Gibson Explorer Blackout

Gibson Guitars unveil the Limited Edition Explorer Blackout, a rock and metal shred machine with a black overall theme.

Gibson Explorer Blackout

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This new guitar is part of Gibson's recent release of seven limited edition instruments, and as such this guitar will be collectible because of the small amount of production planned.

With its dark appearance and radical Explorer shape, it is obvious that this guitar is designed to appeal to fans of metal and rock music. Although it can be used to play some soft ballads, it sure would look awkward!

The body of the guitar is carved from select mahogany, crafted into the iconic Explorer shape that looks like a guitar with the body reversed bottom side up. When I first tried an Explorer, I was concerned about the protruding edge of the body below the cutaway, but I was pleasantly surprised to see that it does not get in the way of my fretting hand. It can be a bit distracting for someone like me who is used to traditional shaped guitars, and may feel a bit awkward when played sitting or with strap set high.

The Explorer Blackout's solid mahogany neck is glued to the body, and comes with a shred friendly slim taper profile. Instead of ebony for the fretboard, Gibson opted for a black composite material. It has 22 frets, 1.695" nut width, 12" radius and is wrapped in a black binding in keeping with the Blackout theme. The Acrylic / Split Diamond inlays serve as guides for your fretting hand and they provide a light contrast to the guitar's overall black color. The mother-of-pearl Gibson logo also stands out on the guitar's black finished headstock.

Giving the guitar its voice are two Dirty Fingers humbuckers, known as "bridge-only" pickups because of their high output and aggressive tone. It's interesting that Gibson placed the same high-output pickup on the neck position, which I assume would give this guitar a warmer tone while still retaining the output level. The humbucking pickups are routed to a straightforward circuit that includes a 3-way position switch, a master tone knob and two volume knobs dedicated to each pickup.

Other hardware include black Zamak tune-o-matic bridge and stopbar tailpiece, black speed knobs, black Explorer pickguard, black control plate cover, and black Mini Grover Kidney tuners.

The new Gibson Explorer Blackout has an MSRP of $1,999. Visit Gibson for further details.

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