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Where are they now...

Strings Jr.

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I often wonder what became of some of the more unique instruments I built while working for Gibson. I hope to keep this thread alive by occasionally sharing some excerpts from my serial number log book, and / or some actual photos of some of the instruments. If you see something that you're familiar with, I'd love to hear from you!


To start with, here's a guitar I will always cherish. This prototype double-neck Explorer was the handy work of Mr. James Hutchins. It features an offset body, meaning the lower half is raised slightly higher than the top half. Much easier to see the six string neck while playing. The block inlays have abalone triangle insets. I created a custom wiring harness for it. There are two jacks in the rim with the ability to run mono or stereo (separate amp for each neck). I remember it being very well balanced, and weighing MUCH less than a 1275. Hutch must have spent a lot of time perfecting this prototype. It actually has a 1981 Kalamazoo serial number: 851210XX (and yes, 512 as the day number) but I built it on December 10th, 1985. I'll never understand why it never became a production model.

 
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garywright

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very interesting post plus a cool pic ! ..keep 'em comin whenever you get a chance ! :salude
 

PierceLP

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I once saw a picture of a sunburst les paul with an explorer headstock. After doing some research i found this ad. And ive seen photos of ricky nielson playing one. So im not sure if it was his own custom thing or an actual run of les pauls with an explorer headstock. Either way, ive never seen one in person!

 

jhmp

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late 80's or very early 90's, there was a custom ordered LP with an explorer neck in our local shop. It was waiting to be picked up by its owner. At the time it made me inquire as to the economic feasibility of the custom shop. Evidently there was a brief window when they were up just about anything you wanted, for a price, at that point in time.
 

Luke Gibson

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If I recall correctly the guitarist for Huey Lewis and the New had one as well....
 

J T

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Oh I HAVE seen one of those. It wasn't silver, it was red. I was in a pawnshop in Phoenix in 2002, browsing musical gear and that caught my eye. I had never seen one before and the guys behind the counter were just giving me the 'ol palms up. Next to it was an explorer which I'd never seen before either. It was an explorer type body, cherry burst, but with a circular cutout on the bottom. Both were just odd to me.
 

J T

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:hmm Maybe it was a Hamer. Now I'm wondering. :##I only saw it for a few minutes. BUT it looked just like that double neck with the sharp pointy ends in red. It was just leaning against a shelf because of the necks and the body shape. It wouldn't fit on their vertical hangers.
 

Kris Ford

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Oh I HAVE seen one of those. It wasn't silver, it was red. I was in a pawnshop in Phoenix in 2002, browsing musical gear and that caught my eye. I had never seen one before and the guys behind the counter were just giving me the 'ol palms up. Next to it was an explorer which I'd never seen before either. It was an explorer type body, cherry burst, but with a circular cutout on the bottom. Both were just odd to me.

Wasn't the cherry Explorer type called an XPL?
 

J T

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YES! That is EXACTLY it! The XPL. That is the one I saw there.

Gibson%20XPL_zps37rntmxz.jpeg


I'll bet that pawnshop got both of those from the same guy that bought them in the mid eighties.
 

J T

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Maybe Eric knows something about these. He has some really cool guitars.

abalone_vintage_guitars_celebrity_clients_james_hetfield_metallica-1958_gibson_ems1235_double_neck_guitar_collection_zpserpzdl5w.jpg


Actually, now that that I think about it, maybe that double neck I saw was a James Hetfield ESP.. (doh!)

eso%20jh_zpsvtrehbff.jpg
 

Strings Jr.

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As far as I know, the Gibson in the original post was a one-off, prototype. Never seen or heard from since. Surely someone here knows what happened to it??

But since we kinda got off on the LP / XPL thing, here's an "oddball" that came through. It has a LP, double cutaway, carved top body with no binding. Appears to be a rosewood fingerboard with cream binding. I used chrome ES 347 pups with a coil tap. Wired the volume pots like a Jazz bass since there is no toggle switch.

Where is she now??


 
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Strings Jr.

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Ok, one more for today. Here's a beautiful EDS-1275 with a flame maple top (and back), finished in a cool looking tobacco / honey burst. It has gold hardware, tortoise shell pickguards, and ivory truss rod covers.

Where is she now??


 
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Strings Jr.

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Here's a special order Alpine White ES-347. They wanted "Lucille" electronics, and to keep the 347 coil tap. So I did it. There is also the name STEVE in the fingerboard at the 11th fret.



Anyone seen STEVE?


I found where I had logged this one in my book. It was built on August 1st, 1985. Oh, and look. The same day I built one of the three guitars I built for Chris Hayes. Now those guitars were awesome. Tim Shaw hand delivered the pickups to me for each one.


Steve_zpsp4x5oa4g.jpg
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Jignant

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Ok, one more for today. Here's a beautiful EDS-1275 with a flame maple top (and back), finished in a cool looking tobacco / honey burst. It has gold hardware, tortoise shell pickguards, and ivory truss rod covers.

Where is she now??


Scan_20160608_zpsbkxkvr1h.jpg
[/URL][/IMG]

Umm nothing but LUST for that 1275!!!
 

Strings Jr.

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Here's another one-off for ya. Alpine White Moderne with a black Supertune vibrola, and maple fingerboard. It has open face Dirty Fingers pickups.

Where is she now?


 
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Strings Jr.

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Randy, any chance you worked on this '82 Moderne? (not mine, but popped up on Craigslist..)

Yes, there's a very good chance, especially if it's one of the early ones. If we knew the serial number I could tell you for sure.
 

Strings Jr.

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Here's a little Moderne history for you Kris. I built two on November 1st, 1982 then, several each day thereafter. As you can see, numbers A 002 thru A 006, built on November 2nd, were prototypes. I have prototype numbers recorded thru A 018, so maybe safe to say the first 20 were prototypes. My numbers for the A 02X guitars were not prototypes. My records show that we were already into the "E" series numbers by the end of December.

Modernes_zpszt2aqxrb.jpg
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