Gibson Explorer Gothic
Gibson Explorer Gothic

Explorer Gothic, V/XPL/FB Shaped Guitar from Gibson in the Explorer series.

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All user reviews for the Gibson Explorer Gothic

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Average Score:4.5( 4.5/5 based on 6 reviews )
 3 reviews50 %
 3 reviews50 %
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King Loudness09/02/2011

King Loudness's review"None more black"

Gibson Explorer Gothic
The Gibson Goth Explorer was designed by Gibson about 15 years ago as a more "gothic" looking guitar to appeal to the metal crowd of the late nineties and early part of the 2000s. It features all the standard specs of an Explorer guitar but in a satin flat black finish and with black hardware, an ebony fretboard with only one inlay at the twelfth fret and a pair of uber hot Gibson 496R and 500T humbuckers. They were built in the USA plant along with the other Gibson guitars and the standard specs of mahogany body and neck, 22 frets, tune-o-matic bridge with stopbar tailpiece and the typical Explorer control layout are just like the famed '76 reissue.


The Explorer isn't the most ergonomic guitar on the planet in general due to the fact that its shape is a bit on the large and somewhat ungainly side and can be difficult for smaller players to deal with. Considering that the Goth model is the same as a '76 reissue shape wise, it's really no different in the ergonomics department. It retains a very similar medium range weight too. The upper fret access is decent on these guitars, but not nearly as good as some other Gibsons like the Flying V or SG.

Getting a good sound out of this guitar is decent if you're a hard rock or metal player. Due to the higher output pickups and general nature they have in conjunction with the mahogany body, I found that the best tones out of this particular guitar were through a high gain amplifier playing heavier rock and metal rhythms and some leads. The Goth doesn't quite have the definition and dynamics that I would like for clean and lower gain tones as much though they're not terrible by any means.


The Gibson Goth Explorer is a guitar that I figured would sound best for hard rock or metal stylings based on its looks and I certainly wasn't led down the wrong path. Though in all honesty the guitar isn't THAT dissimilar to a '76 reissue, I still find that cleaner and lower gain tones are not the strong suite of this guitar. The hotter Gibson pickups combined with the all mahogany construction and ebony fretboard give a brighter and more metallic sound than the regular model that is apt for tighter tones with high gain rigs. The neck pickup has great sustain that works well for lead work in the shred vein, and the bridge pickup is great for chugging rhythms as well as more staccato based lead work with lots of screaming harmonics and overtones.


All in all the Gibson Goth is a decent buy for someone who is looking for a Gibson Explorer that is just that extra bit "heavier." Though it's really not dissimilar to the regular '76 reissue aside from the ebony fretboard, it has a certain quality to it that makes it more ideal for the heavier stylings of the day. Given that that was Gibson's intent with the line, I'd say they did a great job. Gibson has since discontinued the Goth series but you can pick one up used on eBay for a decent price if you look around.

MGR/daveb's review"Gibson Gothic Explorer"

Gibson Explorer Gothic
Color: Black. Very Black. Damn Black. No shiney black. Flat Black. It's black. Orville Gibson makes an ghostly appearance on the back of the neck. Like he's watching you fret. Finger board is ebony with a sun/moon at the 12th fret. Neck is 22 fret not clubby at all! Super smooth Gotoh tuners. Mahogany body with that coo coo crazy explorer body shape. Neck and body heal joint is solid and it's easy to access them upper frets while you get your inner Schenker on! Hardware is black! Pickups are the Alnico 490/500 and are toneful.

found this goth girl hanging by her neck way down in the basement at Piano's N Stuff, north of Pittsburgh. I paid $600.00 American dollars to take her home and abuse her. Sometimes she lays quietly under our bed...... in a case.......

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I like flat black finishes. Fun fact! Your oily skin will make the flat finish shiny. To reverse this mockery of justice, take some really, really fine steel wool and lightly buff it back to it's beautiful flat finish. Say it with me: 'Really, really fine steel wool'. It balances well when strapped around your neck and shoulder. Not heavy in the head. Can be played while in the sitting position. The tone is very rockin' but cleans up well too. It will never be mistaken for a Strat or an acoustic but that's not why you bought this rascal is it? The notes articulate like a Henry Rollins rant even in HIGH GAIN situations. And I like that people at gigs say things like 'Hey. Explorer' and other profound things like that in it's presence.

Could the case be any bigger and more cumbersome. I submit to you that, no, it could not! It's big. And cumbersome. Oh, and one time the lock on the case reset itself as if by magic. Lucky for me, my wife is good at picking locks. Don't judge me! Had to get on that internet thing to find out how to reset the lock....... once it was open. So when you get your Gibson case lock where you want it, I suggest that you slip a little bread wrapper twisty thing along the tumblers to keep it just where you want it. Or, call my wife to pick it.

Built just like a Gibson. Set neck! Great action. Good tone. Quality at every turn.

These are no longer in production. Great used find though. Sturdy ax for a rocker. You will feel strange playing 'Brown Eyed Girl' with it. Built for 'Living Dead Girl'

This review was originally published on

moosers's review

Gibson Explorer Gothic
The Gibson Explorer Gothic is a limited edition electric guitar. A number of years ago Gibson put out a number of different Gothic style guitars, including this one, an SG, and a Les Paul. As far as I know, it is pretty similar if not the same in make up to a normal Explorer. It has two humbucker pick ups with the traditional pick up selector switch and knobs for tone and volume.


