Explorer Review

manufacturer: Gibson date: 11/09/2012 category: Electric Guitars
Gibson: Explorer
The classic space-age styled electric guitar with dual humbuckers, and Chrome hardware.
 Sound: 9.5
 Overall Impression: 9.6
 Reliability & Durability: 9.4
 Action, Fit & Finish: 8.6
 Features: 9
 Overall rating:
 8.8 
 Reviewer rating:
 9.2 
 Users rating:
 8.3 
 Votes:
 228 
reviews (11) 114 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 8.8
Explorer Reviewed by: Jamband3333, on november 09, 2012
8 of 11 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 1100

Purchased from: Birmingham, AL Guitar Center

Features: This thing is so sweet. My Explorer was made in 2005 in the US with 26 frets, maple fretboard, and a solid-top. It is black with a white pick guard. My pickups are what come with all Gibson Explorers and that is the 496R-500T ceramic humbuckers which I left in there instead of adding different ones because the sound is chunky and just perfect for all kinds of rock. It feels great but is not meant to be played sitting down. It is a stand-up guitar and is just awesome. // 10

Sound: It allows me to play all kinds of rock which is just perfect for me. On that guitar I can play stuff that I like back in the day like Led Zeppelin and '80s bands like Skid Row and stuff like punk like NOFX and Green Day to hardcore bands like As I Lay Dying and Throwdown. As far as my other setup goes I run the Explorer through a Roland 15-watt (small but loud as I need) and a Boss Metal Zone pedal. // 9

Action, Fit & Finish: Everything set-up wise is great. The pickups were adjusted right and everything. The only thing is at Guitar Center, you can pick up just about any guitar there and plug it in and play it. The Explorer that was shipped to me had to chips off of it (about small finger nail size) but as soon as I notified them they were great about giving me a brand new one. That might sound greedy but if I pay 1100 for it I want it to be perfect you know. // 7

Reliability & Durability: You can, of course, definately use this guitar live and it will definately last. // 8

Overall Impression: I play in rock and this is a great match for my guitar. I have been playing about 3 years and I own my Roland 15-watt amp and a Boss Metal Zone pedal and a Jackson Soloist SL3. I couldn't have chosen a better guitar. // 10

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overall: 10
Explorer Reviewed by: mookieman, on november 09, 2012
4 of 4 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 1363.35

Purchased from: Coda Music

Features: American made. 1 Tone knob, 2 Volume knobs. 496R pickup in the neck, 500T for the bridge pick-up. It's got an ebony finish, chrome hardware, tune-o-matic bridge and stopbar tailpiece. Came with a lovely hardcase. Built in 2001 but purchased in 2003. Everything you need - tuning stability, decent pickups, solid finish and a good quality body. No whisltles and bells like trems or effects. Supposedly rosewood fretboard, looks ebony, but it could be a heavily dyed rosewood. // 10

Sound: Lets start by eliminating this myth - the Explorer is not just a hard rock/metal guitar. It is versatile. You can get a nice blues sound, clean sound, classic rock sound, mild distortion and hard metal distortion, it all sounds good. Think who've used this guitar and embraced it; Dave Grohl (Foo Fighters), The Edge (U2), Rivers Cuomos (Weezer), Wayne Static (Static-X), Metallica (pre-AJFA) and many others. This guitar is a nice guitar for most styles, though it's shape immediately suggests rock. The 496R is nice, sounds good for blues and rock. Sometimes to bassy, but the tone/volume knobs can calm it down. Same with the 500T which is uber-hot, but still useful in certain styles particularly dirty sounds. And single notes ring nicely with an attack for blues runs. With a three way pick-up selector you can use 3 settings; 1)496R 2)496R + 500T 3)500T. I tend to use option 1 and 2 for cleans. Option 3 for just about all of my dirty sounds. If you roll all the knobs to 10 and crank up the gain you can get a nice metal crunch. Roll em back and its more rock n roll. It's a gorgeus pick-up combination. I play bits of everything; blues, classic rock, and some modern rock (Foo Fighters, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Metallica, Filter, Nirvana) and some softer stuff (Counting Crows, Coldplay, Starsailor). This guitar suits most of those styles. Though you can't get any sounds remotely like single coil sounds, so i struggle to get any Chili Peppers or Starsailor sounds. I don't gig or play my own music, I play for fun. If you play soft/clean stuff exclusively, look away from this and consider a s/c Fender, if you want buckers, a Les Paul or SG might be better. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: No dents. A couple of minor scuffs from nearly a years' playing it. Well finished, no sharp frets or bent parts. All solid as a rock. Pickup selector sometimes gets noisy, but its easily fixable and doesn't bother me. Action nice and low. // 10

