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 07/20/2011

Gibson Explorer '76 Reissue : tjon901's user review

« 76 Reissue Explorer in a rare finish »

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Everyone is familiar with the Explorer shape. It has been popular since it was first reissued in 1976. They were first sold in the late 50s as part of Gibsons Futuristic line. The design was too radical for the time and did not sell well. It was first reissued in 1976 where it instantly became popular. Then in the early 90s where was a reissue of the 76 reissue and that is the guitar still made today. The Tabacco Sunburst finish is one of the rarer finishes from the 1976 reissue. Most of the guitars came in the standard red, white and black. The sunburst finish looks especially cool on this guitar since the body is so big. They have 22 frets on a mahogany neck with a rosewood fretboard. The body is mahogany as well 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. It has a pickguard that contains the switch and covers all the routing for the wires.


The Explorer is a pretty easy playing guitar. They usually have nice 60s profile necks which are not super large. The shape allows you to get at all the frets very easily. The radical shape gives the guitar perfect balance when playing sitting or standing. Which this shape however you cant really lean the guitar on anything. You will need a stand or a case. And if you get a case it will have to be an Explorer case because this guitar wont just fit in any case.


Any good Explorer will have a huge tone. Explorers have more of a Les Paul tone than Les Pauls do nowadays thanks to chambering. The big wide mahogany body gives you a super fat tone that you want with a Gibson. With the uncovered pickups you really get more bite on the tone than you would with the covers on. These are pretty generic Gibson pickups so they are decent but not really great at anything. If you put a set of Seymour Duncans in this guitar you could really take advantage of the huge natural tone this guitar has. EMG's would do the same if you are looking for a purely metal sound.


Many people get tired of guitars coming in the same colors. Black, white and red over and over again. It is nice that Gibson is putting out a reissue with some of the more unique colors that they put out in the 70s. The 70s is probably my favorite era for guitar making. The big companies were still trying to innovate unlike now where they are just bending over to traditionalists. If you are looking for an Explorer that comes in a color other than black, white or red this is probably the cheapest one that isnt. Any others will probably be signature models.