Lzzy Hale Explorer

Gibson Lzzy Hale Explorer Dark (2018)

Gibson Lzzy Hale Explorer has an iconic rebellious body shape, gold hardware and epic ebony finish to the fast playing neck and 57 Classic pickups. Stunning looks coupled with classic Gibson tones. This result in a rock guitar truly worthy of the world class artist behind its design. The new Gibson Lzzy Hale Explorer Dark certainly packs a punch.


For the first few years of their production, Gibson’s famous “Patent Applied For” humbuckers were wound using imprecise machines. This resulting in pickups with slightly different output and tone. They were – and remain today – as very desirable to players who want to mix and match and explore a complete spectrum of tonal possibilities. The ’57 Classic vintage style humbucker is the result of Gibson’s drive to capture and recreate this renowned characteristic. Introduced in 1990, the ’57 Classic provides warm, full tone with a balanced response, packing that classic Gibson PAF humbucker crunch. They are made to the exact same specs as the original PAFs. Also including Alnico II magnets, nickel-plated pole pieces, nickel slugs, maple spacers, and vintage-style, two-conductor braided wiring. The pickups are also wax potted to remove all internal air space and any chance of microphonic feedback.


Gibson USA has always been about creating a better guitar, and back in the mid- ’90s started looking into whether there might be comparable alternatives to the conventional fretboard. None of them really panned out except for Richlite, which appeared promising. However, the question of whether to use a different fretboard material wasn’t a question to be taken lightly.

After two decades of research and discussions with guitarists, Gibson determined that Richlite was not only the best alternative to woods like ebony, but was actually superior. Although the downside is that it’s more expensive to make guitars with Richlite fretboards than ebony, there are some very attractive benefits.

Perhaps most importantly, the quality is consistently high—you don’t have to wade through batches of Richlite to find “good” Richlite. Also, many guitar players feel strings bend more smoothly on a Richlite fingerboard, and tonally speaking, virtually no one can tell the difference in a blind test. Another little-known advantage is with white guitars. The pigments in rosewood and ebony can “bleed” during the finishing process, and end up coloring the white finish. Richlite won’t do that; it’s also scratch, heat, and stain-resistant, as well as being non-toxic, non-warping, and made in the USA. Finally, neck bow issues are less likely because you don’t have two different wood species expanding and contracting at different rates, and frets don’t loosen due to wood shrinkage.


Body: Mahogany
Neck type: Slim Taper Mahogany
Fretboard: Richlite
Frets: 22
Tuners: Locking Mini Grovers
Bridge: Aluminum Tune-O-Matic
Neck pickup: 57 Classic
Bridge pickup: 57 Classic +
Pickup switch: 3-way Toggle
Controls: 2x Volume, 1x Tone
Strings: 6 strings
Price: $2,299
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Orville Gibson founded the company in 1902 as “The Gibson Mandolin-Guitar Mfg. Co., Ltd.” in Kalamazoo, Michigan to make mandolin-family instruments. Gibson invented archtop guitars by constructing the same type of carved, arched tops used on violins. By the 1930s, the company was also making flattop acoustic guitars, as well as one of the first commercially available hollow-body electric guitars, used and popularized by Charlie Christian. Check out www.gibson.com