#1
Is it possible to buy a proper ESP Explorer anymore? I mean like the ones Hetfield used to play.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Gtf5-PjqRg

I can't find anything like that on the esp store, the closest things are an LTD that doesn't look quite right, and Hetfield's signature snakebyte which which doesn't quite look right either. Is the only option to pay 3-6000$ for a custom shop. That would be unfortunate as I would love to own one in the future.
#2
Nope. Has to do with Gibson suing just about everyone that made guitars that even looked vaguely like theirs.

Closes you get is the very pointy EX series. http://www.espguitars.com/products?categories=ex-series
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#4
The model you're looking for was called the ESP EXP. You can still hunt them down every now and then, but honestly you would just be better off buying a used Gibby explorer in white from when they still had ebony fretboards if you want the "EET FUK" look. Even the custom shop won't make it for you if you happen to be in the US due to mentioned lawsuit.

Forgot to mention that this particular guitar has a lot of fakes out there so beware.
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Last edited by ltdguy27 at Mar 24, 2015,
#5
The ESP custom shop can't make it? Dang. Well that's disappointing. Hearing stuff like this always makes me hate the large companies in any industry.
#6
Quote by Cheeseshark
The ESP custom shop can't make it? Dang. Well that's disappointing. Hearing stuff like this always makes me hate the large companies in any industry.


I mean, Gibson had every right. It is intellectual property. Perhaps just to the degree they do is not entirely necessary. I'm waiting for them to go after Agile and Electra.
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#8
If you're looking at an ESP for cost reasons, I second the suggestion of looking for a pre-raid white explorer if you don't mind the pickguard. Going to be a HECK of a lot cheaper. Might actually be able to find an 80's model without the guard for a somewhat sane price with enough searching. If you want it for the cool factor and you live in the US, it's gonna cost a lot. Living in the US, I've never seen an ESP version for anything approaching what I thought was a sane price as long as I've looked. I think Hetfield probably interested me in the explorer shape initially, but I quickly developed a preference for them in natural or burst finishes. Regardless of what version you get, as long as the front strap button isn't on the edge like the 50's models, I think they're really well balanced shapes.
#9
Quote by TheStig1214
I mean, Gibson had every right. It is intellectual property. Perhaps just to the degree they do is not entirely necessary. I'm waiting for them to go after Agile and Electra.

I guess so, still frustrating that they aren't available anymore. What about the Eclipse series? Is the slightly sharper curve on the cutaway enough for them to stay out of legal trouble?


Quote by Carrot


Unfortunately its a couple grand outta my price range Nice find though!

Quote by Hydra26
If you're looking at an ESP for cost reasons, I second the suggestion of looking for a pre-raid white explorer if you don't mind the pickguard. Going to be a HECK of a lot cheaper. Might actually be able to find an 80's model without the guard for a somewhat sane price with enough searching. If you want it for the cool factor and you live in the US, it's gonna cost a lot. Living in the US, I've never seen an ESP version for anything approaching what I thought was a sane price as long as I've looked. I think Hetfield probably interested me in the explorer shape initially, but I quickly developed a preference for them in natural or burst finishes. Regardless of what version you get, as long as the front strap button isn't on the edge like the 50's models, I think they're really well balanced shapes.


What is a pre-raid explorer? Tried googling it and I couldn't find anything. Also I wasn't looking at ESP/LTD for price reasons, I just like Metallica and the look of the explorer.


If I were to buy a Gibson explorer, could I remove the pickguard? Or would it leave ugly holes in the guitar?

I actually like the Gibson explorer look, it besides the pickguard and the name on the headstock it has the EET FUK look. The pickguard wouldn't be a deal breaker, but it would be preferable to not have one on it.
God this post has been too long.
#10
Pre raid Explorer means any Gibson made before 2010 IRC. As for removing the pick guard you can't since there is a route for wiring underneath it. Going with the used Gibson and buying the het set emgs will get you a sweet axe for a fraction of buying the exp.
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#11
Quote by ltdguy27
Pre raid Explorer means any Gibson made before 2010 IRC. As for removing the pick guard you can't since there is a route for wiring underneath it. Going with the used Gibson and buying the het set emgs will get you a sweet axe for a fraction of buying the exp.

