The Gibson 1982 Moderne Review. The Gibson Moderne remains one of the more mysterious instruments from Gibson. Created by Ted McCarty and patented in 1957, but never put into production, its existence remains shrouded in mystery.
The Moderne was one of three “modernistic” guitars created in response to Fender’s dominance; other models in this category include Explorer and Flying V. Unfortunately, none were successful enough for Gibson’s catalog and quickly disappeared from it.
Table of Contents
The Gibson Moderne is a guitar that has garnered a lot of attention and fascination over the years. Originally designed in 1957 as part of a line of futuristic guitars, the Moderne never made it to production. It wasn’t until 1982 that Gibson decided to release a limited run of Moderne guitars, making them highly sought after by collectors and guitar enthusiasts alike.
The 1982 Gibson Moderne features a solid mahogany body with a set mahogany neck and a rosewood fretboard. The unique asymmetrical design sets it apart from other Gibson models, and it is finished in a striking Silverburst color. The guitar is fitted with two Gibson Dirty Fingers humbucker pickups, known for their high output and aggressive tone, making it an ideal choice for heavy rock and metal music.
Body & Neck
The Gibson 1982 MODERNE is one of the rarest guitars ever created and offers a time capsule of Gibson history never publicly offered for sale before now. Part of Gibson’s world-first Certified Vintage program, it will become available for purchase starting February 28.
Ted McCarty designed and patented the Moderne guitar in 1957; production began later that year in 1982 as one of three exotic Gibson guitars (Explorer, Flying V, Futura). Only a limited quantity was manufactured.
This model features a three-piece Korina body stained in dark buttermilk color and finished with tinted lacquer for an eye-catching and unique appearance. It boasts a black-faced headstock with a gold plastic Gibson logo and four screw string guide assembly as well as a black over white truss rod cover and 22 original jumbo frets with pearl dot position markers for extra charm and playability.
Moderne is a two-pickup, semi-hollow electric guitar shaped and contoured like a Fender Stratocaster but with an unconventionally scooped-out treble horn similar to those found on Gibson Les Paul necks. Ideal for players seeking an easy playing experience while providing a full PAF tone – making the Moderne an excellent option.
This model boasts an unusual design as well as two Gibson humbuckers that sound fantastic! Additionally, there is only one master tone control instead of separate neck and bridge knobs.
For optimal tone production on this guitar, we advise using a high-quality acoustic guitar pick. A soft rubber or plastic plectrum would work best since its thin neck would make it harder for solid metal picks to pick up all vibrations efficiently.
This guitar weighs 7.60 pounds and features a 1 11/16 inch nut width, 24 3/4 inch scale length, and a depth of 3.5 inches. Featuring a rosewood fingerboard and a three-piece Korina neck with a medium-to-thick profile for optimal playing comfort. Additionally, its condition is excellent with only minor markings visible upon close examination – plus, it comes complete with its original Gibson hard case!
The Gibson 1982 MODERNE is one of the rarest and elusive guitars ever made, created and registered by Ted McCarty during 1957’s space craze era (Pulp Fiction/Space Race era) as a radical, futuristic solid body electric that never saw production.
Gibson’s Modernistic series contains one of the most enigmatic guitars ever. For decades, its legend and intrigue have pervaded folklore and led to forgeries, copies, and sightings that seem impossible. Part of Gibson’s Modernistic range alongside Flying V and Explorer models but officially not produced until 1982, many mysteries surrounding its production remain.
Though its body and headstock appear unconventional, the Moderne boasts traditional Gibson appointments such as dual humbuckers with adjustable Tune-o-Matic bridge and stop tailpiece for tuning and stop tailpiece. Furthermore, this guitar offers a three-way switch capability and master tone control.
As a reissue, the 1982 Gibson MODERNE features a Korina body and neck with an unbound Rosewood fingerboard and a unique splayed headstock design. Additionally, this instrument comes equipped with Gibson Heritage Series pickguard and hardware featuring stock Kluson Deluxe style tuners with plastic Keystone buttons for tuning.
This guitar is in very good condition for its age, showing minimal signs of play wear. The only visible defect is a black line near its tailpiece post that was recently buffed out and should not affect its playing ability.
