It wasn't until 1986 when Yamano Gakki took over the distribution of Gibson (and Korean-made Epiphone) guitars in Japan, and later in 1988, decidedto expand their lineup of guitar models, that things really got rolling for the Orville and Orville by Gibson brands.Yamano Gakki decided to go with a different name for this expanded line of guitars, that were designed in the exact form of the most valuable and sought-afterclassic Gibson guitars.
Other than the difference in headstock logo and pickups, there are noother hidden or outward differences that I am aware of.
Many collector friends have said that they think the Orville by Gibsons are overall better guitars andwhile this may be so, many collectors have disagreed with this notion.
There were many high-end and mid-range models of these guitars under both logos; I think mainly that the model number and original price dictated quality, not particularly the logo.
While somewhat confusing, you can determine where your Orville or Orville by Gibson guitar was made, the year it was made, and even the month it was made,by looking at the back of the headstock.
There were 5 different methods used to date Orville and Orville by Gibson guitars and two factories involved withbuilding them, so I've developed the simple chart below to assist you...*F = Factory: G, J & K beginning the serial numbers denote that is was made by the Terada factory: the "G" ink stamp means the guitar should have Gibson USA pickups, and "J" for Japanese pickups.