Reliability & Durability: Gibson finishes are amazingly thick. Had to get straplocks installed. YOU MUST GET STRAPLOCKS! One strap button is on the back of the guitar, without straplocks the guitar comes off the strap. Could be goodbye headstock. Had to get it set up again soon after purchase because I had issues with fretbuzz, but I'm sure it was to do with me accidently changing the bridge height while changing strings. All fine now. // 10

Overall Impression: I've been playing 2 years. I'm no shredder or guitar Prodigy, I just play what I hear and like. My favourite band is Foo Fighters, but I also dig the sounds of RHCP, Nirvana, Queens of the Stone Age, Filter and softer Indie bands like Starsailor, Coldplay and Radiohead. I play through a Line 6 Flextone II which suits me fine. This guitar sounds good with any number of effects too. I also own an Ibanez RG320 which is alright, but I only have it because I wanted a Strat. Silly me should have bought a Strat and upgraded it. Oh well. I also have a Washburn D10CE Electro acoustic. I've also owned in the past a sunburst Squier Strat and a Fender Telecoustic. This is one of my favourite guitar models. Now if only I could get a HSS config Strat and a Flying V to put alongside it. :D I love this guitar because it goes where I want to go. It plays easy. I can do lead/rhythm/freaky stuff all on the same guitar. Looks okay too. // 10

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overall: 10
Explorer Reviewed by: unregistered, on november 09, 2012
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Features: Ok, recently I bought a revised 1976 Gibson Explorer. Black acrylic finish, with a pearly white pick-guard. The Explorer has 21 frets, with sound distortion, volume, tone, and a 3-way. It's a Active plug in with an amazing Maple neck. And the best thing is, it works pperfectly fine on a Berhinger bass amp. Good stuff... // 10

Sound: The style is DEAD ON to what I wanted to play, Punk and Heavy Metal. I use it with a little distortion here and there, but it sounds great on its own. And the sound on this Gibson, is the best sound you could ask for in a guitar. I LOVE the sound. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: The set-up of my guitar was amazing, not a single defect, no loose nobs or plug-ins, not a scratch, not a smudge, just....perfect. // 10

Reliability & Durability: The 1976 Gbson Explorer was MADE for live playing, I've been playing it for days straight, and I've only had to tune it once becuase I dropped it, and it still didnt have a scratch on it or anything. That's how reliable this Explorer is... // 10

Overall Impression: This guitar is everything that I could wish for. And the shape, haha don't even get me started on how much I love the shape. And comparing it with other guitars? Get A Real Guitar Friends! The 1976 Gibson Explorer Is Just The Thing You Need!!! // 10

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overall: 8
Explorer Reviewed by: unregistered, on november 09, 2012
0 of 2 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 948

Purchased from: Long and McQuade

Features: It's an American Gibson, what more can I say. It's a solid body, neck through, rosewood fretboard. Metallic yellow paint. It's quite unique looking, with the yellow paint on silver hardware. // 8

