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What years did Gibson reissue Korina Explorers?


Stu-bud
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I never saw any korina guitars until 82 and they didn't stay around for very long. The dates I've seen on the backs of pickups in the korina Heritage series has been 82, 83, and possibly 84. I believe they started making them again in 75 or 76 but they were regular mahogany until about 79. The maple and walnut ones came out in 1980 maybe. They have been making runs of the mahogany ones off and on since then

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1982 is consistent with what I believed to be the year of the Korina Explorer I just bought. It arrived last Saturday. It is a very nice guitar. Very straight, perfect (fat) neck, plays like butter. Frets are perfect. I took it to the guitar doctor and as far as we can tell, the only reason this guitar was a reject and sawed in 3 pieces is the trim of the wood on the headstock; it's off by 1/4 inch or so.

 

KorinaExplorer_zps99820ed8.jpg

ExplorerHeadstock_zps13818a02.jpg

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1976.

 

From Ian C. Bishop's 1979 book "The Gibson Guitar from 1950 volume 2";

 

"The 1976 Limited Edition of the Explorer was to have been produced in korina as were the original guitars. After purchase of the necessary timber it was discovered that much of this would not be of a sufficiently good quality to pass the stringent quality controls, and only good enough timber remained to produce a very small proportion of the proposed edition. I am told that in fact only 38 were made in korina and the bulk of the production was in mahogany. A few 1976 Explorers were also finished in black."

 

There was a korina '76 in London's 'Vintage and Rare' a year or so ago.

It was priced reasonably enough but some genius had swapped out most of the electronics and had replaced the white p'g with one made from a sheet of brass.............](*,)

 

Where'd they get the neck?

I'm not terribly au fait with the '82 run. Did they all come with a bound 'board?

 

P.

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1982 is consistent with what I believed to be the year of the Korina Explorer I just bought. It arrived last Saturday. It is a very nice guitar. Very straight, perfect (fat) neck, plays like butter. Frets are perfect. I took it to the guitar doctor and as far as we can tell, the only reason this guitar was a reject and sawed in 3 pieces is the trim of the wood on the headstock; it's off by 1/4 inch or so.

 

KorinaExplorer_zps99820ed8.jpg

ExplorerHeadstock_zps13818a02.jpg

 

The headstock on my 79 mahogany Explorer is clearly different as far as tuner placement and bushing style.

 

8431136897_ab29eb96a8.jpg

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So...who got the parts out and put it together?

Where'd they get the neck?

Can a guitar like that even have a serial number?

 

rct

 

The information I have is that a Gibson employee/tech put it together. The neck is all Korina, and I think already glued onto the body when it was cut. Gibson cut a small notch out of the rear of the neck (in addition to sawing the body in 3); the notch was very nicely filled with mahogany, you cannot feel a thing.

On the back of the headstock is a Gibson Custom Shop insignia (?). There is no serial number.

 

ExplorerNeck_zps4862c99d.jpg

ExplorerHeadstock_zps5c6f4bc6.jpg

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...

I'm not terribly au fait with the '82 run. Did they all come with a bound 'board?

 

P.

Don't know if all the fretboards came bound, but those I saw at a dealer in Munich around 1982/1983 did. These axes simply looked awesome with their uncoloured high-gloss finish. Damn - should have had the money to buy one then... :(

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I've been to two of the three American Guitar Makers. They are just short of paranoid about their trash, them days of the Charvel/Jackson guys taking stuff out of Fender dumpsters were short and long ago. I've never met anyone with a dumpster guitar. I don't want to talk about him like he is not in the room, but man I hope that guy didn't pay a lot for that thing!

 

rct

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I've been to two of the three American Guitar Makers. They are just short of paranoid about their trash, them days of the Charvel/Jackson guys taking stuff out of Fender dumpsters were short and long ago. I've never met anyone with a dumpster guitar. I don't want to talk about him like he is not in the room, but man I hope that guy didn't pay a lot for that thing!

 

rct

 

No, I didn't pay alot for it.

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I'm still intrigued by the neck...

 

Look at this and think about the implications of that 'V' patch for a second;

 

ExplorerNeck_zps4862c99d.jpg

 

Ok...as we already know; the guitar was considered to be rubbish and was chopped up.

 

But the neck, to state the bleeding obvious, was bound AFTER the instrument had been 'destroyed'!

Judging by the size and positioning of the cut it seems that the truss-rod was already installed - otherwise I suspect the neck would have been sliced all the way through.

I'd really like to see what the fingerboard looks like at around the 5th fret.

Was the neck cut before the 'board was attached or is the 'board also repaired? Or was a replacement 'board glued in place because the original was ruined? In which case it would need to be re-fretted - and re-bound...

