If you have any vintage gibson guitars that are posted on this site ,you are always welcome to post a review,comment or detailed features ,im sure other guitar players who visit us would love to know ... Domenic

Important Note : Due to the overwhelming amount of comments on this blog i cannot answer all the questions although id love to . You can still post questions hopefully some of our viewers can help you out ... Thank You

Gibson Explorer Guitars

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Gibson Explorer Guitar ( 1958 - 1963 )

James Hetfield playing on a 1976 gibson explorerThe gibson explorer was introduced in 1958 , the guitar was designed to look futuristic ,it had a symmetrical shaped solid

korina wood body , 22 fret unbound rosewood fingerboard , two humbuckers , ink stamped serial numbers , gold plated metal parts, 4 ply white plastic pick guard and were made in natural finish .

In 1958 the gibson explorer met with little success , due to the low demand gibson ended production in 1959 , however they still sold overstocked korina explorer bodies during the early 60s with nickel plated parts .


Gibson Explorer ( Mahogany Body ) ( 1976 to 1982 )

paul stanley playing on a gibson explorerFrom 1976 to 1982 gibson reissued several explorer guitars that had mahogany bodies , two humbuckers , gold plated hardware , pearl logos, white pickguards and were in natural , white or black finishes .


Gibson Explorer II ( 1979 - 1983 )

The Gibson Explorer II guitar had a five piece maple and walnut laminate body , ebony fingerboard with dot inlays , 2 humbing pickups with gold plated hardware , tp-6 tailpiece , beveled body edges and came in natural finishes .

Gibson Explorer guitars started gaining popularity in the early 80s and more through the 90s when rock stars and bands such as kiss , metallica , scorpions and many more were endorsing them .


Gibson Explorer CMT (1981 to 1984 )

The gibson explorer CMT had a bound curly maple top body , 2 dirty finger humbucking pickups with exposed coils , 3 knobs in a straight line , 3 way selector switch , ebony fingerboard , gold plated hardware , and were available in sunburst , cherry sunburst , and natural finishes . Introduced in 1981 and discontinued in 1884 .


Gibson Explorer Korina ( 1982 - 1984 )

The gibson korina is very similar to the original 1958 gibson explorer model and is highly collectible , the guitar had gold knobs , nashville tune o matic bridge , korina body and neck , 2 humbuckers , 8 digit serial numbers and were available in candy apple red , natural or ivory finishes .


Gibson Explorer 83 ( 1983 to 1989 )

In 1983 gibson introduced a gibson explorer that had an alder body and was referred to as the gibson explorer 83 . The Guitar had 2 humbuckers , maple neck , ebony fingerboard , 22 fret dot inlays , triangular knob patterns and chrome plated hardware . Discontinued in 1989 .


Gibson Heritage Series ( 1983 - 1984 )

In 1983 gibson also made a reissue of the original 1958 gibson explorer with a korina body , the guitar had gold hardware and only a 100 were made ,they called it the gibson heritage series . ( highly collectible )


Gibson Explorer III ( 1984 To 1985 )

The gibson explorer III had 2 p-90 pickups , 2 knobs , 2 selector switches , maple neck , rosewood fingerboards , chrome plated hardware, locking nut vibrato system optional , and were made in red white or camouflage finishes . They also made some explorer III models with black hardware and kahler vibrato systems in 1985 .


Gibson Explorer 90 Double ( 1989 to 1990 )

In 1989 to 1990 gibson also introduced the Gibson explorer 90 , the guitar had a mahogany body and neck , it had 1 single coil and 1 humbucker , strings ran through the body , and chrome hardware .

( Gibson also made the Gibson explorer 90 guitar in 1988 , it had 1 humbucker and didnt last very long on the market ) these guitars were made in white , ebony , or silver finishes .


Gibson Explorer Reissue '76 ( 1990 to present )

The gibson explorer reissue was introduced in 1990 and renamed the gibson explorer '76 in 1991 , it has a mahogany body and neck , rosewood fingerboard , dot inlays , 2 humbuckers, and chrome plated hardware . Still in production in various colors ( cherry , sunburst ,white and natural finishes )

Vintage Price Value For 2007 :
1958 - 1959 > $175 000 to $210 000 ( explorer )
1960 - 1963 > $140 000 to $175 000

1976 - 1982 > $1 400 to $1 700 ( mahogany Body )
1979 - 1983 > $1 500 to $1 700 ( explorer II )
1981 - 1984 > $800 to $1 100 ( explorer cmt )
1982 - 1984 > $2 900 to $3 200 ( explorer korina )
1983 - 1989 > $800 to $1300 ( explorer 83 alder body )
1983 - 1984 > $2 700 to $3 500 ( explorer heritage )
1984 - 1985 > $900 to $1 000 ( explorer III )
1988 - 1990 > $700 to $800 ( Explorer 90 double )
1990 - 1994 > $900 to $1 200 ( explorer '76 )

guitar price guide1958-1963 > Avg Upward Trend Of 11% a Year since 2000
All the rest > 6 to 9% - except for the heritage > 14%

If you want to buy a gibson explorer , you can find some used & vintage Gibson Explorer Guitars For Sale on ebay .

131 comments:

  1. Anonymous8:54 AM

    The 22 Explorers shipped in 1958 had gold-plated hardware. The 1960 batch had nickel.

    ReplyDelete
  2. domenic10:17 AM

    Thnx buddy ,

    sometimes i write these guitar reviews at 3 in the morning ( lol ),mistakes and oversights can happen .

    Anyways i corrected the info .

    ReplyDelete
  3. Anonymous7:58 PM

    This is the most comprehensive treatise on the mysterious explorer I have seen. Thanks for your efforts. Can you tell me what the model difference is between the early 80s triangle knob pattern and the straight pattern? Thanks. Frank

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  4. domenic9:05 AM

    hi frank ,

    although i specialize more in pre 80 guitars your question is a good one , i researched all my gibson literature and i couldnt find any info on the 80s explorer knobs as to why the knob patterns are different on some of their explorer models.

    If you really want the answer to your question you should call gibson direct , they have a toll free number on their site .

