Dave Mustaine teases new Gibson Explorer signature models – and is that a new USA-made Kramer?

Dave Mustaine signature 24-fret Gibson Explorers and USA Kramer
(Image credit: Dave Mustaine / Instagram)

Dave Mustaine took to Instagram recently to offer fans a sneak peek of his new Gibson Explorer signature range. However, in the process, he’s also given us a glimpse of what looks very much like a new USA-built Kramer and possible new ’80s-style Flying V models… 

First up, let’s stay on topic and discuss the Explorers. Mustaine shows three in a rack, including what appear to be natural, gold and black finishes, complete with binding, humbucker routing and 24-fret ‘boards (as opposed to the usual 22), with Mustaine’s signature inlays. However, Mustaine also comments, somewhat cryptically, “one more to go” (and there’s a fourth slot empty on the rack), suggesting there may also be a another option on the way. 

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This is all exciting, and the latest of Mustaine’s ongoing collaboration with Gibson that has included a slew of Flying V EXPs, plus the CF-100 Blood Burst and ebony Songwriter acoustic guitars

However, despite the excitement around new signature Explorers, Guitar World’s attention was drawn pretty quickly to the sleek and shiny gloss-black Kramer that is also shown perched on the rack. 

Most notably, the ‘Kramer USA’ text on the headstock, which would suggest that the brand is perhaps close to unleashing its first made in the USA models since parent company Gibson’s 2018 rebirth. 

Gibson’s Brand President Cesar Gueikian stated plans for USA-made Kramers in a Guitar World interview last year (opens in new tab), telling us: 

“The plan is to have a nice balance between Original and Modern collection guitars, and eventually between both USA-made collections and overseas-made collections, so that we can touch every price point for every type of player, from the ones who loved Kramer back in the '80s to the kids today.”

Over on YouTube, Trogly’s Guitar Show (opens in new tab) speculates briefly that the diamond inlays on the Kramer might even be indicative of another Mustaine signature model, as they recall those found on his Rust In Peace signature Flying V. The model certainly doesn’t match anything in the current Kramer line-up. 

Indeed, when Mustaine’s partnership with Gibson was announced, we were promised signature guitars from Gibson, Epiphone and Kramer, but have yet to see any of the latter. It leads us to speculate that a) we might finally see USA-built Kramers hitting shelves next year, and b) Mustaine’s signature may have been held up for that wider launch.

We also have to pay tribute to Trogly for spotting the final revelation from this surprisingly news-worthy pic: the inclusion of new Flying V models with ’80s-style headstocks. It suggests that, outside of the signature range, Gibson may be reprising some classic ’80s-inspired V designs for 2023. 

Either way, thanks Dave! It’s been a good day for fans of metal guitars

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Matt is a freelance journalist who has spent the last decade interviewing musicians for the likes of Total Guitar, Guitarist, Guitar World, MusicRadar, NME.com, DJ Mag and Electronic Sound. In 2020, he launched CreativeMoney.co.uk (opens in new tab), which aims to share the ideas that make creative lifestyles more sustainable. He plays guitar, but should not be allowed near your delay pedals.