John McCulloch .Net - Home Recording


Gibson SG Special

Gibson introduced what we'd now recognise as an SG in 1961 as the successor to the "Les Paul", though they changed it's name to SG (Solid Guitar) in 1963, possibly due to Les Paul's low opinion of the new body shape or his forthcoming divorce from Mary Ford.

Mine is an SG Special from around 1970 with Kluson "3 in a row" machine heads, mahogany neck and body, rosewood fingerboard and the famous P90 single coil "soap bar" pickups.

The Special was discontinued in 1971, though re-issues are now available from the Gibson custom shop, including the Pete Townsend SG Special, which is a very similar model to mine.
Gibson SG Special
ie-icon Gibson Guitars on the web
ie-icon Gibson Guitar and s/n info
ie-icon Gibson SG dedicated site
ie-icon Gibson guitars at Harmony Central

Fender Jaguar

Fender introduced the top of the range Jaguar in 1962 as an upgrade to the Jazzmaster. It used the same body shape as the Jazzmaster as well as the bridge and vibrato unit.

The differences were the new chrome plates, the 22 frets and its 24 inch scale length as opposed to the standard 25.5. The jaguar had newly designed pick-ups in an attempt to reduce noise, as well as the most complex electronics seen on a Fender guitar up until that date.

My version is an amalgam of a 1963 neck and a 1965 body with original pickups, scratchplate, chrome and tail-piece, but with replica machine heads, electrics and bridge (from a mustang).
Fender Jaguar 1965
ie-icon Fender Guitars on the web
ie-icon Fender Guitar and s/n info
ie-icon Fender Jaguar dedicated site

Gibson Moderne (copy)

The Gibson Moderne is an electric guitar model prototyped by Gibson in 1957. It was designed alongside the Flying V and Explorer-"Futura" as part of a stylistically advanced line of electric guitars. However, unlike the Flying V and Explorer, the Moderne was not put into production at the time.

Because few prototypes were made in the 1950s, and no authenticated example is currently known, the hypothetical 1958 Moderne has been called the "mythical great white whale" or "holy grail" of collectible guitars

By the mid-1950s Gibson Guitar Company had lost considerable market share to rival Fender's Telecaster and Stratocaster models and created three modernistic solid-body guitar concepts in an attempt to strike back. On June 27, 1957, Gibson President Ted McCarty filed three designs with the United States Patent Office which would come to be called "Flying V", "Explorer", and (unofficially, by later historians) "Moderne". The design patents were issued on January 7, 1958; however, after getting an exceedingly poor reception at NAMM 1957, Gibson decided not to produce the Moderne. There is only a vague mention of "Mod. Guitars" on a shipping list, which some argue applies to Explorers. Gibson engineer Rendall Wall (and later co-founder of Heritage Guitars) played one in the early 1960s for a local performance of Bye Bye Birdie. Wall recounted that he got it out of Gibson's "morgue", and that he could have bought it for $50: it was so ugly that nobody wanted it. He returned it after the show, saying he was more a country player than a rock and roll player.

Some Gibson employees said that no prototypes were ever made, others, including Ted McCarty, say that a few were made, but nobody knows where they went. Some Gibson employees from that time also say that two men took parts being used to make the Moderne prototypes and assembled some outside the factory.

They were "re"-issued by Gibson in 1980 at the NAMM show in Atlanta as part of the "Heritage Series" and later produced in Korea by Epiphone.

Modernes have the usual Gibson combination of two humbuckers (I've installed a pair of Curtis Novak Humbuckers), adjustable Tune-o-Matic bridge (mine is a TonePros T3BT-G) and stop tailpiece. Unlike most 2-pickup Gibsons, the Moderne has a single master tone control rather than separate neck and bridge pots. I've used push/pull pots to split the hubuckers into single coils using this schema.

Because of their very limited production and forward design, Gibson Modernes are highly sought after by collectors.
Gibson Moderne copy
pdf-icon Moderne Coil-tap Wiring Diagram

Ibanez Blazer Bass

Mine is a 1982 model made in Japan. Basically just a Fender Precision copy with a Sen ash body and maple fingerboard.

I did originally change the pick-ups for some Seymour Duncan SPB-3s, but they were just far too distorted for my liking, so now I've bought some Curtis Novak PB-Vs which I like a lot more.

Ibanez Blazer Bass