Sound: It sounds awesome when it's plugged in. When it isn't it's quite noisy, and a pretty harsh buzz comes from the neck pickup, which is unnoticable when plugged in. It also has mini humbuckers, which can be fun to play around with as theres alot you can do with them. // 8

Action, Fit & Finish: The body and paint were nicely done, or so I thought when I bought it. Once I brought it home I examined it a bit more and found a bit of chipping where the covers on the back meet the body. The volume and tone knobs are a bit loose, and so is the pickup selector, but it's liveable. // 8

Reliability & Durability: I think it would withstand it, yes. The hardware seems okay and that it should last a while. The strap buttons are solid, a little bit over sized, which in my opinion is a good thing but something like that could be quite controversial. // 8

Overall Impression: I play anywhere from soft, minor rock, to heavy thrash metal, which this guitar can pull pretty well anything off, so as far as matching my personality, I think its quite good. I've played a while, and all I have either than this are Jackson's, BC Rich's, and Fender's. And I wanted to try something different. If it were stolen, I would probably get something else, as I dont think it was worth the money I paid. I loved the action, and hated how it was a halfassed paintjob. The only thing I wish it had, was an ebony fretboard wither than that, it's alright // 8

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overall: 10
Explorer Reviewed by: metal jello, on november 09, 2012
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Features: My Explorer is a 2006 ebony. It came with Grover tuners, hich ock, but I changed them to those crazy auto-trim locking tuners. They cut the string for you! A solid Mahogany body and rosewood 22 fret (not 26 fret)neck give this beast the sustin it needs to play anything and do anything. The stock 496r and 500t are amazing and sound clear but also get good distortion when you want it. Case included, but be sure you know how to set it before you pull the red tab out. // 10

Sound: I typically blend classical and blues techniques into heavy metal. This guitar can do anything, twangy country (except the Explorer shape doesn't fit country to well) to alternative and screemo (whick I hate). The sound is fat and punchy and makes walls shake and can kill small furry animals. It can do anything. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: The action was awesome, fast and easy. The finish is so strong, I accidentally bumped the big tail fin around and it is still beautiful. Not a single scratch. This guitar was built for the road and built for a true guitarist Who knows what he's doing. The only down side is the black finih being hard to keep clean, but that's completely normal. // 10

Reliability & Durability: The one and only guitar to gig with, you don't even need backup. Live, recording, or hobbying, this guitar is perfect and built to last. My best friend. The finish, tuning, action, look, and sound are amazing and are untouched by any instrument ever made. The strap buttons hold well, but get Schaller strap locks for security. I think this guitar could last forever. // 10

Overall Impression: Like I said, no matter what style you play, this guitar is for you. The pickups can get any sound, whether it be bright, twangy, crystal-clear country type sounds, to dirty tone full metal solid-body distortion sound that sustains forever and causes 3rd degree burns. The greatest guitar ever. If it were to get stolen, I would hunt that evil person down and torture them so inhumanly I'll have warrants for my arrest in every country. // 10

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overall: 8
Explorer Reviewed by: kai29, on november 09, 2012
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 1280

Purchased from: Guitar Center

Features: I bought this guitar about a month ago. It was made in May 2007 in Nashville. 22 frets Classic White with Ebony fretboard solid mahagany body set neck tune-o-matic bridge. You know, the Standard. Came with a case. Not too much razzle dazzle. For what it has, it is good. Could use better pickups. // 7

Sound: Sounds great! I play many different types of music. I dislike metal, but if I wanted to play it I could. It hums a little when the volume on the guitar is above 3. It doesn't have great treble but a pup change can fix those minor problems. I'd say this guitar is very versatile. // 8

Action, Fit & Finish: This area is my only complaint. There was and is minor buzzing. The guy at guitar center was too lazy to check it out when I asked him, but I am going back on Saturday before the warranty runs out to get it set up. The action is probably as good as it gets. It plays very well though. The intonation is off on 4 strings and on the other 2 it is decent. The toggle Switch comes loose and doesn't lock too well in bridge or neck positions. The saddles in the bridge weren't carved out well enough and some look like they were cut twice. // 6