Playing and using the Gibson Explorer Gothic is definitely a fun thing to do. As far as getting your tones, as long as you understand how to work any electric guitar, you won't face a problem with this one as it is pretty standard. It is easy to play all around the neck, with the very upper notes not being a problem at all to reach. The weight of the guitar is little bit heavier than average, but it isn't too heavy to carry around or anything like that. It has the classic Explorer body and look, matched with the all black Gothic colors.


In terms of sound quality, the Gibson Explorer Gothic absolutely sounds like your classic Explorer. It has a very thick sound, as the humbucker pick ups give it an overall fat signal. You've got a good amount of control and versatility as the bridge and neck pick ups have nice contrasting tones. I've used the Gibson Explorer Gothic edition with a Fender Hot Rod Deville amp, without any effects, for a few different recording sessions. While the look will indicate that this guitar should be used for metal and heavy rock, it definitely has the capabilities to extend beyond these genres.


Like all of the Gibson Gothic edition guitars, the Explorer Gothic is no longer being made. I don't think that I would recommend this version of the Explorer over any other, as it is pretty much the same guitar in a different look, as far as I can tell. The price of a used one of these will be priced somewhere in the middle, as these aren't the most readily available guitars since they are no longer made. If you're a fan of Explorers or are looking to get one in general, the Gothic edition is like your normal Explorer, worth researching and playing to see if it will work for what you're looking for.

MGR/aaron's review"Epiphone Gothic Explorer"

Gibson Explorer Gothic
i decided it was about time i purchased me an electric guitar after playing a classical for 6 mths. i had always wanted an explorer so i thought i would go to the rock shop (new zealand) and get one. it was NZD$999.

its extreme shape is awesome, i have heard people say it is uncomfortable to play while sitting down but it seems allright.
its clean tone is good and its distorted sound is awesome.the 12th fret marked X11 also looks pretty cool.

it isnt as good as what some other guitars might be for solos up on the 21st, 22nd fret as the scoop out goes to about the 19th fret but it still does the job.

it is solidly constructed, not to heavy, not to light. it has a powerfull sound, i think it is ideal for any rythym guitarist.
people have sad its clean tone is not the best but it is really ok, if u want 2 hear an explorers clean sound listen to metallica's "one" or "the call of ktulu".
(obviously metallica's James Hetfield would use an explorer of higher quality, maybe gibson or esp) but the sound is still very similar.

i think this is a great guitar, like i say not as good as a gibson but it isnt to far away. the LTD explorer is the same price but i listened to them both and the epiphone sounds a bit better i must say. but it all comes down to presonal preference at the end of the day. (no rhyme intended).

This review was originally published on
MGR/Jerry Siczlak07/28/2002

MGR/Jerry Siczlak's review"Gibson Gothic Explorer"

Gibson Explorer Gothic
I purchased this guitar via an online music store, and paid 769.00 new with Gibson hardshell case. I purchased this guitar because of its killer looks, Gibson reputation (I also own a Les Paul) and design.

This guitar probably has the thickest sound of any produciton guitar on the market. Excellent tone, sustain, and playability. The neck is similar to that of a Les Paul, and the balance is perfect. It is advertised as "excellent for death metal and goth metal", and that is an understatement. The satin black finish is great, and probably resists scrathes and scuffs better than regular guitar finishes. The case is of the highest quality construction, and comes with a soft blanket that covers the instrument while in the case. Combination lock too.

The construction and quality are typical of a Gibson instrument... flawless.

If you are considering purchasing the gothic Explorer, it will be a great investment. Thick sound, great looks, fast neck and solid construction, this guitar sounds and plays as good as it looks.

This review was originally published on

grinchisator's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)

Gibson Explorer Gothic
Manufactures in the United States
Channel key al bne 22 frets, fairly round
Gibson 496R Humbucker cramique (neck), 500T (bridge)
Tune-O-Matic Stop Bar more
Cellulose varnish Gibson, ch ... super fragile!
Good finish, guitar trs simple, basic, is that the ncessaire


The handle ...
In fact that's a that I bought. I tried it in my favorite store of the era, not even to buy a guitar but effects. This is when I got home I had the feeling for a few hours of an instrument that I found enjoyable, and above all a round particles that suited me. The week after I returned to look for ...
Access in sharp, well it's an explosion, then it is Obviously ais. With still the junction body / neck Gibson a little rustic.
Ergonomically it's my view on top. I love the shape, mass rpartition is perfect, easy to play sitting down, it rings without being dej branch. pnible only thing: the mcaniques trs are closer, which ncessite a little practice and finger during the tuning.
The sound with the humbuckers Gibson trs is good, but despite its prsentation is an explorer, then type of course and not hard-rock mtal, it is not in Jackson. It all gets a bit mushy to work with large saturation trs.


As I play mtal, mostly heavy and death, I did it with 2 EMG 81 teams and it's perfect. I plugged into the line 6 (guitar pod xt pro or port) and a good qualisation in the patch is that of happiness. The EMG give the precision of o Gibson missed, and we may have a clear trs full, rounded and classy and sounds enrmes dchirent saturation in all. This is a guitar that in all cases "rumbles". It has of course a big hollow voice and sharp-edged, not sustain a monstrous mdium with a mild and balanced.


I have since 2001. it's a great guitar, as I think all explore if you like that kind of instrument. but be careful it does not support be plugged into the stew. So it is better to shop around before buying any amp or another. I redcouverte since I quip in Line6, before I plugged in an AVT 50 (or beuaeuaeuark I know and I think ended up selling it. I paid a little less than 10,000 francs in his magnificent toupee fuschia tui (thank you Gibson had to dare) and it will m'incinrer with.
100000 times I do it again the same choice can be specially not in a gothic dress, another I liked as much exploring. But when you get to pay attention to the varnish finish is sublime.