    You are definitly right , explorer guitars are mysterious indeed . Not too much info on these guitars are available and there were many versions made especially during the eighties .

    Domenic
    sorry for the late answer been out for the weekend .......

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  5. Anonymous7:08 AM

    I beleive the change in the 3 position switch and the triangle knobs versus the straight line was in response to players who said the switch and knobs were too difficult to get to and change quickly, therefore the switch was no longer a reach and was by the player's hand and the knob configuration was easier and faster to get to in the triangle format than the straight line. Mr. K. (Explorer afficianado and detective)

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  6. Anonymous5:36 PM

    THANKS ...

    ReplyDelete
  7. Anonymous11:02 PM

    Hi -

    I'm thinking about buying an '80's Explorer - serial number is 80804557. Can anyone tell me what model it is - I know Gibson made a bunch of different models in the 80's. It's red, black knobs in a straight line, tune-a-matic bridge in chrome, white pickguard. Thanks,

    Brooks

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  8. Anonymous8:57 PM

    The serial number indicates that it was made in 1984 ... its the gibson explorer reissue , gibson made tons of these guitars during the early eighties , very popular guitars during the time because they were not expensive .. they also made them in white and natural colors ... i wouldn't pay more than $700 dollars for these guitars .. also make sure theres the gibson logo on the top of peghead , there were lots of cheap copies that looked exactly the same from foreign countries with no gibson logo ...

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  9. Anonymous4:22 PM

    I have a 1976 limited edition and haven't been able to find much information about the limited edition run in 1976, one in similar condition just sold on ebay for over $6,000, I bought mine in 1983 for $250 at a pawn shop. Any info on why these are different? thanks

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  10. domenic8:11 PM

    the 1976 limited edition are rare and were only made in small quantities , they are extremely difficult to find .. alSO , the guitar has a korina body just like the original 1958-63 exporer models ..

    The 76' limited edition is valued at $2900 to $3400 but can be sold for much more ... im not surprised you've seen one at $6000 . The explorer market is very specialized and has lots of high end buyers ,,,

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  11. domenic8:13 PM

    OH, and by the way, looks like you got a killer deal !.. domenic

    ReplyDelete
  12. Anonymous6:32 PM

    Thanks for the info on the 1976 limited edition explorer I looked at the pickups and they have a patent applied for sticker on them but I can't tell if the wood is korina, It looks like mahogany most of the korina guitars I've seen are lighter in color?, it's kinda heavy and has a distinct dark line that runs in the wood grain. At first i thought it was two sections glued together but after looking it is one piece of wood. This blog is the only place I've found any info on this guitar thanks again Domenic.

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  13. Anonymous6:11 PM

    Maybe you can help me out - i have what i believe to be (by the serial number) a 1985 explorer. It has 2 single coils and 1 humbucker, 3 mini switches, tone and volume and a top mounted Kahler in metallic grey with black hardware. I have been looking for info on this guitar but cn't seem to find any on this combination of color, pick-ups and tremelo. Does anyone have any info on this? I would greatly appreciate it. Thanks

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  14. domenic9:45 PM

    There's not much info on your explorer guitar because they were only made in 1985 , these guitars came with factory kahler tremolos and most of them were fitted with emg pickups. They were introduced in various colors ( red , metallic black ... ), and are worth anywhere from $700 to $900. You can probably get a little more if you have metallic black , very nice color it had sort of a greenish glow to it ..

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  15. Anonymous4:27 PM

    I just purchased a camo explorer III but the kahler has been replaced with tune-o-matic...any help with what kahler trem would fit the rout would be appreciated. It's also missing the locking nut.

    I can't wait to don some safety orange and pull this out onstage for some raucous cowpunk.

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  16. Anonymous1:08 AM

    can you tell me any information from my serial number?
    81985644

    this is one without the pickguard, triangle knobs, and the switch next to the nobs, and I believe it to be dirty fingers humbuckers aswell, any info on it?

    ReplyDelete
  17. domenic3:42 PM

    looks like you have a 1985 gibson explorer ( alder body ) , these guitars were introduced in 1983 and were made in limited quantities ,,, they had maple necks and alder bodies , also were introduced in custom colors ... they are valued at $900 to $1300 .. discontinued in 1989

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  18. Hi,
    I just purchased an Explorer. I was wondering if you could tell me the year from the serial number...
    00241054
    Thanks,
    Scott

    ReplyDelete
  19. Anonymous8:46 PM

    2001

    ReplyDelete
  20. I recently saw an Explorer on Ebay that had been repainted, no serial number. The most distinguishing feature i saw was that the gold volume and tone knobs all had little indicators on them. Any ideas of when they used these style knobs? I nearly bid at the thought of an ink stamped serial number under that paint, but alas....

    ReplyDelete
  21. Anonymous8:54 PM

    I just purchased an Explorer ...
    2001

    ReplyDelete
  22. Anonymous9:00 PM

    I recently saw an Explorer on Ebay ..

    you have to be a little more specific gibson made lots of knobs that looked alike ...if its the same knobs that im thinking of they were introduced in 1958 and discontinued in 1962.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Anonymous8:01 PM

    Please help me date this guitar...
    It's a Gibson Korina Explorer with gold hardware, white pick guard, old style aged tuners "gibson deluxe", old style volume and tone knobs (bell like),
    S/N # 1 0047 in ink, with Made in the USA pressed in. i belive it may be a one of a kind... here is the catch. it has a floating kahler style tremlo. 80's Custom Shop???

    ReplyDelete
  24. Anonymous3:04 PM

    it has to be a special edition or some sort serial number does not exist .

    ReplyDelete
  25. I own the 1985 custom shop scorpions explorer and flying v. Any idea what these are worth. All equipment is original.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Anonymous1:56 PM

    I own the 1985 custom shop scorpions ...

    not in the price guide

    ReplyDelete
  27. Anonymous6:43 PM

    What can you tell me about this explorer? serial #81894567. I know it was built Nov. 14th 1984 but just wondering if it was anything special ? I'm considering buying it for my son because it was built the same day & year that he was born.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Anonymous6:46 PM

    Disregard the previous serial # that I gave you it was from another guitar I had been looking at. The correct serial # is 83184509. Thanks

    ReplyDelete
  29. Anonymous2:27 AM

    Hi.

