1958 Korina Explorer Review

manufacturer: Epiphone date: 06/20/2016 category: Electric Guitars
Epiphone: 1958 Korina Explorer
It has a ebony finish, tune o matic bridge, rosewood fretboard, korina body, 22 jumbo frets, and 2 alnico classic humbucking pickups. With 2 volume knobs, 1 tone, and a 3 way selector switch. It also came with a lead and an extra set of strings.
 Sound: 8.4
 Overall Impression: 9.3
 Reliability & Durability: 8.8
 Action, Fit & Finish: 9.2
 Features: 8.6
 Overall rating:
 Reviewer rating:
 Users rating:
reviews (9) pictures (2) 36 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 8.6
1958 Korina Explorer Reviewed by: big-boy-mike, on november 19, 2008
4 of 7 people found this review helpful

Price paid: £ 350

Purchased from: GuitarGuitar

Features: I bought this guitar in 2007 from guitarguitar (a shop) for 350. It has a ebony finish, tune o matic bridge, rosewood fretboard, korina body, 22 jumbo frets, and 2 alnico classic humbucking pickups. with 2 volume knobs, 1 tone, and a 3 way selector switch. It also came with a lead and an extra set of strings. But it was covered in condensation when taken out the box. Not a good thing. // 8

Sound: It has a really wierd sound for it's pickups, although I like it. I don't use any effects, just a Peavey amp, which it sounds good on, but it gets mushy with distortion at high volumes. The Music I play is led zeppelin, AC/DC, Trivium, twisted sister, and Van Halen. It sounds good for the classic rock stuff, but it really isn't a metal guitar. but that's just an Epiphone thing. But it has a good variety, very good clean tone. // 7

Action, Fit & Finish: It was actually quite good when it came out the box, everything was set up fine, no real flaws. But it was covered in condensation, but that's not really the factories fault. Other than that, all's good. but the treble pickup could do with a raise, as it is the same height as the rhythm pickup, but it's raised no real problems so far. // 9

Reliability & Durability: I would definetily gig with this without backup. It's extremely reliable. but the neck strap button is poorly placed, the strap just pops off it. But a straplock sorted that. The hardware is in excellent nick, and will surely last a while. I can really find nothing wrong with it's reliability, it is put together extremely well. // 10

Overall Impression: It's perfectly matches my style of music, and it doesnt't't even compare to my Epiphone SG. I've been playing 2 years now, and it is defo my main guitar, the thing is my pride and joy. And if it were stolen, I would hunt down the guy that stole it, and kill him. The only bad thing is, the protruding edges are easily chipped as they stick out for miles, but it's looking okay right now. So overall, a really nice guitar! the only thing I would swap for it would be the same guitar in a natural finish, which is what I wanted originally, but all they had in stock was ebony. And of course, it being korina, it weighs a ton! Only thing I wish it had was slightly more capable pickups. hoping to get EMG's for it. // 9

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overall: 8.8
1958 Korina Explorer Reviewed by: adstr123, on october 04, 2010
2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Price paid: £ 350

Purchased from: PMT Music Stores

Features: This guitar was made in 2009, in Korea as far as I'm aware. It has 22 frets on a fairly thick mahogany neck and rosewood fretboard, so particularly great for shredding, although it feels great for classic/hard rock and the like. The body is made from Korina, which has a dark sound to it; noticeably darker than the Epiphone Les Paul which is identical to it in basically every single way save for body shape and material. It has a simply beautiful ebony finish, with fantastic golden (brass) hardware and a 3-ply white-black-white scratchplate. I really think this is the best stock finish I've ever seen on a guitar, although the gold on the hardware does tend to rub off on places like the bridge where I have regular hand contact... The bridge is tune-o-matic with a stopbar, which is a fantastic bridge full of sustain and it look sway more tidy than a Standard strat-style bridge in my opinion. It comes stock with 2 "Alnico Classic Humbuckers". These are very good stock pickups for a guitar of this price range, although still aren't particularly amazing in the grand scheme of things, so I'm looking to upgrade them to Duncan JB/59s or DiMarzio Super Distortions. There is a three-way selector switch, individual volume controls for each 'bucker and 1 tone control (treble-cut). The tuners are Grover and are not just the best stock tuners I've ever played, but the best tuners full stop. They're simply fantastic; they're fantastically accurate and the guitar almost never goes out of tune. // 8

