1984 Explorer Reissue review by Epiphone

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  • Sound: 10
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 9
  • Features: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 9.4 Superb
  • Users' score: 6.8 (43 votes)
Epiphone: 1984 Explorer Reissue

Price paid: € 700

Purchased from: Guitar center

Sound — 10
This guitar is the perfect instrument for me and suits me perfectly as it is the instrument one of my favorite guitar players own. My stile is hard rock, metal and more. The used amps are a Randall rgh150w valve dynamic head with 4x12 cabinet loaded with 2x12 Vintage 30s and 2x12 rockets. The pick ups are dead silent and have the ability to reproduce the full Spectrum of the sound. The 85 situated on neck position gives that warm and fat clean while giving room for more exotic solos or rhythmic parts, has prefect mids and lows, sorta lacks in the high pitched area but still is better than many of the pick ups on the market. The 81 in the bridge position and is high gain high pitched pick ups, has the same spectrum as the 85 but with more saturated highs. From blues to trash and dead this guitar with that hardware can reproduce anything.

Overall Impression — 8
I've been a fan of J. Hetfield so that guitar is a match to my style and playing techinque. I've been playing for 6 years now but I cannot say that I am good, I still need lessons and all that stuff. The guitar is one of a kind, and hopefully for me it wont be stolen but if something like this is to happen then there are two back up guitars which I don't play because of this now but the one is a black Explorer with Snake inlays and a Ken Lawrence replica. The main disadvantage is that the EMGs actually make most of the sound so comparing guitars with the same wood and pick ups is like comparing only hardware. Definitely I wish it had the James Hetfield Signature on the top of the neck and the Papa Het drawing on the body.

Reliability & Durability — 10
This guitar can withstand everything you are able to trow at it, it is made for live playing and I've played twice with it on stage. The hardware especially the EMGs are killer and the strap holders are epic, because they are locking. I would definitely say that the guitar is dependent on and can be used without back up instrument. The coat is pretty fat and will last long before it starts to wear out.

Action, Fit & Finish — 9
There were just small miss hap with the paint on the back of the neck but everything else was solid, the pick ups were perfect, so that meant I didn't have to move them up and down, just to add some finishing lines on the final position in which they are now. For the other things the guitar was taken to the local guitar maker a luthier, who checked the guitar for any cosmetic or hardware damage or miss done factory things. Overall it came really shiny and I would say it was really nice to see that peace of instrument in my home.

Features — 10
So this guitar is made in the late 2011 in the Gibson custom shop under the brand of Epiphone in USA. The guitar is composed of neck trough mahogany body the same as the body of the 1984 Explorer guitar with Ebony Fat 22fret neck. It is painted in white color and consists of Tune-O-Matic bridge (black color) with active pick ups which are EMG 85/81 9v modification with non-locking Grover tuners.

3 comments sorted by best / new / date

    So this guitar is made in the late 2011 in the Gibson custom shop under the brand of Epiphone in USA. The guitar is composed of neck trough mahogany body
    1) It's not made by the Gibson Custom Shop team. It's made on a production line in China. 2) It's not neck-through. People should really know where their guitar comes from and the basics of its construction before they write a review.
    ok guys, you want a serious review? ive owned this guitar since it was a prototype,it is well balanced for the most part. yet, it is slightly neck heavy. this is mainly due to the center of gravity being towards the right side on right handed models.The construction is all mahogony set neck on a mahogony body.it is solid not that chambered bullshit. it has the classic 1958 boomerang headstock.the stock hardware is not bad at all, i replaced some just for my preferences. The hardware is fairly sound except the tuners(could just be mine). after replacing the tuners(i would recommend locking tuners), setup for the this instrument was fairly simple. i also replaced the standard plastic nut that is stock for this guitar with a bone nut which aided the tone and made a world of difference.The emg 81/85 model pickups were excellent. the finish of this guitar is even and flawless, but it scratches easily so for those whos dont like pickguards, just take the simple step of installing a clear pickguard for it. you can buy the material to do it for 8 u.s. dollars on stew mac. this guitar"s stock parts are surprisingly durable. at $600 this guitar is actually not bad at all. it is the closest to a gibson as far as epiphone explorers go. i have compared it to a real 1984 gibson explorer and they are similar. they do have their differences in tone though(atleast with stock parts).the gibson was just slightly warmer, but with its stock pickups it sounded more natural than the epiphone. i would keep the emgs though, they are amazing and very hot.again for $600, it is an excellent guitar, and it is not just a metal guitar as most of the previous writers states. it is actually quite versital. i use it for metal, blues, rock, country, hell i even use it for funk and rockabilly.as far as this whole (its a metal guitar) thing, that mainly depends on your amp, your effects and your settings on your amp. i would definitly reccomend this guitar if one did not wish to may $1200 for its gibson counterpart. oh and on another note ive been playing four years, but i play 4-6 hours a day and i know this. and to the younger players, i would listen to the guy who has been playin for 30+ years, he actually knows what he is talking about.