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Smitkis

1976 Gibson Explorer Limited Edition......(maybe)

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I have a 1976 Gibson Explorer Limited Edition.....I think.

 

Facts are: Red, Kahler Trem, 1979 T-Top pickups, One 1983 control pot (can't see others). short neck tenon, 1976 serial number, looks like factory paint.

 

Pictures will tell the story. Anyone have any ideas, or opinions?

post-70370-007860900 1423066844_thumb.jpg

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T-tops do not have two rows of screws, only one. Those look like early Dirty Fingers, probably not used until the 80's. Put a meter on them and measure the resistance. I think most of the late 70's Explorers came with Super Humbuckers, the epoxy filled pups, aka, tar backs. I also think those 70's models came in black, white, or clear only, at least that's how they were making the V's. Also, I don't believe they had Kahlers until the early 80's. I don't know about that serial number but the pot date may be the closer date for that model. Here's a pic of a 79 T-top that is in my 79 V.

8543304527_3e0a090be7_z.jpg

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Hoo boy. I guess it may very well be a '76 Limited Edition. I don't remember that sticker on anything but hey, I've forgotten more important things.

 

I don't recall any red like that, at all, on any '76 Reissue anything. It was a great year for Gibson, I lusted completely after all of the Explorers they were just putting out again, and the Bicentennial Firebirds. I don't remember ever anywhere seeing that Red, from here in SJ on up through NYC.

 

No Kahler on anything before...81 maybe? So if it's a 76, they hacked the bridge on later.

 

The pickups do not look right at all, certainly not original.

 

The machines are not original.

 

rct

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Correct, the tuners are replacements. The holes from the 6 inline plate tuners are still there. The pickups are for sure T-Tops, but that could still mean that they are Dirty Finger T-Tops. I'm measure output. That should tell the story. I believe the Dirty Fingers are up in the teens while T-tops are around 8 ohms.

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Correct, the tuners are replacements. The holes from the 6 inline plate tuners are still there. The pickups are for sure T-Tops, but that could still mean that they are Dirty Finger T-Tops. I'm measure output. That should tell the story. I believe the Dirty Fingers are up in the teens while T-tops are around 8 ohms.

 

Ok well, lots of humbuckers are up in the teens and lots of others are around 8. I'm not breaking yer nuts here, just trying to be realistic. Between the paint and the hacked bridge I'd be at least cautious about any assumptions. I don't recall open coils on the 76 Reissues, remembering that it was THEE reissue of all time. Black pickguard chrome hardware and covers, white pickguard gold hardware and covers, that's what I remember. I'm happy to mis-remember though.

 

rct

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I'd add pictures of the pickups if I could, but I'm limited on the space I can use. The pickup tops have the "T" embossed into both bobbin covers. The bottom of the pickups are stamped Pat# and date stamp of 1979. I'm only describing the difference between the T-Top and the Dirty Fingers pickups. It is certainly one of those due to the stamp and date code. It's pretty clear they are Dirty Fingers now that I have info that both rows are screws.

 

The gold hardware is in the case. Kahler trem and such. the chrome TOM and stop tail are later changes.

 

I know red wasn't available as well as Kahler, I'm just trying to drill down a bit to see what I actually have here. Kinda fun trying to figure out this mystery.

 

Thanks for the help

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I'd add pictures of the pickups if I could, but I'm limited on the space I can use. The pickup tops have the "T" embossed into both bobbin covers. The bottom of the pickups are stamped Pat# and date stamp of 1979. I'm only describing the difference between the T-Top and the Dirty Fingers pickups. It is certainly one of those due to the stamp and date code. It's pretty clear they are Dirty Fingers now that I have info that both rows are screws.

 

The gold hardware is in the case. Kahler trem and such. the chrome TOM and stop tail are later changes.

 

I know red wasn't available as well as Kahler, I'm just trying to drill down a bit to see what I actually have here. Kinda fun trying to figure out this mystery.

 

Thanks for the help

 

Great on the T on the bobbins. It's an interesting thing, maybe a natural that someone Kahler'd and painted Red in the hairy, crazy, knuttee 80s. Well, for me they were.

 

Good luck with it.

 

rct

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I'd add pictures of the pickups if I could, but I'm limited on the space I can use. The pickup tops have the "T" embossed into both bobbin covers. The bottom of the pickups are stamped Pat# and date stamp of 1979. I'm only describing the difference between the T-Top and the Dirty Fingers pickups. It is certainly one of those due to the stamp and date code. It's pretty clear they are Dirty Fingers now that I have info that both rows are screws.

 

The gold hardware is in the case. Kahler trem and such. the chrome TOM and stop tail are later changes.