Is there a significant difference between an Epiphone and a Gibson explorer? Because this thing looks exactly like what I want.

http://www.guitarcenter.com/Epiphone-1984-Explorer-EX-Electric-Guitar-H77720-i2129983.gc?country=us&currency=usd&isfullsite=1&source=4WWMWXGP&gclid=CIjuw-OIw8QCFYVqfgodZzAAAg&kwid=productads-plaid%5E64352436046-sku%5EH77720.001@ADL4GC-adType%5EPLA-device%5Em-adid%5E44639487282

I can imagine why the white version is 100$ more. Would this thing be any good?
Last edited by Cheeseshark at Mar 25, 2015,
#12
I think ESP still makes them under the name of Edwards and Navigator brands but they are limited to Japan only where Gibsons copyrights do not apply.

Navigator is the 100% hand made in Japan and costs premium, more than Gibsons even, where Edwards has the woodwork outsourced to reduce costs and guitar finished up in Japan. Both Edwards and Navigator can be occasionally found on Ebay but you can always buy one directly from Japan too through websites like global.rakuten.com and in case of Edwards not necessarily for bad price either. Though be mindful of customs that get slapped on top if it.

*edit* Yes, ESP still makes them. Here is an ESP Edwards Explorer.
http://www.espguitars.co.jp/edwards/ex/E-EX-110D.html

And here is the guitar sold on Rakuten. The site can be confusing so I navigated one for you just in case.
http://global.rakuten.com/en/store/chuya-online/item/27797/
http://global.rakuten.com/en/store/westmusic/item/edwardseex110d/

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Last edited by MaaZeus at Mar 25, 2015,
#13
Quote by Cheeseshark
Is there a significant difference between an Epiphone and a Gibson explorer? Because this thing looks exactly like what I want.

http://www.guitarcenter.com/Epiphone-1984-Explorer-EX-Electric-Guitar-H77720-i2129983.gc?country=us&currency=usd&isfullsite=1&source=4WWMWXGP&gclid=CIjuw-OIw8QCFYVqfgodZzAAAg&kwid=productads-plaid%5E64352436046-sku%5EH77720.001@ADL4GC-adType%5EPLA-device%5Em-adid%5E44639487282

I can imagine why the white version is 100$ more. Would this thing be any good?

The main differences between a Gibson and an Epiphone depends on what specific Gibson and Epiphone you're looking at. Some of them are completely different, others are extremely similar (the Japanese-made Epiphone Elitists for example). But very generally, all Gibsons are simply built better in just about every way to the equivalent Epiphones. You do pay for the name to some extent, but you do get an overall better quality guitar to play on.

But its very important to remember that not all guitars are created equal. And this is especially true with Gibsons. They can make some amazing examples of their models, but they also make amazingly bad examples too. People bitch a lot about Gibson, and some of it can be justified. But love them or hate them, owning a good example that also happens to be a musical icon feels so awesome.

But with that said, the Epiphone '84 Explorer is a pretty neat guitar for the price. Its reasonably well made, and it has pretty good hardware. And there's the obvious appeal of owning an '84-styled Explorer without needing to spend several thousands of dollars. Any original guitar model that's been touched by James Hetfield almost literally becomes worth it's weight in gold to collectors.
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Last edited by T00DEEPBLUE at Mar 25, 2015,
#14
Pretty sure ESP Japan Custom shop will still make MX220 and MX250 models.


Aside from that an Edwards would be a good choice.
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#15
Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
The main differences between a Gibson and an Epiphone depends on what specific Gibson and Epiphone you're looking at. Some of them are completely different, others are extremely similar (the Japanese-made Epiphone Elitists for example). But very generally, all Gibsons are simply built better in just about every way to the equivalent Epiphones. You do pay for the name to some extent, but you do get an overall better quality guitar to play on.

But its very important to remember that not all guitars are created equal. And this is especially true with Gibsons. They can make some amazing examples of their models, but they also make amazingly bad examples too. People bitch a lot about Gibson, and some of it can be justified. But love them or hate them, owning a good example that also happens to be a musical icon feels so awesome.

But with that said, the Epiphone '84 Explorer is a pretty neat guitar for the price. Its reasonably well made, and it has pretty good hardware. And there's the obvious appeal of owning an '84-styled Explorer without needing to spend several thousands of dollars. Any original guitar model that's been touched by James Hetfield almost literally becomes worth it's weight in gold to collectors.

Are the major differences something I can fix by buying replacement parts, or is it down to the setting of the neck and the cut of the body etc.?

