Gibson Flying V vs Explorer [Difference & Which is better]

Gibson flying V and explorer is the most world class notable iconic guitar series. These guitars were introduced in 1950s. This type of guitar is perfect for the rock and metal music. Both types of guitar have many similarities but Gibson flying vs explorer design have some difference from each others.

Gibson Flying V vs Explorer

In this article we are trying to comparing the both types of guitar and it helps you to decide which types of guitar right for you. We will describe the details about the guitar design, construction, tonal, performance with durability. Hopefully, our comparison is very helpful for a beginner or a seasoned player.

Comparison Table:

Features –Gibson Flying VGibson Explorer
Body ShapeV-shaped body with sharp anglesAsymmetrical, angular body
DesignFuturistic and distinctive designBold, unconventional design
Sound CharacteristicsBright and focused tonePunchy, aggressive tone
PlayabilityOffers easy upper-fret access due to V-shapeMay have slightly restricted upper-fret access
Weight BalanceWell-balanced when played standing or seatedMight feel slightly heavier towards the neck
Tonal VarietyVersatile for various music genresSuited for hard rock, metal, and aggressive styles
Pickup ConfigurationVarious pickup configurations availableTypically features humbuckers
Neck ProfileGenerally slim and fast neck profileOften features a slim neck profile
Visual ImpactStriking and attention-grabbing designIconic and edgy appearance
Fret AccessExcellent upper-fret accessMay have limited access to higher frets
Sound ProjectionOffers good sound projection due to its shapeDelivers powerful and commanding sound
Music StylesSuitable for rock, metal, blues, and moreWell-suited for heavier genres
ComfortComfortable to play sitting or standingMay require some adjustment for comfort
Artistic StatementMakes a strong visual and musical statementConveys a bold and distinctive image

Main Difference between the Gibson Flying V Vs Explorer:

a) Body shape and design:

Body shape and design

Each guitar built with their special design and body shape. The Flying v and explorer guitar has some design with their body shape that’s make differ to each others. The Flying V is familiar for its distinct V-shaped body, which is sleek and modern-looking. The Gibson Explorer built in a angular design with sharp edges and points.

In terms of aesthetics, both guitars are unique and visually striking. But the Flying V may appeal more to those looking for a coeval look. The Gibson Explorer may be preferred by those who is looking a more powerful and edgy style.

b) Neck:

The Gibson Explorer has a traditional rounded neck profile. But the Flying V build in the slim taper neck profile, which it designed for faster playing. It helps to easier access to the higher frets.

The rounded neck profile is perfect for the larger hands. This rounded profile is more comfortable for the guitarist with provides a fuller grip.

c) Tone and sound:

Tone and sound

Sound and tone is the another important things, when you comparing the two types of guitar. In this reason, we are finding out the some difference of the Gibson Flying V and the Gibson explorer guitar. Even both guitars are come from the same brand of Gibson guitars.

If you want to sharp and biting tone, the Flying V is the perfect for your needs. The Flying V pickup system is the main factor for this quality of sound. These type of pickup are placed closer to bridge that gives the more treble heavy sound. This quality of sound is the perfect for rock and metal music.

The Explorer has a warmer & more rounded tone. This guitar pickup is placed the closer to the neck that gives the more versatile sound. This reason it is perfect for the variety of playing styles. Both guitars are producing the wide range of sound with tones.

The Gibson Flying V produces the extreme effects for their sharper and biting tone. The Explorer produced the subtle effects that that enhance its warm & rounded tone.

d) Playability and comfort:

The Gibson Flying V build with an ergonomic design and it has a curved body. This curved body fits to comfortably with any players’ body. The explorer has another comfortable angular shape which it is during extended the playing sessions.

The Gibson Flying V build with a compact body and it has a shorter neck. In this reason it makes easier to play, who has smaller hands. Some guitarist prefers to use spacious longer neck of the Gibson explorer. That makes easier to reach certain chords & notes.

e) Weight and Balance:

In terms of weight & balance, the Gibson Flying V and Explorer have some differences from each others. The Flying V has a more balanced weight distribution due to its symmetrical shape. The Explorer builds with a slightly heavier body towards the neck.

So, you can use the both guitars and see which is more comfortable for you. It is more important for your need that impacts your performance while playing.

f) Pickup:


Both guitars used in a dual humbuckers pickups. The Explorer pickups are placed to parallel and The Flying V pickups are angled towards bridge and neck. This pickups different placement can affect your sound and tone.

The Flying V angled pickup system is focused the better clarity sound. The Explorer parallel pickup system is producing the heavier sound, which it is more sustain & depth.

g) Durability:

Both guitars build with the high-quality materials. The Explorer builds with the rugged design that is the reason of durability. The Gibson Explorer body is thicker, which makes the easily handle with live performances.

The thicker neck of the Explorer also adds its durability system. Because this system can withstand more stress with pressure. On the other side, the Flying V is built with a delicate design. That may not hold up the over time to use.

h) Versatility and genre suitability:

Both guitars deliver the distinct sound and tone for certain genres. But it is not ideal for others. The Flying V produces the high-gain tones for their pickup configuration. The Gibson Flying V adds with the heavy metal and hard rock.

The Explorer pickup configuration and their sound system are more suited for the classic rock. It delivers the rich and warm tone which it more balanced with versatile. But both guitars have great playability options that offer a range of effects.

i) Price:

Both guitars come with an exceptional quality and performance. So their price is some difference to each others. The Gibson Flying V price is depend on their specific model, design, tone, effect, sound, neck, strings, playability and durability with more.

The Gibson Explorer comes in a range of models with features that affect on their price. So, when you compare the both types of guitar price, you need to look at their quality and features. The Flying V being slightly more expensive than the Explorer.

Read Also: Gibson SG Special Vs Standard [Difference & Peformance]

Which is better for choice?

When you choose the Gibson Flying V or the Explorer, you need to consider the several reasons. You can check the pickup quality of both guitars. Which pickup is good for you that provide the well sound with tone? Next, you findout the distortion of sound and also check the overdrive pedals.

Check both types of guitar are more comfortable for playability and their durability system. These types of guitars have an excellent design. Finally it depends on your personal need which guitar is perfect for you.

The Gibson Flying V vs Explorer are excellent guitar models. But both guitars have special different on their body & tonal characteristics. So, decision of yours which model you can choose.
Both guitars deliver the iconic instruments that have the significant of the music zone. Hopefully, these types of guitar will continue to do so for years to come.

Last Updated on August 19, 2023 by Perry Garner

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