    I just bought a 1976 Limited Edition Explorer.
    Serial number 0233322. Gold hardware.
    The pots are dated 1377621.
    What can you tell me about this guitar?
    It's hard to tell if it's korina or mahogny..
    What is the value of this guitar?

    ReplyDelete
  30. GREETINGS,I OWN A LIME GREEN EXPLORER WITH A GOLD GIBSON CUSTOM COLLECTION LOGO ON THE BACK OF THE HEADSTOCK.IT HAS FOUR PICKUPS AND ALL BLACK CHROME HARDWARE.IT HAS A BLACKCHROME KAYLER TREMELO AND LOCKDOWN SYSTEM WHERE YOU FINE TUNE FROM THE TREMELO.THE LOWER HORN ON THE BODY HAS A CONCAVE CUTOUT ON IT THAT MAKES TWO SMALLER HORNS.SERIAL#81065557 IT IS THE STRANGEST EXPLORER I HAVE EVER SEEN.CAN YOU TELL ME ANYTHING?

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  31. Anonymous7:49 AM

    Hi I have a 1976 Limited Edition Explorer but it is mahogany not korina. According to your above post limited editions are korina?
    What Gives?

    ReplyDelete
  32. Anonymous2:04 PM

    I'm looking at buying an 84' Explorer. It's red w/kahler tremelo and the triangular knob config. It seems to be a cross btw. the Explorer 83 and the Explorer III. Can anyone tell me about this one?

    ReplyDelete
  33. Anonymous6:57 PM

    limited editions were mahogany ...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. i have a 76' LE in Korina .

      Delete
  34. Anonymous6:59 PM

    READ THE POST "From 1976 to 1982 gibson reissued several explorer guitars that had mahogany bodies "

    ReplyDelete
  35. Can you describe the difference between the "triangle" and "Straight" knob patterns? I have a 1982 E2 that has 3 knobs in a line, but the knobs are parallel to the lower body as opposed to parallel with the point containing the switch (this latter arrangement is seen above in Paul Stanley's gtr). I've never seen a pic of an E2 with my arrangement...

    ReplyDelete
  36. Anonymous9:12 PM

    there is no difference , its just a different design depending on the year ...

    ReplyDelete
  37. Anonymous3:40 AM

    Can someone please help me out, I have an explorer with the serial number 81803525, i would be very interested to know the age and value of this beast!!

    Thanks in advance

    ReplyDelete
  38. Anonymous3:40 PM

    According to Gibson, my guitar(82584539) was born on Sep. 15, 1984. After seeing this site, I have determined that it is the 83 Alder body. The knob configuration has been changed from triangle to straight line. Whoever did it did a really great job, I didn't even notice where the old hole was plugged when I bought it. How bad does this hurt the value?

    ReplyDelete
  39. I recently purchased a used Explorer, and I can't tell what model it is. It's got a few noticable blemishes, but it plays like a dream. I think the previous owner switched the pickups out for EMG's. Here's a picture.

    http://img503.imageshack.us/my.php?image=1001698mp4.jpg

    I actually called Gibson about it, and all they could tell me was from the serial number (80781061) was that it's an Explorer I made in 1981. Any input?

    ReplyDelete
  40. GATMANIAX9:08 AM

    Gibson Explorer,invented in 1957,it was the forerunner to the v and Mordene or howeva ya spell it,in my opinion the best balanced guitar...oh yeah Clapton used 1 4awhile as well,keep up the good word.

    ReplyDelete
  41. Anonymous10:04 PM

    My Gibson Explorer was made in 1984 and has the triangular knob pattern, so I assume it's the Explorer 83 as it's the best fit, however my fretboard is rosewood, not ebony, so what exactly is my guitar?
    Two humbucker setup, triangle knob pattern, and I don't know if the wood is alder or mahogany. I've been told mahogany by a guitar repair guy, but I've my doubts.
    Any help?

    ReplyDelete
  42. Anonymous5:50 PM

    A lot of this information is incorrect... At least according to Gibson's website. Just go to http://www.gibson.com/en%2Dus/Support/SerialNumberSearch/ and you can download a pdf with information of every guitar gibson has ever made in detail. A lot of the info on this blog does not match up.

    ReplyDelete
  43. I have an 85 3 knob special in a what looks like metallic grey colour has anyone everseen this colour before on a gibson? i cant find any examples of it anywhere

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  44. thats an 85 sg 3 knob special by the way

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  45. Well it finally happened- my first Gibson Guitar. According to Guitar Dater it is a Gibson Explorer built in 1984 in Nashville. Serial is 81084541. I am trying to figure out exactly which Explorer it is, maybe someone can help- Here is the description: It is a yellowed white color, gold hardware, Grover mini tuners, Dirty Fingers pickups, TP-6 bridge, triangular knob pattern, 3 way not on lower bout, but below bridge, rosewood fretboard. Judging from the wood on the back (exposed from buckle rash- it appears to be a dark mahogany wood body. When I look at Blogspot I do not see this description there. I know that one of you knowledgable Gibson players will know- can you help?

    ReplyDelete
  46. Anonymous4:44 PM

    Awesome site guys, my dad has a early 70's J-50, and I have a 92 explorer, since new, best guitars in the world!
    HOORAH

    ReplyDelete
  47. Anonymous8:46 PM

    I have two of the Explorer 83 models, and neither have ebony fingerboards. Both were built in 84 (per serial numbers). The first one I got was all black, the other is one of the "custom" paint jobs from 84, specifically the swirl white paint on a black base coat with initials S.S. at the top left corner of the guitar as you look at it. The paint on this one is in real rough shape and I plan to repaint it soon.

    ReplyDelete
  48. Thanks for the info. It sounds like mine is an Explorer 83 then. Rosewood fretboard, cream with blue paint splatters, and an s.s. on the end of the top wing.

    ReplyDelete
  49. Anonymous12:40 AM

    How can you tell what wood an Explorer is of? Can I send a pic to someone for identification?

    Thanx for all the great posts!

