The Gibson Explorer is instantly recognizable and completely unequalled in the world of unconventional guitar designs. The Explorer design is copied by some - but our Special Sale price makes this the perfect time to own the real thing - while they last. More aggressive than ordinary single or double cutaway guitar designs, the Explorer's look is almost dangerous.
The original Explorer of 1958 was more radically modernistic than its famous cousin, the Flying V. Musicians finally caught up with the Explorer in 1976, and today's Explorer revives the first reissue. Features include Gibson 496R and 500T ceramic humbuckers, a mahogany body with a rounded mahogany neck and a rosewood fingerboard, and a Tune-o-matic bridge with a Stop Bar tailpiece. This Natural finish version features the fine detail of gold hardware. Includes hardshell case.
In 1958 At the Hop by Danny and the Juniors topped the radio and record charts for 7 straight weeks, surpassing two other monster hits that year - The Purple People Eater by Sheb Wooley and The Chipmunk Song by, of course, The Chipmunks. In that same year Gibson's Ted McCarty met a challenge from rival Leo Fender and introduced three revolutionary, highly stylized solidbody electric guitars-the Explorer, the fabled lost Moderne, and the Flying V.
The 496R is a smokin’ neck pickup with incredible sustain and cutting power. You’ll be amazed how the high-output ceramic magnet adds more highs with increased definition and no muddiness.
The 500T is built to deliver the no-holds-barred, in-your-face hard rock licks you want. The powerful multi-ceramic magnet structure enables this monster to cover lots of territory. It can scream or growl — never losing its rich combination of enhanced lows and crystal clear highs.
Gibson Designer Series Guitars
The Designer Series represents a complete break from traditional guitar design - a conscious, concerted effort by Gibson president Ted McCarty to erase Gibson's image as a stodgy, old company.
McCarty planned to silence the critics once and for all by designing the most radical looking guitars that Gibson or anyone else had ever made. The advent of the solidbody electric guitar had made the shape of a guitar body immaterial to its sound, but guitarmakers still used the traditional guitar shape, with its rounded lower bout, as a starting point for solidbody design. McCarty, an engineer by training, threw that tradition out the window and started from scratch. He drew up three new guitar models with angular body shapes - shapes that had no roots in guitar history, shapes that captured the revolutionary spirit of rock and roll music.
Gibson unveiled the Flying V, Explorer and Moderne at the 1958 NAMM (National Association of Music Merchants) trade show, where they were all too successful in shocking the industry. They were too futuristic for even the rock and rollers of 1958, most of whom still played hollowbody electrics. Production was extremely limited and original Flying Vs and Explorers are now among the most prized collectibles (the Moderne never made it into production).
With the Flying V and Explorer having blazed a trail to a new level of guitar design, Gibson's next solidbody, the SG, found easy acceptance. The ultra-thin, double-cutaway body with sharply pointed horns debuted in 1961 as a revamped Les Paul model. In 1963 it was renamed SG - for Solid Guitar.
In the meantime, Gibson had introduced another new concept - doubleneck guitars with an unusual hollowbody construction (with no soundholes in the top), which gave them an unwieldy size and weight. The more streamlined SG body style was better suited for the doublenecks, and they switched to the SG style in 1962. Like the new solidbodies of 1958, the doublenecks found only a small market and they went out of production in 1968. The most popular style, the EDS-1275 6-string/12-string returned by popular demand in 1977.
Still determined to push the limits of guitar design, McCarty asked automotive designer Ray Dietrich to try his hand at a guitar. Dietrich reversed conventional design, putting the longest body horn on the treble side and all the tuners on the treble side, and he made the neck and body a single piece (a variation on a concept championed by Orville Gibson himself in his 1898 patent). The Firebirds debuted in 1963 but met with only moderate success before the body shape was revamped into a non-reverse style in 1965. Various Firebird revivals appeared over the next 25 years, until the Firebird returned to regular production in 1990.
Thanks to these models, Gibson gained a new reputation by the mid-'60s as a leading-edge force in the design of solidbody electric guitars - a reputation carried on by today's Designer Series models.
American Musical Supply - an Authorized Gibson Internet Retailer
AmericanMusical.com has been selected as one of Gibson's very few Authorized Internet Retail Sites in the United States.
As one of these select few Internet sites, AMS offers an unparalleled selection of all of Gibson’s premium brands, all
covered by Gibson’s Limited Lifetime Warranty – only available from Authorized Gibson retailers.
Gibson is recognized as one of the most respected guitar builders in the world. AMS is proud to have a decades-long history
with them and honored that Gibson has chosen us to bring their world-class instruments to you. Look for more new product
announcements, special events and promotions in the coming months.
Gibson - Pure.