Explorers: Modern body shape compared to '58 body shape? Yay or nay?

grumphh_the_banned_one

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Well, seeing a few Explorer threads here i looked at Explorers on the web in a bored hour and found that the modern day explorer has a different body shape compared to that of the early originals.
(The easiest way to describe it verbally is that the modern body is slightly slimmer and more pointy, in case you didn't know already.)

I didn't know about this before, but after googling a bunch of pics i decided that i actually like the modern Explorer shape better than the original, and am not in the least bothered by the looks of the "wrong" shape of my own '09 Explorer :)

Interestingly enough i also looked at the shapes of V's (hard to avoid when you google vintage explorers), and in that case i would prefer the older shape.

What do you think?

...and btw, this is about aestetics only, so a totally subjective answer is perfectly fine, and in fact expected :laugh2:

(However, if you are an Explorer owner you are required to at least once in your post to write about how ergonomically correct that guitar just feels to play despite the looks. Bonus points if you rate your explorers higher than other Gibsons!)
 

Zarg

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Both of my (epiphone) Explorers have the 58 shape and I much prefer it. Its a bit more rounder and classier looking in my opinion. I also much prefer the 58 V style compared to the 67 because the control layout is much better and I like the older style headstock. And I hate nothing more than a pickguard with pickups mounted to it, such a PITA imo.

I think, ergonomically they are amazing. I had to relocate the strap pin to the back on my gothic to help the little bit of neckdive but they are very balanced guitars - I love explorers, thats why my only 2 guitars are explorers :naughty:
 

grumphh_the_banned_one

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And I hate nothing more than a pickguard with pickups mounted to it, such a PITA imo.
Absolutely correct - at the risk of offending a bunch of modern V owners (and apparently some SG's as well, sorry guys and gals), i just think it looks cheap.

On strats pickguard mounting is acceptable, but proper humbuckers deserve proper pickup rings imo...


What is the Korina like? Is it solid wood, or is it veneer front and back with bits in the middle?
 

Zarg

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Absolutely correct - at the risk of offending a bunch of modern V owners (and apparently some SG's as well, sorry guys and gals), i just think it looks cheap.

On strats pickguard mounting is acceptable, but proper humbuckers deserve proper pickup rings imo...


What is the Korina like? Is it solid wood, or is it veneer front and back with bits in the middle?

its veneered obviously. but hidden quite well and color matched too. with the korina flying v I had before you could really see the line between the veneer and the actual body wood, even if you just look at it from the front - part of the reason I got rid of it (the veneer was quite dark and the body way too pale, it looked like a weird sandwich). The looks and changing a pickup was a pit of a pain to me, I just like rings a lot more, you can do the jiggling with the spring before you put it near the guitar.
 

grumphh_the_banned_one

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its veneered obviously. but hidden quite well and color matched too. with the korina flying v I had before you could really see the line between the veneer and the actual body wood, even if you just look at it from the front - part of the reason I got rid of it (the veneer was quite dark and the body way too pale, it looked like a weird sandwich). The looks and changing a pickup was a pit of a pain to me, I just like rings a lot more, you can do the jiggling with the spring before you put it near the guitar.
Thx :) Just asked because i have looked at some epi korinas in the local classifieds, and figured that in the end an Explorer is a guitar that is hard to get entirely wrong (i mean, Gibson is doing it wrong already :D ) so an Epi might do just as nicely as the Gibby :)
 

Zarg

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Thx :) Just asked because i have looked at some epi korinas in the local classifieds, and figured that in the end an Explorer is a guitar that is hard to get entirely wrong (i mean, Gibson is doing it wrong already :D ) so an Epi might do just as nicely as the Gibby :)

It is a really nice guitar. The price/performance is really good on those epiphones.
 

So What

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So, I googled some pics, and I can't really see much difference in the body shape.

Can someone post pics of the differences?

Just curious.

.
 

grumphh_the_banned_one

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So, I googled some pics, and I can't really see much difference in the body shape.

Can someone post pics of the differences?

Just curious.

.
If you googled it, you have seen what there is to see :)

Basically the lower half of the '58 body (when in playing position) is something like a ½" wider which to me visually adds to much mass in the lower body half.
I fully admit that i would not have seen it if someone hadn't written it out in some thread, but now that i know it, the original looks unbalanced to me. :)

You can see it clearly at the square end of the pickguard near the controls. The pickguard is wider, but sits at the same distance to the body edges on both models.