    ReplyDelete
  50. Hi,
    I am French, and i am a proud owner of a Gibson Explorer 83, with 2 Dirty finger and Khaler/Rose System.
    My guitar is a 1984 built Explorer.
    Regards

    ReplyDelete
  51. Anonymous8:04 AM

    Hi all you Explorer fanatics out there in the digital static...


    just wanted to share with all you good people the description of my MOST BEAUTIFUL E2 Explorer..

    Serial# 81643505... 164th day of 1983, the 5th guitar out of Nashville that day. It has an ebony fretboard, TP-6 tailpiece, white binding, cherry burst over a curly maple top, but it also has a cherry back.. as opposed to the mahogany 'brown' colour you normally see.. in fact the body is maple & not the normal mahogany. The pickgaurd has been replaced with a custom made flamed maple one, which looks real cool.. & also the 'dirty fingers' pickups have been replaced with a 'darkburst' & 'shredder' custom WCR pickups.

    I also want to take this oppurtunity to thank David, the guy that i bought it from.. a TOTAL Explorer FREEEEK & a really cool guy. Thanks! I love my guitar, it sounds fantastic.. it is the guitar i have been looking for my entire playing life! With my 50watt, 1974 JMP (with a '74 quadbox) & FOXEY LADY distortion pedal (a rebranded 2nd version BIG MUFF) it just completely ROCKS OUT!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I hope everyone out there os as happy as me with their rig, & enjoys making distorted sounds as much as i do.. LETS ROCK!!!!
    hey ho, lets go..
    jason.

    ReplyDelete
  52. Anonymous9:41 AM

    I have an Explorer which I bought from Def Leppard circa 1980. I think its Explorer II but not sure. Think its shown on back of their debut album used by Pete Willis. Its a laminate body of Mahogany and a lighter wood and has profiled edges. Its been on top of my wardrobe for 20 years without use but now find electrics are shot. Would fitting new electrics de-value and whats its approx value.

    ReplyDelete
  53. Anonymous4:58 PM

    The originl electronics are more desirable. they can usually be cleaned if scratchy.

    ReplyDelete
  54. steve jacques5:39 AM

    HELP!!!!!!!
    I am pretty sure i have a very collectable 82 explorer korina in natural which was passed onto me after someone passed away. How do i make sure its genuine and how do i get it valued properly by someone without an agenda to buy it??

    ReplyDelete
  55. Anonymous5:49 AM

    Steve,
    There are a lot of people on this site that do not have an interest in buying your guitar, including myself. If you post a good description of what you have, someone should be able to help you out.

    ReplyDelete
  56. Anonymous6:03 AM

    I recently purchased what I think is a 71-72 Gibson SG Deluxe. It does not have a serial number, or Crown (and never did) on the headstock which I have seen on others occurs sometimes. It is the walnut finish with the notoriously thin, narrow neck and particularly weak neck joint compared to my other SG (I read somewhere that Pete Townsend said he could break these necks with his hands). Also, has binding and block style inlays. I had a Lawrence L-90 (from 1975) that I put in it and it sounds good. Someone thought it would be creative to flip the Gibson logo upside down and engrave a 666 serial number. I am tempted to believe that this was a Gibson employee guitar. Any comments from anyone?

    ReplyDelete
  57. Anonymous3:41 AM

    Hi, I have a Gibson Explorer that I bought second hand back in 1980, serial No. 717490087, from the serialization book I make it as a 1979 made in Kalamazoo. It appears as a dark / light wood ply, not sure of the wood, anyone any ideas of type of wood and approximate value.

    ReplyDelete
  58. Hello,

    I have a Gibson Explorer #83463518.
    I know it was mad in Dec. 1983 in Nashville.

    The thing that is questionable is the guitar came in black finish, has chrome hardware, black inline knobs and is routed for a tremelo (Kahler or Gibson Super-Tune Vibrola).

    Is this a Gibson Explorer reissue?

    Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  59. I need advice on authenticating an early-model Explorer. I have what is supposed to be an early 60s Explorer, It is korina with a very well refinished natural finish, replaced pick-guard, original gold-plate patent number p/u's and 1970s pots and knobs, so not entirely original.

    Where exactly were the 58-62 Explorer serials located? This particular one has a 61ish serial, pressed in, 42442, near the top of the headstock.

    My concern is that it may be a 1980s guitar which, during the refin, has had the serial number changed to an early 60s serial number. I think the devil is in the details. How could I tell a refinished 80s from a refinished 61?

    Any advice appreciated
    Doc Hamilton
    Australia

    ReplyDelete
  60. I have a korina explorer my aunt found in her attic (her ex-husband's). Serial number 00240259.
    It would seem it's made in 2000, except she gave it to me in 1999 and they had been divorced since the early 90's.

    Also, on the serial number, the "00" at the beginning is darker and a bit off-centered from the rest of the numbers.

    It's got dot inlays & gold hardware.
    Any ideas?

    ReplyDelete
  61. Update- the wood seems darker than korina but lighter than mahogany. Under the (many) belt buckle scratches there's some much darker wood that appears to be mahogany. Supposedly in 1976 some Gibson guitars were manufactured with a 00 meaning 1976...

    ReplyDelete
  62. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  63. I have one of the rarest Explorers ever made, an '85 Custom Shop - Ebony fingerboard, Maple Neck ... nothing unusual about that you might say...BUT ..and this is a BIG 'but' it has factory fitted 24 pin Roland Guitar Synth electronics and pickup - as fitted on the famous Roland G-303 used by Pat Metheny to this day. I believ there were 25 of them made, but have not yet been able to confirm this. What I Do know however is that it's almost certainly the only one left in existence in full working order (I have a full complement of the floor synth units, including Roland GR-300, GR-100, (very rare) US-2, (even rarer( BC-13 - 24pin-13 pin converter for VG8/88/99 GR33 etc ) ..even a Korg Z3 which uses the same 24 pin system!!

    I MAY sell it/or the whole kit if someone makes me a very sensible offer ...

