Up for sale, a 2001 Gibson Limited Edition Explorer "Clapton Cut" in excellent condition and in perfect working order, complete with the original hardshell case and hangtags. This Explorer was ordered by Gibson's Japanese distributor Yamano, and Gibson's USA-made guitars distributed via Yamano are often considered among their best, featuring the highest quality woods hand-picked for Gibson's discerning Japanese audience.
This Explorer sports a gloss Natural nitro lacquer finish, with mahogany body and neck construction, and for this Limited Edition model, Gibson replicated the unique modification Eric Clapton famously made to the lower body point of his '58 Explorer. And while most examples of this rare model have gold hardware, this particular example features all original chrome-plated hardware.
Via the original 496R and 500T humbucker pair, the guitar has plenty of power on tap, and these ceramic magnet pickups are focused and cutting, pushing an amp hard with ample punch and bass-register clarity, ideal for high gain scenarios. The radically shaped solid mahogany body adds inherent warmth and fullness to the sound too. This Explorer weighs 7lbs 2oz, professionally setup here at Mike & Mike’s Guitar Bar with 10-46 strings, low action, and spot-on intonation.
The one-piece mahogany neck has a slender C-shaped profile carve with round shoulders in every register, measuring .780” deep at the 1st fret and .875” at the 12th. The rosewood fretboard has a 12” radius, and the medium jumbo fretwire retains its full factory height and well-rounded crowns, showing only light wear beneath the plain strings on the crowns of frets 1-9. This guitar plays cleanly up the 24 3/4“ scale with a straight neck and a responsive, optimally-adjusted truss rod. The nut measures a full 1 11/16” in width. On the headstock, the mini Grover Rotomatic tuners turn smoothly and hold accurate pitch, with clean chrome plating. The back of the headstock has the stamped serial and Limited Edition badge.
All of the electronics work as they should, with a three-way pickup selector, individual Volume controls for each pickup and a Master Tone control. The harness was previously rewired, now returned to stock with a new Sprague Orange Drop tone cap. The stock hardware has bright chrome plating on the Nashville bridge and corresponding stopbar. Plastics comprise the clean three-ply white pickguard and the trio of black speed knobs.
The gloss Natural finish is very well-kept, with cosmetic wear limited to very light buckle worming central to the back, and a few additional minor marks and light finish scratches on the body as a whole. The gloss finish on the neck profile is smooth and clean, with just one shallow mark on the bass-side shoulder behind fret 5.
The original Gibson-branded brown tolex hardshell case with pink plush interior is included, along with the factory hangtags (two of which are in Japanese, given the Yamano distribution).