Jump to content
Gibson Brands Forums
Highway Starr

is this a standard 1977 Explorer? looking for more information please

Recommended Posts

Good Morning

 

A co worker has what appears to be a 1977 Explorer based on the serial number 06252217 ... however a couple things the guitar ... He bought it used in the early 80's and the guy who sold it to him told him it was 1976 limited edition anniversary model and told him it was a "starburst" finish which I had never heard of and can find zero information on...It appears to be a standard Gibson red finish to me with a white pickguard ..... the guitar has gold hardware and open faced humbuckers .... based on the blue book of guitars book I have it shows there was a line of Explorers made from 1976-1980 but states they only came in white, black or natural so the red color is throwing me a bit and of course the story the guy who sold it to him gave about being an anniversary model seems a little fishy ... I do have a couple pics linked ...hopefully someone can confirm exactly what it is

 

Thanks Much!

 

http://i247.photobucket.com/albums/gg148/GrenBayPackers/larry1.jpg

 

http://i247.photobucket.com/albums/gg148/GrenBayPackers/larry2.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello and welcome to the Forums.

 

The guitar is indeed a 1977 Gibson Explorer. Not sure whether it is being an anniversary model, especially that 1977 isn't noted for any anniversaries. Even though, the first ones were made in 1957, the official debut year of this model is 1958.

 

The finish is weird, however seems to be the original, as the serial number appears to be unbothered.

 

Best wishes... Bence

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello Highway Starr, and welcome here.

 

To my eyes she looks like a standard Explorer guitar, and I think it's a cherry finish which maybe translates a bit different on the pictures, giving her a hue of purple. Gibson didn't make Explorers from 1959 to 1976, so this is an earlier one of the 2nd generation so to say.

 

I'm not sure about the pickups on this guitar. I guess she came stock then with covered "tarbacks" designed by Bill Lawrence. Later they switched to other ceramic-loaded ones like Dirty Fingers and finally 496R/500T.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello Highway Starr, and welcome here.

 

To my eyes she looks like a standard Explorer guitar, and I think it's a cherry finish which maybe translates a bit different on the pictures, giving her a hue of purple. Gibson didn't make Explorers from 1959 to 1976, so this is an earlier one of the 2nd generation so to say.

 

I'm not sure about the pickups on this guitar. I guess she came stock then with covered "tarbacks" designed by Bill Lawrence. Later they switched to other ceramic-loaded ones like Dirty Fingers and finally 496R/500T.

 

 

Thanks Capmaster ...... didn't realize that about pickups ...guess its safe to say its officially not special edition ?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Capmaster ...... didn't realize that about pickups ...guess its safe to say its officially not special edition ?

Well, I'm not 100% sure about the finish, so they maybe did a few only with this exact colour, but it can always be due to variations in dyes. Depending on timbers, even the same finish lot may translate differently on several guitars.

 

However, in my belief she probably is a "normal" production model so to say, not part of a special edition.

 

It would be interesting to know more about the pickups. Do they have six pole screws and six slugs or twelve pole screws each? What do the screw heads look like? Knowing this could be helpful for possibly determining the pickups without removing them. The pictures linked to your first post don't allow for judging these details.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 

It would be interesting to know more about the pickups. Do they have six pole screws and six slugs or twelve pole screws each? What do the screw heads look like? Knowing this could be helpful for possibly determining the pickups without removing them. The pictures linked to your first post don't allow for judging these details.

 

Ill try to get some close up pics of the pups soon ..thanks!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello again!

 

In 1976 these Explorers were called "Limited Edition" instruments, because these were the first reissues of the 50s design. That's the only reason, there was no anniversary to celebrate.

 

And, Capmaster is right as always: these came with tar-back Super Humbucker pickups.

 

Cheers... Bence

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The "Limited Edition" was only in 1976. The serial numbers started with 00 and were on a plastic sticker that was clear about it.

The neck on mine is a 50's style. Thick as a 2x4 but super playable. The pickups on mine were "Tarbacks" and you couldn't get

the covers off even if you wanted to. I think that when they ran out of NOS components they changed the spec to a 60's thin neck

and different finishes and pickups. I think that is when they stopped using the "LE" serials that were shared with the Bicentennial

Firebirds. Funny about those serials in 1976 is that they didn't come out in any particular order. They seem to switch randomly

from early to late in the run and back and forth between the models.

forth between the models.TheEx2.jpgFULLSET.jpgIMG_1385.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello Marty!