Also has anyone ever heard of Lady Luck guitars? Someone messaged me a link to this

http://www.hardluckkings.com/store/products/LADY-LUCK-%252d-MATTE-BLACK-%252d-EST.-DELIVERY-4%7B47%7D9%252d-SALE%21.html
#16
I don't know what the heck Hardluck King guitars are but I can tell you that the Explorer shape they're selling is not even close to being full sized. It's tiny judging from those pictures.
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#17
Some of the differences can be changed out, but somethings can't like the feel of a nitro finish on a Gibson vs the poly on the Epi. Save up for a used Gibson if you can and be patient til you find the right one and you won't regret it. As for hardluck guitars I've never heard of them and would rather take the epi
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#19
Quote by gregs1020
https://www.rinkya.com/en/auction-f151551473


yumm.

the epiphones are decent though if you want to go cheap. but that edwards has really nice wood.

mostly posted because it's a beauty. (coughippongetthiscough)

Yeah that actually looks really nice. And it only comes up to about 460$ usd. I might go for this. Thanks.
A little hesitant to buy a non-refundable used guitar from overseas though.
Last edited by Cheeseshark at Mar 25, 2015,
#20
Quote by Cheeseshark
Yeah that actually looks really nice. And it only comes up to about 460$ usd. I might go for this. Thanks.
A little hesitant to buy a non-refundable used guitar from overseas though.

most people are against the buying without trying, when the guitar is 4000 or so miles away. can't say i blame you. i've done it 10 or so times with good results, not that the next one couldn't be a dud but i do doubt it.

you should know there would be auction fees, inland cartage and packing/shipping on top of that auction end price. so add up to $300 on top of that roughly. so that may affect your decision obviously. personally i'd say it's worth the total cost but ymmv etc.

the ad says it's in pretty good condition, and it looks like it. lightweight 3.2 kilos

more pics here. https://box.yahoo.co.jp/guest/viewer?sid=box-l-w2tktbeaziipawpij55kztwj6y-1001&uniqid=a855f92f-36c9-4b32-b5da-e188e7685130
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Last edited by gregs1020 at Mar 25, 2015,
#21
I've owned epi and Gibson lp's flying v's and SG's. Comparatively speaking, the Gibson is, of course built more expensively from costlier materials and labor. Is it worth the difference in price? On the flying v's and explorers, when they were both normal production for both brands, the Gibson equivalent might cost a little over twice as much as the epiphone. SG's, 2-3 times and LP's, somewhere closer to 4-5 times. What's the difference? I don't think they do this anymore, but my epi flying v was made out of plywood with a korina veneer. The Gibson was a 3 piece solid body. Costlier, yes. Better, well you can argue that depending on how important you think glue joints, laminates and such are to the final sound (or maybe other physical characteristics, such as durability) of a solid body electric that is going to be ru through amplification and often some amount of signal processing. The pickups on the Gibsons are better, in my opinion. Often, little things like the hardware are better (ex: the tuners on my epi sg looked just like the ones on my gibby, but they were extremely loose and did not hold tune very well, on my v's, they all came with grover rotomatics regardless of brand).

I think a used Gibson explorer would make a much better starting platform, but there's not necessarily anything wrong with an epiphone, although depending on when it was made you may end up wanting to change out a number of the parts and/or electronics.

That black 84-esque explorer, I'd relocate the strap button to right behind the neck heel on the body to improve balance. Give it a good setup and probably call it a day unless it doesn't play well with my amp.
#22
Quote by Cheeseshark
Are the major differences something I can fix by buying replacement parts, or is it down to the setting of the neck and the cut of the body etc.?

Everything about how Gibsons are constructed are better than Epiphones. So upgrading hardware and electronics would only solve part of the problem.
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#23
Reading back on this theres a few good suggestions.

But id still probs grab the '84 epiphone explorer.

Off topic slightly, does anyone know a guitar that looks like the 84 explorer with a thinner neck? Cause im right in thinking its a chunky D shaped neck?
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#24
The Explorer's neck profile is not exactly thick. Not in my experience.

I own a Gibson V '68 and the neck on it is only very marginally thicker and more rounded than my Jackson. And the V's profile is supposedly the same as the Explorer's. Although the way the neck feels is affected by the way the guitar is held.
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Last edited by T00DEEPBLUE at Mar 26, 2015,
#25
True true, I havent actually played one cause it said it was a D shaped neck. But im heading to a guitar shop saturday to look for a 7 string but I might come out with that explorer...
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Pedals