Goth 1958 Explorer Review

manufacturer: Epiphone date: 10/17/2015 category: Electric Guitars
Epiphone: Goth 1958 Explorer
The Epiphone Goth Explorer is definetly a metal guitar. So naturally it's made to be "metallized". It has great metal tone, but it's not restricted to only metal.
 Sound: 9
 Overall Impression: 9.1
 Reliability & Durability: 8.9
 Action, Fit & Finish: 8.3
 Features: 8.6
 Overall rating:
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reviews (14) pictures (2) 94 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 9.6
Goth 1958 Explorer Reviewed by: unregistered, on july 22, 2004
10 of 13 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 500

Purchased from: New-Counts Brothers Music

Features: Purchased in 2004. Made in Korea. Inspected in the US. This guitar has 22 frets. Neck and Body are both mahogany. Has 2 volume knobs and 1 tone knob. Comes with two Gibson designed humbuckers("Double Vacuum Dipped Alnicos" with "Ceramic Coated Wiring") at the bridge and neck. Both are passive. Select between them with a 3-way Switch. Hardware is all black chrome. Finish is a sharp-looking flat black (Think of Stealth Black) with black pickguard. Comes with Grover tuners and "Floyd Rose Licensed Copy" double locking tremolo. All in all, an awesome guitar. Only problem is that it didnt come with any accessories(case, strap, etc.) But that's something I should take up with the store where I bought it. // 10

Sound: If you are a metal head like me (Metallica especially, it looks just like James guitar from the Sandman video), this is one of the best guitars you could get. Currently, I'm running the guitar through a Marshall MG150 4/12' stack. The sound is very satisfactory. I play pickup are great. You are able to adjust the volume and tones to just about whatever you'd like. Running straight through the Marshall, you in Drop-C tuning (CACFAD) and the deep tones you get through the neck have to work to get any noise (like crank it up to harmful levels). Just recently, I purchased a Boss MT-2 Metal Zone pedal and the only time you get any noise is when you turn the pedal level up high, but that is a problem you'll get with almost any pedal. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: From my understanding, this particular model of Goth Explorer with the double locking tremolo is fairly hard to find in stores. This is the only one I've seen. Straight from the factory, I would say set-up is good. Personally, I prefer to play on some heavy duty strings (Zakk Wylde Customs), so naturally I replaced the fairly light factory strings. I ran into some problems though with the tremolo when putting on heavy strings. The heavier gauge causes the floating tremolo to buck up off of the body. So to remedy this, I had to go and buy an extra spring to put in the tremolo to pull the bridge back down. I think it would've been nice to include extra springs with its purchase. Plus, putting on thicker strings, I had to adjust bridge and pickup heighths, which took a long time. Really, the only major probs I had was with the installment of new strings, which u could possibly say was partly my fault. Intonation was great from the factory. Pickups are good, but personally, I'd like to replace them with some EMG Actives as soon as possible. // 8

Reliability & Durability: I've played several gigs with this guitar so far and found it to be very reliable. The double locking tremolo pretty much guarantees that It'll be in tune. You dont have to worry bout scratching the flat black finish like u would a more glossy one. Hardware appears to be very heavy duty. Strap buttons are very solid, but I quickly replaced them with strap locks, just as a precaution. I would suggest the same if your a heavy and "mobile" player on stage. I would and have used it in gigs without a backup, but if you can afford one, it never hurts to be prepared for anything. Everybody knows that when you break a string on a guitar with floating tremolo, it throws everything out of tune. // 10

Overall Impression: As I stated before, I'm a big Metallica fan, so naturally, this was the guitar for me. I would suggest it to any other Hard Rock or Metal fan anytime. I'm 18 and I've been playing for about 4-5 years now. This is definitely one of the best guitars I've played on. If it ever got stolen, I would definitely try to replace it if I was able to afford it. I have very few problems with the guitar other than the pickups, which are more then fine, but I intend to change them out with an EMG 81 and EMG 85 as soon as possible. A lot of that is just personal preference. I don't really like the trouble thats involved in restringing and retuning the tremolo, but I hear its the same with all Floyd Rose. // 10

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overall: 9.2
Goth 1958 Explorer Reviewed by: Bdass Jerry, on august 02, 2008
3 of 3 people found this review helpful

