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  1. #41

    Re: My list of known original '58 through '63 korina Explorer serial numbers

    Quote Originally Posted by MisterMiniMite View Post
    Very interesting picture!
    Check out the neck tenon in that shot on the bottom right. If I'm not mistaken, the original Explorers had a neck tenon that actually extended so long that it went beyond the neck pickup cavity. The neck tenon on this Futura looks similar to a standard Les Paul tenon of that era, which I think is interesting. I wish I knew more about Futura specs
    Just to show what a fool I am - of course, the tenon would *have* to be this way (Les Paul type), because as I look at the picture again, the pickguard doesn't exend over that center part of the guitar to cover up an extended tenon like that - duh

  2. #42
    Les Paul Forum Member
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    Re: My list of known original '58 through '63 korina Explorer serial numbers

    Fred hows it going? Not to be a disbeliever but thats one of them I'd have to see it in person to believe it. 1st off there were definately some protoypes of the Explorer called the futura built but I have never seen one with a ser # let alone a logo. I have the same book as well and there have been forgeries floating around in Japan probably way longer than here in the states. another Explorer I'm uncertain about is Rick Nielsons split peghead shown in the Book Guitars of the Stars volume 1 circa 1993. It looks too clean but then again who am I to jugde. I figured there were only a few built with the split and I suppose it could be real or back then he had the money to do anyting so he could have had one built. Image guitars had an ad back in the early 80's in guitar mags stating they were building guitars they used to make and the price was somewhere around 2500 or so and they built a few Explorers and Vs but these early replica builds did have some issues or tell tell signs to distinguish these from originals. I think the builder was known later to build some excellent burst replicas. MisterMiniMite you can add ser # 8 3882 to our list as I have found several pics of it. I have found some pics and will post as soon as I scan them to my computer.

  3. #43
    Les Paul Forum Member
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    Re: My list of known original '58 through '63 korina Explorer serial numbers

    Well guys sorry for the poor picture quality but I will get them professionally put on a cd so I will have them and re-post them but for now I have several old Explorer photos. Here is 9 1715 on the left and below left taken about 10 yrs ago. on the right anf below right is me circa 1985 holding 8 4543. notice how figured the backs and necks were. it almost looks like the necks were curly limba. they look like they came from the same plank of wood. I had taken the vibrola off mine but had it in its case. I also have a decent photo of Slash's Explorer with a bigsby before he bought it.

    http://s12.photobucket.com/albums/a2...lorer58-63.jpg

  4. #44
    Les Paul Forum Member keef's Avatar
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    Re: My list of known original '58 through '63 korina Explorer serial numbers

    Always wanted for someone to do THE book on the old Explorers....even thought about doing that myself...

    "Beauty of the Fins"...

  5. #45
    Les Paul Forum Member ultra's Avatar
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    Re: My list of known original '58 through '63 korina Explorer serial numbers

    I have 2 more numbers that you could consider for your list:

    8 3848 which I saw and held in Mike Stevens shop in 1998 for a hockey stick headstock repair. This repair was subsequently reported in StewMac's "Trade Secrets" section of January 2000, issue #81.

    8 4561 was photographed as an October centrefold along with a V and Explorer Bass in The Vintage Guitar Calendar 1993.

    I hope that this info is helpful.

    ultra

  6. #46

    Re: My list of known original '58 through '63 korina Explorer serial numbers

    That guitar ('57 Futura) is as fake as they come.Remember folks,the korina explorer has been copied for longer than people were originally able to discern the differences.I can vividly recall being at a guitar show in '91 with CFH and both of us looking at an Explorer in the booth of a very well known dealer who swore up and down that the one he had (along with a V),was real when we could see quite clearly it wasn't.(He failed to even see that it had an indian rosewood board).So,this was in '91.Imagine how many more have surfaced,especially with the growing information and attention to details most would look for these days.I also know for a fact that one split headstock,(G" only inlayed in the headstock) that was in a famous Hollywood store a few years back is not right either.A great fake,but not the real deal.Oh and the official name for the "hockey headstock" is a "scimitar" headstock.Great thread.