There are also some corners on the original that are slightly more rounded than on the newer one, however i don't object to that per se.
 

Zarg

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02_1958Explorer.jpg


content_284829_703703492.jpg


Here you can see the differences, the 58 on top and modern on bottom. the lower left and upper right areas are different. I prefer the bigger, rounder shape of the 58
 

So What

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Thanks guys!

I certainly would not have spotted that on my own.

.
 

grumphh_the_banned_one

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To me the original is slightly "clunkier" looking - both are good looking, i wouldn't say "no" to either of them, but the sleek lines of the newer one just do it for me.
 

moreles

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Interesting. I would not have spotted that change. I like the old version better as it appears more balanced, and the more rounded transitions look better too. It's already a somewhat top-heavy (visual) design, and the revised, newer shape makes that worse.
 

murmel

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Is there a model between both? The Golden Axe seems rounder than modern, but not as round as the 58.

Splash-02.jpg


Maybe it`s just an optical illusion.
 

grumphh_the_banned_one

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Is there a model between both? The Golden Axe seems rounder than modern, but not as round as the 58.


Maybe it`s just an optical illusion.
To me it looks like the new version, judging by the scratchplate.

If i read all the stuff correct when reading about the Explorer it hasn't really gone through as many changes as the V apparently has - at least i got the impression that what goes for a Gibson Explorer (obviously not the budget MM or stuff like that) these days is pretty much the '76 version.

But as said, i am not really knowledgeable about this stuff, so there might well be other body sizes around
 

major

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You would think that a company like Gibson would try to be faithful to their history.

But, time and again, they show us that they really don't give a s**t.

Very sad - but true. :(
 

zakk_attack

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Mmmmh..."modern-body Explorer" owner here. Never played a '58 Historic, but judging by the photos..i don't mind.

They're both beautiful, and bet they both feel ergonomic and easy to play.
Each body style has its own character, I'd say..
If I must look at them as a " '58 vs '76 model" (comparison), then I'd take the '76, because I love the '70s and the whole music from that era :)
 

major

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Mmmmh..."modern-body Explorer" owner here. Never played a '58 Historic, but judging by the photos..i don't mind.

They're both beautiful, and bet they both feel ergonomic and easy to play.
Each body style has its own character, I'd say..
If I must look at them as a " '58 vs '76 model" (comparison), then I'd take the '76, because I love the '70s and the whole music from that era :)

Yup, I take your point. But why should there be a "58 vs 76"??

Was it really SO hard to get 'em both the same??
 

Cdntac

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As a new Explorer owner (well, I briefly did have a no-name Explorer when I was younger about 26 years ago) I can honestly say I'm really, really impressed at how easy and comfortable it is to play.

I've realized that the way it sits on my body is further left than my LP and other guitars. This stretches my left arm out a bit and somehow makes playing more comfortable for me.

Mine is a Benchmark Series 58 Reissue though I have no idea if it has the same exact dimensions as a real '58. Lol.

And I have no idea why there isn't a pickguard.

It does seem to want to channel Billy Gibbons though. ;)

And yeah, I top wrap! ;)


E99041A1-D658-4DF9-8552-2E2E270BC094_zps5aye6m7n.jpg
 

grumphh_the_banned_one

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You would think that a company like Gibson would try to be faithful to their history.

But, time and again, they show us that they really don't give a s**t.

Very sad - but true. :(
Erm, that company has since these guitars were originally made shifted ownership twice and moved away from the original factory.
I mean, new owners, new factories, new workers - as far as i am concerned all that is left from the "good old days" is a brand name and the will to make money off nostalgia. Like it or not.
...and an ability to occasionally make some seriously good guitars, despite the race to the bottom regarding build quality...

What i like about the modern Explorer that i have is that although it is slightly changed from the original, it hasn't really changed to the worse, and the quality hasn't gone down like on SG's and V's where they have saved away something like the pickup rings (which i personally think is a shame).
The '76 version has a slightly slimmer body and a few sharper angles, but it is almost unnoticeable really - where the V actually has less good upper fret access than the originals if you look at the construction.
Or if we look at the modern US standard Strat, where you get a bridge that has nothing at all to do with the vintage bridges that were part of that strat tone those guitars got famous for...

You can't deny that the standard Explorer is not historically accurate, no, but there is still much in it that really hasn't changed all that much since the 50's compared to many of the other models :)
 

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