Features: This little baby has got a mahogany body, neck, and fingerboard. it's black hardware goes brilliantly with its jet black matte finish, giving it a dark, sinister look. It has no inlays except for "XII" on the 12th fret. Awesome or what? It's a 22 fret neck-thru, with double humbucking pickups, 2 volume and 1 tone knob and a 3-way selector. Its neck is perfectly balanced to its body. I got an Epiphone hardcase with it, along with a lead and black Epiphone strap. // 9

Sound: I'm a metalhead, but still like my classic rock! I listen to anything from Guns 'n' Roses to Children Of Bodom. I play a lot of Metallica, and I couldn't have a better guitar to play their songs on. It delivers that beautiful clean sound for songs like "Fade To Black", yet gives you that heavy, messy sound for songs like "Master Of Puppets". I just wish it came with a whammy already put in! Wah-wah pedals really polish off the sound from this little warrior, and it sounds phenominal plugged into amps by Marshall. I've got a Stagg amp too, but it kills the beauty of this guitar. The feedback I get with my amp and guitar is amazing, and it rings forever. It sounds incredible in Drop-D tuning. You'd think this guitar was ment to be played in drop tunings. Overall, I couldnt have a more perfect guitar for my music style. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: When I first tried out the Gothic Explorer '58, the pickups were stuffed up and they kept turning off while I was playing. Luckily there was another one in stock, and I got it for the price of the faulty one. However, even now, if I don't use a really good lead, it wont work well with the pickups, and it turns off while I'm playing. The mahogany wood is amazing, I walked into a door with it when it was only 2 days old, and there is no dint and no paint chipped off. The tuning pegs are pretty secure too compared to my other guitars, I don't have to tune it that regularly. // 8

Reliability & Durability: I can rely on this guitar for my entire life. I guess I could play tennis with this thing and still have it in shape for a gig. I've never played a gig before, but there's no other guitar I would play if I had to. The only thing I'd worry about is the pickups going off on ya in the middle of a song, so I would bring along a backup guitar. I reckon the hardware will last forever, and there's no way the finish on this guitar will wear off anytime soon. // 9

Overall Impression: Like I mentioned before, there's no better guitar I could have found that matches my style of music. I have been playing guitar for 5 years now, and out of my 2 other guitars, this is my favourite, hands down. I have no regrets whatsoever for buying this guitar, and if it were ever stolen I would chase after that person with a million knives in my hand and stab at them so hard they'd have no chance of living. I love everything about my little warrior from its sound to the way it feels. It looks bloody amazing and anyone who lays eyes on it will be jelous. I guarantee it! // 10

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overall: 8.8
Goth 1958 Explorer Reviewed by: dangerouscat, on april 13, 2004
2 of 3 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 450

Purchased from: Guitar Center Peoria

Features: Start it off with a black satin finish along with a black pickguard. It has a rosewood fingerboard and 22 frets. Two 1957 Alcino pickups, with a 3 way pickup selection. There's also dual volume knobs and one tone knob. It's got a tune o matic bridge w/ non locking tuning, allowing some nice drop D or downtuning sound. Even with a passive electric system, it has lots of rhythm kick and no need to change batteries. // 8

Sound: This is made for heavy metal. While it's clean, it has a thick, murky, bassy sound that is associated with passive pickups. Add distortion and you have a guitar suited for modern metal. Though the sound is great, adding as much distortion as you would any other guitar will drown out its tone. But the exception is hooking it into a tube amp. // 8

Action, Fit & Finish: This guitar is easier to pilot than most Epiphones. Although its very hard to sit and play this guitar, standing on stage and playing is no sweat. The jumbo frets allow solos, although this is made more for rhythm. // 10

Reliability & Durability: Go ahead. Feel free to play it live, because using the right gauge strings on this will allow only the G string to go out of tune. It's very large though, so play with care other wise you'll damage it like I did. // 10

Overall Impression: I keep this a full step down, drop-C (CDCFAC), and it can handle low sounds, but not quite as well as active EMG 81's or Ibanez pickups can. I actually plan on repairing mine and selling it for an ESP baritone. I recommend it highly though. // 8

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overall: 9
Goth 1958 Explorer Reviewed by: Superpartydude5, on september 07, 2006
2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Purchased from:

Features: The Epiphone goth Explorer features a solid mahoghany body, rosewood fretboard w/22 frets, dual humbuckers, 3-way pickup selector, and black chrome hardware. The most common version of this guitar is with a HardTail, but I purchased the version with the Floyd Rose tremolo system. The tremolo is good for most whammy bar applications, though it cannot be pulled up very far, which makes it difficult to really make those pinch harmonics scream. The guitar features 2 volume knobs and a tone knob. The knobs turn quite easily and seem to be of nice quality; though it is nearly impossible to reach even the first (neck) volume knob with your pinky while playing, making volume knob swells difficult to perform. One interesting thing about this guitar is that it does not have any dots marking the frets on the face of the fretboard, though they are still present along the side so that it is still easy to tell where you are while playing. The only marker on the face of the fretboard is a pearl inlay on the 12th fret with the number 12 written in roman numerals. The tuners are grovers, which are very fine quality, The fine tuners work well also. The locking nut is useful because it makes it so that this guitar virtually never goes out of tune, though the 1/8in hexheads on the screws themselves seem to strip out easily. The input jack is made of metal, aluminum I imagine, and will not break like the cheap plastic ones. One of the most mentioned quirks with this guitar is with the pickup selector. When only a single pickup is selected there is still some sound coming from the other pickup if the volume is up. This means if both knobs are set to 10 and then you turn the one you have selected to 0, you will still get some weak sound when you strum because of the other pickup. Another severe quirk is the strap button, not hard to remedy, but annoying. When the guitar is purchased the button will be located along the side and must be moved to the back for proper balance. The satin black finish is quite nice and will not chip very easily like the hard plastic finishes, it also feels very smooth to the touch and won't get "sticky". The pickguard does it's job. This guitar comes stock with 9 gauge strings, which are mediocre of course. The pickups that come with it are passive and not very impressive, more on this later. // 10

Sound: When I first purchased this guitar I knew it wouldn't sound great out of the box. It had crappy 9 gauge factory strings on it and the pickups were weak, and since the strings were new (and apparently hadn't been stretched correctly) it would not stay in tune. I took it to my local guitar shop and had them set it up with good quality 10 gauge strings and intonate it and all that jazz. After it was set up there was a noticible increase in how good it sounded, though this is true of almost any guitar. I have the action set as low as humanly possible and it makes it easy to fly along the fretboard when shredding. I replaced the pickups after a couple weeks with EMG's. I put an EMG 85 in the neck and an EMG 81 in the bridge. After putting these new pickups in there was a MASSIVE improvement on the sound that I could get. Currently I am running it through a homemade pedalboard featuring a Boss Metal Zone MT-2, Dyanamic Wah AW-3, Compression sustainer CS-3, Digital Delay DD-3, Noise suppressor NS-2, and an MXR 10-band EQ. The whole thing is powered by a Dunlop DC-brick and I have it running into a 100-watt Marshall MG100HDFX. With this setup I could not ask for a more metal sound; the heavy mahoghany of the guitar carries deep tones well and the pickups output a searing tone; though I mostly just use the EMG-85, I just don't like the 81's tone as much, for lead or rhythm. The absolute best part of this guitar is the way it feels. Your hand feel completely comfortable and loose on the fretboard and it is extremely playable. Because of the Explorer body shape you will have to get used to the "fin" that sticks out the right side, it actually makes a useful forearm rest and whenever I play a different guitar now I miss it. // 9

Action, Fit & Finish: The guitar setup at the factory was mediocre as explained in the previous section, but after a little modification it really starts to Shine. The stock pickups are not impressive, I highly recommend the EMG's. The floyd rose works very well on this guitar except for the short range it has for being "pulled up". When it arrived it already had a dent in one of it's corners, it was just small enough that I didn't care enough to send it back, though it was annoying. The satin balck finish is very nice, it doesnt't chip at all so if you knick this guitar there won't be any ugly wood colored spots to ruin the perfect black. The metal parts on the bridge will rust if they are exposed to water, which I did accidently one time while cleaning it, though that is just user error. Overall this guitar is very solid except the stock strings and pickups are bad. // 7

Reliability & Durability: This guitar will stand up well to most anything you throw at it. I have used it for a few live gigs and I never had a backup available. As long as you replace your strings about a week before the show (usually a standard prqctice anyway) then you will not have to worry about a thing. The active pickups use a 9-volt battery and it lasts quite a long time, I have had the same one in there for nearly a year now and have not had to replace it, though I would before gigs anyway just to be sure. // 10