  7. #47
    Les Paul Forum Member
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    Re: My list of known original '58 through '63 korina Explorer serial numbers

    Keef,
    great thought about a book on Explorers as I have thought about it for yrs but it would only be about 40 so guitars unless some included the 1st reissues in the 70's and so on. At least one day we might be able to account for most of the Explorers built unlike all the burst and the V's which there are quite of few forgeries out there. Another note Wlillies American guitars has got the best example of a replica Explorer with the split peghead I've ever seen. It even has pafs and all correct hardware including an old case. Its a Max of course and the price Well look for yourself. I think somewhere over 50k.this goes to show you there were some very authentic looking replicas made.

  8. #48
    Les Paul Forum Member 59gibson's Avatar
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    Re: My list of known original '58 through '63 korina Explorer serial numbers

    Quote Originally Posted by burstman59 View Post
    Fred hows it going? Not to be a disbeliever but thats one of them I'd have to see it in person to believe it. 1st off there were definately some protoypes of the Explorer called the futura built but I have never seen one with a ser # let alone a logo. I have the same book as well and there have been forgeries floating around in Japan probably way longer than here in the states. another Explorer I'm uncertain about is Rick Nielsons split peghead shown in the Book Guitars of the Stars volume 1 circa 1993. It looks too clean but then again who am I to jugde. I figured there were only a few built with the split and I suppose it could be real or back then he had the money to do anyting so he could have had one built. Image guitars had an ad back in the early 80's in guitar mags stating they were building guitars they used to make and the price was somewhere around 2500 or so and they built a few Explorers and Vs but these early replica builds did have some issues or tell tell signs to distinguish these from originals. I think the builder was known later to build some excellent burst replicas. MisterMiniMite you can add ser # 8 3882 to our list as I have found several pics of it. I have found some pics and will post as soon as I scan them to my computer.
    Gary,

    All is well. I agree 100% with you. I wasn't saying that I believe this Futura to be real. I said "if real (righteous)" then it pre-dates all the other korinas. I too, would like to see it in person. I did see the Mahogany Futura in person back in the early 90's when Dave Schaefer of Overland Express owned it. However, I didin't know enough about Futuras or Explorers to even render a opinion. That is a very interesting guitar.

  9. #49

    Re: My list of known original '58 through '63 korina Explorer serial numbers

    Thanks for all the continuing great info!

    Just incorporating the three new additions, now we seem to (tentatively/cautiously) be at a total of 30:


    8-1008
    8-1431
    8-2118
    8-2142
    8-2153
    8-3549
    8-3848
    8-3849
    8-3850
    8-3873
    8-3876
    8-3882
    8-4096
    8-4451
    8-4536
    8-4539
    8-4541
    8-4542
    8-4543
    8-4545
    8-4548
    8-4549
    8-4552
    8-4559
    8-4561
    8-4567
    8 4592
    9-1715
    27121 (pressed-in)
    28012 (pressed-in)

  10. #50

    Re: My list of known original '58 through '63 korina Explorer serial numbers

    Since this thread seems to be slowing down at the moment, I will tell you a great Ted McCarty story that perhaps a few of you may have heard.

    When Ted designed the Modernistic korina guitars, it was very much a personal competitive thing between Ted and Leo - probably even more so than a broader competition between Gibson and Fender, the companies. If you'll notice, in a lot of the McCarty interviews and quotes out there, he says "Leo" this and "Leo" that a lot - more often than he says "Fender." So, in a lot of ways, from Ted's perspective, it was personal, Ted against Leo. Just as an example, in one interview, McCarty said: "Leo was talking trash about me so I designed those guitars to shut him up."

    So... we all know, as President of Gibson, in hindsight, from a pure business strategy standpoint, Ted's decision to design and go forward with the Flying V and the Explorer proved to be a bad - maybe even reckless - one for Gibson at that time in 1958. Well, Gibson ownership wasn't happy. The korina Modernistic series was Ted's personal idea and he was ultimately responsible for convincing Gibson ownership to go along with it. Apparently, Ted was reprimanded by Gibson ownership for his poor judgment - the main issue was that Gibson had gone ahead and bought a big supply of korina in anticipation of building these new guitars (Gibson already had a relatively modest amount of korina on hand for the continued production of the EH-500 Skylark lap steel which started shipping in early '57, but in '58, they had bought a bunch more wood, mainly for the new Modernistics, and also continuing with the Skylarks, going forward...).

