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Gibson Explorer Vintage Roland Guitar Synth Controller - Prototype

Gibson Explorer Guitar Synthesizer Controller

Features and Specifications:

  • Body: Mahogany
  • Finish: Lacquer
  • Neck: Maple
  • Fingerboard: Ebony
  • Frets: 22
  • Bridge: Gibson Tune-O-Matic
  • Nut: Plastic
  • Tuning machines: Schaller
  • Pickups: Two humbuckers
  • Scale: 24 3/4"
  • Truss Rod: Single, adjustable
  • Neck Width: 1 11/16"
  • Body Width: 16 5/16"
  • Body Depth: 1 3/4"
  • Overall Length: 42"
  • Weight: 8 lbs 13 oz
  • Retail Price: $1,049.00
Gibson Explorer 24-pin vintage guitar synth controller with Roland GR-300
Gibson Explorer and GR-300

Introduction to the Gibson Explorer Roland Guitar Synth Controller:

As the modern guitar synthesizer revolution was taking over, Gibson was certainly not going to be left behind. The Kalamazoo guitar builder offered two models ready to control the Roland 24-pin guitar synths: a customized Les Paul, and an Explorer.

Of the two, the Les Paul is much better known, and easier to find. I have seen a total of three Explorer models, one owned by Eric Fisher, and this excellent example shown here, marked as a "prototype" in the headstock.

Electronics Package

When I first saw this guitar, I assumed the smaller STK-1 packed would be used due to the unusual shape of the guitar, but the Explorer uses the same full-featured LPK-1 electronics package. This means that the Explorer has the same rich hex fuzz sound as found on the Roland G-303 and G-808 guitars.

Interestingly enough, while the guitar has the electronics package as the G-303 and G-808, at least in this example the control panel overlay is the same as the G-202, with references to 'Electronic Guitar'. These terms are more appropriate for the GR-100, rather than the GR-300 shown here. Or this could just be a matter of what control panel overlay was available at the time. Also, the white text color of the G-202 may be a better than than the typically yellow type found on the G-303 and G-808.

Photos:

Gibson Explorer Roland Guitar Synth Controller
Gibson Explorer Roland Guitar Synth Controller
Gibson Explorer Roland Guitar Synth Controller
Gibson Explorer Roland Guitar Synth Controller
Gibson Explorer Roland Guitar Synth Controller
Gibson Explorer Roland Guitar Synth Controller
Gibson Explorer Roland Guitar Synth Controller
Gibson Explorer Roland Guitar Synth Controller
Gibson Explorer Roland Guitar Synth Controller
Gibson Explorer Roland Guitar Synth Controller
Gibson Explorer Roland Guitar Synth Controller
Gibson Explorer Roland Guitar Synth Controller
Gibson Explorer Roland Guitar Synth Controller
Gibson Explorer Roland Guitar Synth Controller
Gibson Explorer Roland Guitar Synth Controller
Gibson Explorer Roland Guitar Synth Controller
Gibson Explorer Roland Guitar Synth Controller
Gibson Explorer Roland Guitar Synth Controller
Gibson Explorer Roland Guitar Synth Controller
Gibson Explorer Roland Guitar Synth Controller
Gibson Explorer Roland Guitar Synth Controller
Gibson Explorer Roland Guitar Synth Controller
Gibson Explorer Roland Guitar Synth Controller
Gibson Explorer Roland Guitar Synth Controller
Gibson Explorer Roland Guitar Synth Controller
Gibson Explorer Roland Guitar Synth Controller
Gibson Explorer Roland Guitar Synth Controller
Gibson Explorer Roland Guitar Synth Controller
Gibson Explorer Roland Guitar Synth Controller
Gibson Explorer Roland Guitar Synth Controller
Gibson Explorer Roland Guitar Synth Controller
Gibson Explorer Roland Guitar Synth Controller
Gibson Explorer Roland Guitar Synth Controller
Gibson Explorer Roland Guitar Synth Controller
Gibson Explorer Roland Guitar Synth Controller
Gibson Explorer Roland Guitar Synth Controller
Gibson Explorer Roland Guitar Synth Controller
Gibson Explorer Roland Guitar Synth Controller
Gibson Explorer Roland Guitar Synth Controller
Click on any image for larger view.

Schematics - Repairs - Service Bulletins:

There are no known service bulletins from Roland addressing any Explorer problems. The Gibson Explorer guitar uses the Roland LPK-1 electronics package, the same electronics as found in the Roland G-303