The guitar features a gold hardware package consisting of two ’57 Classic PAF-style humbuckers and one master Tone control – both well-renowned for their powerful tone, as they rank among Gibson’s greatest guitar pickups ever created.
These pickups boast a thick, full tone with plenty of midrange presence that creates an extremely warm sound. Furthermore, these pickups are responsive to playing technique while offering an optimal combination of tone and volume.
This ’57 Classic Moderne guitar is in superb condition for its age, with only minor cosmetic scratches on its finish and exceptional pickup operation. Additionally, its pickups perform flawlessly while the guitar plays beautifully despite a few minor cracks or scratches to its neck heel area – both are non-detrimental to appearance or playability and come complete with their original hard case!
Ted McCarty created the Moderne as part of Gibson’s Modernistic line during their golden era, intending for it to mirror Flying V and Explorer models as it featured radical design which McCarty considered ahead of its time.
Gibson felt pressure in the late 1950s to revitalize their solidbody electric guitar range and instead of sticking with Fender models’ conservative aesthetic, McCarty decided to take a risk and commission three “modernistic” designs as part of a strategy to modernize his offerings.
McCarty created three guitar models based on futuristic concepts; these guitars, known as the Explorer, Flying V, and Moderne were produced under a partnership between Detroit auto designer Ray Dietrich and himself in 1957 and presented at NAMM show Chicago as prototypes.
While both the Flying V and Explorer were successful models, the Moderne was an unmitigated failure. Guitarists never responded well to its design and it never entered limited production – all prototypes being destroyed at its factory instead.
Folklore claims that the only Modernes ever produced were prototypes displayed at the NAMM show in 1958 and destroyed at the Gibson factory before production could commence.
After an extended hiatus, the Moderne made its comeback in 1982 with 143 Korina Heritage models being produced alongside Flying V and Explorer models at Gibson. Most featured natural finishes while only a select few featured white or black hues.
Glen Miller, one of Gibson’s employees, hand-built several of these reissues by using parts from these reissue guitars to construct several Modernes from them.
The Moderne has a body crafted of solid mahogany (grade A beneath Trans Amber models). You have your choice between Trans Amber or Ebony finishes with gold hardware and features an innovative deep neck joint glued into its quarter-sawn neck.
Electronically, the Moderne guitar resembles both Flying V and Explorer models in that it features two ’57 Classic humbuckers in the bridge position and one under-saddle humbucker in the neck position, along with an active pickup selector switch called a ‘Moderne’ style active pickup selector switch.
The Gibson 1982 Moderne is an impressive guitar that demands your attention, both visually and sonically. Its “Ultra-radical” shape is a departure from typical Gibson body styles, yet its pleasingly light weight makes it easy to pick up and play while standing up. Furthermore, its dual humbuckers are wired directly into individual Volume controls before going through a three-way switch for quick operation of tone controls and three-way switches.
Its tonewood has outstanding resonance; this guitar may be Gibson’s finest example (though not the only one).
This guitar features all of the hallmarks of fine craftsmanship, from its solid Korina body and neck, 22-fret rosewood fingerboard, and custom 22-fret nut. Additionally, we’ve come to call this model the ‘Moderne Squeak’; an unusual pickup squeak that sounds somewhat similar to a bee buzz.
A classic Gibson 1982 Moderne guitar makes for an exceptional addition to any collection, in excellent vintage condition and at a price that matches its rarity – not difficult at all!
The Moderne was an extremely innovative piece of design. Although initially unsuccessful, its debut proved an exceptional success: today fans have rediscovered it and it has even been reissued as part of the company’s Certified Vintage program! Additionally, it is extremely fun to play thanks to its simple control layout that’s quick to adapt to and its sound that’s truly worth your time and effort!
The build quality of the 1982 Gibson Moderne is excellent, with a level of attention to detail that is typical of Gibson guitars. The hardware is well-made and sturdy, and the finish is flawless. The guitar feels solid and well put together, with no discernible flaws or issues.
Overall, the 1982 Gibson Moderne is a rare and highly sought-after guitar that lives up to its reputation. Its striking design, powerful tone, and excellent playability make it a great choice for any guitar enthusiast looking for something unique and distinctive. If you are lucky enough to come across one of these guitars, it is definitely worth considering adding it to your collection.