We opened The Guitar Broker in 1989. Back in the day we acquired a few Korina Explorers that had funny small inked on serial #’s like we’ve not seen before. No one could quite figure out what these were as we all thought the 1st Korina Explorers were released in 1983 w/a Custom Shop stamp & Schaller tuners, but this pretty natural Korina Explorer had normal gold Kluson Deluxe tuners & its serial # started w/a “1” & we all were confused. Then it hit me…these must be from 1981 !!! The story goes Gibson took its 1976 mahogany Explorer specs & made less than 100 Korina Explorer Reissues in 1981 until they ran out of these Gold Kluson Tuners…hence the 1983 continuation began w/Schallers & an 8-digit stamped serial #. This ’81 has got to be 1 of the rarest guitars produced by Gibson that most of us were unaware of during their early production way back in 1981. Many collectors during the late 70’s were suggesting Gibson should make some real original copies of their favorite guitars of the past. 1st was the infamous 1959 Les Paul Std. 2nd the public wanted a real 1958 “Korina” Flying V & Explorer Reissue models. These early issues were not perfectly accurate, never-the-less, collectors rejoiced. Having had at least 3 of these 1981 Korina Explorers go thru our shop, we had 2 Natural ones & 1 Black one from memory. We specifically remember the Black one having a serial # of 1 0083 w/a white ink stamp. During a trip to LA this year I was offered a Black Korina Reissue from a friend while attending the Cali Costa Mesa Guitar Show. Thinking it was from the 1983-4 production run I said I’d buy it. As I lifted this Explorer from its case I started to tell my friend about the very 1st batch of these from 1981…OMG I then turned it over to see its serial # & BAM…its the exact same Black Explorer I owned 30 + years ago ! I was stoked & very excited. Hence she’s available now for your personal consumption. Its in exactly the same mostly unplayed condition from 30 years back w/only slight play time but no wear at all. Its gold parts are still quite clean & unfaded. Its got 2 potent Tim Shaw Humbuckers on board. Its pot codes date this to the 3rd week of 1981 making this 100% original & 1 of the best future investments out there. During Covid I went thru boxes of old photos so take notice of the photo c.1990 of the 1st natural finished 1981 Korina Explorer we discovered next to a fabulous 1983 “Leos” Les Paul ’59 Reissue…nice amps too. This Black finished Korina Explorer is 1 guitar to add to your personal collection. With the latest Korina Explorer aged by my friend, “Tom Murphy” & priced at $34K. & sold out in a few days, this example is a once in a lifetime find so don’t miss it. Its exceptionally clean overall & comes in its original black hard case.
1981 Gibson Explorer Korina Reissue
Location: Ft. Lauderdale, FL
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