Thanksgiving Weekend Sale! Was $7,595.00

This Moderne bears the rare A serial number, being made in the first run of the Heritage series, which can be credited as Gibson's return to high quality construction of classics - the beginnings of the Custom Shop.
The Moderne design was patented in the late 50's, along with the Flying V and the Explorer, though few (if any) were made in that era, and none are concretely known to exist today from that period. Google "Gibson Moderne" for the colorful history of this model.

Modernes from this run are rare, and this one is 100% original with no solder joints changed, Shaw pickups, excellent frets and playability that will blow you away. The tone is outrageously good as well.

The original case and a bit o original paperwork is included. Shipping overseas will require DHL shipment - the case is very large so postal service shipment won't be possible.


Color: Natural Korina
Weight: 7lb 2oz
Body: African Limba
Neck: African Limba
Neck Profile: C
Fretboard: Rosewood
Inlay: Pearloid dots
Frets: Original, light wear
Fret count: 22
Nut material: Original, synthetic
Nut width: 1 11/16"
Scale: 24.75"
Radius: 9.5"
Neck thickness at 1st fret: .862"
Neck thickness at 7th fret: .917"
Neck thickness at 12th fret: .97"
Hardware: All original
Neck pickup: Original Shaw PAF, ink stamped 1671082
Bridge pickup: Original Shaw PAF, Ink stamped 1681082
Pickguard: Original
Bridge: Original
Tuners: Original
Switch: Original
Pots: Original, codes from 1980 (1378032) and 1981 (1378145)
Case: Original hardshell
In the case: Owner's manual and receiving instruction sheet

Here is some additional history on the Moderne and other guitars of the Heritage series:

"Initially there were 500 guitars to be produced, but only 143 were actually manufactured. This is a reissue of the 1958 Moderne, with specifications from the blueprint." (S.P. Fjested. Blue Book of Electric Guitars, 11th Edition, p. 463).

"The reissue Moderne guitar has a very mysterious history. There was no one on the staff at Gibson from those days who remembers how many of them were built or how the guitar was made. The reissue of the Moderne was introduced only as a limited edition. Tim Shaw who worked on this project said the reissue model was built only based upon the patent application because nobody had any idea of the original. Tim Shaw remembers: "We made the head a little bit smaller than the patent application diagram because it was too big for the production line. And we also had to come up with the electric circuit and control parts based upon the Flying V or the Explorer."" (Ronald Lynn War. Moderne - Holy Grail of Vintage Guitars, p. 74). The original United States Patent Office diagram, dated January 7th, 1958 is reproduced on p. 16 of this book.

The Gibson Moderne was designed and invented by Ted McCarty, President of Gibson Guitar Corporation through the golden age of electric guitars from 1950-1966. Here follows an excerpt from an interview between Vintage Guitar Magazine and Ted McCarty…

VG. "Obviously, I need to ask you about those late 50's futuristic guitars, the Flying V, the Explorer, and any Moderne prototypes since they've become such collector's items." TM. "I personally designed those. Fender was talking about how Gibson was a bunch of old fuddie-duddies, and when I heard that through the grapevine, I was a little peeved. So I said, Let's shake 'em up. I wanted to come up with some guitar shapes that were different from anything else." VG. "Has everything about the possible existence of Moderne prototypes been noted? If such a guitar exists, it is considered the Holy Grail of collectible guitars." TM. "That's correct. We made probably four or five at the time. We had all of the new shapes on display at a road show in New York, and they did just what we thought they'd do. everybody at the show was walking around saying, "Have you seen those crazy things Gibson's got?". Dealers would visit our booth to look at them, and our salesmen were trying to sell them, but when it was all over and we got back to Kalamazoo and checked sales, the only thing that had really sold was the Flying V. So the question was, what about the other two? We cut 80 Flying V's in the first cutting. Dealers bought them. But I don't think they thought much of them as guitars to listen or to play. A lot of dealers hung them in their store windows." VG. "As display props?" TM. Yeah, to attract attention because they'd never seen anything like that."

