Korina Explorer Review

manufacturer: Epiphone date: 02/09/2008 category: Electric Guitars
Epiphone: Korina Explorer
Made in Korea, Korina body in natural finish, 22 frets rosewood, good hardware with 2 humbuckers.
 Sound: 8.7
 Overall Impression: 9.2
 Reliability & Durability: 9.2
 Action, Fit & Finish: 7.8
 Features: 8.8
 Overall rating:
 8.4 
 Reviewer rating:
 8.7 
 Users rating:
 8.1 
 Votes:
 71 
reviews (6) 40 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 9
Korina Explorer Reviewed by: boba899, on august 21, 2006
7 of 7 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 528.87

Purchased from: www.GAK.co.uk

Features: I ordered my Epiphone Explorer in black after seeing the Korina one, which just looked nasty. It comes with stock Epiphone closed dual humbuckers, gold hardware, Grover tuners, Tune-O-Matic bridge, a 3 way selecter, two knobs for volume (one for each pickup) and one for tone. It was made it Korea with passive electronics and is supposedly made from Korina wood, but I've heard it's actually just Mahogany, which would explain the guitars weight. It's about the same if not a little bit heavier than a Les Paul. However, it's got all I need on. It comes with a small cable that Epiphone supplie, but it's tiny so I stuck with my 20ft. It'd be alright to plug from pedal to amp, though. // 8

Sound: I run this guitar through a Marshall MG15CDR and it sounds amazing. Alot of people hate MGs, and I have to say I'm not a fan too, but I've also run this through a Line 6 Flextone III and the tonal possibilities are endless. This guitar offers nice thick, trebly tone from the bridge pickup and a smooth, warm, fuzzy Vintage from the neck pickup. I play Hard/Prog Rock (Funeral For A Friend, Coheed And Cambria, Hell Is For Heroes) and this guitar gives me the sound I want, exactly. The one it won't do very well is a rich, full clean tone. You can get a nice shimmering one and a warm tone, but not one with masses of body. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: The guitar came pretty well set up from the factory, I was new to guitar at the time but had played bass for little over a year and had a little guitar knowledge, but it felt amazing. The action was nice and low, it stayed in tune for aaages and the neck is thin and fast yet really nice to hold. One problem with this guitar is that the strings regularly break, I had to both heighten the tailpiece on the Tune-O-Matic and file away some sharp edges on the bridge, but the problem seems to be fading away. The other problem, and I've seen this on quite a few older Epiphones (6 months +) is that the screws on the pickups oxidise very easily. // 8

Reliability & Durability: I've dropped this thing so many times, and the paint hasn't once chipped. I'd happily take this to a gig and only Switch for a different tuning. I used the straps locks I used with my bass to make sure the strap didn't come off, because the placing of the top strap button means that it could easily happen. However, I'd happily jump around with this and not be afraid of it cutting out or breaking. // 9

Overall Impression: I absolutly adore this guitar. It plays like a dream, looks the bomb and sounds exactly like I want it for the music I play. I couldn't have asked for a better first guitar, because unless I start playing regular gigs I won't need another guitar for a long time. I've played a Epiphone SG and a Paul Reed Smith Tremonti SE (in similar price bracket) but this slays them. I've also played a Fender Strat, but I'm not a huge fan of fat necks, so I'd still pick this. If it was stolen I'd hunt the tit who stole it and beat him with it in the assurance it wouldn't break. This is an amazing guitar. // 10

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overall: 9
Korina Explorer Reviewed by: Little John, on august 09, 2007
3 of 3 people found this review helpful

Features: I don't know when it was made, but it was made in Korea. It's got 22 frets and a rosewood fretboard. I got the ebony finish, because it looks a beast. Bridge is just a classic tune a matcic, with stopbar tailpiece, like almost all epiphones. It's got 2x volume 1x tone 3-way switch and 2 alcino classic pick ups and grover tuners, which practically never get out of tune. It's really light for its size, I was worried it'd way a ton, but it's possibly lighter thn my crappy Encore Les Paul. // 9

Sound: This guitar is great for playing rock, punk, pop punk, grunge, metal etc. It has a great sound when it's distorted or you turn the gain up. It's clean sound lets it down a little, as it sounds slightly tinny at times, but if the turn the balance up on your amp so middle and treble are full and bass is about 4/5 that sorts it out just about. // 8

Action, Fit & Finish: The guitar was set up perfectly, strings at the exact right height, and it was nearly in tune. The pickups were at the right height, although the neck pickup is slightly loose. The neck is fine for playing, smooth and fast, but if your hands get sweaty it gets slightly difficult, but it's way better than my friends Strat. I've had the guitar about 4 months maybe, and I've only needed to tune it about 7 times. I've heard tht the gold hardware starts oxidizing, but I haven't noticed any of this. // 9

Reliability & Durability: Id happily take this gigging, in fact in intend to in the next few months. The hardware could last for years. However, you need some straplocks for it, as the strap button near the neck is at an odd angle, so it'd come off every time. I've scrated the finish slightly on the head stock, cos my friends basement has some really rough bricks, but it's not notciably. You can jump about as much as you want with this guitar // 9

