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Gibson | Archive Collection - Theodore
As part of its Archive Collection, Gibson Custom Shop has announced a limited run of a newly rediscovered Ted McCarty guitar design! Dubbed affectionately after its creator’s namesake, the Gibson Theodore evokes the recognizable essence of McCarty’s now-iconic guitar designs, further illustrating, yet again, his immense influence on the history of electric guitars!
Available in Natural, Cherry, and Ebony finishes, the Theodore’s lightweight alder body features a walnut center strip, with balanced construction and a contoured shape for comfortable playability. Production of these guitars will be limited to 106 in each finish, for a total of 318, altogether. Each Gibson Theodore electric guitar also comes with a historic-style brown/pink case, a premium leather strap, a print of the original signed drawing, a “1957-style” catalog print page, and a deluxe Certificate of Authenticity booklet.
Amid his most prolific period of creative output drafting innovative, forward-thinking electric guitar designs, Gibson’s legendary former president, Ted McCarty, detailed and signed a drawing for a new solid-body guitar intended to be included among the designs of his Modernistic series set to go in production the following year. But, although it bore all of the hallmarks of a quintessential McCarty design, it never saw the light of day.
Until now, that is! Inspired by McCarty’s Original drawing and notes, the Gibson Theodore boasts hallmark McCarty design concepts, including a scimitar headstock and double-florentine cutaways that bear a recognizable resemblance to the treble bout cutaway on the Gibson Moderne—which was also designed by McCarty as part of the same series and which, similarly, never got to full-production phase.
President of Gibson from 1950–1966, during what’s now known as Gibson’s “golden era,” Theodore “Ted” McCarty was responsible for some of the most iconic and daring guitar designs the company ever produced, including the Les Paul, the ES-335, the SG, and the Firebird, in addition to McCarty’s Modernistic series, which included the Flying V and the Explorer.
While those two designs from McCarty’s Modernistic series went into production and debuted 1958, future-minded aesthetic approach McCarty took when designing his Modernistic guitars went under-appreciated, at first—except among few early adopters, like bluesman Albert King and Dave Davies (The Kinks), whose ‘58 Korina Flying Vs were among the only 98 guitars shipped from the Gibson factory’s initial production. But, compared alongside McCarty’s simultaneous achievements at Gibson, like the revolutionary ES-335 semi-hollowbody guitar design also released in 1958, reception of Modernistic series was relatively poor, and Gibson stopped producing them by the following year.
Eventually, however, the stark, linear aesthetics of the Gibson Modernistic series guitars caught on—proving, ultimately, the prescience of McCarty’s visionary imagination, forever establishing his influence on all future electric guitar designers. With estimates ranging as low as 22 Gibson Explorers shipped from the factory’s initial production run, the roughly 120 Modernistic series guitars produced from the initial runs have become some of the most sought after solid-body vintage guitars on the market today!
While later runs of the Flying V and Explorer designs went into production starting in 1967, the designer’s lasting contribution to the history of the guitar have not only sustained its popularity as an instrument for creative musical expression—his designs have forever changed how electric guitars are played and heard today across the globe!
From the Mary Kay Stratocaster to a Gibson Les Paul Standard ‘60 with Gold Sparkle binding and an aged blacktop, to an Explorer with a “Clapton cut” on the bass bout—there are so many instruments in this collection that get us excited about guitars again that we couldn’t wait any longer to show you what else we have in-store!View Details
Chicago Music Exchange is starting our Black Friday and Cyber Monday Sales early this year with 3 great discounts! You can shop up to 20% off select effect pedals, 15% off select new gear, and 10% select vintage and used gear! Shop now for discounts on many of your favorite brands like Fender, Ludwig, Marshall, Earthquaker, and many others!View Details
We’ve got the lowdown to keep you on the up-and-up with perfect presents for everyone on your list, including CME Exclusives you can’t get anywhere else! Our full-band breakdown makes it easy to get a jump on your shopping—one category at a time. What are you waiting for? Bundle up and get going! Happy Holidays from everyone at the Chicago Music Exchange!View Details