The Gibson 2016 Explorer is back again in the USA lineup in full hard rocking glory! Originally launched in 1958 this guitar was as polarizing as it is today with its oversized body and tight angles this is not the kind of thing you will see at the next blues jam. However for the world of rock and metal it has become a go to guitar for those who want Gibson quality on a guitar with a ton of attitude.
Gibson have made the Explorer out of a few different materials over the years but the main one that stuck was a big chunk of Mahogany. By using this wood for the body and neck of this guitar you get a guitar that sounds incredibly full with a very tight midrange making it perfect for hard rock and metal styles or any style where you are going to be using a high gain amp.
The neck is one of the more interesting parts of the guitar as it is not just a set 50's or 60's style. No the Gibson Explorer instead uses a unique hybrid that mixes the powerful feel of a late 50's Les Paul with the playability of a slim taper 60's profile. So no matter if you are looking for a guitar that is great for strong rhythm guitar sections with massive chords or a shred machine that will have amazing access all the way up to the 22nd fret.
Since this guitar is so popular with the metal crowd the stock pickups out of the box are very hot and clear even under a load of gain. Fitted out of the factory you have the 496R and 500T pickups which both have a more modern voicing thanks to a ceramic magnet that helps you get the best high gain tone possible.
Next Generation G-Force
G-Force is an incredibly interesting technology that simply wants to save you time. We have all played gigs where your guitar goes out of tune halfway through. Just like we have all played gigs where we need to quickly change between tunings.
Gibson's G-Force system makes those previous tasks a second thought. Just set it up with the tunings you want. Select what you want using the unit on the back of the headstock and you are in tune within seconds.
And don't worry just because it has the ability to tune itself does not mean that you can't tune manually. The machine heads are actually very accurate 40:1 ratio tuners so you can get pitch perfect in no time at all.
New Titanium Nut
The 2015 version of the Zero Fret Nut was made out of brass. Unfortunately that meant is was very soft for a nut and could be damaged from heavier gauge strings. To make sure this does not happen again Gibson have changed the brass for much stronger Titanium.
If you don't know what the Zero Fret Nut is let me fill you in. It is a Gibson USA exclusive nut that has two main benefits over a standard nut. Firstly you can adjust the action at the nut very easily now making setting up quick and easy no matter how high or low you like your action.
Secondly this nut has essentially a fret at the end of it (hence the name, Zero Fret). By having a fret in the zero position your strings in open positions ring out like fretted notes. This sounds amazing with open chords as you get a much more even tone across all of your strings.
Sweet Smooth Neck
One thing that we have heard a few times before about Gibson guitars is that the neck heel can get in the way. They originally remedied this with their Custom Shop Axcess model that had a smoothed transition. This meant greater access to the higher frets so lead players can dig in and let loose.
The neck on all of the 2016 USA models is based off of this Custom Shop model offering the same incredible feel that previously was only available on some of Gibson's most expensive guitars.
But they did not end it there with the neck. No this guitars neck width is slightly wider than you might be used to compared to other Gibson guitars. By increasing the nut width by just 0.05"and keeping string spacing the same you get more area to play with.
Professional Set Up
As part of the 2016 line this guitar has received a premium set up even before it has gone through our QC checks. This means that you can take this guitar out of the box on day one, go straight to your gig and rock up without any issues with the guitar at all.
No longer do you need to wait for a few days while you get your guitar. We all know that you want to get using a new guitar as soon as possible so Gibson have made sure you can do just that.
Here's what Gibson say about the 2016 Explorer HP
The Gibson Explorer 2016 T's solid mahogany body delivers a fat and punchy sound, while the 496R Hot Ceramic and 500T Super Ceramic humbuckers sizzle and snarl with aggressive authority. The Explorer's radical design is not just eye-catching, but also offers excellent playing balance. Also featuring a 22-fret rosewood fingerboard with dot inlays, Tune-O-Matic bridge with stopbar tailpiece, and Grover machine heads, this is a tried and true, made in the USA rock and roll machine.
- Fast Acess heel
- Adjustable titanium zero fret nut
- New soloist's neck width
- Improved G-Force tuners
- Smooth silent-action toggle switch
- New gold plated multi-contact jack
- Dip switch for over 150 rewiring options
- Higher grade wood selection
- Genuine Mother of Pearl inlays
- Fortified aluminum case