Overall Impression: This guitar suits the music I play and is just an all round beast. It kicks my friends Stratocaster and SG. if it were stolen I wouldn't be able to sleep until I had it again. I love the look and shape, and the way it looks like no other guitar. It's just a beast. there's no guitar for it's sort of price that can get close to it. // 10

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overall: 6.8
Korina Explorer Reviewed by: antou, on february 10, 2006
2 of 4 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 630

Features: Made in Korea, Korina body in natural finish, 22 frets rosewood, good hardware with 2 crappy humbuckers (changed to EMG 81/60). It looks futurstic even now. Angular shap and aggressive feel. 2 volume and 1 master tone control. With Gibson type Tune-O-Matic bridge with stop bar. Well nice looking guitar but come on, give me a gigbag at least. It does not come with anything at all! // 9

Sound: Before changing the pickups, it's dull, harsh on distortion, clean sounds kinda ok. So I changed the pickups to EMG 81 in the neck and 60 in the bridge (to give a extreme sound to match the look). Myself is not a metal head but I am impressed with the sound. Think metalica sound, when distorted, it's really punchy, fat and powerful. The Korina body has a good sustain (better than my LP Studio even be4 changing pickups), the active pickups prolonged that further, but sound a bit fake. The decay just weird. A lot of you may ask if the combination should be reversed? I do that in purpose. The 81 in the bridge is quite muddy, so I swap the pickups (btw this is really easy for all active pickup series, disconnect the cable and plug back in, job done). It sounds stunning, fat punchy and clarity. Not as expressive as My Gibson LP custom but perfect for trash, heavy metal. Again, active won't do clean, I know this is a bit stereotype but it is truth. The clean is messy and muddy anytime any amp (from AVT 20, AD 30 to AC 30). Knowing this is unfair but when comparing with the Gibson LP custom and the 335 Block Reissue, the clean is a joke, but the distortion slap the 2 back. // 8

Action, Fit & Finish: As in the Gibson design, you can change the action to your own favourite. A lot of people review saying why paying so much for the Gibson but you can get the same in Epi? This is not truth, wood does matter the tone, pickups affect tone, and most importantly, the finishing in Epip is piece of, you know what! I took out those pickups there are lumbs of glue, which looks like a lumb of mucus, underneath the pickups, the fretboard is not smooth, bridge buzz, nut is almost cut to the bottom, machinehead not staying in tune (which is a surprise as they are "Grover"). The worst finshing ever. // 1

Reliability & Durability: This is actually my backup guitar. but after changing all the small parts, it should be dependable. It's kinda of solid but just the finishing is not there. Strap buttons are a suprise, they are actually better design that Gibson's one, they are more solid and more secure. The guitar never fall off once but I had that with the Gibson several times! // 9

Overall Impression: I play blues, classic rock punk and sometimes metal. This guitar will be deadly for punk and metal (after changing the pickups), will do rock but not Blues, doesn't have the vibe. If this is stolen, I say I will get the New epip Wildkat instead, cos I like the P-90 tone but I have got one guitar with P-90 yet myself. As I prefer blues classic rock style, those EMG are a bit too extreme for me. Don't get me wrong this is not actually a bad guitar at this price range, but it definitly worth to safe up a bit more for a low end Gibson or Fender, mid range Jackson instead. // 7

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overall: 9.4
Korina Explorer Reviewed by: nathan.price, on august 22, 2006
1 of 2 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 395

Purchased from: Gilbert Guitars

Features: I'm not sure what year my Explorer was made in, or where. 22 frets medium jumbo frets, mahogany neck with flat rosewood fretboard. Body is made out of Korina, which is a great tonewood. Classic black finish. Gold Tune-O-Matic bridge, passive electronics, Two volumes and one tone control. Stock Epiphone pickups, gold covers, and gold Grover tuners. // 9

Sound: Great for any kind of hard rock or metal, great with distortion, nice, full sound on cloisean. An almost inaudible hum when distortion is at full, you have to listen really closely to hear it. Great sonic variety, Neck pickup is warm and bright, bridge is hot, high output. // 9

Action, Fit & Finish: It was set up perfectly at the factory. I had to lower the bridge pickup, but that's the only problem I had. The action is low, but there isn't any fret buzz. Some people say explorers are hard to play sitting down, but this guitar balances perfectly on my leg, even better than my old Strat. No flaws at all! // 9

Reliability & Durability: This guitar can take anything, the hardware will probably last for another 50 years, but I'm planning on changing the hardware soon, on my next paycheck. The strap buttons are so big, I couldn't fit straplocks on them, so I know they wont come loose. If I was gigging, I could play without a backup, but I'm paranoid so I would anyways. The finish isn't gonna wear away anytime soon. // 10

Overall Impression: I play mostly metal and hord rock, along with some blues and classic rock. This guitar suits almost any playing style. I had a Strat, but I sold it just to get this beauty. I have no regrets about uying this guitar whatsoever. If this guitar was stolen, not only would I find the guy Who stole it, but I would kidnap him, starve him for two weeks and feed him his own family without him knowing. I love everything about this guitar. // 10

