Gibson presents a new body shape with the Theodore, inspired by a sketch by 65-year-old Ted McCarty


Gibson has launched the Theodore electric guitar, which marks the first offering from its new Gibson Archive collection and the introduction of a new body shape.

The design itself is inspired by a sketch made by former Gibson president Theodore “Ted” McCarty, which was drawn and dated March 18, 1957. McCarty had previously helped the Gibson brand develop some of its designs the best known, including the Les Paul, SG and Explorer.

McCarty’s design was discovered in the Gibson Vault, and was later refined to create the faithfully styled Theodore model, which officially releases today – 65 years after the day the original sketch was composed.

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Gibson Theodore

Gibson Theodore in natural (Image credit: Gibson)
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Gibson Theodore

Gibson Theodore in Ebony (Image credit: Gibson)
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Gibson Theodore

Gibson Theodore in Cherry (Image credit: Gibson)

Available in three finishes – Natural, Cherry and Ebony – only 318 units of the guitar will be made, a figure that nods to the date of McCarty’s design.

The guitar is a near-perfect recreation of McCarty’s 65-year-old design. Stylistically speaking, it has reverse Florentine cuts, a center band and an Explorer scimitar head, as well as a wraparound bridge. All of these appointments can be found on the design, which you can see below.

Small changes to the layout include the shape of the pickguard, which is now more rectangular, and the position of the three-way toggle switch. The pickup selector is now located next to the control circuit.

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Gibson Theodore

Theodore’s original sketch, dated March 18, 1957 (Image credit: Gibson)
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Gibson Theodore

Theodore “Ted” McCarty (Image credit: Gibson)

In terms of specs, the Theodore features a 24.75-inch scale length and features a two-piece alder body with a walnut center band, as well as a 1957 C-shaped mahogany neck. It is topped with a 22-fret, 12-inch-radius rosewood fingerboard with dot inlays.

It’s also been fitted with a pair of P-90 pickups, which are wired to Gibson’s go-to control layout of two volume knobs, two tone parameters and a three-way selector.

The Theodore is available now for $4,999 and comes complete with a historic pink/brown guitar case, leather guitar strap, print of the original design, and certificate of authenticity.

To learn more about Theodore, visit Gibson.

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Gibson Theodore

(Image credit: Gibson)
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Gibson Theodore

(Image credit: Gibson)
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Gibson Theodore

(Image credit: Gibson)
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