    So, with the Modernistics now an obvious bust, Ted knew that he had to do something. And that something was:

    Ted bought a bunch of the korina from Gibson and used the wood to have beautiful custom kitchen cabinets made in his house in Kalamazoo.

    His wife was very happy with them!

  11. #51
    Les Paul Forum Member keef's Avatar
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    Re: My list of known original '58 through '63 korina Explorer serial numbers

    Jeez - where is that house..and that kitchen???

  12. #52
    Les Paul Forum Member Plankspanker's Avatar
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    Re: My list of known original '58 through '63 korina Explorer serial numbers

    There's dark mahoghany '57 prototype here in town owned by a collector. It's quite the instument. Doesn't have any logo on the split headstock.

  13. #53
    Les Paul Forum Member 59gibson's Avatar
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    Re: My list of known original '58 through '63 korina Explorer serial numbers

    Quote Originally Posted by Plankspanker View Post
    There's dark mahoghany '57 prototype here in town owned by a collector. It's quite the instument. Doesn't have any logo on the split headstock.
    Hi Robert,

    Is this the one you're talking about? This is the guitar I referred to in my earlier post.


  14. #54
    Burst Detective! zorglub!'s Avatar
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    Re: My list of known original '58 through '63 korina Explorer serial numbers

    hmmm... I like the way you guys think...

  15. #55
    Les Paul Forum Member shuie's Avatar
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    Re: My list of known original '58 through '63 korina Explorer serial numbers

    That Futura is the one thats in the Duchossoir book. Considering that association alone, I believe it's legit, but I don't understand how it was ever verified. Allegedly, this is the prototype and the only one ever built.

    This is a really fascinating guitar to me. The ribbons in the wood around the knobs and on the back make it look like its made of African Mahogany, IMO. Although African Mahogany looks very similar to real mahogany, its not really Mahogany at all. Its a different species of wood that I've only seen used on more modern guitars in lieu of good lightweight real South or Central American Mahogany. We all know Gibson had a pretty good supply of real mahogany around 1957 so why would they use this stuff? Im not a guru on the old guitars at all, but I've never seen pictures of another '50s Gibson solid body guitar that for even a second I suspected was made from African Mahogany.

    Also, it kills me that only a single example of the Futura could possibly exist and that the Japanese companies have still managed to copy it accurately

  16. #56
    Les Paul Forum Member Plankspanker's Avatar
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    Re: My list of known original '58 through '63 korina Explorer serial numbers

    That looks like it. It's been about two years since I last saw it in person.I remember it having some wear on it. Whoever owned it prior must have gigged with it/

    I also saw another one here in Phoenix that was a carbon copy of this Mahoghany one, but it was a Max that was being refinished at a fiend's workshop.

  17. #57
    Les Paul Forum Member keef's Avatar
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    Re: My list of known original '58 through '63 korina Explorer serial numbers

    Quote Originally Posted by shuie View Post
    Also, it kills me that only a single example of the Futura could possibly exist and that the Japanese companies have still managed to copy it accurately
    I understood that there were more Futuras made and currently in existence. BTW - there is a photo of Gibson's Clarence Havinga holding one at a '50s trade show, probably pictured in the Duchossoir book.

  18. #58
    Les Paul Forum Member shuie's Avatar
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    Re: My list of known original '58 through '63 korina Explorer serial numbers

    Quote Originally Posted by keef View Post
    I understood that there were more Futuras made and currently in existence. BTW - there is a photo of Gibson's Clarence Havinga holding one at a '50s trade show, probably pictured in the Duchossoir book.
    You're right. Id overlooked that. The guitar Havinga is holding in the pic from the 1957 NAMM show (p.71 in the Duchossoir book) is Korina and has no controls.
    Last edited by shuie; 03-15-07 at 05:58 AM.

  19. #59
    Les Paul Forum Member 8 5419 & 8 1689's Avatar
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    Re: My list of known original '58 through '63 korina Explorer serial numbers

    Just for the fun of it, here's one I bought in the late 80's. It was sold to me as a 1976 reissue proto' that never went to production. Came directly from a Gibson sales rep. who said he got it wood only, but when I bought it had all 50's parts including P.A.F.'s . The neck had a V profile, and was two-piece mahogany, body was one piece.

