I'm looking for an explorer/destroyer style guitar with a locking tremolo, I play mainly hard rock and metal and would like a guitar that's a bit more bad-ass than the original explorer. I think I have narrowed it down to a Jackson Kelly with a floyd rose or the LTD EX-401FR/DX. Price range <1000$

Also how do the older Kelly ke3 guitars compare?
Made in Japan Jacksons are great quality for the price. Find a used one in good condition and save $$
I personally am a big fan of the Jackson Kelly, to me they just look killer, also I would probably recommend an older Japan KE3 over a newer X series model and they can be had fairly cheap on the used marked, I picked up a KE3 for $300 CDN about 7 years ago. The only thing about Kelly's (and maybe the same for the LTD but I don't have experience to say) is that they can be neck heavy. A very simply solution is to move the strap button to one of the neck screws (on a bolt on neck) and the problem is solved.
Any chance you can play both?

I have a KE3 and have never played an EX but do have 2 Eclipses.

So comparing the KE3 to the Eclipses the major differences (besides the body shape obviously) are all about the neck.

Jackson is compound radius, thinner, and jumbo frets.
LTD/ESP is 305mm radius, thicker than the Jackson but not fat, and extra jumbo frets (Eclipse and EX have the same neck profile).

In short they will feel different to play.

I prefer the feel of Jackson but have 2 of each brand.
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

Mesa/Boogie Dual Rectifier Roadster 212
Laney IronHeart IRT-Studio
Peavey Vypyr 30
Peavey ReValver Amp Sims
+1 MIJ Jacksons

Used ones (at least in the U.S.) are not hard to find and more than affordable but honestly used U.S.A. Jacksons can typically be found for $900 to $1000
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Last edited by Evilnine at Nov 1, 2016,
ke3s are nice, but ideally could use a trem swap

ke5s had a better trem and neck-thru construction
Quote by crownegamers
I saw in a couple of pictures that on Bucketheads Les Paul (only some pictures) that his neck pickup is painted in white. Can anyone explain to me why he would do this, and if there are any pros and cons.

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The guy wears a KFC Bucket and a white mask during performances, and you're interested in the color of his pickup covers?