew the neck and look at the date could be written below.
1989 - 592XX
1992 - 601XX --> 618XX
1993 - 619XX --> 912XX
1994 - 166XX --> 183XX
1995 - 191XX --> 244XX
1996 - 257XX --> 261XX
1997 - 273XX --> 294XX
1998 - 301XX --> 357XX
1999 - 339XX --> 369XX
2000 - 379XX --> 387XX
2001 - 388XX --> 416XX
2002 - 402XX
2003 - 4170X
K = ESP Kiso Factory (Japan) / set-neck and neck-thru only;
S = ESP Sado Factory (Japan) / bolt-on only;
T = ESP Takada Factory (Japan) / ESP Custom Shop
SS = ESP Standard Factory / Signature Series or Standard Series
CH = Craft House
CS = Craft House (used rarely)
TH = Technical House
N = Nagano Factory
YY = last two digits of the year
WW = week of the year (max.52)
D = day of that week: 1 = monday, 2 = tuesday,... (max.7)
NN = number off the line that day (max.99)
EXAMPLE: the code of my MX-250 K0604202 means the manufacturing date is 24.01.2006 and it was the 2nd guitar built that day.
E - ESPES - E-II
1 - ESP Custom Shop2 - ESP Tokyo Factory3 - ESP Standard Factory