Reliability & Durability: After a straplock system is installed then it should be great for Live playing. Everything about this guitar seems durable to me. No problems yet, just be careful with the wings. I haven't played Live yet but I will. If I had money I would get a backup but for a small gig, I wouldn't worry about playing w/o a backup. // 10

Overall Impression: I love mine. I have been playing for 5 years and this is my second electric. It's about time too. I wish that the guy at guitar center wasn't such a jerk. They really need more qualified people there. He wouldn't lower the price at all for cosmetic blemishes on another one so I had to travel there back and there again for a good guitar. 45 miles. If it was stolen, I wouldn't have money for another one but I would easily buy another. // 9

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overall: 9.8
Explorer Reviewed by: unregistered, on november 09, 2012
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Features: I have a 2006 Gibson Explorer with natural finish with Gold hardware. I play all types of music from blues, surf, classic rock, metal and lots more which I play all with the Explorer. It has 21 frets with rosewood fingerboard with mahogany neck and body with a Tune-O-Matic bridge. It has one tone knob for both Humbuckers and a two volume knobs with a three way selector. It has 496R-500T Ceramic Humbuckers and it has mini grover tuners. The guitar came with a nice hard case with plush inside but the only complaint I had with the guitar was the case that it came with. The hardcase feels like it weighs 15 pound heavier then the Explorer. // 9

Sound: The Explorer is a great guitar for sound and looks. The guitar has great tone for many types of music. It is good for blues, rock, metal, and some slower music. The neck pickup is a little bassy but with the playing with the tone knob it clears out really well. It is good for a clean tone which is good for a jazz or blues tones. The bridge pickup 500T is a hot pickup and has a great treble and is good for dirtier tones and is also good for blues to hard rock distortion. The Explorer has great sustain better than my Gibson SG. The combination of the two Humbuckers gives you a great clean and dirty tone with is great for classic rock sound and is also a good clean tone with the gain put down. I use a Peavy 100 watt amp with a Boss GT 8 effects processor. I play with a band every week and this guitar is a great stand up guitar. It is one of the best guitar for Live performances but not just for it's looks(even thought it looks really awesome)but it has the best balance of any guitar I have ever played you can let the guitar go and it stays level(My Gibson SG always nosed dived) The draw back is the Explorer is not a good sit down guitar it can be done but it is somewhat unconformable siting. But it is a great all around guitar. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: I bought the Explorer from Musicians friend and the shipped it within two days. When I received it everything was perfect out of the box. I had no problems and I have had my Explorer for 10 months now and I still have no problems with it. The body is very strong I have hit the wings with chairs, walls, desk, with it and it hasn't been dented yet just light scratches. The gold hardware on my bridge is fading off but I heard it is pretty normal ware for the gold to ware off the bridge from the hand rubbing it off. But the electronics are great I had no buzzing or any type interference with my guitar. // 10

Reliability & Durability: This guitar as I said earlier is a great for Live playing. I play live twice a week and it holds up great. I recommend getting strap locks for it just with experience with my older guitars I have always had straps falling off my guitars and almost falling on the ground and with a $1,200 guitar Strap locks is quality cheap insurance. I can depend on this guitar lasting throughout the whole performance without any problems. // 10

Overall Impression: I play blues, some jazz, metal, surf, rock and many more. I have been playing for about 5 years been playing Live for a 4.5 years playing lead guitar in my band. My first guitar was a Silvertone SG after that I knew I needed a better quality guitar. Right now I still have the Silvertone SG, I have Gibson SG which is a great Guitar as well, And last but not least and my favorite is my Gibson Explorer. I would love to buy more Explorers if I could, but my wallet won't let me. // 10

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overall: 9.6
Explorer Reviewed by: unregistered, on november 09, 2012
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: € 1000