  20. #60
    Les Paul Forum Member 59gibson's Avatar
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    Re: My list of known original '58 through '63 korina Explorer serial numbers

    Quote Originally Posted by 8 5419 & 8 1689 View Post
    Just for the fun of it, here's one I bought in the late 80's. It was sold to me as a 1976 reissue proto' that never went to production. Came directly from a Gibson sales rep. who said he got it wood only, but when I bought it had all 50's parts including P.A.F.'s . The neck had a V profile, and was two-piece mahogany, body was one piece.


    That is just too cool

  21. #61
    Les Paul Forum Member keef's Avatar
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    Re: My list of known original '58 through '63 korina Explorer serial numbers

    You gotta love the LPF..!

  22. #62
    Les Paul Forum Member ultra's Avatar
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    Re: My list of known original '58 through '63 korina Explorer serial numbers

    I have asked Michael Stevens to look into his korina files and he has come up with 4 more numbers, as well as confirming may of the numbers already listed.....some listed with nickel hardware.

    The numbers not previously listed are:

    8 3868
    8 3872
    8 4544
    8 4550

    I hope that this helps.

  23. #63

    Re: My list of known original '58 through '63 korina Explorer serial numbers

    Quote Originally Posted by ultra View Post
    I have asked Michael Stevens to look into his korina files and he has come up with 4 more numbers, as well as confirming may of the numbers already listed.....some listed with nickel hardware.

    The numbers not previously listed are:

    8 3868
    8 3872
    8 4544
    8 4550

    I hope that this helps.

    Thanks! Incorporating those four into the list, we now have 34 serial numbers:

    8-1008
    8-1431
    8-2118
    8-2142
    8-2153
    8-3549
    8-3848
    8-3849
    8-3850
    8-3868
    8-3872
    8-3873
    8-3876
    8-3882
    8-4096
    8-4451
    8-4536
    8-4539
    8-4541
    8-4542
    8-4543
    8-4544
    8-4545
    8-4548
    8-4549
    8 4550
    8-4552
    8-4559
    8-4561
    8-4567
    8 4592
    9-1715
    27121 (pressed-in)
    28012 (pressed-in)

    Although we obviously can't be certain that every one of these is genuine, I think it's a pretty good effort nonetheless. It's pretty interesting to see them all listed sequentially like this...

  24. #64

    Re: My list of known original '58 through '63 korina Explorer serial numbers

    Here are some photos of a 1958 Explorer that belonged to a local musician (Dayton Ohio) Pal Jennings. The first photo was taken around 1970 and the second I believe around 1980. Pal left this world and his Explorer was subsequently sold to Slash through Dave Hussong. Unfortunately, Dave does not recall the serial number but he does know it was in fact a '58. At some point, the pickguard was changed from a black to white.






  25. #65
    Les Paul Forum Member 59gibson's Avatar
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    Re: My list of known original '58 through '63 korina Explorer serial numbers

    Very cool photos I don't believe I've ever seen a original Korina Explorer with a factory black pickguard. I know some of the early Vs had them and never knew any Explorers had them too. Once again, NEVER say NEVER with Gibson

  26. #66

    Re: My list of known original '58 through '63 korina Explorer serial numbers

    What's the story on the control plate behind the switch? 8-4548 has a plate, 8-3873 does not. How were most Explorers constructed?

    8-4548


    8-3873

  27. #67
    Les Paul Forum Member shuie's Avatar
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    Re: My list of known original '58 through '63 korina Explorer serial numbers

    Quote Originally Posted by DANELECTRO View Post
    What's the story on the control plate behind the switch? 8-4548 has a plate, 8-3873 does not. How were most Explorers constructed?
    I dont know how most were done, but its been documented that they were done both ways. I'd love to see detailed photos of each under the pickguard

  28. #68
    Les Paul Forum Member shuie's Avatar
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    Re: My list of known original '58 through '63 korina Explorer serial numbers

    Has TW59 ever posted the serial number for his? I've read here that it was stolen. Hopefully this thread would help recover it

  29. #69

    Re: My list of known original '58 through '63 korina Explorer serial numbers

    Quote Originally Posted by 59gibson View Post
    Very cool photos I don't believe I've ever seen a original Korina Explorer with a factory black pickguard. I know some of the early Vs had them and never knew any Explorers had them too. Once again, NEVER say NEVER with Gibson
    I checked with Dave again about this guitar and he said the black guard was not original.

