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Unusual Explorer?

sober rat

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Here are some pics of my Explorer. It has star inlays on the fretboard, the largest of which has the name

"Piper" on. I bought this guitar from a shop in 1990-91 and was told that the guitar was once owned by Randy Piper,

who was one of the guitarist of Wasp. The tag on the back of the headstock gives a serial no. of 00240951, which

means that it was made in 1976, but the tag also has the date 1977 and Valdez written on it. I have a feeling that

this is not the original finish. I would like to try and find out a little bit more about the guitar if anyone can help.







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Cool guitar. The inlays would be easy to add but the binding on the neck would not. So this is either a custom shop job or a hand made copy. There are guys out there that make killer guitar copies, for instance 2 of the first Les Pauls Slash played are actually high quality copies made by some dude in California.


At the same time I see an extra hole in the back of the headstock the would perhaps mean the the original kluson style tuners that 76 and 77 Explorers had were replaced. This could also mean the tuners were replaced later on even if the guitar was a copy.


The guitar is one of kind that's for sure, Gibsons in 1976 and 1977 had an unusual serial number, different from todays serials. Take a look in Gibson.com support and see if you can find this number.


Edit: adding info from the Gibson.com


- From 1975-1977 the number is typically found on a decal on the back of the headstock. This should be an 8 digit number that can be dated by the 1st and 2nd digits as follows:


99 = 1975

00= 1976

06 = 1977

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Thanks for that. I tried the site but maybe i'm missing something regarding finding that number. What I find strange is that the number suggests 1976, but it says 1977. I still have the original pickup for it and as I don't play it much anymore I was thinking of selling it, but I have no idea what sort of price I'll get for it..........I'll keep digging.

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Here is the link http://www.gibson.com/en-us/Support/SerialNumberSearch/


Keep in mind the label says 1977 but that is an aftermarket tag not applied by Gibson, the reference to 1977 might be when the guitar was customized if I was to guess and not when the guitar was built by GIbson.


George Gruhn is arguably the lead authority on vintage guitars in the world, he has his shop here in Nashville. He is a contribuitor on Vintage Guitar Magazine. I think he provides appraisals in person or over e-mail, he will request plenty of pictures and I think they charge $50 dollars. He might be able to tell you exactly what your guitar is and if so you will get a letter stating the value which helps when you are selling the guitar, also I am sure they sell consigment in his shop and he gets a lot of customers with plenty of cash. here is the link, check it out www.gruhn.com click on "appraisals"


Your guitar is customized which is not that good in the world of vintage guitars but you never know. Heck he might even know who this guy Valdez is.


Good luck and let us know what you end up doing.

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If you follow the Gibson serial scheme it would date this guitar as a 2000' date=' January 24th 2000 to be exact. I would question that number completely.[/quote']


This is a common confusion, see one of my previous posts. Gibson serial numubers in 1976 started with 00

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