Gibson Explorer 2016, Traditional - Ebony, Chrome Hardware

Solidbody Electric Guitar with Mahogany Body, Mahogany Neck, Rosewood Fingerboard, and 2 Humbucking Pickups - Ebony
Gibson Explorer 2016, Traditional - Ebony, Chrome Hardware image 1
Gibson Explorer 2016, Traditional - Ebony, Chrome Hardware image 1
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Gibson Explorer 2016, Traditional - Ebony, Chrome Hardware
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A Modern Update of the 1958 Explorer

Add a dash of spice to your guitar collection with the Gibson Explorer solidbody electric guitar. This classic guitar is made from mahogany for the body and neck, with a 1-piece rosewood fretboard and a fixed bridge for rock-solid tuning stability. Once you get your hands on this guitar's comfortable slim neck with bound rosewood fingerboard, you won't be able to put this classic-styled, rock-ready axe down. A pair of 500T and 496R pickups deliver the classic tones you need for your next gig. Get ready to rock with the Gibson Explorer!

Gibson Explorer Solidbody Electric Guitar at a Glance:
  • A genuine Explorer, through and through
  • Rounded neck profile is fast and comfortable
  • Two smoking hot ceramic humbuckers for hot tones
  • PLEK'd for precision playability
A genuine Explorer, through and through

Gibson built the Explorer with a solid mahogany body and a very comfortable set mahogany neck (topped with rosewood), so you know you're in for rich tones, great sustain, and outstanding midrange character. The Explorer has been embraced by hard rockers the world over for decades; its set-neck construction and fast-playing neck combine to give you an unbeatable sonic weapon onstage or in the studio. From the tonewoods to the rock-solid set-neck to the top-shelf hardware, this axe was made to rock.

Rounded neck profile is fast and comfortable

Some Gibsons had huge mahogany necks, but by 1960 the company made a number of modifications until those early '60s necks became among the fastest available. The special rounded neck profile of the Explorer is one favored by many of today's top players. You can move up and down the neck at blazing speeds, but the rosewood fingerboard still has that warm, classic Gibson feel, allowing easy access to the upper frets, so you can really dig into your solos. It also sounds great when grabbing big fat power chords. The pearloid dots complete the vintage look.

Two smoking hot ceramic humbuckers for hot tones

Historically, Gibson has long been associated with the dark, punchy tone of the humbucking pickup with its fat low end and crunchy, complex midrange. The Explorer carries on that tradition with two scorching hot humbuckers with ceramic magnets (a 496R in the neck position and a 500T in the bridge position). The Explorer comes standard with coverless pickups, but some Sweetwater guitarists even prefer them removed for a louder output and more top end.

PLEK'd for precision playability

This Gibson Explorer 2016 T feels fast and precise, thanks in large part to PLEK processing. Typically reserved for top-dollar custom guitars, this process levels the frets with pinpoint precision, providing you with the most playable fretboard you're likely to own. Each note rings loud and clear, and the fret edges feel smooth as silk.

Gibson Explorer Solidbody Electric Guitar Features:
  • Comfortable, lightweight mahogany body lets you rock all night
  • Slim, lightweight, and smoothly contoured mahogany body won't tax your back
  • Bound rosewood fingerboard with dot inlays looks cool and is easy on your fingers
  • Slim mahogany neck feels great and provides ultra-fast action
  • Gibson 500T and 496R humbuckers give you access to a universe of tone
  • Nitrocellulose lacquer finish enhances this guitar's looks, feel, and tone
  • Gibson USA's Limited Lifetime Warranty and 24/7/365 Customer Service
Expand your collection past the norm with the Gibson Explorer!

Why Buy Your Guitar from Sweetwater?

See how Sweetwater goes to great lengths to give you the very best online guitar buying experience. From our online Guitar Gallery that allows you to see and select the exact instrument you want to our 55-point Evaluation process and our in-house guitar techs, we take the guesswork out of buying your next guitar online.

Additional Media

Electric Guitar Buying Guide

Tech Specs

Body Type Solidbody
Body Shape Explorer
Left-/Right-handed Right-handed
Number of Strings 6
Body Material Mahogany
Body Finish High gloss nitrocellulose lacquer
Color Ebony
Neck Material Mahogany
Neck Shape Explorer slim taper
Fingerboard Material Rosewood
Fingerboard Inlay Acrylic dot inlays
Number of Frets 22
Scale Length 24.75"
Nut Width 1.695"
Nut Material TekToid graphite
Bridge/Tailpiece Tune-o-matic bridge with stopbar tailpiece
Tuners Grover mini kidney tuners
Neck Pickup 496R ceramic humbucker
Bridge Pickup 500T ceramic 8 humbucker
Controls 2 x volume, 1 x tone, 3-way toggle switch
Strings Cleartone 0.009-0.046
Case Included Gig bag
Manufacturer Part Number DSXREBCH1

Customer Reviews

Based on 3 reviews
Write your review

Tone to the Bone!!

After seeing Al Petreli play this guitar with Megadeth, I got interested in trying one out. Man am I happy I did!! This guitar is a heavy metal machine that also handles any other music style you would want to play. Plays like butter standing or seated, stays in tune and has effortless access all the way up to the 22nd fret. Action gets super low with no buzz, a great lead guitar with a thick fat meaty tone!! If you haven't played one you should try one out. This was my first order with sweetwater and I was very impressed with their great customer service.

The most underrated guitar ever

I recently purchased a demo model of this guitar for a big savings. I've been playing over 40 years have owned hundreds of great, good and awful guitars. The guitar I received today was outstanding, I could not see a mark on it! The explorer for my money is the most underrated guitar available. It does everything a guitarist could want rock, blues country, pop. I play blues and rock as well as everything else. This thing is just for me set up so well. balanced both sitting and standing. I'm six feet tall and this guitar is a dream to play. pickups are strong and clear it plays well clean or all out distortion. I wrote this review because a lot of people see this guitar as only a metal guitar. I am 50+ years old and I'm telling you this is as good as anything I've played for the money. and I've played them all. Sweetwater is also the best company I have dealt with. I am completely satisfied. Jim
Music background: Blues, Rock 40+ years playing

Very happy with this purchase

Looking at the Gibson Explorer, one might think it is a guitar built for metal. While it nails the heavy sound, I was surprised at the tonal versatility. This guitar sounds great clean with the volume and tone knobs rolled back a little, very warm and full. It also does exceptionally well with creamy blues tones. I actually went to sweetwater and played many guitars the day I picked up my Explorer. Upon holding it the first time, I noticed how comfortable it is in your hands, feeling substantial but not bulky. The neck is fast and smooth for a lacquer finish, and the action is just right. This guitar has great sustain. I came close to buying the ESP e-II m1, which is a killer shred machine, but the two passive pickups and knob configuration of the Explorer appealed to me more. No regrets. If you're looking for a guitar that handles any amount of gain well without losing clarity and also exhibits a lush, full clean sound, in my opinion the 2016 Gibson Explorer is a good choice. It's my go-to humbucking six-string.
Music background: Guitarist for 6 years
See also: Solidbody Guitars, Gibson, Gibson Solidbody Guitars