 

I know red wasn't available as well as Kahler, I'm just trying to drill down a bit to see what I actually have here. Kinda fun trying to figure out this mystery.

 

Thanks for the help

I have heard that early Dirty Fingers are dated. I also found pics that clearly showed the T on the bobbins. And, you are correct about the resistance, 7.7 for T-tops and in the teens for Dirty Fingers.

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I'd add pictures of the pickups if I could, but I'm limited on the space I can use.

 

 

photobucket.com....register there it's free....click upload photos on their site....bring your photo in.....open a photo....when photo is open you will see the box in picture.....double click where arrow is pointing....it will turn yellow for a second.....you just copied...come to this thread and paste......add reply and you will see picture....

photobucket_zpsea7d7d2f.jpg

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I Have a 76 Limited Edition Explorer and other than the serial number and the Limited Edition Decal It doesn't resemble mine much at all parts wise, What it does resemble is everything on my 1983 Les Paul Custom Shop. From the Kahler Bridge to the oval on the headstock under the serial number, The 76' L.E. Explorer also came with an all in one piece 6 per side tuners, and Tarback Humbuckers, my 83 les paul has the Ink Stamped Shaws like the one of yours. If you would like any more info to compare yours to mine or pictures just let me know..I believe there was a L.E. in 1983 too but not with the 00 serial of course.. Good Luck & I do like the Red Explorer...

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Thanks for the info! Every little bit is helpful.

 

All signs are pointing to an early 80's Explorer. No idea if it's a Heritage, Korina, etc. But one thing I've noticed is the '76 LE's have the web cutout between the neck pickup and the control cavity. Mine has a wood bridge and a pass through for the neck pickup wires. That's one thing I've zeroed in on. I also think the Kahler and paint seems original Candy Apple Red. Just a gut shot though. Looks like a three piece body and three piece neck.

 

There is not even a faint hint of a stamped serial number on the headstock. Even thought the serial number looks legit, it obviously seems to not be a 1976 guitar. Also, the sticker looks a bit pushed towards the headstock tip compared to others I've seen.

 

Just more random observations.

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I agree with cjsinla & rct and just wanted to add limited edition doesn't add any value to a guitar , I started out collecting limited edition guitars and soon found out I had a guitar same price as other models.

 

4H

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I know this is an old thread, but I'm new to the forum, and maybe I have something to add to the discussion...

 

This seems to be a quite rare finish, and it's called 'Ferrari Red'. I have a 1985 Explorer in the same finish, which you can see in this thread http://forum.gibson.com/index.php?/topic/123069-1985-explorer/

 

I e-mailed Gibson to get some more info on this guitar, and some of it might be useful for you too. First of all, the Kahler trem was invented in 1979, so that kind of excludes 1976 from the equation. From the Gibson rep I got the following info, taken from the Gruhns Guide to Vintage Guitars:

 

"Explorer I/83: Alder body, 2 Dirty Fingers humbucking pickups, 2 volume controls and 1 master tone control, knobs in straight line, selector switch on upper treble horn, Tune-O-Matic bridge, stop tailpiece, black Kahler Flyer vibrato, maple neck, 24 3/4" scale, unbound rosewood fingerboard, 22 frets, dot inlay, decal logo, chrome-plated hardware. Introduced: 1981

Renamed Explorer 83: Several vibrato systems optional, maple neck ebony fretboard: 1983. Rosewood fingerboard standard, ebony optional (for upcharge): Nov. 1983.

Renamed Explorer: Triangular knob configuration, selector swith near knobs, no pickguard, custom graphics and artist finishes optional, night violet offered as Custom Shop finish: By May 1984. Scorpion graphic finish available: 1985 only.

Ebony, Ferrari Red, Panther Pink or Pewter finish: 1985."

 

So perhaps your guitar is an early 80s with a custom Ferrari Red finish, since that color normally seems to be available in 1985 only...

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Great info. Every little bit helps. Looks like factory Kahler to me, so that puts if past 1979 like you said. Also, it has Dirty Finger pickups that date to 1979 and pots from 1980. So maybe, this is a 1980 with custom paint? I dunno.. I also still can't explain the 1976 serial number sticker. I've tried hard to see any possible leftover of a stamped serial number, but it just isn't there. That's really the only little mystery that still bugs me about this guitar. Either way, I'm getting it back into good playing shape and I'll use it and not worry about little things like that. Still a screamin guitar.

 

Thanks for the help!

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Put some pics of your explorer up here if you can. Love to see it and compare body routes and things.

 

Yeah, it's a mystery, but at the same time fun to have a little riddle to solve. E-mail Gibson and ask them!

 

I have a couple of pics in the thread I linked to in the ID forum... Check them out! I have no more space to upload pics unfortunately, but maybe I can set up a photobucket account...

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