    ReplyDelete
  64. Anonymous8:10 AM

    Hi I have a 1976 Gison limited edition Explorer, I bought it in 78brand new for $530.00, had been sitting in the back of a guitar store for two years. Still have the orinal strap, case and owners card. The serial number is 00232891. This ax is in near mint shape. What do you think it is worth? Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  65. Anonymous4:17 PM

    I am a 1985 nashville black with three triangular knobs and killer kailer tune from the back tremlo and neck lock system,twin EMG actives and origianal case and this fat old dude that owns me wont play anything else period and is trying to kill me with speed lead tactics his big ass was born in 1963 and gibson/marshall is his only game, love the site Fat& Speedy.

    ReplyDelete
  66. Hello!
    I've bought a Gibson explorer pro.
    The serial number is:"009280494",with"made in USA" on the headstock.
    My guitar has a beautiful antique sunburst finish with a AA flame maple top.
    The seller sad to me,it's a limited edition modell.Is it right?
    Please help me.
    Thanks.
    "acefrehley" from Hungary.

    ReplyDelete
  67. Anonymous3:03 PM

    My dad has what I think is an original gibson explorer. It is pretty beat up. It has white plastic tuners, a plastic"custom made" plack on it and one of those bar things. I went to guitar center to ask about it. It has a stamped serial #. They said an original would have inked on #. Also, it has a round plastic cover over the switch on the back of the guitar. The ones I looked at at GC did not have this. The case is black with yellow inside. The serial # starts with 14xxxx. Any info would help. I will post some picture later. David

    ReplyDelete
  68. Added a 1980 e/2 to my collection, the maple and walnut ply model. Weighs in at a hair under 12 lbs. Fantastic playing guitar w/ ebony board, brass nut and of course the TP-6 stoptail. She's a keeper. Looking to get one from every year they were made 79-83 and also at least one CMT. I have noticed some of the e/2's on ebay other then the CMT do not have contoured bodies. I have also seen a few that appear to be mahogany w/ thin maple plys versus the maple/walnut construction of mine. These models weigh significatly less then mine. It would be nice to see a list of the variations of the e/2

    ReplyDelete
  69. I have a 1986 Explorer with the knobs in the triangular pattern, very good shape with the exception that it has been repainted and it no longer sports the Gibson logo on the head. What would this repaint and lack of logo have on the price? I realize without seeing it, it is hard to give an accurate estimate, but can you give me a ballpark figure?

    ReplyDelete
  70. Anonymous2:41 PM

    Hi...
    Would love any information leading me to a Gibson Explorer III (3 P-94 pick ups) in black finish, preferrably no Kahler or 80's style trem of any sort (after market Bigsby would be okay). Reasonable sales offers only please. These guitars aren't worth the mint that many think they are. That said, I will pay fair market value.

    lowerbroad@juno.com

    ReplyDelete
  71. Anonymous8:57 PM

    Hello, I have been trying to get a little more information on an explorer that I have. I think that is is a 76 but could use your expertise. Bought it in 79 or 80 from a collector. I think that it is Mahogony ( I see an identical guitar on ebay right now for $5800).
    Markings on the headstock is a gold decal with s/n 00230304. Also has "Limited Edition" Made in the USA.
    I would say that it is an 8 to 8 1/2 out of 10 in condition. Has a few dings and a little wear on the gold hardware.

    Any information and estimated value would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you very much for your time and knowledge. Great website for vintage guitars

    Greg

    ReplyDelete
  72. Anonymous6:16 AM

    Hi, I have a Gibson off brand Maestro electric guitar from the 1960's in the explorer style. It has toggle buttons and knobs for volume and tone. It is finished in sunburst. It sounds fantastic!!.

    The research material available is limited. Is there anybody familar with this brand and can provide a valuation?

    ReplyDelete
  73. I have one of the only 1958 Explores to still be around.
    I want to sell it to a true collector that will appreciate it as much as I have.The story behind it is fascinating.I have decided to sell it for my grandkids education.If you know of a true collector.. please contact me at l.j.braden@comcast.net
    posted:10-28-2008

    ReplyDelete
  74. Anonymous10:59 AM

    I was in a band in 1972 with a guy who was using one of the'63-shipped Exploreres. It had a black case with yellow lining, and a guitar player who sat in with the band dropped it and broke the headstock, after which Mike traded it and some money for a new Les Paul Deluxe. Then, about 3 years ago I helped another guy find a buyer for his '63, also with the black/yellow rectangular case.

    ReplyDelete
  75. Hi,
    I own an E/2 from 1981.
    Dark Tobacco finish and gold on the back. I wish it has been refinished. You can see pics of me playing this beauty through the link :http://www.flickr.com/photos/mnph/sets/72157612214980452/

    This E/2 have 2 Dirty Finger "Tim Shaw" with gold screws. The neck pickup is a Tim Shaw 1981, original, The bridge pickup is an after market 1982 Tim Shaw Dirty Finger. This guitar was missing the bridge pickup when I baught it. I gave the guitar this Tim shaw to bring this TONE guitar its Origins back !!!
    TONE KILLER !!!

    2009 Best wishes for all of you

    ReplyDelete
  76. i would kill for a 1958 explorer

    ReplyDelete
  77. Anonymous1:20 PM

    There may have been some Korina, but I own a 1976 Ltd Edition Explorer. (Original not the later reissue of the 1976)... Mine is mahogany.

    I'd recently emailed Gibson with questions about the model of pickups in the 1976 and included picture for them.

    This was their response:

    Hello,

    Thanks for contacting Gibson. The instrument appears consistent with a 1976 Limited Edition Explorer with Korina body. The pick-ups should be the Gibson Super Humbucker type-B with one Indox VII magnet in each pick-up. Thanks.

    Best regards,

    Bob Burns

    ReplyDelete
  78. Anonymous6:35 PM

    Hello, I've said for begin that is a very interresting web-site..

    I haved search on many web-site a picture or a description of the same model of my Gibson Explorer... The only one that I see it's the Explorer on the picture of Paul Stanley of Kiss band (picture on the top) Somebody can tell me what is the model of this guitar ? The mine is identical. I would like to know the price too and the date of fabrication.