Purchased from: rockpalace

Features: its an american 08 Gibson 22 frets mahogany neck thru with a tune o matic bridge mini grover tuners and a hardshell case so the features are almost perfect for metal but i might chance the pickups the features are really nice everything on this guitar points straigth to METAL // 9

Sound: as said before i play metal(metallica and other shit) im playing it on a Randall RX75R because of the humbuckers the sound is full warm and bitey it isnt the most versatile Gibson but it does were it was made for ithas a nice clean sound full and warm the distortion is the darkest distortion ive ever heard SOUL CRUSHING METAL // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: everything was near to perfect when i got it but if you sweat on the finish you get weird spots but you can just tune o matic bridges are in my opinion the best bridges you can get it doesnt get out of tune at all i use it with ghs strings wipe the spots away // 9

Reliability & Durability: BUILD AS A TANK its a Gibson so the support is great and the quality too i have it for a year now and it doesnt have flaws why the fuck do you think james hetfield plays them? i gig with it without a backup man its just one of the most reliable guitars on the market // 10

Overall Impression: GREATEST GUITAR EVER i play it with my amp and a crybaby wah i compared it to a Flying V i played them both and this was just better if it was stolen i would call the metal milltia chase the gay down and torcher him but i wish it had blackouts or emgs or something like that // 10

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overall: 9.8
Explorer Reviewed by: Hydra26, on november 09, 2012
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Features: 2007 Gibson Explorer with Short Vibrola. 22 frets, 24 3/4" scale, 2 volume, 1 tone, yadda yadda. You've all seen an Explorer, but what made me buy this was that it cam from the factory with 57 Classic pickups (neck-57 Classic, bridge 57 Classic Plus) and a vibrola. I figured I'd try something with a trem. Standard fare. Typical good construction similar to the other Gibsons I've owned. And since it's a slab of mahogany, you won't see Gibson wrecking the weight distribution/balance by chambering it for weight relief anytime soon I suspect. It has a nitro finish, which means it'll take some care early on until the lacquer fully cures. Small price to pay for it's longevity. // 9

Sound: Ok, the stock Explorer comes with the 496R/500T ceramic pickup set. Very hot. Really. A little too hot for me actually. I like metal, but I prefer a chunkier sound than the normal high gain stuff. These 57's are the bomb. If the regular Explorer is a flame thrower, the gotw edition is a Howitzer. Loud, punchy, very clear. I Switch over to lower gain settings on the amp and I'm playing Chuck Berry with no trouble at all. The trem is a nice gimmick, I don't use it much. You can't really dive bomb a Maestro like you can a floyd, you're not supposed to. Would probably work once or twice before the arm snapped off. But it's for warbling the pitch and it works reasonably well at that. My other explorers sound just as good unplugged but once I amp up, they sound a little too scooped by comparison. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: The guitar needed a truss rod adjustment when it arrived. A couple partial turns later, all was perfect. It rings and sustains like it should. I looked it over and I couldn't find even any minor blemishes. Furthermore, the transparent amber finish they used makes the neck and body the same color which I've seen a lot of variation on with natural finishes. // 10

Reliability & Durability: I haven't played this one live yet, but I've played its twin live and had no issues. This one seems jsut as solidly built. Unfortunately, Gold plating likes to wear off so I'm sure that will become an issue later on. I changed out the knobs (personal preference, replaced black speed knobs with amber tophats and pointer washers) and added schaller straplocks. It's be kinda stupid not to put straplocks on and I've found if I don't use them, the strap will wear swirl marks around the button. I expect this guitar to take anything I can dish out and sound better as the years go by for probably the remainder of my natural life barring fire, flood or some other catastrophe. // 10

Overall Impression: I'm thrilled to bits with the new guitar. It takes what I though was alread a great guitar and just sonically broadens it's capability and impact even more. I use it for metal, rock, and such with the band, folk, rock and some other stuff for my own enjoyment. This one jumped out at me and it was worth the wait. I'm seriously considering pickup retrofit to the rest of my explorers now. // 10