Sound: I play rock music. Anything from 60/70/80's classic rock, to hard rock, to metal, to punk. And this guitar suits those styles perfectly. I run it through a Marshall JCM2000 DSL401, and it has a huge, beefy sound from the two stock 'buckers. One thing to note on this however is that the bridge pickup is bright, whilst the neck pickup is dark; there is no in between. I have use my amp's EQ to compensate for the extremes, and I usually play on the neck pickup with the treble fairly high, but this sounds absolutely fantastic. Unfortunately I find the guitar quite noisy. Thankfully, this is easily rectifiable as I have identified that the guitar is not grounded properly; when I touch anything metal on the guitar such as the bridge or strings, the humming decreases significantly, so when I shield the insides and ground it properly I'm sure it will clean up well. It's no biggie - just a bit of irritating extra work, that's all. The guitar can do most things. When playing through the clean channel of my amp, I find it picks out the detail on the notes fantastically, and with correct amp settings gives beautifully bright, harmonic-filled highs whilst maintaining rich lows. When I kick on the overdrive, the guitar handles this excellently and gives an awesome Angus Young-style crunch. Then, on OD2 the guitar really sings; sustain is excellent and palm-mutes notes are big and chunky, whilst solos sound monstrous through the tubes of the Marshall. I really have heard guitars twice this price sound worse than this beast. // 9

Action, Fit & Finish: When I got the guitar it was set-up perfectly to my liking - action fairly low, strings perfectly wound and the pickups adjusted well. All the hardware fits perfectly to the guitar, and I can find no production flaws, although the tone knob were slightly misaligned - obviously a trivial matter. Overall it just felt right. All the seasoned guitarists reading this will know what I mean when I say this - there's just something about the guitar that makes it really nice to play, which in my eyes is more important than any material or hardware or facts on a bit of paper are to how good the guitar is. // 10

Reliability & Durability: I'm impressed with the durability of the guitar. For example, I have had several knocks (that massive bit of body sticking out the the right as you play takes getting used to!), but there are no nicks in the finish yet - just a few very light scratches. It feels solid to, and when I'm playing I can be assured it's not going to fall apart on stage! I wouldn't use it without a backup - but that's just because I'm paranoid. I probably wouldn't even use a Boss without a backup - and I'd trust their build quality more than a tank's. Two small problems. Firstly, the strap buttons come loose quite often. They're easy to tighten, obviously, but it's just annoying. Secondly, the gold finish on my bridge is coming off to to rubbing it whilst palm-muting; and also the same is happening on the edges of my pickups where I brush it with my pick. This is below what I expect of a 350 guitar, to be honest. // 8

Overall Impression: Overall, this is a truly fantastic guitar. I have been playing for two and a half years now, and this is my second guitar. It is a massive step up from my last guitar - a Behringer iAxe 393. That was a great beginner guitar, but this really shows up everything I thought was good about that guitar. I've played guitars twice the price at my local music store and I'd certainly rank this among them. It's only when you really start getting into high-end ESP and Ibanez guitars, and obviously the big boys like Gibson and PRS that you really think it's worth the hassle of saving up and buying a new guitar. I play hard rock, classic rock, metal, punk, prog - any kind of rock to be honest. And this guitar handles them all fantastically. One thing I will say is that it's not great for shredding - the neck is too thick, and it's not great for jazz - the cleans are good, but... well just look at it for goodness sake, it's clearly not built for jazz playing, is it? If it were stolen I would hunt it down and tear the guy a new arsehole with a barge pole. Or failing that buy a new one... But you get it. It's awesome. When I was looking for a new guitar, I also looked at an Ibanez RG350DX, a couple of Jacksons and the Epi Les Paul. I'm really glad I went for this. The Ibanez is good for metal and such, but I feel it is fairly limited in the other styles it can play. Jacksons are the same. And the Les Paul just didn't feel right - partly down to it being ridiculously, uncomfortably heavy. I love this guitar, and would definitely recommend it to any guitarist looking for a great rock guitar at an unbelievable price. // 9

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overall: 8
1958 Korina Explorer Reviewed by: DrHook, on december 12, 2011
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: C$ 299

Purchased from: Long & McQuade

Features: Finished in ebony (black), mine is a 2004 Korean manufactured one. A set neck model with dual Alnico 2 humbuckers, twin volume, single tone control and 3 way switch and black speed knobs. Gold hardware with mini grovers and tuna sandwich bridge... A stock 58 Korina reissue basically. // 9