    Thanks before. (Sorry for my very bad language, I hope that is not too difficult to understand)

    ReplyDelete
  79. Anonymous1:02 PM

    Hi Guys, Rose MC from the 3 Bad Pigeons don't wear diapers : http://www.myspace.com/3badpigeonsdontweardiapers

    I baught several days ago on ebay an E/2 stamped "second". It's an 1981 E/2 explorer in Natural yellow finish. 2 Dirty FInger originals.

    I will get this beauty from USA very soon.
    Hope it will sound as well as the E/2 I already own.

    Bye

    ReplyDelete
  80. Anonymous6:42 PM

    I have a explorer serial # 8 4877 ink stamped. It has three gold knobs inline gold plated parts three positon pick up switch 22 fret finger board. Looks like three layer white pick gaurd. Natural wood finish Can you shed some light for me its year and value. I also have a flying v with a five digit ink stamp serial begining with 8 and natural finish can you also give me some info on it

    ReplyDelete
  81. Anonymous5:28 AM

    G'day. I own a vintage explorer which seems to be the missing link! S/N is 000233 which is imprinted into the wood. Gibson confirm this is either 1967 or 1973. It has no "Made in the USA" imprinted, so in theory is before 1970. It looks to me to be easily that old. Gibson have advised the S/N must be wrong as Explorers weren't made then. Between '63 and '76 I imagine it is possible that a few may have been made? The design existed and I have heard of some 1972 prototypes? Any help much appreciated. It's solid very dark (mahogany?) visible under white finish (Now vintage yellow). Gold hardware. Guitar has been refinished as back headstock was not re-finished to preserve serial no. and this two had an older white finish (which is so yellowed its like canary yellow). Great site! Love Explorers!

    ReplyDelete
  82. Anonymous10:46 PM

    Got a question about a 85 Gibson explorer. Serial is 81515568. I was wondering if you could tell by the serial if it had a alder body or mahogany body. It has a Kahler on it and its that red/wine color. Also any idea what it's worth?

    ReplyDelete
  83. Seems like you might be too overwhelmed to answer this question but I will try. I have a black 1976 Explorer with gold hardware that includes gold knobs. Someone told me they should be black knobs which I do not agree. I also do not know if this is a limited edition, whether korina or mahogany. Serial #00240767.
    This guitar has original warranty papers and strap with it & I was thinking about selling it but I need to know about the knobs and wood type.

    ReplyDelete
  84. Anonymous2:26 AM

    which pickups has a explorer limited edition 1976? T-tops?
    and which pickups in the new production are similar? Bare Knuckle? Gibson classics '57?

    ReplyDelete
  85. Tony Rouse4:25 AM

    I'm thinking about buying an explorer 90, can anyone give me any info on this one?
    http://www.paulmiller.co.uk/gibson/

    ReplyDelete
  86. Anonymous12:12 PM

    i have bought an 1980 exporer2 in1990 for $350. It has a mohogany body, sort of a tiger stripe paint job with p90 pick ups. Any idea of the value. It's in pretty good shape.

    ReplyDelete
  87. Anonymous9:35 AM

    I have and Explorer with serial #82195548. The body was sanded down before it came to me..but the original paint was a dark greenish..almost black..with silver flecks in it. It is outfitted with a Kahler system..and 3 EMG's..not sure which ones. The rear is a standard size..but the neck and center positions are thinner "single coil size" pickups. I know it's not worth much in this condition, since the paint has been sanded off and the hardware is not installed...but I'm wondering if anyone has an idea of the original cost of this guitar...the specific model...and I could expect to get for it if I sold it. The local market is very small..so I'm thinking Ebay.
    Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  88. Anonymous2:34 PM

    I have a 1983 gibson explorer---black--knobs straight in a row --crome not gold hardware?---open coil black pickups that are not labeled dirty fingers?--sn#82803554--made in nashville--rosewood fretboard--when volume knob is on about 8,it sounds normal--but when turned to 10 it adds a sweet harmonic to a distorted sound--very cool. does anyone have info on this guitar ,or have one like it? thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  89. Anonymous6:23 PM

    I have an Explorer with SN 001170326 and the Model Number is DSXPFVSCHI (the 'I' may be a 1)- is this one of the 400 Explorer 84 reissues made in 2007? if not, then can you tell me?

    ReplyDelete
  90. Anonymous9:07 AM

    What's the deal with the Reverse Explorer? Steinberger Gearless tuners? How's are the'57 Classic and '57 Classic plus humbuckers?

    ReplyDelete
  91. I have a Gibson Flying V korina reisse. Not sure of the year or anything and the stamp on the upper back of the neck is "A 218". I have been searching the web trying to figure out what that is because the serial numbers are generally 5 or 6 numbers. Please help if u have any idea. Thanks debi

    ReplyDelete
  92. Anonymous5:28 AM

    Hi, could anyone tell me which model this could be and what's a reasonable price for this guitar:

    Build in 1984
    Ebony finish
    White pickguard
    Dotted fingerboard inlays
    Tune-o-matic bridge
    3 black knobs, straight line
    Chrome hardware
    Tuners replaced with chrome Grovers
    Pickup have chrome covers, probably humbuckers?
    No serious damage but looks pretty scrathed and used

    Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  93. i have an explorer 90 double with floyd rose tremolo

    body 1 peace of mahogany and maple neck with ebony touch
    the guitar was manufactured in 92

    fantastic guitar
    great sound with the bill lawrence humbucker

    ReplyDelete
  94. Anonymous3:23 AM

    Hey guys, i have a Gibson Explorer with the serial
    80344578. Can anyone help me identify the year please?
    Thanx!

    ReplyDelete
  95. Anonymous4:32 PM

    Does an Explorer from the Gibson Custom Shop June 1993 have any special value as a collectors item?

