Gibson Explorer '76 Reissue
Gibson Explorer '76 Reissue

Explorer '76 Reissue, V/XPL/FB Shaped Guitar from Gibson in the Explorer series.

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tjon901 05/16/2011

Gibson Explorer '76 Reissue : tjon901's user review

« Gibsons classic radical guitar »

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Everybody has to have an Explorer in their collection and if you are going to have one why not go with the original. In the late 50s Gibson decided to start a line of more radical looking guitars. Gibson first started selling Explorers in 1958 and their design was way too radical for the time so they were discontinued a year later. In 1976 Gibson started the first reissue of the original 1958 design and now today Gibson is selling reissues of the reissues. Gibson has been producing the '76 reissue Explorer since 1990. Many people say the '76 reissues are better than the original Explorers put out in 1976. The first 50s models were made from Korina wood these are the classic yellow looking Gibsons you have seen. When they first started reissuing them they were made out of Mahogany like most Gibsons and today thats how they are made still. They have 22 frets on a mahogany neck with a rosewood fretboard. Two humbucking pickups which are a Gibsons own 496R and 500T models. Two volume and one master tone control with a 3 way toggle switch pickup selector.


Early 50s Gibsons had huge necks. Today people refer to them as the "baseball" bat necks. In the 60s Gibson switched to slimmer neck design. The Explorer today has that 60s design. The 60s Gibson neck profile is one of their most popular. The upper frets are easy to reach because of the Explorers design. The radical shape actually gives the guitar a perfect balance for playing while standing up. The neck will come to rest at a perfect angle due to the large body acting as a counter weight.


Gibsons are known for their warm humbucking tones and the Explorer is no different. No matter how cold it is outside the Explorer always sounds warm. The Explorer is made from a huge piece of solid mahogany and you can really hear it. The Explorers pickups come from the factory with the covers removed. Guitarists in the 70s found that if you removed the covers from humbuckers you could get a little more bite in your sound so Gibson decided to do it from the factory for the players. The Explorer sounds like what every Gibson should sound like.


The Gibson Explorer sounds huge, feels huge and is large and in charge. The design was ahead of its time in the 50s but in the 70s it was just right for the music and players of the time. People may look for the Gibson tone in just Les Pauls but the Explorer can deliver it too. With Gibson starting to chamber its Les Pauls the Explorer may be the way to go if you are looking for a really solid piece of mahogany to get tone from.