Up for sale, a 1978 Greco EX800 Explorer in exceptional, 100% original condition and in perfect working order. One of the more unique and rare "lawsuit era" instruments produced at the beginning of one of Japan's most storied periods of guitar production, the EX800 faithfully replicates Gibson's original Explorer design with superb build quality.
If your brain immediately goes to early Van Halen territory, we can hardly blame you, as this guitar features identical construction to the Ibanez Destroyer model 2549. The EX800 is the same instrument under a different name, with a more Gibson-esque headstock logo, made in the famed Fujigen factory alongside its Ibanez Destroyer cousin. Same factory, same guitar!
The EX800 is loaded with the original pair of Maxon-made U-2000 humbuckers (the Super 70 humbuckers in the Ibanez iteration are also Maxon-made). These pickups feature Alnico V magnets and are articulate and warm, with good top end growl, sustain, and punch, responding well to thick overdrive. Each pickup reads 7.8k ohms, firmly in the medium output PAF range, delivering an open, dynamic top end response. The solid ash body has prominent grain, highlighted by a transparent ambered Natural finish and paired with a three-piece maple neck and glued-in long tenon neck joint. The guitar has a particularly resonant and clear natural acoustic tone, with the midrange complexity and clear note attack inherent in ash. This Explorer weighs 7lbs 13oz, professionally setup here at Mike & Mike's Guitar Bar with 11-49 strings, low action and accurate intonation.
The three-piece maple neck has a slender C-shaped profile carve at the nut with moderate shoulder and a fast feel. The fretboard edges are faintly rolled, and the profile gains a hair more heft and roundness as you travel up the fingerboard, measuring .815" deep at the 1st fret and .905" at the 12th. The rosewood slab fretboard has dot inlay and original medium jumbo frets which have their full factory height and plenty of meat, showing moderate wear beneath the plain strings on the crowns of frets 1-13 and playing cleanly up the 24 3/4" scale. The neck is straight, and the truss rod is responsive and optimally adjusted. The nut measures a full 1 11/16" in width. On the headstock, the original Greco-branded chrome tuners turn smoothly, and the J78-prefix serial number dates to October of 1978.
On the body, all of the electronics function as intended with untouched solder joints on the harness, full-size pots which date to '78, and Maxon-made U-2000 pickups that have six-digit stamps on the baseplates dating to 1978. The long neck tenon is visible in the neck pickup cavity. The hardware includes a Nashville-style Tune-o-Matic bridge and corresponding stopbar, both of which have bright chrome plating. Plastics include the original gold bonnet knobs and white multi-ply pickguard.
Extremely well-kept, cosmetic wear is limited to just a few small nicks and faint finish scratches on the body as a whole, largely relegated to the back and body perimeter. There is a single line of finish checking where the neck meets the heel cap, and the ambered gloss on the neck profile is flawless.
The original black tolex hardshell case with gold interior is included. There are some small vintage stickers on the exterior, and the case retains its trio of functional latches and the original handle.