The Twelfth Fret ~ Since 1977 ~

Gibson Golden Axe Explorer, Gold Burst, 2013


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Here is an unusual guitar – a Gibson Golden Axe Explorer, built during 2013 at the Gibson Nashville plant and sporting a pair of LACE™ Nitro Hemi humbucker pickups!

Originally built for Bill Kelliher of Mastodon, the Gibson Golden Axe Explorer is based on the classic Explorer design. The body is solid Mahogany, with a Mahogany neck topped with a Rosewood fingerboard. Unlike typical Explorer models, the body and neck are both bound. The headstock features a Gibson logo and ‘Golden Axe’ truss rod cover. The single-layer creme pickguard matches the binding and is embossed with the Mastodon logo.  And of course, all of the metal parts are gold plated!

For the time being, and this can change as the manufacturer updates its site, the builder has a page on the Gibson Golden Axe with more details.

This Gibson Golden Axe example has a production date of July 25 2013 and was built at the Nashville plant. It’s in overall good condition, with light wear to the gold plating in the usual spots where hands rest. There are a few small dings and dents in the back but nothing has broken the finish. The Gold Burst finish on the top pairs well with the black used on the back and neck, and is quite attractive. Fret wear is light, and the guitar plays well and cleanly. It’s often a bit of surprise when picking up an Explorer and sitting with it – they balance almost perfectly on the player’s leg.

More From The Builder About The Gibson Golden Axe Explorer:

“When your tone’s as massive as that of Mastodon’s Bill Kelliher, you need a guitar with equally mammoth power. For both looks and sound, the iconic Gibson Explorer is a perfect fit: this radically angled electric was light-years ahead of its time when it was introduced in 1958, and it’s still the first choice of many of the world’s fiercest rockers.

The Bill Kelliher “Golden Axe” Explorer from Gibson USA brews select tonewoods into a timelessly revolutionary body style. With powerful LACE™ Nitro Hemi® humbucking pickups and classic hardware, this is a guitar befitting Kelliher’s status in the world of metal. Trapezoid fingerboard inlays, gold-plated hardware, a hot-stamped Golden Axe truss-rod cover, cream pickguard with hot-stamped Mastodon logo, and Bill’s choice of Go-Gold Burst finish in high-gloss nitrocellulose lacquer complete this stunning package. “


Price: $2,999.99 CAD
  • Model: Golden Axe Explorer
  • Year: 2013
  • Finish Gold Burst
  • Class: Used
  • Serial Number: 120630303 July 25 2013 Nashville
  • Country of Origin: USA
  • Condition: Very Good
  • Date Posted: 21/05/2020

  • Consignment Item

  • Instrument Weight: 7.96lbs 3.62kg
  • Scale Length: 628.6mm 24.75in
  • Nut Width: 43.3mm 1.704in
Gibson Website

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