Each Stick instrument is assigned a serial number. These serial numbers are assigned at time of manufacture and machining, not when final assembly is complete.
The serial numbers are unique but in two groups. The first group starts at #101. The second group began when Stick Enterprises switched to a lighter weight model with the first adjustable truss rod in October 1989. At that time the serial numbers were started over at #0001.
The following is from an email where Emmet Chapman explains the serial number system:
The serial numbers are unique, but in two groupings. I started the first production of six Sticks in 1974 with #101 (I still have it). When I switched to a lighter weight model with the first adjustable truss rod in October 1989, I started over again with #001. Don’t ask about the missing numbers 001 to 100 in the early ‘70s. Sorry to say, they don’t exist. I should have kept it honest from the start.
Now how will I go about numbering the long scale structural graphite model that’s close to completion? In the newer series of numbers I’m up to #1921, with SB8s, SB7s and 10 and 12 string Sticks all lumped together in consecutive order of when they’re machined. In order of preliminary steps, first the blanks are laminated, then they are machined for all shapes, channels and cavities, then the serial numbers are engraved (Venetian numerical font). Older machined runs have the serial numbers “branded” on the headstock tip by Grace.
Maybe it’s time to start a new number series with the new graphite ten-stringers. Maybe it should start with the number of this year. But then where would I go when I reach #2000 in the present series with the wooden instruments? Maybe I should just put a “G” in front of all graphite Stick serial numbers but otherwise keep them consecutive. Or maybe I should just work my way back down.
One more thing, there is a fairly wide range of serial numbers in every production run as these numbers reflect the time of machining rather than when the finishing, assembly and setup work is done. At present, instruments with the new Rails(TM) on the fretboard and Flaps(TM) at the nut have the biggest numbers, but we also have instruments with Fret Rods and the standard individual nut screws that are one and two hundred numbers behind. All the Best, Emmett.