Sound: The sound at best is livable without any effect and just run clean, beyond that there's no definition and muddies up quickly with any kind of gain, and no amount of eq can save the day. In short the pickups are horrible. The set neck and bridge provide great sustain and you can feel the ring throughout the body when played. A Gibson 490/498 combo in gold hardware would make an invisible replacement providing much better tonal quality with an accompanying upgrade in the pots and capacitors. // 5

Action, Fit & Finish: The fit and finish of the guitar is quite impressive and one of the better imports as far as craftsmanship goes. Alignment and setup of the stop bar and bridge in relationship to the neck were quite nice although the tune-o-matic definitely needs some help as you run out of room trying to intonate the guitar. Will be replacing that with a Schaller gold plated roller bridge in the near future. I found the stock .010 nut setup was cut improperly and could use some sanding and some lip balm (cheap nut grease) A quick twiddle of the bridge and the action settled down nicely and allowed for comfortable playing. Fret finish is very acceptable, no fret runout or sharp edges. // 9

Reliability & Durability: Of course it would stand up to live playing with a little elbow grease. Most notably strap locks, some good setup work, and PICKUPS. Once the electrics are swapped out I would definitely rely on it. It's built like a tank and weighs like one too but is perfectly balanced. // 8

Overall Impression: I play blues and classic rock, and while the shape of the guitar is not exactly user friendly (a belly cut would be nice) it does sit across the knees well. For what I play, a smart choice in pickups is all that's needed for this to match whatever I do. I've been playing 35yrs and I've always wanted an Explorer so this was an early Christmas gift. I've compared it to the other guitars I currently have including Gibson Les Paul BFG Gary Moore, Fender American Special Tele, 94 Fender MIM Strat with Vintage noiseless pups, Squier Showmaster, Washburn OE-30, Gibson Les Paul Standard goldtop with P-90s, and an Epiphone Les Paul Standard. So it went up against some good benchmarks. Plain and simple, Explorers are dead sexy ROCK guitars and with a little work make a keeper axe. Would I buy another... Definitely. They can be picked up reasonably cheap and made to play and sound comparable to the Gibson namesake without the hefty price tag. // 9

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overall: 8.8
1958 Korina Explorer Reviewed by: Edby, on january 09, 2009
0 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: £ 320

Purchased from: Dawsons Music

Features: Made in India according to a label behind the headstock, this guitar has 23 medium frets, marked with Dot inlays. The fingerboard is dark rosewood, which gives it a classy look and feel. The shape of the Explorer is perfect for me because it gives all (if not more) of the classic style of a V guitar without the fact that you can't really sit down and play v guitars in relative comfort. It is a very showy guitar but it's also incredibly easy to play sitting down as your arm just rests on the upper bout. There are is a volume pick up for each humbucker and a tone knob. It came completely alone when I got it and had to pay an additional 60 quid for a gig bag that would fit it. // 9

Sound: I'm a lead guitarist in a british punk band and among the other guys's cold, steely sounding Jackson guitars this guitars warm tone gives a lovely bit of class to our sound. At highs and lows it delivers a great warm tone. The only fault I can find with it is that while the Jackson guitars are built for full overdrive and cut out all background buzz, it's just a bit of an embarrassing moment when I plug into the amp the other guitarist is using and mine is the only one that buzzes. The buzz isnt loud, it's just present. // 8

Action, Fit & Finish: This guitar was all perfectly set up straight out of the shop. The pickups were at a perfect level straight away and ready for action. There were no major flaws other than the strings were extremely stiff for the first few bends but they soon slackened into a perfect amount of tension. // 9

Reliability & Durability: This guitar is one of the most reliably solid and great sounding guitars I've ever played. I'm'always banging it on doorways and stuff and not even a scratch yet. I would definitely use it would it ithout a back up. The strap buttons are at slightly wierd angles so straplocks are essential. // 9

Overall Impression: Though I'm part of a mainly punk band, I play mostly guitar based american rock like Black Sabbath and ACDC. This guitar suits that perfectly. It has very warm sleek tones. My band amp is a beefy Fender one and I can get a great tone out of that for classic rock with the gain just at about 7 or 8ish depending how angry I am. I compared it to a Jackson kelly, an epi SG and one of the cheapest Gibson les pauls. I took this one because it's so easy to play, I accustomed to it in seconds without having to point it up and have the lead digging into my knee like most design guitars it just felt as though it had been made for someone to play. I'm thinking of replacing the humbuckers with better quality ones to get rid of the buzz. // 9

