Moderne Heritage Korina Guitars

1982 Gibson Moderne Heritage Korina

Color: Natural, Rating: 9.50, Sold (ID# 01457)
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One of Only 143 Korina Modernes.


1982 Gibson Moderne Heritage Korina.


One of the very earliest Heritage Korina Moderne's, this amazing guitar weighs just 7.60 lbs. and has a nut width of 1 11/16 inches and a scale length of 24 3/4 inches. Korina body and three-piece Korina neck with a wonderful medium-to-thick profile. Black-faced headstock with gold plastic "Gibson" logo and a unique four screw string-guide assembly. Three layer black over white, bell-shaped truss-rod cover with two screws. Individual Gibson (Kluson) Deluxe tuners with double-ring Keystone plastic buttons. Serial number "B 015" stamped in black on back of headstock. Rosewood fretboard with 22 original jumbo frets and pearl dot position markers. Two Tim Shaw reissue PAF Humbuckers with outputs of 7.50k and 7.37k, each engraved on the underside "Pat No. 2,737,842". The neck pickup stamped in black "097 582" and the bridge pickup also stamped in black "1681082". Five-layer white/black/white/black/white plastic pickguard with six screws. Three controls (two volume, one tone) plus three-way selector switch. The potentiometers are stamped "137 8103" & "137 8145" (CTS, January and November 1981). Inside the control cavity "23" is stamped in black  and also "2,39 / AM" written in pencil. The neck pickup cavity has "Betty" and another initial/mark written in black pencil. The bridge pickup cavity has a large 'A' and a smaller '3' stamped in red. Also "ANT. NAT." stamped in black and the initials "RL" written in pencil. Black plastic bell-shape "Bell" shaped knobs. Gibson 'ABR-1' non-retainer Tune-O-Matic bridge with metal saddles, stamped on the underside "Gibson Pat No. 2,740,313", stud tailpiece. All hardware gold-plated. This thirty-year old 'under-the-bed' guitar is in mint (9.50) "under-the-bed" condition and is complete with the original case-candy including, the original Gibson warranty with Model number "Moderne Ant. Nat." and matching serial number "B 015" written in black ink; original case-key in manilla envelope and one other original hang tag. Housed in the original Gibson brown three-latch 'V' rectangular hardshell  case with purple plush lining (9.50). This super rare and very unusual guitar has been in storage for thirty years…

"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....." (

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