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  1. #1
    Les Paul Forum Member
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    Anybody Ever seen a 1985 Gibson Explorer XPL Custom Shop?

    [IMG][/IMG][IMG][/IMG][IMG][/IMG]I have a 1985 Gibson Explorer XPL Custom Shop Sticker
    On Back of Headstock Neck Like a 1966 Non Reverse Firebird Profile
    Ebony Fretboard Kahler Tremelo with Metal Nut 3 Tone Sunburst Finish
    That Looks like a 58 Burst Figured Top with Binding Extra cut on Body
    treble side like a half moon 1 toggle switch below 2 control knobs
    2 White Humbucking Pickups No covers mini grover tuners all original
    a very light Guitar that Plays itself and is a monster can you say Hair Band!
    Its Really A Cool Guitar all i can find is a 1 year production on this
    Neck Through Body one piece
    Big Black Gibson case with gold Silkscreen logo Any Info would be Helpful Thanks
    Last edited by samsdad; 03-21-16 at 04:52 PM.

  2. #2
    Les Paul Forum Member Strings Jr.'s Avatar
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    Re: Anybody Ever seen a 1985 Gibson Explorer XPL Custom Shop?

    Yes, that's a rare guitar you have there. I could only find a couple in my records, and they were dated much later than yours. These were made at a time when there was a lot of "experimentation" going on. Aimed at the 80's "metal market", they just never caught on. Not to belittle your guitar, but that tremolo was the worst I ever dealt with, and IMO it's what killed this model.
    Last edited by Strings Jr.; 03-22-16 at 10:05 PM.

  3. #3
    Les Paul Forum Member
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    Re: Anybody Ever seen a 1985 Gibson Explorer XPL Custom Shop?

    Yeah. The bass player in a band I was in a few years ago had one. Not sure what the original color was, but it had faded to kind of a salmon color. Had Gibson Dirty Finger pups in it. Sounded awesome, but was pretty ugly. I should have bought it from him.

  4. #4
    Forum Moderator KennyF's Avatar
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    Re: Anybody Ever seen a 1985 Gibson Explorer XPL Custom Shop?

    Quote Originally Posted by Strings Jr. View Post
    Not to belittle your guitar, but that tremolo was the worst I ever dealt with, and IMO it's what killed this model.
    I actually destroyed an old Charvel, by throwing it against my basement wall, out of frustration with the Kahler tremolo... True story... I was young... I'm all better now...
    Stop by and get reacquainted with The all NEW Fender Forum

  5. #5
    Les Paul Forum Member
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    Re: Anybody Ever seen a 1985 Gibson Explorer XPL Custom Shop?

    I Am selling This Explorer and 8 Les Pauls and over 50 Fenders
    For A Private Collector Cleaning House I Knew it was Rare when i saw it
    He Gave me this one and i never seen anything like it before
    Its a cool Guitar and has a great neck on it very Light and smallish Body
    I agree the Tremelo Is Odd I think its a Gibson/Kahler Effort
    But It Does Work A fun Guitar to mess around with and poke out an eye
    The Guitar is like new with the Original Gibson Case
    Maybe they were trying to have there own Hair/Van Halen Guitar?
    Anyway it is what it is does anybody Know a correct value for this Monster?
    Thanks Samsdad

  6. #6

    Re: Anybody Ever seen a 1985 Gibson Explorer XPL Custom Shop?

    Quote Originally Posted by KennyF View Post
    I actually destroyed an old Charvel, by throwing it against my basement wall, out of frustration with the Kahler tremolo... True story... I was young... I'm all better now...
    Kahler is my favorite system. Can make it 100% how you want it with several different metals available to get the exact tone your looking for and ea. string is 6 way adjustable to make it exactly how you want it. The rollers do not pivot, so whammy use keeps the strings all in tune. It feels more comfortable to have the heal of your hand resting behind the rollers than with a sharp angle and makes palm mutes as simple as typical picking. (Reason why Zakk Wylde strings his Les Paul how he does) The rear tuners move a long way, so you can drop tune without needing to release the string locks on the neck. If you had it set up properly, I think you would love Kahler tremolos. If the rollers get banged up or just age poorly, it will never stay in tune though. hahaha I bet your rollers were damaged. It happens. Best combo is steel rollers on brass bass for great harmonics and sustain (steel) but warmth in tone from brass bass in mahogany body.
    I'm OCG about my guitar setups, so maybe that's why I love Kahler's so much. a 40 year old tremolo will likely be in bad shape though. The new ones drop right in if you need an upgrade.

  7. #7

    Re: Anybody Ever seen a 1985 Gibson Explorer XPL Custom Shop?

    BTW...I think that guitar is awesome! If the rollers are moving as they should, it would be a guitar I would personally love to own. IMHO a good Kahler is the best selling point on a killer guitar like that. It's meant to rock! Congrats!!
    How much are you looking for on that? I love it! I'd have to sell a different guitar to get it at the moment, unless interested in a trade of some sort. It would likely need some tremolo work, but that's fun for me.
    Last edited by Boosttt; 06-27-19 at 08:17 PM.

  8. #8

    Re: Anybody Ever seen a 1985 Gibson Explorer XPL Custom Shop?

    Quote Originally Posted by Strings Jr. View Post
    that tremolo was the worst I ever dealt with, and IMO it's what killed this model.
    My experience with Kahler was the same, it was unfortunately absolutely horrible.
    Playing a solo over my friends amiga retro wave song
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=iJHqt_lpyKM
    Here is a clip of me and my Gibson Government Les Paul https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Kc_G_MuaIg

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