Here follows a note on Tim Shaw… "Whether it was rivalry between plants or increased market awareness, the Nashville plant jumped into the reissue action in 1980. By this time, one of the most glaring deficiencies of new Les Pauls (compared to the originals) was the humbucking pickup. In preparation for its first attempt at a reissue, Gibson assigned engineer Tim Shaw the job of designing a reissue of the original Patent-Applied-For humbucking pickup-within certain restrictions. "This was 1980 and Norlin was already feeling the pinch," Shaw said, referring to Gibson's long decline through the 1970s and early '80s. "We weren't allowed to do much retooling. We redid the bobbin because it was worn out. We got some old bobbins and put the square hole back in. We did it without the T-hole, which stood for Treble." To replicate the magnets, Shaw gathered up magnets from original PAFs and sent them to a lab to be analyzed. "Most were Alnico 2's," he said, "but some were 5's. In the process of making an Alnico 5, they stick a magnet in a huge coil for orientation, but an unoriented 5 sounds a lot like a 2. They started with Alnico 2 and then switched to Alnico 5." Shaw discovered that the original magnets were a little thicker than 1980 production magnets. "Magnetic strength is largely a function of the area of the polarized face; increasing the face size gives you more power," he explained. So he specified the thicker magnet for the new PAF. Wiring on the originals was #42 gauge, which Gibson still used. However, the original wire had an enamel coating and the current wire had a polyurethane coat, which also was of a different thickness or "buildup" than that of the original, which affected capacitance. Norlin refused to go the extra mile-or extra buck, as it were. Enamel-coated wire cost a dollar more per pound than poly-coated. Shaw could change the spec on the buildup without additional expense, so the thickness of the coating was the same as on the original wire, but he was forced to use the poly coat. The difference is easy to see: purple wire on the originals, orange on the reissues. Shaw later found a spec for the number of turns on a spec sheet for a 1957 ES-175. "It specified 5,000 turns because a P-90 had 10,000 turns and they cut it in half," Shaw said. In reality, however, originals had anywhere from 5,000 to 6,000 turns, depending on how tight the coil was wound. Shaw later met Seth Lover, who designed and patented Gibson's humbucker, at a NAMM show. Lover laughed when asked about a spec for windings, and he told Shaw, "We wound them until they were full." The spec for resistance was even less exact, Shaw said. The old ohmeter was graduated in increments of .5 (500 ohms). Anywhere between 3.5 and 4 on the meter (3,500 to 4,000 ohms) met the spec. Consequently, Shaw pointed out, there is no such thing as an exact reissue or replica of the 1959 PAF pickup. There can only be a replica of one original PAF, or an average PAF. As Gibson would find out in the early 1990s, the same could be said about the entire guitar. Shaw's PAF reissue debuted on Gibson's new Nashville-made Les Paul Heritage 80 in 1980. Compared to anything Gibson had previously made (which is to say, compared to nothing), it was an excellent reissue of a sunburst Les Paul Standard....." (

Mahar's Vintage Guitars

Mahar's Vintage Guitars

Original Hard
Mahar's Vintage Guitars
Chuck Mahar
Online Only
10:30 AM
Monday through Friday, 9am-4pm. Usually available always, sometimes not so much, even at other times on other days.

Buyer to pay prior to shipment via Paypal, wire transfer, credit card or other electronic means. Payment must clear before shipping. Certified checks and trades are accepted, however checks must clear before we will ship and trades must be received here and evaluated prior to shipment of our item.

All orders ship within three business days of the receipt of an order, usually faster. Tracking information will be automatically forwarded to all buyers. Buyers must retain all shipping materials in the event a return is necessary.

Returns accepted if the purchaser responds within 48 hours of receipt of an item and there is a discrepancy relating to the condition or originality of an item. Returns are not accepted for items that do not meet the needs or sonic tastes of clients due to the subjective nature, unless such concern is stated prior to the purchase. Any return for reasons other than incorrect advertising of condition or originality on the part of Mahar's Vintage Guitars shall be the responsibility of the buyer, which shall result in the buyer paying all shipping costs (to and from) their location.