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Centre Stage – Gibson Custom Shop 1958 Korina Explorer Reissues!

Adam Leaver: June 22, 2023
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Full Transcript

at less than one percent the value of the original 58 Karina Explorer let’s see if these reissues are any good

Hi Sam from Guitar Village here today at Center Stage we’re taking a look at the Gibson Custom Shop 58 Explorer reissue we’re in the very lucky position of having two of these guitars in the shop right now one with a black pickguard and one with a white pickguard before we take a look at this model in detail let’s have a look at the history behind it

during the 1950s there was a battle between Fender and Gibson Leo Fender saw Gibson guitars as an out of tune guitar company with all their best years behind them Ted McCarthy Gibson’s president at the time had other ideas though and in 1957 he assembled a team to design the most modern guitars yet guitars that would leave him in Leo Fender scratching his head three models were designed the Flying V the modern and the Explorer and out of those only two were released into production the Flying V had some moderate success but the Explorer on the other hand was a complete flop and Gibson could barely give them away it wasn’t until the 1970s that players started to demand and actually want to use these models and in 1976 Gibson decided to reissue them

those original 1958 and 59 models now are so coveted that we saw one sell recently at auction for an excess of a million dollars these reissues on the other hand are less than one percent of that value so let’s take a look at them just like those original models the bodies and necks are built using Karina a tone wood similar to Mahogany it’s lightweight and Ted McCarthy chose it because he says it was easy to get a natural finish with these in fact both the examples I have here in front of me are less than nine pounds the Indian Rosewood fret ball is fitted using hide glue and keeping to 1958 spec we’ve got Kluson tuners an abr1 tuna Matic Bridge with an aluminum Stop Bar the tone comes from these two Gibson custom buckers which pass through CTS pots with a phone book capacitor over the years many players have been seen using the Explorer you’ve got guys like Eric Clapton James Hetfield Rick Nielsen and U2’s The Edge a lot of companies even started out life doing their own versions of the Explorer you’ve got Dean and ESP foreign

These reissues transport you back to the late 50s and they don’t feel or react to you playing like any other guitar I played before when I think of explorers and I think this is the case for most people you almost think of just heavy metal and hard rock but these really they’re just not that they’ve got a much softer side the tone is articulate and open similar to a Telecaster if you want the tone and feel of an original Explorer you can’t get much closer than these doing the research and learning a lot more about the Explorers has been really fun and interesting for me and I hope you’ve enjoyed watching the video if you do want to find out any more about these explorers the links will be in the description below thanks for watching


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