#1
I'm intrested in buying a explorer shaped guitar but I've got a few questions.

At some stores a Gibson Explorer costs the same as an ESP Explorer.
What's the real difference between them? The neck and pickups I guess? Which one of the two would be best build according to you guys?

Let's say I want a Metallica sound, will the ESP sound better because it has EMG pickups? Or can a standard Gibson Explorer pull it off to without changing the pickups?
Yes I know that the amp is more important for getting a good sound but that doesn't take away the fact that the guitar also has some impact on it right?

Which other brands have explorer shaped guitars?

Thanks in advance.
Gear:
Ibanez SA220
Epiphone Firebird V
Fender Stratocaster USA 1979
VOX AD100VT
#2
Having not played an ESP Explorer I can't comment on it, but the Gibsons feel great.
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#3
The guitar has an effect on the overall type of sound. Thinner, fatter, etc. The amp is what truly decides the actual quality of the sound. I hope I'm getting my point across. IMO it's pretty silly to buy a 100 watt version of a practice amp - which you did. That amp can manage a thrash metal sound, but it'll still be sub par compared to a good, high gain tube amp.

Gibson and ESP Explorers are different guitars, different body and neck dimensions and I also believe some ESP Explorers weren't mahogany but alder. Build quality will vary from guitar to guitar, so you compare them yourself.

Yes, the Gibson can pull it off without changing the pickups.

Hamer and Edwards still make Explorers. Jackson made them with the Jackson headstock some years ago before being sued by Gibson, but you'll have a hard time finding one in Belgium I think. I also believe Tokai made Explorer copies, but don't quote me on that.
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#4
Is it an LTD or a ESP MX220?


EDIT-NVM, I dought it the MX220 due to the fact that they are produced anymore, and it's difficult to come by them sometimes.

Every guitars different. You can pick up two of the same models of a guitar and they'll have there differences in feel. So the only person who can decide is yourself.
Last edited by caraluzzo at Aug 16, 2008,
#5
i try out all the guitars at my local music store and theres a bunch of different explorer models that i've played around with but the best i found was the gibson. very flexible in terms of styles it can play. u have a good amp so it'll be able to turn it to a thrash metal sound. i mite be a bit biased here because im a pure gibson guy but the esp i tried just didn't do it for me. each are different so u shud probably just pick them both up and whichever sounds and feels right to you is the one.
#6
@ Cobain_Is_King
Thanks for the comment

@ jmag
Thanks for the info, I'm looking into a new tube amp also for the moment. I will check out Hamer and Edwards to.

@ caraluzzo
I was looking at the EX series. The LTD standard models according to their site?

@ Les Paul57
Thanks for the info, I will try them both out and see. I've never played a Gibson or ESP before so I'll see what happens.
Gear:
Ibanez SA220
Epiphone Firebird V
Fender Stratocaster USA 1979
VOX AD100VT
#7
Oh alright. Well, whoever mentioned Hamer has the idea. I played one last year, it fell off the wall at a shop, this bottom half of that thing had chunks missing and everything. The guitar was beat to ****!. But honestly, it was one of the nicest playing guitars I've ever had the privilage to play. They only wanted $130 for it with the case cause it was beat to hell and back, but I was to dumb to grab it when I had the chance..
#8
Quote by caraluzzo
Oh alright. Well, whoever mentioned Hamer has the idea. I played one last year, it fell off the wall at a shop, this bottom half of that thing had chunks missing and everything. The guitar was beat to ****!. But honestly, it was one of the nicest playing guitars I've ever had the privilage to play. They only wanted $130 for it with the case cause it was beat to hell and back, but I was to dumb to grab it when I had the chance..


Thanks for the warning about the falling issue. How does your eclipse play by the way? I've been intrested in those for quit some while to. They look awesome but how do they play?
Gear:
Ibanez SA220
Epiphone Firebird V
Fender Stratocaster USA 1979
VOX AD100VT
#9
Eclipse=Sex IMO.
I was unsure about them like you are. Nobody had them in stock at the time (January) and I wound up calling every ESP dealer in Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware until I found a small shop about an hour and a half away that had one sitting in the back in a case. I went there, tried it out, fell in love with it, put it on lay away and had it within the next 20 days or so. Out of every guitar I've owned, it seams to be the best playing. Turns out, the price accually decreased a little on them a few months ago. I wish I had waited lol, but I'm happy with what I got.