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overall: 9
1958 Korina Explorer Reviewed by: I is be sexy, on july 10, 2009
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 300

Purchased from: ebay

Features: 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. // 9

Sound: 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. // 9

Action, Fit & Finish: 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. // 9

Reliability & Durability: 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. // 8

Overall Impression: 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. // 10

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overall: 9.2
1958 Korina Explorer Reviewed by: unregistered, on december 16, 2010
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: £ 389

Purchased from: Tuba Talk, Watford

Features: 2003, Korea, 22 Frets. I believe it to be Mahogany all over. Ebony finish. Tune-O-Matic bridge with solid tailpiece. Passive Epiphone pickups. Two Volume, one Tone. Two humbuckers, neck and bridge position. Grover tuners. No accessories. Pretty Standard throughout. // 8

Sound: I play mostly hard punk and metal. Metallica, Megadeth, Therapy? Are three favourites to play along to. This guitar suits all varieties of these genres perfectly, even with the stock pickups. Clean it is a bit thin, but still has a nice sound. Distorted it comes alive, sounding rich and full. With different amp and pedal settings I've made a good range of useable sounds, from light overdrive to heavy distortion. It sounds great clean with a bit of chorus too. I'm using it with a Marshall AVT150 amp, clean channel, with a Boss MT-2, CE-2, and ME-70 effects units. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: I bought it from a local shop, and enjoyed playing it whilst still there, however when I got it home and had a good play the action was way too high for my liking. I took it back and they sorted it, and since then it has been fantastic. The action is nice and low, allowing for fast playing, and I've since learned to do a set up myself, but this guitar hasn't needed any further adjustment. The bridge pickup was well adjusted for its sweet spot, but the neck pickup was too high, and therefore a lot louder than the bridge one. Everything else about the finish is brilliant for the price. The bridge and nut are a good fit, the frets well polished with no sharp edges. The tone pot was a little loose, but easily fixed. The only real indications of the low price range are the cheaply done fret markers, and the ebony finish, which with the light at the right angle shows it isn't as smooth as could be. // 8

Reliability & Durability: I've had this guitar for almost 7 years (bought it 2nd Jan 2004) so I can safely say yes, it lasts. I gigged with it for the first couple of years, and since then I've regularly used it at home for practice and recording. The strap buttons have been mentioned in other reviews, and I'll repeat - the top one is in a bad place on top of the body, which means the strap is pulled off the pin over time. I tried some Schaller straplocks, which are too thin to fit the holes left by the stock strap pins, so you'll want to find an alternative. I see no reason why you couldn't (with some careful drilling) relocate the strap pin to below the neck, on the back of the guitar, SG style. The finish is super strong - its been knocked, bashed, scraped, and shows no sign of damage. I do polish mine regularly which must help, but still, its tough. // 10

Overall Impression: I've been playing 16 years now, and own this along with an Epiphone Les Paul, Dean VMNT Mustaine, Ibanez bass and acoustics. I've also owned an Epiphone SG Gothic, Gibson SG, and my very first guitar was an Encore Strat. Until I got the VMNT a month ago, this Explorer was my favourite guitar. The weight is evenly balanced when sitting or standing, the sound is perfect for my playing, it feels solid with 10-46 strings (my Les Paul feelsflimsy with the same strings), and is fun for both solid rhythm and lead parts. Besides fantastic playability, it also looks amazing, especially when slung low. If it were stolen I wouldn't replace it, but only because THIS one is MINE. No other will ever be the same to me. // 10

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overall: 9
1958 Korina Explorer Reviewed by: kikkilinu, on june 03, 2011
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: C$ 299

Features: I got it last summer from my friend, and I have no idea what year it was made, but I do know that it was made in Korea. - Colors: Available in Black or Natural. - Pick Ups: 2 Humbucking Pickups (Alnico Classic in the neck, and Alnico Classic Plus in the bridge). - Body: Kornia. - Neck: Mahogany. - Fingerboard: Rosewood. - Number of Frets: 22. - Scale Length: 24 inches. - Neck Type: Set Neck - Dot Inlays - Tune-O-Matic Bridge - Stop Tailpiece - Gold Hardware - White Pickguard - Gold Key Tuners - Gold Top Hat Knobs - 2 Volume Controls - 1 Tone Control - 3-way Pickup Selector Switch // 9

