Information courtesy of MLP:
On Dec 19, 1969 Ecuadorian Company Ltd (ECL) bought controlling interest in Chicago Musical Instruments (CMI) which owned Gibson. The new company was named Norlin. Gibson was Norlin’s last musical company asset to be sold off, in January 1986.
Changes timeline (note: changes don’t happen on Jan 1st, there are always variants):
– 1965 – headstock angle changes, chrome replaces nickel hardware, brazillian is no more.
– 1968 – re-release of the Les Paul, GT with P90s and Black Custom. Long tenon. Wide binding.
– 1969 – wide headstock, wide binding, 3pc neck, pancake body, trans tenon. Deluxe introduced to use up the mini hums left over from sending Epiphone offshore.
– 1970 – volute, Made In USA stamp, confusing serial numbers start.
– 1974 – (?) Standards reintroduced, ‘white’ Customs, 20th Anniversary Customs (the first anniv issue from a guitar mfg).
– 1975 – necks change to maple, short tenon introduced, Nashville plant starts building LPs in conjunction with Kalamazoo. Serial number changes to decal.
– 1977 – end of pancake body. Decal serials still used, also the start of the modern 8 digit serial numbers.
– 1981 – end of volute
– 1983 – start of weight relief holes
– 1984 – final production at Kalamazoo in June
– 1985 (?) – end of 3 pc neck