After its short but noteworthy premier in 1958, the Gibson Explorer went out of production until the mid-'70s. Gibson changed the Explorer design in 1981 to include uncovered "Dirty Fingers" humbuckers, a maple neck with Ebony fingerboard, and chrome-plated hardware. In mid-1984, Gibson started offering a wide range of custom and artist colors and designs. Also in this year, the placement of the pickup selector and control knobs changed. 

Years of Production: 
1958-59, 1975 - present

Unique to this Era: Placement of control knobs and pickup selector changes in 1984. Also in 1984, Gibson offers new artist-designed finishes and an optional roller drum vibrato system.

Body Style: Angled solidbody

Wood Composition: Mahogany body, Maple neck, Ebony fingerboard

Design Elements: Dual uncovered "Dirty Fingers" humbuckers, two volume and one tone control, roller drum vibrato tailpiece

Finish Specification: Gibson offered a number of custom designs and colors starting in 1984.  

Notable Players: The Edge, Billy Gibbons, James Hetfield 

Product Specs

  • Explorer
  • Camouflage
  • Ebony
  • Ferrari Red
  • Natural
  • Sunburst
  • White
  • 1984 - 1989
Made In
  • United States

From the Price Guide