top of page

Gibson Explorer 1958

Masking Tape.png

1958-1963 Kalamazoo

BODY:
Wood: Slab Afrikan Limba (Korina)
Binding: None
Top Wood: None
Body Shape: Offset Angular
Lacquer: Clear Lacquer
Finish: Nitrocellulose
 
NECK:
Neck Wood: Indian Limba
Headstock Shape: Hockey Stick (two are known to have V-Shape)
Nut: Nylon (Molded)
Binding: None /
Headstock Logo: Ivory Gibson + Crown Inlay
Serial: Black Ink stamped / 5 Digit (8-XXXX) (Some had press stamp)
Fretboard Material: Indian Rosewood
Inlay: Celluloid Dot inlay
Neck Lacquer: Clear natural Nitrocellulose
Neck Profile: Rounded "C"
Nut Width: 1 11/16" (43 mm)
Scale: 24.75" (628.65mm)
Radius: 12"
#Frets: 22
OG Fretwire: Unknown
Trussrod: Standard Headstock
Bolt-On Type: Glued Set-Neck

HARDWARE:
Bridge Type: Gold-plated ABR Bridge (No Wire) (Few had Bigsby)
Tailpiece: Gold-plated Stop Tailpiece
Saddles: Nickel-plated Brass
Tuners: Kluson Double Line (Dual ring) Green Keystone Buttons

PLASTIC:
Knobs: Gold transparent Bell Knobs
Pickguard: White 3-Ply Wide Bevel / 8-screw
Back Cover: Brown Plastic / 2-Screw (Some have no back cover for Switch)
Trussrod Cover: Bellshape White with BlackTop Ply
Jack Cover: None (on front)

ELECTRONICS:
Switch: 3-Way Switchcraft
Pickup Config: HH
Wiring: Standard: 2 Volume / 1 Tone
Capacitor: Unknown
Pots: 3X 500k Centralab
Neck Pickup: P.A.F Humbuckers w/ Gold Cover (Alnico V)
Bridge Pickup: P.A.F Humbuckers w/ Gold Cover (Alnico V)

The Explorer was an idea by Ted McCarty to build a more futuristic and modern guitar. The Explorer and its similar sister model "The Flying V" was showcased at the 1957 NAMM and introduced for sale in 1958.
The prototype was built in Mahogany, but was too heavy and was discarded. They use African Limba wood that was significant lighter in weight instead. The word "Korina" is just a marketing term Gibson invented to simplify the name of the wood.
At the time, the design was too radical and sold very little and was discontinued in 1963 from their catalog, although only 1958-59 where the year they were made
Only 19 Explorers were shipped in 1958 and only 3 were shipped in 1959 with gold hardware. In 1963, a small amount made with leftover parts were assembled and shipped with standard nickel parts.
After Rock and Metal music came and took off, the Flying V and Explorers has since been a staple within that field of music. And both models were introduced. First Flying V in 1967 (Probably because Jimi Hendrix played one) and the Explorer almost ten years later in 1976. And they are still made today.
The first run Explorers and Flying V's are one of the highest ranked of the most valuable and collectable guitars in the world. Fetching as much as $300.000 for the best condition ones, mainly because they were produced in so few numbers. Most serials are cataloged for existence on record.
You can say that these were ahead of their time when released.
Original case was brown rectangular with pink lining. Later cases were black.

Gibson Explorer 1958

COLORS:

Natural

bottom of page