#1
First post, so be gentle

I am saving money for a new guitar. I'm a metal player, and, of course, have a real mancrush for James Hetfield at the moment, so obviously I'm looking to get an Explorer-style guitar.
I have looked around at various guitars, and it's coming down to these two:

ESP LTD Snakebyte with EMG James Hetfield Pickups

or

Gibson Explorer 120 Anniversary Cherry with Burstbucker Pro Pickups.

I am currently leaning towards the Gibson, because of the absolutely amazing finish, and the fact that it has a proper Explorer shape.

But the Snakebyte seems very nice as well, considering it is mainly made for metal, and it has awesome pickups.

Help a fellow guitar player out?
#2
Depends on what you play and which one feels more comfortable with you. Both are really good guitars but it all depends on what you play. I'd get the Snakebyte but that's just my own choice.
#3
Is it possible for you to play both of these before you purchase?

1. Body shape - one of the two may be way more comfortable for you.
2. Neck shape - one of the two may be way more comfortable for you.
3. Pickups - the LTD has EMG 81/60 in it which are going to sound way different than the Burstbuckers in the Gibson.

Don't base your decision on looks alone - feel and tone are more important than looks though ideally you want the look to inspire you to play. . .

And if you want to add another choice, check out a Jackson Kelly - same basic shape but different.
Guitars:
Jackson Kelly KE3 - MIJ (Distortion/Jazz)
Jackson DKMGT Dinky (EMG 81/85)
ESP E-II Eclipse Custom (JB/'59)
ESP LTD EC-1001FR (EMG 81/60)
Fender MIM Strat

Amps:
Mesa/Boogie Dual Rectifier Roadster 212
Laney IronHeart IRT-Studio
Peavey Vypyr 30
Peavey ReValver Amp Sims
TOOOO many T.C. Electronic Pedals. . .
#5
Quote by metalmingee
Is it possible for you to play both of these before you purchase?

1. Body shape - one of the two may be way more comfortable for you.
2. Neck shape - one of the two may be way more comfortable for you.
3. Pickups - the LTD has EMG 81/60 in it which are going to sound way different than the Burstbuckers in the Gibson.

Don't base your decision on looks alone - feel and tone are more important than looks though ideally you want the look to inspire you to play. . .

And if you want to add another choice, check out a Jackson Kelly - same basic shape but different.

Both the LTD and the ESP Snakebytes have they Het Set.
#6
I used to be able to play the Gibson at the local music store, but someone has apparently bought it, so I have no way to really compare the guitars. I play mostly metal, but I just started at a music school, so I'm forced to learn jazz and stuff like that as well. I already have an Epiphone SG with passive pickups.
#7
Quote by tormod.hansen.5
I used to be able to play the Gibson at the local music store, but someone has apparently bought it, so I have no way to really compare the guitars.

That's unfortunate.
Quote by Axelfox
Reeeeeeeeeeeeeeee
#8
If you already have an SG with passive pickups then I would go for the Snakebyte. Active pickups have a very different sound but are well suited for metal. The Het Set in particular is fantastic set of active pickups.
Guitars:
ESP Eclipse II w/ SD Black Winters
Ibanez S540 w/ DiMarzios
Ibanez RG370DX w/ EMG 81/60
Ibanez RG7321 w/ DiMarzios
Pedals:
Fulltone FB-3
Crybaby Wah
Ibanez TS-9
Amps:
Peavey 6505+
#9
You'd probably get better value for money in getting a LTD EX Explorer. Something like the EX-360 already has an EMG 81 as a bridge pickup. If you can get one second hand it would be even cheaper which would free cash up for other things. Otherwise if you're happy to pay the higher costs then you're going to have to go and try things out. If you're looking for a Hetfield sound then the cheapest and easiest way to get it is to stick with EMGs.
#11
Maybe checkout the Ltd EX series, they are more explorer shape and cost a fraction of the price of a Snakebyte or Gibson without diminishing in quality.
#12
If you want "proper explorer shape" then I suggest checking out the Edwards Explorer 110D. They are being sold for $765 USD on rakuten global market right now. I bought mine from there near the end of august. I can't say enough good things about it. It's absolutely amazing.

Only thing I can think of that might be a con are the pups. They are Seymour Duncan Blackouts. It depends on personal preference really. I haven't had my explorer too long, but for the time I have, I am digging the blackouts. This is coming from a guy with an EC-1000 with EMG 81/60. I'm also a huge Hetfield fan if that wasn't already obvious. Btw, I'd recommend the stained nevada brown finish if you decide to go edwards. It's just right. The satin black finish is awful imo.
#14
I go back and forth on the Snakebyte all the time. I like the shape, the position of the pickup switch and the specs. I really like the idea of the hetset pickups. The thing that holds me back is the whole signature thing. Can't help but think people will look at me as "that guy who thinks he's Hetfield" kind fo thing. I've looked at the Gibson explorers and I don't like the pick guard or the position of the pickup switch. I've thought about the epiphone 1984 expolorer EX but have never handled one and have read that they are neck heavy and not ballanced. I've got a pre-lawsuit LTD explorer that neck dives and as a result I haven't taken it out of the case for years.

So, I'm back in the same circle of coming back to the Snakebyte. But about that signature thing..................