1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  

'85 Gibson Explorer Bass

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by mason326, Sep 24, 2008.

  1. mason326


    Aug 2, 2006
    Dallas, Texas
    Pretty simple. Found an '85 Gibson Explorer bass, refinished in candy apple red clear coat. Has a couple minor dings but looks in otherwise good condition. $800

    So far I have read great reviews on these for dependable, big sounding, gig and practice basses. I am relatively new to the world of electric bass (played upright forever, so I picked it up very fast...) Need a step up from my fretless rogue, and hopefully this will be it. Just wanted to get your opinion on it before I jump on it for sure! Worth the money for a heavy rockin' guy?


  2. Baird6869

    Baird6869 RIP Gord Downey. A True Canadian Icon.

    Pretty rare bass that IMO is worth $600-900 due to the refinishing.

    If you like it, but it. The Gibson sound isn't for everyone though...
  3. Navybass


    Mar 12, 2005
    Norfolk, Va.
    The only reason I would say it wasn't worth the money is because of the Refinish. A refinish, no matter how well done, will always lower the value of an instrument. It's not original any more. More people care for originality over how good it looks.

    I had one of those that wasn't refinished and the highest price it fetched was $750 about 1 year ago. Mine was in great condition also.

    I'd offer him less and see if he bites on it.
  4. Navybass


    Mar 12, 2005
    Norfolk, Va.
    Forgot to say, if you do get it, be prepared for neck dive. The strap button isn't in the best location and you can't move it because of the body shape. The fact that your left hand is also going to have to support the neck made it a bit uncomfortable after a while.

    Also, Because of the body shape and the way it hung, the neck seemed much longer than it actually was, which means that your left arm is stretched out further to reach the first 5 frets.

    As for the tone, that was actually pretty good. It had a nice balanced tone.
  5. mason326


    Aug 2, 2006
    Dallas, Texas
    Ok, sounds good.

    Are you able to put strap locks on these guys?
  6. Navybass


    Mar 12, 2005
    Norfolk, Va.
    Yes you can, but that won't solve the neck dive.
  7. mason326


    Aug 2, 2006
    Dallas, Texas
    Just saw your second post...

    I use super wide leather straps, which pretty much has negated the neck dive issues I had on my rogue just by sheer friction. Think that might work?

    If not, I could always reposition/add a button.

    Tangent, but those straps are super comfy on basses or guitars w/o any neck dive :)

    (EDIT: Reason for straplock question was because of the tendency for my straps to pop off randomly w/o them...)
  8. zebby


    Mar 23, 2008
    no considerable neck dive on my three Gibby Explorer basses; it's just a matter of sliding the balance point of the body BACKWARD a bit to counter the weight of the front of the instrument. I don't use extra-wide straps or anything either-- just mere physics. :)

    I agree about the refinish/repaint thing-- as soon as I learn a bass has been refinished, I don't really care how sexy it looks or how good the job was... the value to me goes DOWN immediately. This message is probably far too late for you to use (I've been offline for a while), but I'd say $800 for a refinished Gibby Explorer bass is about as FAR as I'd go if everything else about the transaction seemed perfect. With the original paint job (and hardware) and in good condition, I'd go somewhere just over a grand right now.
  9. Barkless Dog

    Barkless Dog Barkless to a point

    Jan 19, 2007
    $800 is WAY to much for a re-finned one-It would offer $400-$600. They generally sell for $800 in good condition. The piezio only one goes for around $1000 if you can find one.

    Also keep in mind they are Medium scale I believe ?

    They neither sound great or bad. I think they have two Grabber pups. Actually a lot of people say the Epi version sounds better and is full scale and would cost a lot less.

    Also they suffer from Neck dive. I would personally look at a Dean, Hamer or other copy brand.
  10. Hi.

    An "old" thread I know, but quite a lot of mid 80's set neck Gibsons I've seen suffer from the "shrinking neck" syndrome. First there's the mysterious cracks around the neck joint and eventually the neck pops off. Totally repairable, but requires quite a bit scraping and shimming to get everything lined up and tight.

  11. Fealach

    Fealach Guest

    Apr 23, 2003
    Gone to a better place
    This won't help the OP who has probably made his decision by now (wonder what it was?) but mine is easy to play, sounds awesome, and has absolutely no neck dive. The neck stays exactly at the angle I set it at when I put the bass on, and this is with 4 extra tuners on the headstock. I'd prefer it have 24 frets, or at least have access to all the frets it does have, but if you don't need to play up the neck there's no problem. I find it easier to play in the low positions than any other bass I own, and I'm a short scale human. I suppose it may just depend on how you like your bass to hang.

    Haven't encountered shrinking neck syndrome, but the mod-crazed previous owner did do some damage to it that I'd like to get fixed some day.

    I have straplocks on mine. The previous owner did in fact move the strap buttons. The button behind the neck joint broke off, so he screwed a seat belt to where the top horn would be on a Fender shaped bass. He also moved the rear strap button up several inches. I put the straplocks in the new, higher position on the rear of the bass and in the original, behind the neck joint location. It's no harder than putting a screw into some wood.

    As with anything, a good reality check for street price is Ebay's completed listings.
  12. You have 3 Gibson explorers? I'd like to see pictures of it. And if you'd ever consider selling one (a white one), I'd be interested.

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.