    ReplyDelete
  96. Anonymous11:40 AM

    Hey all,

    I am looking for any info on my Gibson Explorer S/N 80314002:

    Black finish
    Black pickguard
    Rosewood fretboard w/ pearl dot inlays
    Chrome hardware
    2 open coil black pickups
    3 black knobs, straight line
    ** Gibson Tremelo Bridge (looks just like Kahler, but imprinted with "Gibson MADE IN U.S.A." and "U.S. PAT. APPL'D FOR")
    ** Flying V Type Headstock

    I have not seen or found any info regarding any Explorer with a Flying V Type Headstock.

    mattamatixmm@hotmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  97. Anonymous9:59 AM

    it's home made..
    worth about $100.00 at best

    ReplyDelete
  98. Anonymous1:46 PM

    The Gibson Explorer Korina was also available in an Ebony finish. I'm the original owner of an '83 custom shop, all black with gold hardware. Does anyone know the differences between the "custom shop" korinas and the "Heritage" korinas? I emailed Gibson, and their response was:

    "It is my understanding that one of the primary differences between the Korina and the Heritage is the Korina had the standard 8 digit serial number. The Heritage had a serial number of one digit, followed by a space, and four more digits."

    Anyone know any other significant differences?

    ReplyDelete
  99. Anonymous6:32 PM

    Purchased an Explorer in 1984 for $475 used. All and still original, serial # 73029079. Any info about its min. and max. value and what Gibson factory it was produced in is appreciated. Thank you and Happy Holidays

    ReplyDelete
  100. Anonymous8:54 PM

    I have the same explorer that Steve mentioned earlier with the Roland Unit built in. It is a 1985 model.

    Anyone know the approximate value of these?

    ReplyDelete
  101. I have the same explorer that Steve mentioned earlier with the Roland Unit built in. It is a 1985 model.

    Anyone know the approximate value of these?

    ReplyDelete
  102. Anonymous10:45 PM

    I have an explorer that i cannot find in your listing ..

    it has an inkstamp serial number
    bought in early 90's ... gold hardware .. kluson styled machine heads plastic tuner keys .. was ivory colored now yellow and checked beautifully
    rosewood fretboard .. dots
    three in a row knobs

    thank you
    jaymz@metallicatribute.com

    ReplyDelete
  103. Anonymous8:18 AM

    i want to buy a explorer but first i want to know
    if its better than a stratocoaster

    ReplyDelete
  104. I have a Gibson Explorer that is the baddest one I have ever seen.It is a 1985 neck thru body rosewood board.It is black with angled gold stripes.In the stripes are different shades of gold.all the hardware is gold.It has a Khaler or however you spell it.Fulcrum tremello.I have never seen another Explorer with this paint.I have played LesPaul,Jackson,Fender,PRS,and Ibanese.I currently Play a custom Jackson Soloist.I have never played a guitar with better action than my Explorer

    ReplyDelete
  105. Anonymous3:40 PM

    I have a 1983 Explorer Heritage that I purchased brand new. It is solid Korina,gold hardware black straight line bell knobs.Inked serial# 1 0032. It is all original but when the guitar was new I replaced the bridge pickup. I later put the original back. It has a volume pot that is stiff. If I have this fixed, how much might it hurt the value? Thank you for your help

    ReplyDelete
  106. Anonymous1:39 PM

    lets get this strait,for good! 1981-84 korina custom shop logo explorer is not the heritage anniversary model,it's just the explorer korina,wich they made 500,including the candy apple red ones,the 83 heritage 25th anniversary korina re-issue has 8 digit serial #'s no custom shop logo,gold hardware,few with kayler,came in ivory,ebony,and natural,no red,if it has chrome-or gold nobs-or custom shop logo its one of 500 custom shop korinas not the heritage,but some custom shops did not have the logo either,cuse of norlin,kalamazoo-time frame issues,different custom shop that is.if its from 82-84 has three in a row knobs its prob korina though! Cheers Bobbo J.

    ReplyDelete
  107. Anonymous8:12 AM

    I have an 85
    "factory second" the paint was a little jacked so we stripped it down and discovered it was a mohagany body with a maple neck, two humbuckers and a funky kahler vibrato the uses TOM posts. The thing is a real screamer. It now has a satin cherry finish and a raw maple neck.

    ReplyDelete
  108. Anonymous8:46 PM

    I have an "unlisted at Gibson" Ivory to tv yellow explorer and appears to be Korina and or Mahogony from the custom shop. This gem has inline vol/treble w/pup selector on the horn. Rosewood board and had kluson pegs that are gold as all of the hardware. I'm interested in finding out monetary value for it.
    Reading Gibsons web page led me to believe that it is much older than a early 70's model and would like to verify its true identity.
    I have owned this 6 string for almost 23 years and will be crushed to have to part with it. One must answer tuff times.
    The stamps are "in this order"
    Black ink 10071
    Pressed sec
    Considering consignment
    raymondejwitprachtiger@rocketmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  109. Anonymous3:42 PM

    Hi. I have a 1984 Gibson Explorer that I bought several years ago. It's signed by the artist S.S. and is black with yellow swirls...I was told this was part of the Designer Series and that it is called "Twilight Zone."

    However I'm unable to find any info or photos on this particular design! Beautiful guitar but wish I knew more about it. Serial # is 82054541 Is this a one of a kind??

    Please help - what is the resale value of this, min - max?

    ReplyDelete
  110. Anonymous7:46 PM

    For some of you guys wanting to know about serial numbers, generally the 1st and 5th digit on an 8 digit serial number represent the year the guitar was made. For example 83405901 would be a gibson guitar that was made in 1985. This is regular factory run guitars and not custom shop or special run heritage series Gibsons. Gibson started this in the 1970's. Older guitars have a completely different system and with some reasearch those numbers can be dated also. I just bought my first explorer last week and I got to say it has to be the very best playing guitar I ever had, even better than the les paul custom I used to have. Hope my 2 cents help out some of you axe heads out there......T.

    ReplyDelete
  111. i have a gibson explorer with the serial number: 80504503. so as far as i can tell its from 1984, but im having a hell of a time tracking down the specific model.
    its black with chrome hardware, a tune-o-matic bridge, and the knobs are in a straight line.
    two VERY loud humbucker pickups, but i dont know what type specifically - they could have been replaced for all i know.
    i thought these might be the dirty fingers pickups but i read that those always have a gold stamp of "Dirty Fingers" on them - is this the same for the old ones?

    any help would be MUCH appreciated: my band's sound depends on it!
    thanks

    ReplyDelete
  112. Mike, those Gold stamped Dirty Fingers pickups are the new, reissue ones. The originals did NOT have gold or any colour lettering on the front.

