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A unique Explorer with a story to tell.
Gibson’s Explorer has been a radical instrument since it was first introduced back in 1958, but this one’s pedigree is even more notorious than most. When federal agents raided Gibson in 2011 to seize stocks of ebony and rosewood that they claimed were in violation of the Lacey Act, they also took away several completed necks and bodies made largely from wood that was uncontested.
Now that the Federal charges have been dropped, in a deal agreed between Gibson and the Justice Department, several partially completed neck and body blanks have been returned to the factory, ready to be incorporated into Gibson USA’s new Government Series, a wry celebration of an infamous moment in Gibson history.
The Government Series Explorer—a powerful and superbly playable guitar in and of itself—includes a number of completed necks, some still stamped with the 2011 serial numbers they were given before being taken away by Federal agents. Interspersed among the general production run of the Government Series, the confiscated and returned components will be “golden tickets” of a sort, rendering these particular guitars instantly collectible.
Regardless of whether the entire guitar, or just the fingerboard was seized, each wears a commemorative Government Grey finish in vintage gloss nitrocellulose, with black hardware, and a five-ply pickguard that is hot-stamped in gold with the Government Series emblem. In addition, each guitar carries a pair of Gibson’s powerful Dirty Fingers+ humbucking pickups, and the full traditional Explorer mojo for unparalleled tone and playability.
The Government Series Explorer is built on the same foundation that has made so many Gibson solidbody electric guitars legendary for more than 60 years. Its solid-mahogany body offers superb depth and warmth, and the legendary angular design provides great playing balance and allows unparalleled upper-fret access. A solid, quarter-sawn mahogany neck is glued in and carved to a fast, slim profile that measures .800” at the 1st fret and .850” at the 12th. It is topped with an unbound fingerboard made from genuine, one-piece rosewood, with 22 medium-jumbo frets and acrylic dot inlays. Classic Gibson construction ensures optimum playability, too, along with traditional specs like a 24 ¾” scale length, a 1 11/16” width across the PLEK-cut Corian™ nut, and a 12-inch fingerboard radius for smooth, easy bending.
The Government Series Explorer’s aggressive looks are backed up in the tone department by a pair of legendary Dirty Fingers+ humbuckers, an update of one of the two most powerful pickup designs Gibson has ever. Made with three Ceramic 8 magnets and over-wound coils packed with 44 AWG wire, the Dirty Fingers+ humbucker provides unfathomable crunch and unparalleled sustain. A traditional two volume, master tone control section features black Speed Knobs and the guitar’s Tune-o-matic bridge, stopbar tailpiece, and Grover™ tuners are all plated in black.
Each guitar comes protected in a special olive green Government Series hardshell case, and includes a Certificate of Authenticity hand signed by Gibson CEO Henry Juszkiewicz, an owner’s manual, adjustment literature and truss-rod tool. Seize your own Government Series Explorer today, and commemorate a darkly toneful time in Gibson history.
Own a piece of history that you can play. Order today.