Tom's Guitars Manila

Tom's Guitars Manila
Vintage and rare guitars!

Friday, May 2, 2014

The Rare Gibson Moderne

The Gibson Moderne was designed in the late 1950s along with the Flying V and Explorer. However, only the latter guitars made it to production. It is considered the holy grail of guitar collectors simple because there is no authenticated 50s Moderne in existence. Gibson produced a limited run of the Moderne Heritage in 1982, only 143 units allegedly. I would not call them reissues since it is the first production models though. You think there is little chance that you know someone who has a 1982 Moderne? I have a friend has two Modernes in his guitar collection: a white and a natural!

The Moderne’s upper body is similar to a V, except that the former creates a straight line to the upper neck while the latter has a small shoulder. However, its lower body has a short cutaway and a curved lower side.

The 1982 Moderne has a headstock that is similar to Gumby’s head. Gumby is a clay animation character in the early 50s. The Moderne’s body is made of Korina, even for the painted versions as confirmed by my friend on his white model. Unlike other Gibson’s bell-shaped truss rod covers, the Moderne’s cover has a flat bottom. 

Gibson released 2012 reissues, but they are made of mahogany and with a headstock that is shaped like a V. Personally, I like the Gumby headstock. The 2012 reissues are also cheaper, unlike the used 1982 models that are sold above US$6,000.
Here are additional images of a natural and a white model from my friend’s guitar collection.

Are you curious about the Moderne’s tone? Here is a YouTube video that I stumbled on the Internet. It was recorded in a studio; hence, the sound quality is good. It was also connected to different amps.
* Images are from Tom's Guitar Manila

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