Purchased from: Private Seller
Sound — 9
It suits my style perfectly. I play mostly metal but some blues and all kind of rock as well. Because the humbuckers are hot they are amazing for distortion sounds giving off a warm, thick tone but also nail those cleans. I am currently guitar amp less so I am running it into a Roland KC-300 80W SS Keyboard Amp. I run it through a Boss Metal Zone (MZ-2) and an original Cry Baby from the '80s.
Overall Impression — 9
Like I said before, I play metal and all kinds of rock. It suits it perfectly. I have been playing about 2 1/2 years now. I owned a Lado II which I traded for this, an Ibanez Gio which I am modding and a Charvel CX series bass. I called Gibson prior to buying it so I knew everything I needed but I was very happy to find out it was MIK (Made In Korea). If it were stolen I would save up for the Gibson, this is great but for the extra 600$ The Gibson blows it out of the water. It is by far the most comfortable guitar I've played, sitting and standing up. It balances perfectly. The only thing I would change would be to make it a set neck. I can compare it to my Ibanez which is about the same price range as this and this is much better. I also can compare it to my Lado which was worth 1000$ and it matches it.
Reliability & Durability — 8
This guitar would defiantly be able to play gigs. I would install strap locks prior because the buttons are not too great. The hardware isn't bad but the bridge and tuners are awful. They look like they will break sooner than later. I would play without a backup. The finish was just re-done and was done well so it will last.
Action, Fit & Finish — 8
Since I got it second hand I can't judge factory setup. Like I said it was heavily modded. It has custom paint job which is black with yellow stripes "a-la Alexei Laiho". Everything was adjusted well except that the low e string is almost off the neck. There were no obvious flaws.
Features — 9
Alright so my Explorer was made in 1993 at the Samick plant in Korea. It has 22 frets on a Mahogany neck with Rosewood fretboard. The body is made up of Alder with a Maple top. I called Gibson and they told me it was a Custom run because it has a tremolo in it. It is a Strat style trem. The pickups were modded along with several other components. They are Alnico 10 Hot Humbuckers bought from the company that makes Eastwood guitars. Controls were modded as well. Originally there was 1 tone, 1 volume and a 3-way pickup selector. Added on was a coil-tap. The tuners are stock Epiphone and are just ok.