Introducing the Gibson Holy Explorer

Gibson USA has introduced the first offering of its new 2009 Limited Run Series guitars, the Holy Explorer. An enormously playful take on the seminal Explorer, the Holy Explorer from Gibson USA offers all the meaty tone and speedy playability of the original model. Yet, while following the exact body lines of its iconic predecessor from the Modernistic Series of 1958, the solid mahogany body of this new Limited Run Series model is shot full of holes, creating both a lighter guitar and an interesting modification of the original Explorer’s resonant characteristics.

Gibson Holy Explorer

On top of it all, the Holy Explorer is certainly destined to be a collector’s item: available now from your nearby Authorized Gibson Dealer, it will be produced in a strictly limited run of just 350 guitars.

The Explorer has always been a rocker, but the Holy Explorer winds the “X” factor up a notch to crank out a contemporary descendant of the heavy rock sound. A pair of Gibson’s own uncovered ceramic-magnet humbucking pickups — a 496R in the neck and a 500T in the bridge — maximize output and sustain while retaining clarity and string definition.

The minimalist control array is designed to let you get right down to business. There’s just a single volume control, positioned for easy pinky-finger volume swells, and a three-way pickup selector — nothing superfluous to get in the way of you and your tone. And playability, naturally, is flawless, on par with the Explorer’s famous high neck/body joint and easy access right up to the 22nd fret of the Holy Explorer’s fast, super comfortable 24¾-inch scale neck, which is also made from solid mahogany.

Gibson Holy Explorer

The Holy Explorer also retains its ancestor’s distinctive “drooping” headstock with six-in-line tuners, which in this case are Grover Mini tuners. The guitar is also fitted with a 1-11/16″-wide Corian nut and Gibson’s traditional stop bar tailpiece and Tune-o-matic bridge, which keeps everything firmly anchored and ready to wail. From chunky rhythm work to screaming lead tones, the Holy X-plorer is one unholy hell raiser of an offspring of the original Modernistic rocker. Its Limited Run of 350 won’t last long, so see your nearest Authorized Gibson Dealer quickly. Each guitar comes with a customized Limited Run Series certificate of authenticity, and a black Gibson hardshell case with plush white interior and silkscreened Gibson USA logo.

Here are the specs for the new Limited Run Series Holy Explorer from Gibson USA:

Made In: Nashville, TN USA

Body Wood: Mahogany

Neck Wood: Mahogany

Nut: Corian

Neck Joint: Set; Glued-in

Fingerboard: Rosewood with acrylic dots

Scale Length: 24-3/4″

Nut Width: 1-11/16″

Fingerboard Radius: 12″

Frets: 22; jumbo

Machine Heads: Grover Mini

Hardware: Chrome

Pickups: 496R neck, 500T bridge

Controls: 1-Volume control, three-way switch

Bridge: Tune-o-matic

Tailpiece: Stop bar

Includes: Hard Case with silkscreened Gibson USA logo

For more information, please visit

This is a Press Release

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10 thoughts on “Introducing the Gibson Holy Explorer”

  1. Re: Gibson USA has introduced the first offering of its new... Introducing the Gibson Holy Explorer
    No Telling

    this is a kick in the butt for leftys , all we want is a nice gibson explorer is that too much to ask , there are thousands of leftys who just want a solid Guitar , and to get gibson to make a Guitar with holes in it ,is and insault to any Guitarest.

  2. Re: Gibson USA has introduced the first offering of its new... Introducing the Gibson Holy Explorer
    jerome martin

    Hello fellows,
    could you help me, I’m french luthier, and I’m building an explorer, do you know the exact headstock lenght of it, I have a body’s copy, and I am making the neck in olive tree, I am not shure for the headstock lenght, I don’t have the neck, that impossible to find the mesure on the web, I need that to continue, and to finish it.
    I know, the olive tree is not the lightest wood, but for an explorer, it could be great for the sustain, and more precise than walnut who is a bit unstable in the middle range.
    I thank U

  3. Re: Gibson USA has introduced the first offering of its new... Introducing the Gibson Holy Explorer

    For all you other leftys out there, Legacy(which I believe are made at the same factory as Epiphone)make an explorer-style guitar called the Inferno, and is available left-handed at no extra cost. It also comes with EMG HZ pickups, and an onboard tuner.

  4. Re: Gibson USA has introduced the first offering of its new... Introducing the Gibson Holy Explorer

    I heard this guitar cost more than a normal Explorer, and yet it weighs less (i.e. you get less for more money). Gibson really needs to make good quality, yet relatively inexpensive guitars. I mean, yes a Les Paul sound very good, but it is sometimes over $2000 dollars.
    They also need to make more lefty guitars, and stop making them so much more expensive, cause all you have to do is mirror the stinking body and/or controls.
    As cool as the holy explorer looks, Gibson needs to make less expensive guitars or less gimmicky guitars. Either way.

  5. Re: Gibson USA has introduced the first offering of its new... Introducing the Gibson Holy Explorer

    It is absurd not only that Gibson, but even Epiphone refuses to do a run of lefty Explorers. While they continue to produce some of the ugliest custom guitars money can buy for rightys like the backwards explorers with clubfoot looking headstocks and upside down flying V’s, not to mention the “creation” pictured above, they continue to spew nonsense about problems switching the assembly line around for lefty instruments. News Flash: To build the heinous looking reversed Explorers for rightys,they actually have to cut out lefty bodys. So much for the “too expensive to retool for leftys” argument. While I can believe that a new lefty Gibson Explorer (at Gibsons $$$ prices) might be a tough sell for some dealers I believe an Epiphone Explorer would fly off the racks. There is a real demand out there. Too bad the suits at Gibson/Epiphone are too blind to see it. Perhaps they’re busy engineering an upside down Les Paul and just don’t have the time… Rant over.

  6. Re: Gibson USA has introduced the first offering of its new... Introducing the Gibson Holy Explorer

    Amazing that Gibson can make a limited run of 350 guitars for a hacked-up Explorer but somehow can’t manage to do a left-handed Explorer that would probably guarantee sales 20 times over a run of this size. This Holy nonsense is obviously a recession-based play to boost what are probably poor sales, but again I find it amazing Gibson management still haven’t addressed the issue of a lefty Explorer. I know majority of you right-handers don’t care one way or the other but at least agree with me on this one!

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