Gibson has unveiled an all-new electric guitar design. Featuring the distinctive six-in-line scimitar headstock and a double florentine cutaway body shape, the Theodore offers a bold new look for Gibson.
But there’s a twist. The Theodore is not technically new, with its design dating back to a 1957 sketch from former Gibson president Ted McCarty
Somehow, it never made it to market, which seems remarkable in an era when the Explorer, Flying V and Moderne were radically modernising the the instrument. Now, exactly 65 years to the day that McCarty sketched it out, it has finally been released, with the date (3/18 in the US format) informing Gibson’s decision to limit its release to just 318 units.
Maybe, after all this time, it’s still too avant-garde? Who can say. It could become a real sleeper hit, and perhaps a test balloon for a wider Gibson USA release one day. Certainly, the silhouette is from left-field, and its rare to see a Gibson guitar using alder.
The Theodore wears its alder body with a walnut centre strip, and it is built like an old-school Gibson, with mahogany neck joining the body with a long neck tenon that's set with hide glue.
The Theodore will feel like a 1957 guitar, too, with a chunky neck profile to support the hand, and 22 historic narrow/tall Gibson frets. It has a 12” radius Indian rosewood fingerboard with pearloid dot inlays, a 1.69” nylon nut, a four-ply black pickguard, and a nickel wraparound tailpiece.
Providing that raw rock ’n’ roll voice, we have a pair of wax-potted P-90s at the bridge and neck positions, with individual volume and tone pots for each pickup, and a three-way pickup selector.
Gibson has dug into the good stuff for the components, with Theodore kitted out with 500K CTS pots, Bumblebee capacitors, and Switchcraft supplying the 1/4” output jack and pickup toggle.
Offered in Natural, Ebony and Cherry finishes, Theodore ships in a much sought-after Historic-style brown and pink fur lined case, inside which you’ll find a premium leather strap, a print of the original signed drawing, a 1957-style catalogue print, and a COA booklet.
Priced £4,399 / $4,999, Theodore is available now. See Gibson for more details.
- Interview: Gibson's Cesar Gueikian on the past, present and future of the guitar giant: "We care about the quality, we care about the legacy that we will leave behind"