Price paid: £ 429
Purchased from: Nevada Music
Sound — 9
Initially, I didn't like the sound of the EMG's. I found them too thin sounding, but after adjusting some of the settings I was able to achieve a rich and full sound. I play alot of Metallica hence buying the guitar, but also it has a great variety and sounds great clean, although I am not very keen on the neck pickup on a clean setting as it is very bassy. The guitar is well suited for any style be it; blues, classic rock, metal or jazz.
Overall Impression — 8
This is a very versatile guitar that can serve any kind of player. It sounds great for any style you want to play. I thought the price was fair, however I was disappointed that I had to go out and buy brand new hardware to replace the dodgy mass produced rubbish that this guitar came with. I'm not really bothered about where it was made and I really love this guitar. If something were to happen with this guitar I would definately buy another explorer, maybe not this one though. Instead I would probably go for a Gibson 1984 Explorer Reissue.
Reliability & Durability — 8
The guitar seems solid. I have gigged with it before and it seems to easily withstand live playing. Now that I have replaced the harware, I also feel that this could withstand life on the road. The finish seems pretty good however it seems to acquire alot of surface scratching all ovewr the guitar. This is not too noticable however and doesnt't really bother me.
Action, Fit & Finish — 7
This guitar has been a nightmare. The guitar was well set up in the factory however, the aweful Bridge saddles kept snapping the strings, right on the bridge. I went through several sets of D'Addario strings and in the end, had to fork out 26.00 for a set of graphite Bridge saddles which cured the problem immediately. Secondly the Epiphone "schaller" type straplocks which the guitar comes with are also rubbish. They fell apart in my hands within the first day. The finish on the guitar however was flawless, my only problem with it is as anyone knows; black guitars scratch very easily and attract alot of dust and finger marks. This does not bother me too much as I have owned black guitars in the past.
Features — 10
I Think my guitar was made in 2011 in China. I went for the ebony version rather than the alpine. The guitar features features all black hardware, a rosewood neck, an EMG 81 in the Bridge and an 85 in the neck position. The guitar comes without a scratchplate unlike other explorers and has a master volume, master tone and a 3 way switch. It comes woth grover locking tuners and a stop tail bridge. I have been looking for an Explorer for a long time. I was going to buy an black Epiphone Explorer and change the pickups to EMG's and to change the pickguard from a white pickguard to a black one. As soon as I saw this guitar I found it has all of the specs I wanted without having to replace parts on a brand new guitar.