Jump to content

NGD - Vintage Explorer Content!

Josh S

Recommended Posts

  • Members

I've always been pretty into the Edge. I know that's not a cool thing to say around here sometimes, but whatever. Ever since I first saw a picture of his original Explorer I wanted one - but, as you may know, the original 1976 Limited Edition ones are like hen's teeth. 1976 was the first year for the re-issue, and of course the LE version is not the same as the regular... Basically, an actual 1976 LE Explorer is the oldest and most desirable Explorer a person can buy, outside of an actual Korina one from the 50s.



A few months ago, however, I found a busted one on Ebay. It was broken in half at the heel, and missing damn near every bit of the hardware. To some, this would mean it was worthless, but I looked closely at the pictures of the neck joint and thought it looked like an easy fix. It wasn't so much broken as un-glued - a very strange break, but obviously repairable. So - I won the auction, brought 'er home, and let my guitar tech go at 'er. Here's what he came up with:




Isn't that great? :love: It turned out beautifully. The Limited Edition explorers have what some say are the biggest necks Gibson ever made - and it's true, it's a serious handfull - which served it well when it was put back together. My tech literally didn't have to tweak the truss rod. Glued it back and it was ready to rock! Words cannot describe the feel of this guitar - super resonant, light, and warm.




As for the electronics, I've had mid-70s Gibsons before and frankly I am not a fan of T-tops and the like. I was perfectly happy to slap in some Bareknuckle pickups. For those of you who have never tried Tim's stuff, I strongly suggest it. I've had some of his tele pickups before and loved them, but never the humbuckers. When I emailed, Tim emailed me right back and suggested a Mule in the neck and a Riff Raff in the bridge, as that's what he has in his own explorer... And he wasn't wrong. The blended position is especially amazing, the bridge twangs like a tele, and the neck pickup sounds incredible. I've never had a humbucker that sounded so good clean before. Into one of my Hiwatts (the '77 :thu:) this guitar sounds like a million bucks :D




Other than that, the wiring and pots and things are all RS Guitarworks, the pickguard I had to have made, etc. I don't like gold hardware anyway, so I was glad of the opportunity to put in silver stuff without technically taking apart a classic guitar. It took quite a while to get all the bits together. One interesting thing is that, unlike with most Gibsons you can buy, I've seen this one with the neck off - so not only have I seen the nice long tenon, I've also seen the actual neck date: May 12th, 1976. I'm so happy this instrument came back from the dead. She's a player - but man, what a player. In the words of a Canadian band, it was a long time coming but well worth the wait!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

Thanks for the comments guys! It is pretty rad - and yes, my tech is damn good at what he does. He brought my Bill Lewis back from the dead in a great way a while back, so I knew he could do it.


Here's a couple of before pics. You might be able to get some idea of the size of the neck from these... It is obscenely large. I like big necks, and happily play an R4 Custom Les Paul (considered to have a huge neck) all the time - and this Explorer dwarfs it.





Link to comment
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Create New...