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Gibson Custom Shop Diablo Mod Shop “SO WHAT” Explorer Relic #2 Aged Alpine White Relic 1984 w/OHSC

Gibson Custom Shop Diablo Mod Shop “SO WHAT” Explorer Relic #2 Aged Alpine White Relic 1984 w/OHSC

Regular price $7,999.99 USD
Regular price $7,999.99 USD Sale price $7,999.99 USD
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Vintage Gibson Custom Shop Diablo Mod Shop Replica "SO WHAT" Explorer Relic #2 in Aged Alpine White VOS finish made in 1984, Build Completed in 2024 with original hard shell case. This guitar features a solid alder body, maple neck and ebony fingerboard. upgraded with Tom Anderson H1 humbucker in the bridge position and Gibson 496R in the neck position. Controlled by 2 volume, 1 tone pot and a 3-Way toggle switch in the triangle knob layout. The 24.75" scale length neck has mother of pearl dot inlays and 22 medium frets on a 12" radius with a slim taper profile. The hardware is comprised of aged chrome gotoh replicated "Gibson" ink stamp sealed diecast tuning machines with cloche heads, a bone nut, a Gibson nashville Tune-O-Matic bridge with stop tail and knurled chrome dome knobs.

This build is based on the last mods known and done to the James Hatfield's "SO WHAT" Guitar, which were performed in 1990 according to the book "Messengers"

This Guitar started its life as a 1984 gibson custom shop purple burst explorer that had been previously refinished black. It was stripped back down to bare wood and prepared to be a full player again before being refinished with an aged nitro lacquer process to give it an authentic vintage look and feel. The original mother of pearl dots were worn and thin from levels over the years, so it received a fresh set. It was then meticulously hand reliced to match in extreme detail with James Hetfields actual "so what" explorer using plenty of close up reference photos, right down to the dings, wear, scratches and even simulated his headstock break by scaring the paint. James was known for loving to hit the crash cymbals with his guitars headstocks! The "SO WHAT" quote came from the Anti Nowhere league song title, this was hand carved into the top and accurate replica stickers were sourced. The "fist punch" sticker can be seen on Metallica's Japan Tour, the "Jump in the Fire" sticker was from Les Edward's illustration for The Devils of D-Day.

The instrument was the re-equipped with a hand aged chrome set of hardware. A set of Gotoh tuners got a simulated "Gibson" ink stamp, the Tom Anderson H1 bridge pickup / gibson 496R neck pickup were sourced, all the worn pots were replaced with Gibson spec 500k pots to get Hetfield's exact pickup tone and configuration at the time of the 1990 "Black Album" which is the last know mods to the real "So What" Explorer.

All Work Performed By Ronnie Monk (Former Gibson Custom Shop Luthier)

This guitar is in excellent condition with minimal signs of actual wear and play. All the Finish age, checking and relic is accurately simulated. (see pics)

Guitar is freshly setup and restrung with 10-52 strings. Includes Original Hard Shell Case and Diablo Mod Shop Build COA.


  • Brand: Gibson
  • Series: Diablo Mod Shop Replica
  • Model: Diablo Mod Shop "SO WHAT" #2 Explorer Relic
  • Year: 1984
  • Finish Type: Nitrocellulose
  • Finish: Aged Alpine White
  • Country: The USA
  • Serial: 82624512
  • Condition: Excellent
  • Weight: 8lbs .3oz
  • Body Type: Solid 
  • Body Wood: Alder
  • Scale Length: 24.75"
  • Neck Joint: Set
  • Neck Wood: Maple
  • Neck Finish: Matching
  • Finger Board: Ebony
  • Headstock: Matched with Punch Sticker
  • Neck Radius: 12"
  • Neck Profile: Slim Taper
  • Neck Thickness@ 1st Fret: .785"
  • Neck Thickness@ 12th Fret: .932"
  • Frets: Mother of Pearl Dot
  • Nut: Bone
  • Nut Width: 1.72"
  • Frets: 22 Medium
  • Pickup Config: HH
  • Bridge Pickup: Tom Anderson H1 Humbucker
  • Neck Pickup: Gibson 496R
  • Switch Arrangement: 3-Way Toggle Switch
  • Pot Arrangement: 2 Volume, 1 Tone
  • Hardware: Aged Chrome
  • Tuning Machines: Gotoh Replicated Gibson Ink Stamp Sealed Diecast with Cloche
  • Strap Buttons: Schaller Locking
  • Bridge: Gibson Nashville Tune-O-Matic Bridge with Stoptail
  • Knobs: Knurled Chrome Dome
  • Mod: Refin/Relic, Tuners, Pickups, Pots, replica stickers, "SO WHAT" carving, bone nut, new pearl inlays
  • Other Features: Mod Shop COA
  • String Gauge: 10-52
  • Case: Original Hard Shell Case


  • Overall Condition: ★★★★★
  • Body Front: ★★★★★
  • Body Back: ★★★★★
  • Body Sides: ★★★★★
  • Fret Board: ★★★★★
  • Frets: ★★★★★
  • Neck Back: ★★★★★
  • Headstock Front: ★★★★★
  • Headstock Back: ★★★★★
  • Headstock Sides: ★★★★★
  • Hardware: ★★★★★
  • Pickups: ★★★★★
  • Bridge: ★★★★★
  • Knobs: ★★★★★
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