  30. #70
    Les Paul Forum Member j45's Avatar
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    Re: My list of known original '58 through '63 korina Explorer serial numbers

    Houston blues-rocker Kenny Cordray holding Explorer with a very young Billy Gibbons on far right. Below, shameless inclusion of my '76 PAF conversion Skinner wanna-be.





  31. #71

    Re: My list of known original '58 through '63 korina Explorer serial numbers

    http://www.neil-young.info/gitarren.html

    At one time Neil YOung also owned one
    Journalist for music and gear related topics.

  32. #72
    Les Paul Forum Member
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    Re: My list of known original '58 through '63 korina Explorer serial numbers

    8-4551 ('58 body issued in 1963 with all nickel parts including patent # pups)...

  33. #73

    Re: My list of known original '58 through '63 korina Explorer serial numbers

    i have a friend who owns a vintage guitar shop. he sold a 1950s goldtop to steve stevenson when he was in town and visited his shop. a part of the deal was a 1958 explorer he got from steve stevenson. the explorer has a 1958 serial number, i just saw it yesterday and a split headstock. the guitar was very much hollowed out under the pickguard to reduce the weight. it has a very big neck and actually is still heavy. i was impressed when i saw the guitar a year ago, in the meantime i thought it canīt be real, so i never paid attention again to that explorer. yesterday i played it again and the wood looks to be a very nice piece of korina, the finish looks very old too. i really donīt know if it is real, but he has no doubt, and he has a lot of vintage gibson knowledge. gerry

  34. #74
    Les Paul Forum Member keef's Avatar
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    Re: My list of known original '58 through '63 korina Explorer serial numbers

    cool - ask your friend for the serial #!

  35. #75

    Re: My list of known original '58 through '63 korina Explorer serial numbers

    are the original korina explorers heavy. this one is still heavy, but if you hold it in your hands it is really massive, thick, big, imposant. the neck is really fat. much fatter than my 55 les paul custom neck.
    i will check the serial number.

  36. #76

    Re: My list of known original '58 through '63 korina Explorer serial numbers

    Quote Originally Posted by DANELECTRO View Post
    What's the story on the control plate behind the switch? 8-4548 has a plate, 8-3873 does not. How were most Explorers constructed?


    8-3873
    Is that Les Leiva from the Guitar Loft in NYC (circa 1980) and Chelsea Guitars (early 90s)?

  37. #77

    Re: My list of known original '58 through '63 korina Explorer serial numbers

    That's Mike Parker and his Explorer. He also owned a '59 V. He lived in Napa, however, he died several years ago.

  38. #78
    Les Paul Forum Member keef's Avatar
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    Re: My list of known original '58 through '63 korina Explorer serial numbers

    Coolest thread EVER.

    Really.

  39. #79

    Re: My list of known original '58 through '63 korina Explorer serial numbers

    Quote Originally Posted by DANELECTRO View Post
    Entwistle had one. Here's a photo from 1982 GP.





    Can you imagine people were paying up to 15-20 times the original cost of these? They must have been crazy.
    The Entwistle Explorer was #8 4451

  40. #80

    Re: My list of known original '58 through '63 korina Explorer serial numbers

    So, we now have 35 serial numbers. Maybe. No matter what I still think this is a great effort by everyone:

    8-1008
    8-1431
    8-2118
    8-2142
    8-2153
    8-3549
    8-3848
    8-3849
    8-3850
    8-3868
    8-3872
    8-3873
    8-3876
    8-3882
    8-4096
    8-4451
    8-4536
    8-4539
    8-4541
    8-4542
    8-4543
    8-4544
    8-4545
    8-4548
    8-4549
    8-4550
    8-4551
    8-4552
    8-4559
    8-4561
    8-4567
    8-4592
    9-1715
    27121 (pressed-in)
    28012 (pressed-in)

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