Sound: I find that it has fairly good cleans, pretty sweet crunchy tones, and surprisingly amazing metal tones, although the neck pickup is fairly useless, since I mostly play lead and always use the Bridge pickup for that extra bite. I'm using this guitar through a Peavey Vypyr 30W (The Plxi channel on clean) with a Behringer Ultra Metal UM300 distortion pedal, and a GarageTone Axle Grease delay pedal. In my honest opinion, the guitar has a very nice, rich, full sound, but that could also depend on the equipment you're using. // 9

Action, Fit & Finish: Well, when I got it I fixed it up myself, so it was just a new set of strings that it needed, and a little bit of cleaning, but other than that, it was pretty great. Loved playing it and I couldn't stop. // 9

Reliability & Durability: I definitely think that this guitar can be used for a live gig, without a backup. The hardware seems fairly good, but I might be changing out everything (just my personal choice. Turning it into a gothic style guitar, EMG 85/81, Grover tuners, black hardware, etc). I switched out the strap buttons with some strap locks, just so the strap doesn't slip off. // 9

Overall Impression: I play mostly metal, or rock, and I find it to be quite a great match. I've been playing just under a year and a half (self taught). If this guitar were lost or stolen, I would: A) Cry, B) Hunt down the bastard that did it and kill him. I love the shape, the feel, and the weight, but what I do hate is that you can't make love to it. My favorite feature has to be the shape. // 9

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overall: 8.6
1958 Korina Explorer Reviewed by: DevilsRedRider, on september 13, 2012
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: A$ 600

Purchased from: Derringers Music

Features: Lets start by saying this guitar is definitely NOT from 1958. If there was a 58 Explorer on sale for 600 dollars, the dealer would have to be off their meds. Anyway, this is a Gibson copy, hence the name Epiphone. A name many cringe to hear. Not sure why, because this is a great guitar. It has: - 22 frets w. a rosewood neck - Mahogany D profile neck - Tune-o-matic bridge - Two humbucking pickups - Volume knob for both pickups and one tone knob - This guitar is the Phantom Axe. Apparently its made from Korina wood. I hear a lot about how its only a bit of Korina with some mystery wood in the middle. But what I gather is that its expensive to get one, large bit of Korina, but cheap to get several little bits and chuck it all together to make one. Apparently using smaller pieces is better because Korina is unstable. Honestly, after doing a bit of research I have no idea weather the body is cheaper B grade Korina, not made of Korina at all, mainly Mahogany or 1234234534 different types of wood. It could be bloody Aussie red gum for all I know. But lets just trust Epiphone and say there is Korina in there. - Grover machine heads, although the Epiphone website says there something else. What did i say before? Trust Epiphone?? - Three way selector switch - An enormous guitar case. It literally doesn't fit in the boot of some of my mates cars. Oh, and it doesn't shut properly sometimes. Feature wise, this guitar is good. Just the essentials. Good stuff Epiphone. // 8

Sound: Sound wise its pretty darn good! Nice sustain, although the pickups sound a little muddy. Easy to replace though. Nice tone on middle pickup setting, nice mellow sound for neck pickup, but the bridge is a little too much in the lower end. Needs to be more bright. But still, there nice pickups. My style of music includes a lot of different genres, and this guitar does a good job. Its best at rock though. Think of artists like his holiness Dave Grohl, Nirvana, Airbourne etc. Good for grunge / hard rock. Its not a full on screaming metal monster, but it isn't a quivering heap either. It packs a punch. Couple this with a good sound rig and you will be blowing eardrums all night. I personally am thinking of getting new pickups, but I would say the sound for the stock pickups are pretty darn good. // 9

Action, Fit & Finish: I checked everything in the store before I got it. It was well set up! Although the intonation is just the tiniest bit out now, thanks to the Tune-o-matic bridge that's easy to fix. Everything felt solid and well adjusted. No flaws I could see. // 10

Reliability & Durability: It has failed me on-stage before. I was playing "The Pretender" at a gig and did a biga-s jump just before things started to get really intense. But upon contacting the ground, my strap literally tore the strap button out of the guitar. I was beside myself. But lucky for me I had a spare axe. All that was needed was a bigger bolt to hold the strap button in. Not sure if that is a manufacturing flaw, but still, I recommend caution when jumping with this guitar. It tends to go out of tune a little. This is either my grovers or strings that haven't been stretched properly. If this is an issue, get new machine heads. Better ones. Other than those issues, it is wicked fun to play live! It looks bada-s on stage and suits the wild rock n roll scene well! // 7

