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dava4444

The Curious Tale of the 'Discoverer Bass'..

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A long long time ago in a land, far or not too far away, a man of some imagination (Ted McCarty) designed guitars of fantastical awe. These guitars; 'The Explorer' The Flying V' and 'The Moderne' became as we know it, 'the white stags of myth'. A writer on the history of Gibson guitars, Ian C. Bishop, released a book with a seeming startling revelation, that there was a 4th body shape! The Discoverer Bass:

 

2hn9moh.jpg

 

Sometime later, this was (sadly) revealed to be a hoax. And in the years since Gibson never did file a patent. The book Ian C. Bishop wrote was VERY popular, and many had seen the hoax Discoverer bass.

 

On a totally harmonic note *cough cough*.. Dean Zelinsky around this time came up with the ML body shape, which is a mirror of the hoax Discoverer bass, with Gibson split headstock.

 

t68a9s.jpg

 

I have often daydreamed what a Gibson 'Discovery' guitar might be like, but i think it might be like the Dean ML, but having the quality accents that Gibson bring to their mid-range to higher guitars, that Dean don't. Perhaps the reason Gibson haven't sued Dean for using their headstock is.. they like the ML? (The modern Dean headstock is different, but IIRC they used to use the Gibson one on occasion).. feel a family to it and them..? idk.. Dean Zelinsky sold Dean a few years ago, perhaps Gibson should have bought them? .. again idk. But if you ever find an elf under a toadstool, and he/she tells you about this mythical bass, you can reply you know already it is a hoax ;)

 

Since 2018 is a *very* special year for the Explorer, the Flying V and Moderne (their 60th birthday), I would love to see a one year only Discovery guitar for 2018 :)

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On 1/16/2017 at 2:22 AM, dava4444 said:

 

 

On a totally harmonic note *cough cough*.. Dean Zelinsky around this time came up with the ML body shape, which is a mirror of the hoax Discoverer bass, with Gibson split headstock.

 

t68a9s.jpg

 

I have often daydreamed what a Gibson 'Discovery' guitar might be like, but i think it might be like the Dean ML, but having the quality accents that Gibson bring to their mid-range to higher guitars, that Dean don't. Perhaps the reason Gibson haven't sued Dean for using their headstock is.. they like the ML? (The modern Dean headstock is different, but IIRC they used to use the Gibson one on occasion).. feel a family to it and them..? idk.. Dean Zelinsky sold Dean a few years ago, perhaps Gibson should have bought them? .. again idk. But if you ever find an elf under a toadstool, and he/she tells you about this mythical bass, you can reply you know already it is a hoax 😉

 

I see Gibson are suing Dean..

The Gibson Futura Headstock is the one I reference above.. if you haven't seen one.. see picture.

I am not referencing the 'open book headstock'.

 

On a personal note.. IMHO Dean should settle this with Gibson by offering shared rights of the ML. Both companies can use both the headstock and body shape.. for Gibson the 'Discovery' for Dean the ML.

Gibson Futura headstock.JPG

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It was John Entwhistle Who (pun) was duped by the fake 'Discovery' as related in his wonderful coffee Table book concerning his fabulous collection entitled 'Bass Culture'.

As far as the peghead design goes have a look at the original patent application from '58 concerning the Gibson Explorer;

Explorer-peghead.jpg

Pip.

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Hi Pip

 

I agree with everything you've said 🙂

To be clear I was saying Gibson have first stake to that headstock.

Thanks for the Futura/Explorer patent.. very interesting.

(for fun) What do you think about a special edition.. Discovery Guitar? 🙂 

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Hi dava.

Yes; I agree with you that it was Gibson who came up with the split 'stock.  No question at all about that.

It would be nice if Gibson were to issue a real 'Discoverer' bass - the 'Guitar Which Never Was'. I'm not sure how much demand there might be for such an animal but perhaps collectors would hoover up a small number just for fun?  I can't remember offhand whether the Entwhistle 'Discovery' had a 'guard from one of the ealy Gibson upright electric basses or if it was from a Hofner 'Beatle Bass'. I should check that out when I get a bit of free-time.

Out of curiosity are you aware that Ian C. Bishop wrote a companion to his first book? 'The Gibson Guitar From 1950 Volume II' was published three years after the first volume and has updates on what Gibson was doing at the time as well as quite a bit of info on the Epiphone story. Worthwhile reading.

Pip.

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12 hours ago, pippy said:

Out of curiosity are you aware that Ian C. Bishop wrote a companion to his first book? 'The Gibson Guitar From 1950 Volume II' was published three years after the first volume and has updates on what Gibson was doing at the time as well as quite a bit of info on the Epiphone story. Worthwhile reading.

 

 I have those books 🙂

It was the first place I ever saw an Epiphone Scroll.. which I am lucky enough to say I own a SC-550 Custom 'Black Beauty'.. one of my dream guitars.

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I congratulate you on your purchase!

I, like you, picked up both the Bishop books when they were current and have been rewarded 100-fold in terms of Outlay v's Profit - although the 'profit' is purely knowledge-acquisitional...

As far as the Epi Scroll goes; I played one back when they were new which belonged  to the ubiquitous 'Friend of a Friend' who was a Brian May fiend and he absolutely nailed May's tone perfectly. It was a chance meeting and I was only crashing out overnight so have no recollection as to what we were playing through but it sounded superb.

Pip.

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