And goodness knows I'm no expert on Explorers but the woodwork on the treble-side of the peghead (and rear) doesn't look quite 'first-rate' to me either.

 

Yet, clearly, someone thought this guitar was worth saving and they spent a considerable amount of their time to finish it as best they could in the circumstances.

It would probably have taken more man-hours to repair this 'reject' than it would to make a new guitar from scratch!

 

I'd be more than happy to have it, dumpster-guitar or not.

I'd love to know the story behind it. It's had a far more interesting 'gestation' than most guitars have had!

 

...I didn't pay a lot for it...

It's frightfully rude of me, I know, but can I ask you how much you did pay for it?

 

P.

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Ok...as we already know; the guitar was considered to be rubbish and was chopped up.

 

But the neck, to state the bleeding obvious, was bound AFTER the instrument had been 'destroyed'!

 

Sure! Fingerboard/frets/binding is late, the guitar is nearly done when that happens.

 

Judging by the size and positioning of the cut it seems that the truss-rod was already installed - otherwise I suspect the neck would have been sliced all the way through.

 

Sure again! Think of the neck on that guitar as part of the blank, it was rodded up and set in early.

 

And goodness knows I'm no expert on Explorers but the woodwork on the treble-side of the peghead (and rear) doesn't look quite 'first-rate' to me either.

 

So yeah, I think an employee of Gibson did that. Truck driver, cafeteria lady, somebody like that.

 

I'd love to know the story behind it.

 

Unfortnately it has no provenance whatsoever. No story can be believed. I suppose it is a great oddity that would be awesome in a museum, and I suppose if I had all the guitars I wanted and could have that one for a hunnert bucks I'd give it a home. But man, the constant explaining about that thing? No way, not for me. A great guitar needs no explanation!

 

rct

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...yeah, I think an employee of Gibson did that. Truck driver, cafeteria lady, somebody like that...

[lol]

 

eusa_clap.gif

 

Oh, I know that no story can really be believed, rct. I've got a very good one myself that no-one can now authenticate as the (other) person involved is now dead (three years ago next month).

Talk about a lack of consideration?...

 

I rather like the oddity-ness of the thang. I wouldn't exactly pay top-dollar for it but I'd happily let it gather dust around these parts.

And I bet I could make up a REALLY great story to explain it's quirks involving the FBI / CIA / MI5, a prominent UK politician and, to add a touch of spice, 'Miss Whiplash'.

 

BTW; did I already say that 38 korina Explorers were made in 1976?................

 

P.

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I'm trying to determine the years in which Gibson reissued the '58 Korina Explorer. I've read of late 70's through early 80's, but nothing definitive.

 

Thanks, Stu.

 

If that guitar had a Custom Shop logo on it, it would have to be newer than the prehistorics that were built in 82 and 83.

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So you're suggesting that somebody might've made the guitar in the early 80s, then later, put on a custom shop decal, took the decal off and cut the guitar up and threw it in the trash? Or are you saying that somebody went to a lot of trouble to make it look like it was an old custom shop guitar that had been destroyed by the custom shop?

 

Hmmm, I'm suggesting that it might've been made in the custom shop, had a number of problems and that it was cut up and put in the dumpster. If that was the case, that would have made it newer than a late 70s or early 80s explorer. Did he say that the original pots were still in it? If so, he could get a date off them.

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I'm just saying a CS logo can be had for less than $10.

 

Surely the CS logo would have to have been applied after it had already been cut up?

Why would the CS put a CS logo on a guitar which was obviously not intended to be sold and doesn't have a serial number? Fun? A bit of a laugh? Possibly.

 

I'm guessing it was put on by the same individual as reconstructed the guitar because surely it could not, ultimately, be branded as an official CS instrument?

 

As far as age goes;

The '76 run didn't have a bound 'board but in this case, of course, we can't take anything for granted...

Capmaster says the '82/'83 ones had a bound 'board so it's possibly one of these. The closed 'b' and 'o' suggest earlier rather than later in the grand scheme of things.

 

The pot codes might be a good indicator.

 

P.

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I actually saw the pics and thought that they were showing what the decal looked like as his only seemed to have a smudge on the back of the headstock as if the decal had been taken off when they cut it up, maybe I was mistaken. Also, those original 70's and 80's Explorers did not have binding on the neck AFAIK. It's obvious the one we are talking about here has had extensive work done on it given that it was cut into pieces.

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  • 7 years later...

I think it's quite a find.  Its odd how the hockey stick headstock means the b and e strings are at an angle between the nut and the tuners,  not just on this one,  on all of them with hockey stick heads. I'm pretty sure there was one reissue run with a different style but I could be wrong. 

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