 

The "00 XXXXXX" serial format was standard for the 1976. It had nothing to do with any anniversaries, or limited editions.

 

1975 models had "09 XXXXXX" serials, as well as the older 6-digit format. 1977 models had "01 XXXXXX" serials, until it was replaced with the more convenient YDDDYPPP format the same year.

 

Nice Explorer, by the way! [thumbup]

 

Also worth mentioning, that wood used as body material varied a lot these years too.

 

Cheers... Bence

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I know some of the history of this Explorer and why it’s red. And I have it’s  original paperwork from Gibson. I registered here but now can’t get back so not sure if this post will show up. 

Edited by Flyer80502019

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 I remember the guy that bought it new had worked at a Southeastern Wisconsin music store or knew the owner very well. He said they talked to Gibson about the guitar, and that the guitars came around on a rotisserie. The Explorer was next to a group of guitars that were being painted wine red and it got put in that group by mistake. He played it around central Wisconsin all the time in the late 70's and early 80's in cover bands and after that I lost track of him. I remember drooling over that guitar, the gold hardware, creme Dimarzio pickups, with the wine red was awesome. I had bought an Explorer from him that was converted to a triple pickup guitar and painted black 00241029 and it had the Gibson/Norlin warranty card for his red Explorer in my case. I asked him if he wanted it and he said no so I filed it away. Now, many years later, I started looking for a couple Gibson's that I had back in the day and that's how I found the post. I guess I should have that red Explorer, or the owner should have the paperwork, right?  

If anyone knows the whereabouts of my 1982 White Flying V that I bought new in Madison please let me know, it's 80502019.

Or my 1980 black Flying V 80250026 that I bought new. 

Or the triple pickup Explorer 00241029

Edited by Flyer80502019

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, Flyer80502019 said:

 I remember the guy that bought it new had worked at a Southeastern Wisconsin music store or knew the owner very well. He said they talked to Gibson about the guitar, and that the guitars came around on a rotisserie. The Explorer was next to a group of guitars that were being painted wine red and it got put in that group by mistake. He played it around central Wisconsin all the time in the late 70's and early 80's in cover bands and after that I lost track of him. I remember drooling over that guitar, the gold hardware, creme Dimarzio pickups, with the wine red was awesome. I had bought an Explorer from him that was converted to a triple pickup guitar and painted black 00241029 and it had the Gibson/Norlin warranty card for his red Explorer in my case. I asked him if he wanted it and he said no so I filed it away. Now, many years later, I started looking for a couple Gibson's that I had back in the day and that's how I found the post. I guess I should have that red Explorer, or the owner should have the paperwork, right?  

 

Wow ... Thats amazing! I responded to your PM but that was before I read this. I'm sure the owner would love to have that warranty card and to hear that story and any other information you might have about it .The guitar is currently in central illinois so it didn't get far...... Again, Wow ... I really didn't expect a whole lot of information when posted that and to get a response almost 4 years later is incredible 😎

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good day all. I'm new to this forum. Have been playing over 40 years. I have a 1980 Gibson LP Firebrand and a 1980 Gibson The SG. Both beautiful specimens with mahogany bodies,  ebony fretboards, T-Top pickups and chainsaw cases.  I traded an amp I had for a 1978 Gibson Explorer today. I haven't found much info on it but want to figure out what's been changed and what's original.

SN - 73498xxx

Body - black

Pickguard - black five layer

Pickups - Both are same patent number as my T-Top pickups in the other guitars, but no date stamps. I think these were wiped when the bottom was cleaned to solder the cover on. I did get one "loose" cover off and it is a T-Top. I think some people call these Super Humbuckers.

Pots date correct for guitar build (40th week of 78).

Original case (beat up, but there other than a broken latch). 

All the hardware is nickel. Did explorers have gold HW or did some have nickel? 

My tuners are not correct but from the four original holes in line with the tuner holes I think it was the one piece. I haven't seen a one piece in nickel.

My pickguard is black but screw holes didn't line up. Thinking it was white originally. 

https://imgur.com/Y47mkXH

https://imgur.com/HBZiMJC

https://imgur.com/7Vz3UAM

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

×
×
  • Create New...