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Gibson Original Series Classic V and Explorer

Gibson Original Series Classic V and Explorer. Authentic '70s tone  ·  Source: Gibson

Gibson has now officially dropped new models for its Original Collection with ’70s-style Flying V and Explorer models. I’m excited! I’ve have a soft spot for that era and these could be the just thing to inspire you to rock out with your favourite amp stack.

1970s Style

The latest additions to Gibson’s Original Collection are two classic ’50s guitar shapes, but this year Gibson has decided on versions with ’70s styling. The rock vibe of the new Flying V and Explorer models conjure up images of hard-rocking 1970s rock acts playing chugging riffs and blues-soaked, warped pentatonic solos.

Gibson Original Series Classic V and Explorer

Gibson Original Series Classic V and Explorer. Authentic ’70s tone

Original Collection Flying V

Anyone that follows my articles on here will know that I’m a sucker for a Flying V (I currently own three). So I’m pleased to see the new Original Collection ‘70s Flying V model. It has a redesigned bound rosewood fingerboard, slim taper neck and a pair of uncovered ‘70s tribute hand-wired Burstbuckers pickups and incorporates ‘orange drop’ capacitors.

I’m not convinced the orange drops will do much, other than add consistency to the tolerances. But these Burstbuckers should be really good, especially if they get close to those old ’70s pickups. I love old Gibson T-Top humbuckers, Dirty Fingers and ‘Tar backs’ too. So hopefully these pickups will sound something like those.

Gibson Original Series Classic Flying V

Gibson Original Series Classic Flying V

Original Collection Explorer

Another absolute classic and a guitar shape I have always admired. The new Original Collection Explorer has the same specifications as its sister Flying V above, except that it has that ‘huge slab of wood’ body shape we all know and love.

Both models come in a white-on-white look for the nitrocellulose finish and pickguard, with matching headstocks. They also sport silver reflector knobs and chrome hardware. It’s all very in keeping with ’70s Norlin Gibson models.

Gibson Original Series Classic Explorer

Gibson Original Series Classic Explorer

Metal Up Yer ….

Metallica‘s James Hetfield played a copy of one of these original Flying V models during the best years of the band. Many will associate this model with him, even though his original guitar was a bolt-on neck copy!

My summary: if you like the Norlin-era Gibson models and grew up on classic rock or NWOBHM, then you will know what both these guitars are all about. If the price is right, then I’m in.


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by Jef

One response to “NAMM 2020: Gibson goes ’70s with Original Collection Classic V and Explorer”

  1. To me, a 70’s V has a thinner body and the rounded headstock; they were also really light and made of mahogany. The 70’s explorers I’ve played typically were also very light and usually had beefy necks. I guess it’s be interesting to see, once the specs are out, what is actually reminiscent of the mid 70’s guitars. The pics look like regular production guitars, and different pickups and knobs aren’t enough to make me interested in either of these (I am a fan of the explorer and would really like an accurate 70’s reissue).

    I could be wrong but, I think Hetfield is much more associated with the Explorer 83 w/no pickguard and the triangular knob placement, and I think it was his original V, not explorer, that was a bolt-on copy.

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