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Gibson Bill Kelliher Golden Axe Explorer Electric Guitar with Case

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Product Description

The Gibson Bill Kelliher Golden Axe Explorer Electric Guitar is a blend of absolutely mammoth tone, slick feel and unique, classic looks to meet the needs of Mastodon’s guitarist, Bill Kelliher! With powerful LACE Nitro Hemi humbucking pickups and classic hardware, the Golden Axe Explorer is a guitar befitting Kelliher’s status in the world of metal. Trapezoid fingerboard inlays, gold-plated hardware, cream pickguard with hot-stamped Mastodon logo, and cream binding complete this stunning package.

When your tone’s as massive as that of Mastodon’s Bill Kelliher, you need a guitar power to match it. For both looks and sound, the iconic Gibson Explorer is a perfect fit! The Explorer is a radically angled electric that was light-years ahead of its time when it was introduced in 1958, and it’s still the first choice of many of the world’s fiercest rockers.

Gibson Bill Kelliher Golden Axe Explorer Guitar Features

  • Mahogany body and neck with a slim Explorer profile
  • Two powerful LACE Nitro Hemi humbuckers
  • A hot-stamped Golden Axe truss-rod cover
  • Bill’s choice of Go-Gold Burst finish in high-gloss nitrocellulose lacquer
  • Cream body and fingerboard binding
Body and Neck
Mahogany has a long history as a tonewood with Gibson, and it provides the perfect core for the Bill Kelliher Golden Axe Explorer. Crafted from solid, unchambered mahogany, the Explorer-style body yields plenty of richness and depth, along with excellent sustain. The solid mahogany neck is carved to Bill’s preference of slim Explorer profile, and topped with a solid rosewood fingerboard with 22 medium-jumbo frets and a PLEK-cut Corian nut.

Pickups and Electronics
Bill Kelliher demands the utmost in power and versatility from his pickups, which is why his Golden Axe signature Explorer is equipped with two powerful LACE Nitro Hemi humbuckers. These extremely powerful contemporary humbuckers excel at high-gain metal tones, with thumping lows and punchy, aggressive mids, yet retain outstanding clarity and sweet, bell-like highs.

As a bonus, they are wired for coil-splitting to provide authentic single-coil tones, which can be used individually or in several combinations via a traditional three-way selector switch. A push-pull switch on the master volume control splits the bridge pickup, while the master tone’s switching splits the neck pickup.

Hardware
Ever since their introduction in 1954, Gibson’s Tune-o-matic bridge and stopbar tailpiece have been acclaimed for their perfect marriage of solid sustain and efficient intonation. These classics answer the call perfectly on the Bill Kelliher Golden Axe Explorer, along with a set of high-quality Grover Mini tuners. All hardware, along with the strap buttons and pickup covers, is plated in gold.

Helpful Info about the Manufacturer
Phone:  800-444-2766 Warranty:  Limited Lifetime
Rich T. from Michigan, U.S.A.
Rating
General
Quality
Feel
Tone
Finish
Value
Playability
Subject
Nicest Explorer ever produced
General
What is your overall opinion of this product?
Beautiful guitar, limited production run, and a Gibson? Nothing more to say!
Quality
What is your opinion of the quality of this product? How does it work for different genres of music?
I bought this Explorer with the purpose of gigging with it however now that I have it in hand I'm afraid to bring it out of the house for fear that something bad will happen to it. Its a stunning guitar and sounds great either clean or dirty.
Feel
Heavy, fast, chunky? How was the neck? Are the controls easy to get to while playing?
I have a smaller hand and this neck it perfect for me. It's not the typical Explorer scale neck that is much fatter and chunkier. The position of the three way switch is a bonus as well as the volume control moved from the traditional middle position to the front knob. Much easier to switch pups and turn up or down.
Tone
How is the tone? Bright and snappy? Dark and smooth? Were the pickups hot, mellow, thick or thin?
Pickups are super hot but still have a great clean sound when needed. I play all types of music from classic rock to hard rock to easy listening to funk. These pickups sound great for everything I play.
Finish
How did the stain or paint job look?
I bought this as a 'blemished' item with a substantial amount off of the retail price. With a guaranteed 45-day return policy I really had nothing to lose, especially with an out-of-production guitar that I could not find anywhere locally. When I got it I was pleasantly surprised to have to REALLY look the guitar over to find the blemishes, which turned out to be two extremely tiny marks on the black painted back edge of the bottom. For the amount I saved and the 'blemishes' I found I couldn't be happier.
Value
Did you get what you were expecting for the price? How does it compare to similar products in the same price range?
For the price I paid (discounted for 'blemish') I got a great deal. It was less than the going retail price of a regular issue Explorer, let alone a signature model with limited production numbers.
Playability
How was the action out of the box?
Can't answer this one seeing as I took it to my set up guy before I even got it home. He did a very minor adjustment to the saddle and it didn't appear as if anything major was out of whack.
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