    If you can look closely, there MAY be a 'T' embossed on the top of one of the bobbins, alternatively read the serial numbers on the base of the pickups, there may be one stamped into the metal and possibly another number written in black too. Let us know the serial numbers. It sounds like an early 80s oen to me. How heavy is it?

    ReplyDelete
  113. Mike, those Gold stamped Dirty Fingers pickups are the new, reissue ones. The originals did NOT have gold or any colour lettering on the front.

    If you can look closely, there MAY be a 'T' embossed on the top of one of the bobbins, alternatively read the serial numbers on the base of the pickups, there may be one stamped into the metal and possibly another number written in black too. Let us know the serial numbers. It sounds like an early 80s oen to me. How heavy is it?

    ReplyDelete
  114. Mike, those Gold stamped Dirty Fingers pickups are the new, reissue ones. The originals did NOT have gold or any colour lettering on the front.

    If you can look closely, there MAY be a 'T' embossed on the top of one of the bobbins, alternatively read the serial numbers on the base of the pickups, there may be one stamped into the metal and possibly another number written in black too. Let us know the serial numbers. It sounds like an early 80s oen to me. How heavy is it?

    ReplyDelete
  115. Anonymous7:19 PM

    edge made this guitar popular in mainstream rock...not metallica

    ReplyDelete
  116. Anonymous11:45 PM

    Hi
    What happened ?

    Daniel B Sweden

    ReplyDelete
  117. Anonymous10:53 AM

    What does "Custom Shop Edition" mean? It's on an '84, triangle knob pattern explorer. I love my purple wine burst finish, but the clearcoat has cracking all throughout. Any idea on what Gibson charges to refinish?

    ReplyDelete
  118. Hi,
    I really like the Al-2500's because they are made with a bit better materials than the Al-2000 and I like the look of the single white binding on the headstock over the plain head of the Al-2000. What can I say, I appreciate the little details and there is something to me about the binding on the head that just completes the guitar. These are great cheap electric guitars for sal

    guitars for sale cheap
    cheap electric guitars for sale

    ReplyDelete
  119. Anonymous9:13 PM

    Hello I am looking for a Gibson Exp 425 Explorer made from (what I presume) 1985-1986. They are a batch of Explorers that came with all black hardware, 2 single coils and 1 Humbucker, and a kahler bridge, all stock from the factory. I am looking for any leads to one, If somebody who see's this that knows where one is available comment back :D

    ReplyDelete
  120. Anonymous1:42 AM

    Hello,can anyone help with identification please- Gibson Explorer,Serial 01904507.Made in USA,Mahogany Body,Finish Mahogany,Rosewood Neck,Gold hardware,White Pick guard.Price paid $800.As new cond.Many thanks in advance

    ReplyDelete
  121. Hello I have a Gibson Explorer 90. It has a single coil in the neck position and a Humbucker in the bridge position. The Humbucker has a coil splitter wired to the volume knob via a push push method.It has black hardware and a luna silver finish. it also has a locking Trem system marked Gibson than made in Germany by Schaller. Model number is DSXDSLFR2 Serial number is 80489701. Any information on this would be helpfull. It also has a 24 fret neck. Rosewood fretboard. Thanks

    ReplyDelete
  122. I have an ebony 1989 explorer that appears to be a 76 reissue. According to all posted info i can find there are no mahogany dual humbucker 1989 76 reissues. I have one. Never had the neck changed. Did they make a few in 89? Whats the deal?

    ReplyDelete
  123. Have a 1989 ebony mahogany body and neck gibson explorer with chrome hardware. According to everybody there are no 76 reissues made until1990. I have one . Dual humbuckers also. Ive ran the serial no. On thegibson database and it allchecks out. It is a 1989. Is it a special order? Did they sneak out a few 76 reissues in89? Looks just like 84-85 model. Could it be left over from then? What is the deal?

    ReplyDelete
  124. Are there any 1989 explorer76 reissues? I have an ebony mahogany dual humbucker chrome hardware knobs in a line 1989 explorer. Its real and the serial checks out on the gibson database. Did they sneak out a few reissues in89? Custom order? Leftover 84-85 model? What is the deal?

    ReplyDelete
  125. Are there any 1989 explorer76 reissues? I have an ebony mahogany dual humbucker chrome hardware knobs in a line 1989 explorer. Its real and the serial checks out on the gibson database. Did they sneak out a few reissues in89? Custom order? Leftover 84-85 model? What is the deal?

    ReplyDelete
  126. Are there any 1989 explorer76 reissues? I have an ebony mahogany dual humbucker chrome hardware knobs in a line 1989 explorer. Its real and the serial checks out on the gibson database. Did they sneak out a few reissues in89? Custom order? Leftover 84-85 model? What is the deal?

    ReplyDelete
  127. Great info here, Thank you. Very little info on the Designer Series. I have a 84 DS, black w/ gold pinstripping, dirty finger pups, 3 sraight line knobs. Any additional info would be great.. Thank you

    ReplyDelete
  128. Great info here, Thank you. Very little info on the Designer Series. I have a 84 DS, black w gold pinstripping, dirty finger, 3 sraight line knobs. Any additional info would be great.. Thank you

    ReplyDelete
  129. I was wondering if anyone could help me, I have a 1983 Gibson explorer in ivory color, it has gold hardware, two humbuckers, and a white pickguard, I really can't find much info on this guitar and I was wondering if anyone knew about how much it's worth? It's in excellent condition, my dream guitar is a 1984 explorer in white, I thought I could maybe trade someone or sell this one for a white '84 but I don't know if that's possible now, there's two white 84's on ebay right now and they want $5000 dollars for them! Is this really how much an '84 is worth or are these insane over-the-top prices just because james hetfield used to play one?
    thanks!
    -Evan

    ReplyDelete
  130. I have a 83 korina explorer custom shop. It has black pickgaurd. All the other plastic parts are black so is the pickgaurd incorrect

    ReplyDelete