Presenting the Gibson Tribal Explorer

Introduced in 1958, the Gibson Explorer has been a symbol of rock extremism for more than 50 years. It was too radical for many players in its day, but when hard rock and heavy metal came to town in the late ’60s and early ’70s, an Explorer was the ultimate guitar to be seen with, a total declaration of crushing rock action.

Through the years, it has also become a beloved instrument in the hands of a wide range of guitar stars of all genres, from Eric Clapton to U2’s The Edge. Now, the latest issue in Gibson’s Limited Run Series takes the classic Explorer format to the next level in the form of the Tribal Explorer, an instrument honed for the contemporary rock and shred player. Available from early April 2009, it will be produced in a strictly limited run of 350 guitars, and is destined to appeal to the collector just as much as the player.

Gibson Tribal Explorer

The original Explorer is a tough act to follow, looks wise, but the Tribal Explorer heaps on a bucketload of added edge and attitude. Its solid mahogany body and neck are dressed in a custom white finish and decorated on its body and headstock with this Limited Run model’s exclusive black Tribal Pattern design. Its unbound ebony fingerboard with acrylic dot position markers provide an austere contrast on this unique but businesslike rock tool, while black chrome hardware and white pickup mounting rings complete the package.

The Tribal Explorer updates the original Explorer’s iconic lines with a sizzling new power train designed to offer the muscle and versatility demanded by the 21st century rocker. 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.

Through a clean channel, they offer thumping lows and sweet highs; injected into a high-gain amp, however, they really come into their own, yielding eviscerating midrange and sizzling lead tones, with nearly endless sustain when desired.

The Tribal Explorer adds an extra dimension to the rock action with a factory mounted Kahler Tremolo system. The ultimate tailpiece for anything from deep divebombing to subtle vibrato effects, the Kahler is partnered by a Corian nut and locking Grover kidney tuners to get it all right back to pitch, however extreme your action. The entire package is rendered with Gibson’s legendary playability, with 22 jumbo frets, and a 24-3/4″ scale length.

Gibson Tribal Explorer

Whether you’re a player seeking a professional rock instrument that’s totally uncompromised in both looks and performance, or a collector in search of that ultimate trophy piece, the Tribal Explorer is an axe worth grinding. Get in there quickly, because they won’t last long.

The Limited Run from Gibson USA is restricted to 350 guitars, so contact your authorized Gibson dealer today. Each comes with a black Gibson hardshell case with white interior and Gibson USA logo.


Made In: Nashville, TN USA

Body Wood: Mahogany

Finish: White with black Tribal Pattern

Neck Wood: Mahogany

Nut: Corian

Neck Joint: Set; Glued-in

Fingerboard: Ebony with acrylic dots

Scale Length: 24-3/4″

Fingerboard Radius: 12″

Frets: 22

Tuners: Grover mini, locking

Hardware: Black Chrome

Pickups: 496R neck, 500T bridge

Controls: Two Volume control, one Tone control, three-way switch

Bridge: Kahler Vibrato system

Includes: Hardshell case and 2009 Limited Run Series certificate of authenticity

For more information, please visit

This is a Press Release

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2 thoughts on “Presenting the Gibson Tribal Explorer”

  1. Re: Introduced in 1958, the Gibson Explorer has been a symbol... Presenting the Gibson Tribal Explorer

    I personally think this guitar is neat. I would not spend money on it unless it was below $800 but I would be thrilled to have it if I won it in one of Gibson’s contests. Gibson is just trying to appeal to younger crouds looking for a cool guitar with the Gibson name on it, I agree that it is Dean’s job to send out the wicked tribals and whatnot but I don’t think this is over the top.

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