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Thread: 1958/63 Gibson Explorer Examined at Elderly

  1. #1

    1958/63 Gibson Explorer Examined at Elderly

    This is one for the geeks amongst us. Me, for example! Elderly recently took in a very clean '58 Explorer for appraisal and video'd part of the process. The guitar has a middle pickup installed (via a crude-ish rout) and all three pickups are Patent #s (one is missing its sticker). The pots date to '58. Was the guitar originally shipped and sold in '58? If so, what happened to its PAFs? Or was it left in the factory partially built in '58 and then later completed (as was the case with some Flying Vs)? Who did the routing for the middle pickup and when?

    The fellow in the video doing the appraisal is Steve Olson. At one point you see a photo of a younger Steve (with hair!) along with three original Flying Vs. Back in the day I got to play two of 'em and also briefly had my hands on the third.

    The video runs ~40 minutes:

    https://youtu.be/AXLkAwLW2HA

    -Dave-
    Last edited by Quantum Strummer; 06-22-2017 at 08:10 PM.
    1962 F-20 Troubadour
    1970 M-75 Bluesbird
    1971 S-100 "Black Cherry"
    1973 S-100 "Nature Boy"
    1990 Nightbird Custom
    2013 NS M-75 Aristocrat
    2016 NS S-200 Thunderbird

    c. 1971 Foxey Lady

  2. #2
    Senior Member Jeff Haddad's Avatar
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    Interesting - what a job to have! I must admit I bailed out after about 20 minutes. I liked the "tone ball" section.

    Here's the comment from Elderly:


    "The Explorer was purchased from a Gibson employee in late 1963 and purchased by the current owners father. I don't believe that the current Gibson company would have these records, but you never know. The instruments value is private and not ours to publish."

    Thanks for posting the link.

  3. #3
    Elderly has a whole collection of "tone balls," some of which are on display at the store (and are shown in the video). I found one in the lower bout of an Ibanez semi-hollow I picked up a few months ago too. Had to fish it out with tweezers as it was too big to fall out of the f-hole of its own accord. Compacted dust bunnies in this case.

    -Dave-
    1962 F-20 Troubadour
    1970 M-75 Bluesbird
    1971 S-100 "Black Cherry"
    1973 S-100 "Nature Boy"
    1990 Nightbird Custom
    2013 NS M-75 Aristocrat
    2016 NS S-200 Thunderbird

    c. 1971 Foxey Lady

  4. #4
    Senior Member jp's Avatar
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    Well that was pretty fun and interesting. Thanks for posting, Dave.
    1959 T-100 DP
    1968 CE-100 DP
    1976 BluesBird M-75

  5. #5
    You're both very welcome!

    -Dave-
    1962 F-20 Troubadour
    1970 M-75 Bluesbird
    1971 S-100 "Black Cherry"
    1973 S-100 "Nature Boy"
    1990 Nightbird Custom
    2013 NS M-75 Aristocrat
    2016 NS S-200 Thunderbird

    c. 1971 Foxey Lady

  6. #6
    Elderly has a '63 Explorer (that is, mostly built in the late '50s and then completed in '63) for sale now. At first I thought this might be the guitar in the video, but it's not! Different wood grain patterns in the body, no middle pickup. What are the odds of two completed-in-'63 Explorers ending up in the same shop within a month of each other?

    It can be yours for US$250K large:

    https://www.elderly.com/gibson-explorer-1963.htm

    -Dave- (Who in the mid-'90s passed on a super clean & lightweight '70s Ibanez Destroyer going for a princely $800 or so. That guitar likely coulda hung with this Explorer easily.)
    1962 F-20 Troubadour
    1970 M-75 Bluesbird
    1971 S-100 "Black Cherry"
    1973 S-100 "Nature Boy"
    1990 Nightbird Custom
    2013 NS M-75 Aristocrat
    2016 NS S-200 Thunderbird

    c. 1971 Foxey Lady

  7. #7
    Senior Member Jeff Haddad's Avatar
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    Jul 2005
    Location
    southeastern PA
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    That is a strange "coincidence" except for their proximity to Kalamazoo.

    Here is my Explorer story: when I was going off to college in '77 I traded my '68 SG (kept breaking strings) and '66 strat for a '76 Explorer. Shortly after that I realized it was a dumb move and vowed to never sell the Explorer (or any other guitars with rare exceptions!) I do love the Explorer though.


  8. #8
    Yeah, we do see more Gibson oddities than usual in Michigan due to former employees (or their families) selling stuff. Maybe the seller of this Explorer got wind of the other (in the video) Explorer's appraisal value. :)

    I've come across two or three '76 Explorers over the years. Always tempted but never quite enough to end up owning one. I do have a '76 Ibanez Futura, their Moderne copy (if you can "copy" an instrument that may never have existed beyond artist/designer drawings). Haven't got around to cleaning and setting it up yet but it looks to be in great shape.

    -Dave-
    1962 F-20 Troubadour
    1970 M-75 Bluesbird
    1971 S-100 "Black Cherry"
    1973 S-100 "Nature Boy"
    1990 Nightbird Custom
    2013 NS M-75 Aristocrat
    2016 NS S-200 Thunderbird

    c. 1971 Foxey Lady

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