The Gothic Series rolled out in 2000, and these blacked-out interpretations of Gibson classics were designed to be stripped down but still professional-level, formidable instruments. For the short years they were made, the Gothic Series expanded ti most Gibson solidbody models, including a one-off EDS-1275 double neck. When they were made, the Gothic Series were an accessible way to get a Gibson with all the right features, provided you were into the gloomy vibe.
The Explorer is one of the more rare models in the Gothic Series. It features a matte black finish, black hardware, open-coil black humbuckers, black pickguard, black knobs—it even has black strap buttons, a black jackplate, and a black switch tip. At the 12th fret, all of the Gothic Series have the crescent moon and star inlay—the only inlay on the otherwise black fingerboard. On the back of the headstock, each Gothic guitar is christened with an antique portrait of Orville Gibson. It's spooky vibe that is also a nod to one of history's great guitar tinkerers.
This 2001 Gibson Explorer Gothic has been played, and it shows, especially in the area around the pickups and on the back of the guitar. There are bumps and bruises around the edges, and the bottom corner right by the input jack has a sizable ding. Fortunately it's on the bottom of the guitar, so it's not as visible. No breaks or damages and all of the original parts do the trick.
This 2001 Explorer Gothic is a bit of a shredder's guitar. Plugged-in, it behaves like a wild animal with the volume full throttle, but it can be tamed as you roll back on the volume and tone controls. The Explorer is an edgy guitar—both physically and metaphorically—and the blacked-out aesthetic feeds into that nicely. This 2001 Explorer Gothic includes a Gibson USA hardshell case, and if you're ever had an Explorer, you know how badly you will need a proper case. Great axe!