In early 2018, the whole guitar world was at storm with a new model that Gibson released – The Modern Flying V.
Many were quick to judge and called it an ugly, over-priced abomination. Others pointed out, it is in the shape of the Star Trek Badge! Furthermore, the resemblances to the mid-90’s Jackson Roswell Rhoads were uncanny. and accusations started to fly. Needless to say, this guitar got Gibson some publicity. However, as history shows, when controversy is involved as well as super limited production numbers, you can bet a new collectible was born.
The Modern Flying V was very limited in production – 99 instruments. This means there were 33 Gold Prism, 33 Ebony Prism and 33 Silver Prism crafted. There were likely a few Gibson prototypes made too, so this brings a total of around 104 Modern Flying Vs. Each of them equipped with Gibson’s hot ceramic pickups, the 496R, 500T.
Speaking of the colors – these instruments are nearly impossible to do justice with photos. Due to that, the “stock” photos provided by Gibson don’t flatter the instruments and that is one of the main reasons why there was so much hate for these instruments.
I was the first person to purchase a Modern Flying V to share with the world on my YouTube Channel – The Trogly’s Guitar Show. I had purchased one of the ebony prism models from Chicago Music Exchange at the full retail value of $4,499. When I received the instrument, I was in shock. Ebony Prism was really PURPLE Prism! I was expecting an instrument finish closer to the Gibson Moonless Night Les Paul, but what I received was completely different.
I grew to like the finish once I was over my initial disappointment, but it was just so different from the stock photos. It played very well. The quality control was good except for a screwdriver slip mark on the pickguard and a dry-looking richlite fretboard. The output jack placement was very inconvenient for playing whist sitting and there were a few design features I would’ve changed, but the guitar was good.
Some 8 months later, I was able to pick up a customer-returned Gold Prism from Sweetwater’s restock shop. Essentially, all that was “wrong” with it was lines had started to form around the neck’s heel joint. This is complete normal to see on Gibson’s, but I can totally see why it was returned. I wouldn’t have paid new price for that one either! It did make a great opportunity for me to document a Gold Version though.
The Gold is BEAUTIFUL in person. It has the same sparkles as the ebony prism in the finish as well as the metallic gold undercoat. I went all out with my video and got my Captain Kirk from Star Trek on.
I haven’t had the chance to sit down with a Silver Prism one yet, but I’m sure I will in the future.
In the end, the Modern Flying V is an awesome limited edition member of the Gibson family. Thankfully, after the initial shock of these instruments worn off and due to people seeing the videos of my two, the love for this model has started to grow. I believe these will become very valuable one day and be remembered as the last ‘crazy’ model Gibson put out at the end of the Juszkiewicz era.