And that Hamer comment wasn't ment to scare you away. I was just saying I played a beat up Hamer Explorer, loved it, but was to dumb to buy it. I had the money at hand too, I wanna slap myself for not getting it while I could.
#10
I own a hamer standard explorer flametop. It really is a great guitar I find it comfortable while playing sitting down, it was set up great and is easy to play.

I play my hamer through a peavey 5150 212 combo and it does great metal tones. Although majority of the metal tone will come from the amp.

But as far as explorers go, the Hamer is a good guitar and I think it sounds and feels better than the esp ltd ex I tried out.
#11
Just so you know james plays an esp explorer so if you want metallica tone there it is.
Gear
Jackson Dinky DKMGT Transparent Black
#12
Quote by Zenoir
@ Cobain_Is_King
Thanks for the comment

@ jmag
Thanks for the info, I'm looking into a new tube amp also for the moment. I will check out Hamer and Edwards to.

@ caraluzzo
I was looking at the EX series. The LTD standard models according to their site?

@ Les Paul57
Thanks for the info, I will try them both out and see. I've never played a Gibson or ESP before so I'll see what happens.

Oh, you meant the new LTD EXs? The pointy ones?
Quote by primusfan
It wasn't mean, it was Portuguese.

Master Saruwatari of the Pit Samurai Pm theguitarist to join

Membro do clube Português do UG.
#13
Quote by Copilot911
Just so you know james plays an esp explorer so if you want metallica tone there it is.



I think the core of their tone comes from their amps and not the guitar.
#14
The gibson pickups are very good though (496r and 500t)
Supposed to peform well with high gain
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#15
There's also the Jackson Kelly.
My band, Escher
My progressive rock project, Mosaic

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#16
Quote by GodofCheesecake
There's also the Jackson Kelly.


Yes , Yes!
My Gear

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#17
Quote by Copilot911
Just so you know james plays an esp explorer so if you want metallica tone there it is.


You know how difficult it can be to get ahold of an ESP MX220 in the states? Or anywere for that matter. They're great guitars, but I'm sure he's not looking to spend $2100+ on a guitar he can't try out, or possibly not even find.
#18
there's also the Dean Z

I like the pickups that come with it. They are my favorite STOCK pickups I have


and I like the string through design and the bridge. It makes for really easy palm muting (which is a must for the Metallica sound) I have 3 BC Rich's and they all have nothing on this one
#19
Quote by Copilot911
Just so you know james plays an esp explorer so if you want metallica tone there it is.


hetfield used to use gibsons before he endorsed esp, but i think he only used them on kill 'em all and maybe ride the lightning
Höhner llx100g
Gibson explorer
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Roland dac80d
marshall jcm 900 sl-x 2500
marshall 1960A
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#20
Quote by gorrath
hetfield used to use gibsons before he endorsed esp, but i think he only used them on kill 'em all and maybe ride the lightning

I think he switched to ESP right before the black album. Which means he was using the Gibson while Metallica was still thrash.
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#21
Yeahh Hetfield using Gibsons was what made Metallica good...
Then ESP was all "0mfgz 0ur gu1t4rz r s00 muc4 m0ar br00t4lz th4n G1bs0n!"
#22
He used ESPs for the Damaged Justice tour. Which was epic. You'd get similar sounds from either. The Gibson has the correct contour, but has a pickguard and the standard Explorer controls, while the ESP has it the other way around, no pickguard, closer to the 84 controls, but has the "wrong" shape compared to Hetfield's.

For what it's worth though, my FX-400 plays almost as well as the Gibby's I've played, and it was $440 with hard case and straplocks.
#23
If its pretty much the same money, buy the Gibson, you can fit EMG's but most importantly it will hold its value much better and be more versatile overall
#24
Quote by r0ckth3d34n
Yeahh Hetfield using Gibsons was what made Metallica good...
Then ESP was all "0mfgz 0ur gu1t4rz r s00 muc4 m0ar br00t4lz th4n G1bs0n!"



Just fyi folks, hetfield never used an actual GIBSON on those early metallica records. If your refferring to the white flying V he was using it was actually a flying V copy of a gibson, and no it wasnt an epiphone. He just switched the truss rod cover with a gibson cover to make you THINK he was playing a gibson. He may have played some gibsons but those albums were recorded with that V copy. Do some homework.

TS, both guitars are great choices. I would even reccomend a ESP LTD Ex400 series, stock with EMGs and good hardware, not to mention they play like the sexxxx.

To the above poster, a Gibson that has been routed for EMGs will make the value go DOWN because you have tampered with the original specs, not to mention EMGs will bypass the tone wood, which is a lot what you pay for with a gibson.
Last edited by TheCalvinator at Sep 3, 2009,