Gibson Explorer 1958 - 1963
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Gibson Explorer

Gibson Explorer

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The Explorer and its counterpart the Flying V were first built by Gibson as ultra-modern design concepts the late-'50s . A third guitar known as the Moderne was designed concurrently but never made it out of the prototype stage. Original Flying Vs and Explorers from this era were produced in extremely limited numbers using Korina as the body wood, and intact examples rank as the most valuable production guitars on the vintage market.  

The Explorer was initially designed in 1957 and with fewer than 50 total guitars shipping from the factory in 1958 and 1959.  Several more examples were completed using parts from these years and shipped as late as 1963, though the specifics of these details remain subject to debate within the vintage Gibson collector community. 

Original explorers made out of Korina wood come to market very infrequently and pricing is extremely case-by-case depending on provenance and originality.

While the Explorer's Designer sibling, the Flying V, would be reissued in 1966, the Explorer would have to wait until 1975 for its second chance at commercial success. 

Design Elements: Two PAF humbuckers, tune-o-matic bridge, stopbar tailpiece, 

Wood Composition: Korina body 

Notable Explorer Players: The Edge, Rick Nielsen

Product Specs

  • Explorer
  • Natural
  • 1958 - 1963
Made In
  • United States
Body Material
  • Korina
Body Shape
  • X-Style
Body Type
  • Solid Body
Bridge/Tailpiece Type
  • Stop-Bar
Color Family
  • Tan
Fretboard Material
  • Rosewood
Model Family
  • Gibson Explorer
Number of Frets
  • 22
Number of Strings
  • 6-String
Offset Body
  • Yes
Pickup Configuration
  • HH
Product Family
Right / Left Handed
  • Right Handed
Scale Length
  • 24.75"

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