Gibson Custom Shop Modern

Gibson Custom Shop Modern Double Cut

Haters gonna hate but I love this guitar from the Gibson Custom Shop!  I have a weak spot for oddball guitars. In 2017 Gibson introduced the Modern Double Cut at the CES show.  Remember, it was the year they did not participate at the NAMM show. Former president HJ’s take on transforming the musical instrument manufacturer to a lifestyle/ consumer goods company.  Some crazy stuff was introduced in the first decade of this century: robot tuners, built in digital effects and crazy new body shapes. The all-new Gibson CS Modern Double Cut guitars in Standard and Custom version were introduced at CES. In 2018 a semi-hollow version joined the family, … and HJ left.

A mahogany body with a two-piece maple cap is traditionally Gibson, so is the nitro lacquer finish and the humbucking pickups. These instruments feature a 12″ radius rosewood fretboard with 24 frets. The newly introduced Apex headstock has some kind of “volute” to reinforce the neck. A traditional Gibson neck is prone to break at the headstock, less chance this is going to happen with this new design. 

The long neck tenon drives the neck deep into the cutaway body. The pickups are placed closer to each other and it takes a while to get used to. The pickups are a pair of 57 Classic and 57 Classic Plus humbuckers and they are wired to a 500K CTS volume pot and a 500K CTS tone pot. Hand wired, no mini-PCB in these guitars.

Gibson gets a lot of critique when they change a proven design but they nailed it with these guitars. Guitar players are very conservative regarding their instruments. They are a limited run and probably are going to be collectables. Excellent playability, perfect balance, tons of sustain and beautifully crafted at the Gibson Custom Shop. 

I got them in Metallic Alien Green, Candy Apple Red and the rare Candy Apple Blue. They are eye-catchers on and off stage. I know Gibson gets a lot of comments on their quality control and their prices but as an owner of man Gibson Guitars, I ‘ve never encountered a single problem with any of my them. Except one time when I got an instrument with a broken headstock due to the brutal handling by the courier service. Other than that, no problems at all.  Check out the short demo of “Alien Green”. Any resemblance to PRS is purely coincidental. 

Tomorrowland 2022

Tomorrowland, exactly nine hours I lasted and that is quite an achievement for an ex-punk rocker!

Tomorrowland is the slightly more expensive party for the globalised dance enthusiast. This year about 600000 visitors from all continents will attend the yearly dance festival in Belgium. After a short break due to the covid crisis, TML 2022 added an extra weekend to the festival. 

What am I looking for there? Nothing! Nice decors and a beautiful environment, …for shure. It reminds me of a trip to the amusement park. Walt Disney would have enjoyed this setting and I have to admit, I really liked the ambiance. I am just disappointed about the music (sic). You don’t have to look for an instrument (or talent) on the 10+ stages, and certainly do not look for someone who plays an instrument. Today’s “artist” brings a USB stick to the stage. During the covid downtime, a large number of “artists” have been able to kill time with the Roland TR-8S or the Akai MPC and some free software… so today there is enough digital noise available to fill three weekends with monotony. Three weekends of partying have done no harm the organization. After a mandatory (and subsidised – 1,8M€) waiting period of one year (due to covid) they just raised the prices and added an extra weekend. In my opinion it should have doubled their last turnover. The organization will be dancing to the sound of the cash register.

Tomorrowland 2022

A lot of pretty people from all over the world at Tomorrowland. It is a party of “see and be seen”. Rich youngsters fly to Belgium to drink from recycled cups. Well funded adolescents come to show off in crazy outfits and sometimes with the lack of an outfit.   I believe many fathers are very proud of their daughters who show their talents to the world at TML.  It’s fun to stroll thru a cloud of influencers and content creators. You recognize them easily, arty-farty-dressed selfie-lovers all take the same stance: one leg forward, knee slightly bent and a color filter.  Hordes of influencers harvest “likes” in real time with their simulacrum, during a festival that creates a hyper-reality in itself. But I doubt if there are many people at this event who have ever read Baudrillard

In short, TML is an experience but a deafening one and full of bad beats. A beautiful setting for non-talent and an enticing alternative to reality. TML is recommended for anyone who cannot choose from the extensive range of stupid entertainment. Tomorrowland is an amusement park, the music can be traced back to a molecular thump and is therefore accessible to everyone. Let yourself drift along in the school with the other herrings.

Just a warning for the visitor in trance: Do not step into the Jacuzzis! I don’t know if sharing jacuzzi water with a hundred visitors is wise. You could get the monkey pox for less. 

Beam me up Scotty, no intelligent life here!

The music of Tomorrowland 2022