Overall Impression: Die hard Gibson maniacs will ask, "are you high? Why get an Epiphone when you could save up for a Gibson?" A valid question, but in my opinion, its an extra 1000 dollars for the brand name and a few hardware differences. I got the Epiphone fully expecting the hardware to be mediocre (in actual fact it was quite good). My plan was, and still is to replace the pickups, the machine heads, the pots and all the electronics. And at the end of the day, I would have paid more for a Gibson Explorer than I would have buying this Epiphone and modifying it to suit my needs. Its a fantastic rig, and would be exceptionally depressed if it was stolen. Its a ridiculous shaped guitar made out of wood from the "not too f***ing sure" stockpile, all in all creating one of the coolest looking guitars I have ever seen. // 9

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overall: 9.8
1958 Korina Explorer Reviewed by: Redbaron7422, on june 20, 2016
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Features: This guitar is a 1997 reissue of the classic Gibson Explorer. It has gold hardware, (bridge, pickup covers, tuners, the whole shebang,) and golden translucent volume knobs. My tone knob fell off a few years ago (I've had the guitar for about five-six years now), and I just left it off because I thought it looked pretty cool. I play for hours a day, every day, so the gold plating on the tuners and the bridge pickup has started to wear off, but it still looks really good. It's equipped with two humbuckers, one in bridge and one in the neck. I flipped my pickup selector so that the bridge pickup is in the up position, and I lowered my neck pickup into the body and raised the bridge pickup to a fraction of an inch under the strings. I'm a metal player, so I'm not exactly gentle on the guitar, and it holds up beautifully to everything I put it through. Overall, she's a beautiful beastie, and is honestly my true love. // 9

Sound: I play mostly sludge/prog metal, and this guitar sounds absolutely perfect for that. It has sustain unrivaled by any guitar I've ever played, and every time it feedbacks it brings in a symphony of harmonics through the body wood. Because it's such a big guitar, the low-end response is absolutely amazing. I've never heard such a big sounding guitar to play rhythm with, and honestly it's the only thing I've ever played that I can make sound like two guitars, it just has that much sound. It distorts with tremendous power and clarity, and because I put the bridge pickup so low, when I flick over to that one then it sounds almost like a hollowbody, so I don't even have to turn off my distortion pedal (a Boss Metal Core) to play the clean parts of a song. My main amp is a Vox AD15, which I play straight through, and a Marshall J200 or something, which I use my Metal Core or classic Soviet Big Muff with, and those combinations are so heavy and can shift from thick and sludgy to clear and aggressive. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: I got it second-hand, and the guy before me was mostly a blues player, so the setup was a little bit weird. I twisted the action around a little bit myself, but my friend set it up a couple years ago and I've pretty much left it as he did. Besides that, the only flaws are ones that I've caused myself (dropping the guitar, whacking the headstock into ceilings, etc). The bridge had one issue, too, but that's a very individual problem. I use DR's DDT strings, from 12-60, and the A string was a little bit too big for the bridge so it kept snapping until I filed down the bridge a tiny bit. That only takes a few minutes, though, and it's really no big deal. // 10

Reliability & Durability: The button straps were fine, but I use an ancient leather strap which was quite worn, so I swapped out for StrapLocks super quick (I highly recommend doing that as soon as you can.) The finish is amazing, and this guitar will last you through tour after tour after tour. It's been my main guitar for ages, and I can't imagine ever trading it out for anything else. One issue is that a soft case will never work for this. The shape is so odd that the only thing you can use is a full-on road case, which can make it a little bit hard to transport easily (it will not fit in the back of a Prius). // 10

Overall Impression: As a prog metal player, I love this guitar. As a blues player, I love this guitar. As a Spanish player, I love this guitar. Everything about this guitar makes me so happy, and it's so comfortable to play, this was the single best acquisition I've ever made. If it were broken or stolen, I would buy another one as soon as I stopped crying. This guitar is my baby, and my best friend, and everything about her is unique and wonderful.  I've played dozens of other guitars in this time, and the only two that have ever even come close were a $2,200 Jackson RR and a $1,700 Jackson King V with EMGs. Neither caught up to my Explorer, and since my Explorer was originally a $700-900 guitar, nothing can compare. If you want a great guitar for metal, rock, or anything, I highly recommend buying this guitar. You won't regret for a second. // 10

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