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1979 Gibson Explorer II

The Gibson Explorer II was produced from 1979-1983. This guitar features a five peice maple/walnut body and maple neck with ebony fingerboard.

This Gibson guitar has certainly seen some history in its 38 year old life. How many rock icons have riffed on this we can never know, but its amazing to think about those life stories and who’s next?



Guitar features: Serial 72639029 / Five-piece maple and walnut laminate sculptured body / Ebony fingerboard with dot inlays / Two Dirty Fingers humbuckers / Three way toggle switch / Original gold-plated hardware including TP6 bridge / Original control knobs and scratchplate

The Gibson Explorer II (E/2) was produced between 1979-1983, so had a fairly short life coming off the production line in Kalamazoo. The serial number dates this guitar to September 20th 1979. Some discussion exists regarding the finishes, as ‘natural’ (wood) finish was standard for the Explorer II, but there’s evidence of solid colours on transition models listed as black and white, so can’t say it’s original colour definitively, but professionally done if it is a refinish.

It’s had a 38 year old life of rock and roll, so there are some scratches, chips and scrapes, but is in overall good condition and its exactly the dings and knocks that give a vintage guitar that vibe and history. The neck feels fast, the ebony fingerboard jet black and access to the top notes makes you dizzy. I love the geometric futuristic cool of explorers! I hope the photographs tell a good story of its life. I can supply more if requested.

So, what are the issues? Other than the paint scrapes, its a solid guitar. The electrics just needed cleaning and removing some excess solder, which I had done by a local professional, Dave Smart. The ebony fingerboard is a wonderful solid deep black and in great condition and the frets appear to have quite a bit of life left in them, as it plays cleanly up and down the neck. The understand from the previous owner that the neck pickup is original and the bridge pickup is a period correct replacement.  I also believe the nut has been changed at some point. How does it sound turned up to 11 – It rocks of course!

Guitar comes in the original Gibson hard case (with some period detail stickers!), which has again enjoyed a life, so shows some wear on the exterior but generally in good condition for its age.