I've been trying to find some explorer shaped models to play and compare.

BUDGET: Roughly 550 or so max.

I'm looking for:
A thin neck- preferably satin/oiled finish

High output pickups passive or active, I don't really care because it will still be a step up from what I have.

Hardtail- I switch tunings a lot, Open G, Drop C, Drop D, Standard.

Tuning Stability

25.5 scale

I Play - thrash metal, metalcore, mostly, but I like having good cleans too, so if it has both, thats a big plus.

So far I've seen

Epiphone 1958 Explorer $500

Epiphone Prophecy Futura EX $650

Epiphone Prophecy FX (Floyd w/ EMGs) $800

Agile Ghost 3 $340

'92 Gibson W/EMGs $750

Each one has some distinct advantages and disadvantages and I'm trying to balance them out.

EDIT: do explorers have good upper fret access? I like the shape, but the only one I've played is an Ibanez Dtt700 destroyer model. The fret access was pretty good, but I counted that one out because it was so heavy it made my leg sore with it just sitting on me!
Last edited by Mukersman at Sep 6, 2010,
I had the Epi Explorer and I liked it. It had good fret access, but it was only 22 frets. It would have been a really nice guitar with a pup switch though.

I did notice a big difference in a Gibson Explorer over the Epi though. A very large one.

EDIT: If you can find a used Epi with some EGMs in it or something, I think that would be a good choice.
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Last edited by diceksox1809 at Sep 6, 2010,
Check out the LTD EX series. They make good stuff for the price and might be right up your alley. Not to say you haven't found good guitars, just that options are nice.
IMO, the Explorer is definitely a guitar you have to try out. I was infatuated with them for a little while, then tried out a 1958 Epi Explorer, and just hated the way the shape felt. Couldn't even figure out how to get my arm around the thing.

You need to try a bunch of different makes out. Obviously Epi and Gibson will be the easiest to get to, but that's okay, because unlike the Destroyer, most Explorer shaped guitars are pretty close the the Gibsons.

I personally think the fret access sucks. Then again, I play all the way up to 24, while most people don't. A lot of them don't even have 24 frets.
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You can find an Epi 1958 cheap used. I bought mine for $200... but then, sold it for $300 + my LP with an SKB case. (Sucker.)

The neck just felt off- I don't know what it was, but it was between big enough and small enough for my thumb, if that makes any sense. But it sounded decent, and had great cleans. For what I paid it was beyond worth it.
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They had a Gibby with EMGs at my GC,deff a nice playing guitar and great sounding,but i hated the body shape,lol.
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I have a Jackson Kelly with 24 frets and I have no problem getting to every fret on every string. You should really try and play one in person. The shape is great for how I play. It's certainly a guitar to try.
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