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Gibson 7-String Explorer

21 October 2009 Leave a comment

explorer7What’s better than six?  Seven, right?  That’s one better.  And what’s better than a Gibson Explorer?  Well, what about a Gibson Explorer with seven strings instead of a paltry, miserly, six?

That should do it.

The Gibson 7-String Explorer has been unleashed.  And it’s available in None-More-Black (sorry, I can’t help it – the Tapisms keep coming).

Effectively this is a regular Explorer in high-gloss ebony nitrocellulose with the addition of a low-B for low-down, doomy riffage.  As you’d expect, body and neck are mahogany and are coupled with the usual glue-in, set-neck mortise and tenon joint.

The fingerboard is rosewood (we can’t help feeling that a nice, black, ebony board would have been more in keeping with the aesthetic here) and carries 22 frets.  There are no fingerboard inlays.  The nut is a man-made affair rather than bone and, again, we’re wondering why not go with black if it’s not bone.  Obviously the nut width is increased to a shade under 2 inches (1.969″ to be precise) to accommodate the extra string.

Power comes from a pair of active EMG pickups – An 81-7 in the bridge position and a 707 at the neck. They’re powered by a 9V battery in a separate, easy-access compartment round the back.  Controls are the usual fare for an Explorer – two volumes and a master tone.

The, already elongated, Explorer headstock doesn’t suffer too much from the extra string.  Mini-Grovers help keep things compact down that end.

All told, this is an Explorer for those that want the extra sonic low-ground.  A few niggles aside, we think it looks rather superb.  It’s hard for an Explorer not to look ‘rock’ and this looks one more.

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Written by: Gerry Hayes
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