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overall: 7.8
Explorer Reviewed by: p o e, on november 09, 2012
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 1100

Purchased from: Guitar Center

Features: As far as I know, it was made in 2005, in the US of A, solid mohogany body with a 24.75" maple neck and a rosewood fretboard, 22 jumbo frets and simple pearloid Dot inlays. The tuners are small Grover tuners, and the bridge is a tune-o-matic. A Gibson 500T is in the bridge, and a 496R in the neck, and a three way Switch, two volume and one tone knob to control them. I got mine in the glossy black finish, with a white pickguard that I replaced, (More on that later.) I got the usual Gibson trussrod key, case candy, and the case with it. // 8

Sound: Sound wise... Oh man! This guitar is my most versitile guitar, honest! It can go from screaming metal riffs, to soft, smooth blues runs, and then back around to do a bit of surf music. I play almost anything, but I usually play a lot of hard rock, stoner rock, blues, metal, thrash metal, groove metal, rockabilly, punk, surf, and some jazz. I run it through my one and only amp, my Mesa Boogie Mark IV, which can give it a very varied sound, I run it through a Dunlop JH-1B Crybaby, a EHX Holy Grail Plus, and an ISP Decimator for those high gain things. The 500T pickup in the bridge is very crisp, clear, and defined, making it great for heavy loads of overdrive, it even breaks up the signal more easily than the 496R on clean. The 496R is much smoother, richer, and dark, I use it more for soloing on high gain settings, or for most clean work. It suits all of the above styles, or at least how I interperet them. I mean, this isnt going to sound like a Fender and a Jackson all in the same guitar, but I make it sound good for all of my styles. // 9

Action, Fit & Finish: From the factory, it was buggered! I had to have it set up, pickups needed adjusting, and when I recieved the guitar, it had a chunk missing from the neck! So I sent it back in, and they replaced it, and did all of the afore mentioned work. I replaced the plain white pickguard with a metal skidplate one, and recently I tried to spraypaint the white one black, failed, went to sand it off, and ended up with an awesome finish on it, (pictures on my profile.) The nut needed to be cut a bit, all three of the higher strings would pop out given a bit of oomph to my picking. But now that I've worked out all of the kinks, she's a beauty! // 5

Reliability & Durability: Every single inch of this guitar will withstand my abuse. I've given it a serious beating or two, and once it's even been dropped by a girl. I mean c'mon bitch! I replaced the strap buttons with the buttons from a set of Dunlop straplocks, I just couldnt bring myself to put the drill into this work of ART. There is no rust, or wear on any of the hardware, even after 2 years of daily playing. I would never use it at a gig without a backup though, which is what my other guitars are for, backups for each other. The finish is chipped on the tail, and on the very tip of the headstock, but that's from my sister dinging it around. // 8

Overall Impression: I play almost anything, but i usually play a lot of hard rock, stoner rock, blues, metal, thrash metal, groove metal, rockabilly, punk, surf, and some jazz, and this guitar can suit them all. Very versitile, and a great guitar. I've been playing for around 4-5 years, and i've owned a variety of Fenders, Gibsons, and an Ibanez and a Danelectro, and this is one of my favorite's. I'll certainly still have this when i'm 50, and if some asshole stole it, i'd kill HIM. I love almost everything about her, and the only thing i can think of that i wish it had, was 24 frets, simple as that. My favorite thing about this guitar is the sound, it's so perfect! Unfortunatly, i was young and stupid when i got this, so i didnt compare much, i just saw Hetfield using one and i liked the look, but all things considered, i did a good job of picking it out. // 9

