Dating gibson bass
As for dating pots, you are correct that the fourth and fifth numbers of the potentiometer date code indicate the last two digits of the year (that is, the “71” in your serial number stands for 1971).
Checking the date codes on pots is usually the second step (after approximating the date of the serial number) in determining the guitar’s year. And because many manufacturers purchased pots in large quantities, the pots could sit on the shelves for weeks—if not months—before they were installed.
Guitar production wasn’t nearly as fast paced during that period as it was in the 1960s, which meant Gibson ordered fewer parts at that time.
Also note that, in mid-1972, the “Les Paul” signature and “Model” inscription were changed from a silkscreen to a decal.
In fact, without any other information about the guitar, the serial number is essentially worthless.
This was mainly caused by Gibson trying to keep up with production while attempting to serialize everything accurately, as well.
Gibson has used numerous serialization systems over its 100-plus-year history, and a majority of these numbers were used haphazardly—and rarely in consecutive order—until the system was standardized in 1977.
The most important dating feature on guitars with six-digit serial numbers is that, starting in 1970, Gibson began stamping “Made In USA” near the serial number on the back of the headstock.
Since the value of a Gibson Les Paul differs widely between 19, it is very important to pinpoint the year.
It appears that your pickups were changed at some point (although the pickup openings seem to be originally cut for full-size humbuckers), the pickguard is absent, and the tip of the pickup switch is missing, as well.
Most of the body appears to be in “very good plus” condition, and based on all of this, your guitar is valued between 00-00.