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overall: 9.2
Korina Explorer Reviewed by: tushmeister, on april 21, 2006
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 730.17

Purchased from: GM Music Cardiff

Features: It was made in 1994 in the Unsung Factory in Korea, it has 22 Frets, a lovely black finish with the white pickguard and is made of Korina wood. It is Explorer shaped and has all the typical Explorer style and penach! There are two volume controls and a single tone control with a 3-way switch, dual humbuckers, it has grover tuners and did not come with any accessories. // 9

Sound: I believe this guitar suits all styles, I'm playing it through the unpopular Line 6 Spider II 30 Watt amp, however I can gwet very good cleans and distortion tones out of this with the help of my Zoom G2. I play everything from Red Hot Chilli Peppers to In Flames, and this thing can withstand detuning. I believe the pickups could be changed to improve this guitar however I am happy for now and believe it would only take a new amp to improve it to perfection from my viewpoint. // 8

Action, Fit & Finish: The guitar was set up ok in the factory, and had gathered a bit of dust in the shop however the kind people cleaned it for me before I bought it which I thought was very generous. The pickups were adjusted fine for me, there were no problems with the bridge and the finish seems sturdy enough to withstand a long time. The tuners hold excellently (after reading the other review I am unsure if mine is a one off, or if theirs is), everything seems fine. No awkward or odd noises have arose and there are no issues with the controls at all. // 10

Reliability & Durability: This guitar has admittedly been knocked once or twice and nothing has went wrong at all, the strap buttons are very solid and don't look like failing soon. I believe this guitar will last a long time and I hope if I join a band it will last many gigs! // 10

Overall Impression: I believe this guitar can be made perfect for almost any style with a few switches and maybe a better amp, I have been playing for a year now and this is a big leap from my Ibanez beginner guitar (GRX70) but the Korina also compares to other guitars I have tried including Epiphone Les Pauls, the Vintage Metal Axxe Series and a few middle range Jacksons among others. I belive this guitar is perfect for me and is suited to many people and many styles making it a definite good guitar. // 9

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overall: 9
Korina Explorer Reviewed by: evilotto77, on february 09, 2008
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 516.06

Purchased from: www.Gak.co.uk

Features: This guitar was made in 2005, I think in Japan but I could be wrong. It has 22 frets and a rosewood fretboard. It's supposedly a Korina body but, me not being an expert, it could easily not be! It has the traditional 'natural' finish with gold hardware. It has a Tune-O-Matic bridge with a stop-bar tailpiece and grover tuners. The pickups are the regular Epiphone Standard humbuckers but I may switch to some Bare Knuckles soon. It has 2 volume controls (one per pickup), one master tone control and a 3-way pickup selector switch. It came with a strap, cable, picks and a tuner. // 9

Sound: I play mostly metal with a little blues-rock thrown in and lots of guitar solos and this guitar is great for that. It may not have a super-fast neck like some Ibanez models but I have no problems playing fast pentatonic box patterns or any other of my usual shred techniques. I play through a Marshall MG100DFX combo amp and this guitar sounds awesome! When I first tried one in the shop I was astounded with the level of tone it has - moving up from an entry level Yamaha I just wasn't ready for it! It has a great sound when distorted although the stock pickups may be a little weak, that's why I may switch. I've also heard talk of inadequate wiring straight from the factory but this can be easily fixed. The clean mode could be better but with the neck pickup selected there is enough warmth to satisfy most needs. // 9

Action, Fit & Finish: From what I remember (I've had this guitar for several years now) it came very well set-up, with the action and pickups at a Standard rock height. It came perfectly in tune and was ready to rock, straight from the box! I have since lowered the pickups and raised the action on the lower strings to suit my own, personal tastes. This guitar had, and almost has, absolutely no flaws. // 10

Reliability & Durability: This guitar will last for decades if cared for and maintained properly. There are several things that you need to look out for, however. These are: the pickup selector Switch began cutting out when switching pickups after about a year. This can be fixed with contact cleaner. The guitar is very neck-heavy so you need to hold on to it. The strap will fall off it so strap-locks are a must! These are minor issues, however, and detract nothing from the overall quality of the guitar. I have hit it on countless doors and cupboards and aside from the occasional tiny dent on the wings you could never tell. The finish is absolutely perfect in every way. This is a guitar I would have absolutely no problems gigging with, only switching to get my hands on my Dean From Hell occasionally! // 8

Overall Impression: This is a good match for my style of music as I get not only the looks that I want but I get the sound as well. Aside from personal issues with the pickups I would not change a thing with this guitar. I have been playing for 5 years now (about 4-5 hours per day) and I also own a Dean From Hell and a Yamaha Pacifica 112. This guitar has easily the best tone of the three, although it does have the slowest neck. If this were lost/stolen I would buy it again in an instant (or preferably the Gibson version if I had the money). When in the shop looking for a new guitar I tried countless guitars and I chose this one based on the aesthetics and the overall quality I felt whilst playing it. Buy this guitar! You won't be dissapointed! // 9

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