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overall: 9.6
Explorer Reviewed by: ne14t, on november 09, 2012
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Features: - Made in the USA, Nashville TN. to be exact, the Gibson hard shell case is made in Canada, I think its even lined with baby beaver pelts because it so soft and smooth. - Standard 22 frets, 24.75" scale, rosewood fret board. - Solid Mahogany body, I think a Mahogany neck as well some of the reissues have used Hog, Maple and even Korina. - The finish is your Standard ebony nitrocellulose lacquer shined to a mirror finish. The coating is even and seems like it would be very tough. The bonus is that its not applied thick enough to hide the grain of the wood. - Tune-O-Matic bridge - Standard Gibson Pickups 496R neck and 500T bridge - Individual volume knobs per PuP and a Master Tone knob, PuP selection done via a 3 way switch. - Mini Grover Tuners - Gibson Hard Shell Case Overall I can not complain with this instrument out of the package, it played extremely well out of the box, no setup was required just needed to be tuned. I would like to see individual tone controls for both PuP's as I like the ability to have full tone control, but the guitar will mostly see hard rock and metal so it really wont effect it at all. The neck is AMAZINGLY fast to play, I think the fastest I have played yet. I am gunna rate this section a 9 as I wouldn't change anything but the extra tone knob. // 9

Sound: - I purchased this guitar to play hard rock and metal, and it will do that while unplugged and still in the case. Just looking at it you know it means business, playing it only solidifies this fact. - I use a Fender Mustang III 100W its loud, muddy, distorted and brutal...I love it! - It has a wide variety of sounds depending on how you have the volume/tone on the guitar setup and the effects. Definitely a multipurpose tool, combined with the Mustang III you have a really deadly combo for any style or sound. I am going to rate this section a 10, I know it is a perfect rating but I honestly can not find an issue with the sound out of this guitar. It may not be for everyone though as it does lean more to the hard rock/metal genre but it will definitely play any style. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: - Its a Gibson! The action came perfect from the factory, it only needed a tune out of the box to get going. - I was surprised at the finish of the guitar; however I thought I was getting a floor model until a new one was ordered in but I was surprised when I walked into the store and it was new still in the cardboard box. My only issue with the finish on the guitar is how easy it shows finger prints. I had to add a microfiber cloth to my guitar case to constantly wipe it down. Hands down giving this a 10, absolutely nothing wrong with it and if I do find something I will be greatly surprised. It stays in tune great even when tuned down to C, plays extremely fast and looks bad ass to boot. // 10

Reliability & Durability: - I think this guitar lives to be played live - Last! Ha I bet you this guitar will outlive me, and if it does I will be buried with it. - I would replace the strap buttons with some fancy locking ones just to be safe, nothing sucks more then having a guitar take a fall because the strap fell off. - I would almost gamble my eternal soul on this guitar I trust it that much, would I go out without a back up though...no! That's just crazy anything can happen. Once again better safe then sorry. I will give this section a 9 because I would highly recommend getting locking strap nuts. // 9

Overall Impression: - I mostly play metal and hard rock, this guitar suits that like a Custom fit leather glove. The accessibility of the fretboard makes playing the most shredding solos an easy task. - I have been playing on and off as a hobbyist since 2000 and have just recently started getting more serious messing around with home recording and stuff. - I wish I had of asked for a guitar stand to display it on! I was really happy to get a hard case with it, but around the house that big bulky case can get in the way. - If someone stole my Explorer I would hunt them down, remove there face with a piece of glass and wear it as a mask. I would definitely replace it should anything bad ever happen. - I was looking at both Gibson and Epiphone Explorer's, I was originally leaning towards the Epiphone because of the price point, but Long and McQuade has April as Gibson month so it made a dream a reality. - The only things I could ever wish this guitar had would be EMG 81/85 PuP (which I will have done anyways) and a Floyd Rose would be nice to make it the ultimate weapon. I am rating this section a 10 as the only downsides are just things that I could dream of having to round out my own personal desire for a badass guitar. Hands down I do not regret buying this guitar nor will I ever get rid of it. // 10

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