1958 Korina Explorer review by Epiphone

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  • Sound: 9
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 8
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 9
  • Features: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 9 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.3 (61 votes)
Epiphone: 1958 Korina Explorer

Price paid: $ 300

Purchased from: ebay

Sound — 9
I play mostly metal, but also some hard rock and classic rock, and this guitar is awesome for all of those. I've also played blues and even funk on it with pretty good results. Even though I just use a crappy 9-year-old hand-me-down 15 watt Crate starter amp with no effects, it sounds quite good, with a much fuller clean sound and much ballsier distorted sound than my Ibanez RG of comparable price. However, pinch harmonics are kind of hard to pull off, and with tone, volume, and gain turned up it's kinda noisy, so I think I'll switch out the pickups for EMGs or something eventually.

Overall Impression — 10
As I said earlier, I play mostly metal, and this guitar looks and sounds the part. I've gotten several comments along the lines of "that is the most awesome thing I have ever seen" and "dude, that guitar makes you look totally badass." It also plays very well, with a nice neck and the shortish scale length. There are only three things I wish it had that I can't really change without a major project: neck through, a bigger cutaway, and 24 frets, although a bigger cutaway might make it look awful, and if it had 24 frets without changing the cutaway, they would be hard to reach. I have two guitars, this one and an Ibanez RG320EX (in limited edition blue... aww yeah), and even though the RG is cool, I usually only play the Ibanez when I need a whammy bar, or when I get a hankerin for 24 frets and a giant cutaway. If it was stolen, I wouldn't buy another one, but that's because I'm really poor right now and wouldn't be able to.

Reliability & Durability — 8
I've played it Live once, and it held up through the performance, but afterward, one of the strap buttons fell out. However, not only did I get the guitar used, but it was also stamped "2nd", so a new one that wasn't a 2nd would probably hold up better. Plus, I planned to move the strap button to the back, anyway. There were already several dents in it when I got it, but the finish seems good, and even though I've accidentally hit the guitar off a few things, I haven't added any new dents. The neck pickup stopped working once or twice (probably bad wiring from being a 2nd), but if I just hit the strings pretty hard it pops back on. Because of my heavy palm muting, some of the gold plating has worn off of the bridge, but this obviously doesn't affect sound or playability, and I actually think it kinda looks cool.

Action, Fit & Finish — 9
It has several dents in the finish, but those are obviously due to the fact that I got it used. There was only two flaw I've found in this category, and that might be part of what made it a 2nd: the 20th fret is too high and needs to be filed down, because any bends on the 19th fret fret out.

Features — 9
22 medium jumbo frets (more like medium) on a 24 3/4" scale mahogany set neck, rosewood fretboard with Dot inlays. "Korina" body, supposedly like mahogany, but quite lightweight. Gold hardware, Grover non-locking tuners, Tune-O-Matic bridge, white plastic nut. Two volume, one tone, three way rhythm-both-treble toggle Switch. Two "Alcino Classic" humbuckers.

8 comments sorted by best / new / date

    I play mostly guitar based american rock like Black Sabbath and ACDC.
    Black Sabbath = English. AC/DC = Australian.
    Joseph Castro wrote: Bbauer wrote: ive learned to hate epiphone, ive relized that epiphone to gibson sucks compared to ltd to esp, ltd's are built with more quality and precesion the epis ever will be i hate esp's. the fret bars are too high for me
    Same here... i've owned both guitars and i prefer the epiphone more that esp
    nowa90 wrote: warrenguitar : Looks like a great guitar, i love the explorer shape! Wat's the difference between normal and jumbo frets? the size
    I wanna call you a smartass so badly, but I can't bring myself to fault you for that answer. To be a little more detailed, a bigger fret wire means that when you fret the string there is more distance between the string and the actual fretboard. This makes for a smoother, faster feel on the neck, and it's especially good if you like to do big string bends or lots of hammer-ons and pull-offs. Besides that, it also effects the tone of the instrument, lending a slightly more thick and meaty sound.
    the body style looks awesome, but I've never played one like it. Can it be played comfortably sitting down, like when you're practicing?
    Though I'm part of a mainly punk band, I play mostly guitar based american rock like Black Sabbath and ACDC. What do you mean? Black Sabbath, a metal band from England, and ACDC, the pride and joy of Australia and Scotland. "American rock" ???
    I'm really hoping it was a typo when you said you played American punk like BLACK SABBATH AND ACDC, man WTF any guitarist knows that neither of them were American damn
    Ive got a real quick question for anyone who can give me a true answer. i was wondering what the neck profile is on this epiphone explorer. i know that gibson and epiphone have two main profiles, the 50's rounded, and the 60's slim taper. i have a guitar with the 60's slim taper, and i would like another guitar with that profile, and i was wondering what neck profile on this guitar is. thank you guys for the help!