Overall Impression: I play a power metal/thrash metal style of music and this guitar is simply amazing for it, the best I've played in my 4 years of experience. The feel of it is the best and with new pickups the sound is brought from good to amazing. It looks completely wicked of course, you can't play an Explorer and not look at least somewhat cool. If it were stolen or lost I may buy the Gibson version instead, but I'm not sure because the Gibson costs twice as much and I've been told the only differences are the hardware and the pickups. The hardware on this guitar is fine and I would always replace the pickups anyway, so a Gibson is not really "neccesay". This guitar is eons ahead of my old Squier of course, I won't bother making a comparison (though sometimes I miss having 24 frets). This guitar was designed more with rhythm in mind, but I use it for a lot more lead work and it really shines there too; though it's heavy palm muted sound is incomparable. Overall this guitar is frickin amazing for playing any kind of rock or metal, though it's clean sound leaves something to be desired. This thing was meant to shred, so don't bother unless you're planning on tearing up the boards. // 9

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overall: 10
Goth 1958 Explorer Reviewed by: ***Hydra***, on june 10, 2011
2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 400

Purchased from:

Features: Two tone and one volume controls. Made in Korea, in 2005. Satin black body color, with a shiny black pick guard. I do dig the "XII" on the 12th fret. It's cool. No body style looks as fresh and destructive, as an Explorer. Les Paul shape comes close, but I still give the edge to the Explorer. It is pure hate. It is pure destruction. Epiphone Goth Explorer Electric Guitar Specifications: Pickups: 2-Alnico Classic Humbuckers Hardware: Black Scale: 24.75 inches Nut Width: 1.68 inches Neck Joint: Set Neck Material: Mahogany Fingerboard: Rosewood; 12th fret XII inlay Tailpiece: Stopbar Body Material: Mahogany // 10

Sound: Like I said, pure destruction. If you want soaring, blue sky ballads, buy this guitar. If you want to express the joy of explosions and smash, buy this guitar. Your eyes will well up, at the same time your face melts. I've played quite a few actual Gibsons, and I'll put take my Epi Goth Explorer into a Pepsi Challenge, against any and all of them. It crushes skulls, just for fun. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: Don't care about "action" or "fit". That's totally subjective and easily adjusted, so who cares? If you want to know if this thing is made like piece of sh-t, then the answer is no. The stupid word counter said I need to put 73 more characters in this section, so go hump yourself. // 10

Reliability & Durability: This guitar would kill 1, 000 zombies, and then call me a pu--y, because I can't lift my arms, so that it can cave in more zombie skulls. The guitar is heavy, but if you're a man, you won't care. Finish is satin black, so it's gonna last a loooooong time. // 10

Overall Impression: I love rock. When I say I love rock, I mean I love rock. All kinds of rock. Metal. Classic. Soft. Nu. I, also, love blues and country. I have, yet, to find a genre that this guitar does not suit. Epiphone is my army. Even if I was a bazillionaire musician, I would still play Epi's. I'm a fanboy. I've played Fenders, Gibsons, Schecters, B.C. Rich's... You name it. Love my Epiphone Goth 1958 Explorer. She is... "Black Sunshine". // 10

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overall: 9.6
Goth 1958 Explorer Reviewed by: Whstripesrox, on june 14, 2004
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Purchased from: Bailey Brothers Music Company

Features: - Made in Korea - 22 frets - Bass knob, treble knob, volume knob - 3-way selector // 10

Sound: If you like to play metal or rock, like me, this is your kind of guitar. I use a little Dean Markley 30 watt combo amp, not all that great of an amp. I also use a Boss MT-2 Metal Zone pedal with it. The guitar sounds wonderful. It sounds all right on my amp, but it don't matter, I'm getting a better soon. I tested on a Marshall at the store and it was beyond awesome there. All those out there who play Marshalls and want to play an extremely good guitar you'll have a fun time with this guitar. I'll be right there with you when I get my Marshall. This guitar never makes a sound until you start to play,which is when you want it to. The only time it makes a noise is when I turn my distortion pedal up, which is the pedals problem, so no worries there. The clean sound is remarkable. It's very rich and has a fat tone. I have yet to hear a buzz from this guitar while playing it plugged up or unplugged. Not only is the clean out of this world so is the distortion. Whatever pickups that are on here will deal some serious loudness an power. If you play solos like I do, this guitar can do that too. The sustain can't be beat. I'll play a note and it will soar high and never want to come down. Solos on here sound like the solos from the early stages of Metallica, which is exactly what I want. The versatility for this guitar distortion wise is not good, but I don't care. The clean can be very versatile. I can really find any dislikes with the guitar. My only dislike is that I want to turn it up louder! // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: I found there to be no problems with the hardware. // 10

Reliability & Durability: I think this guitar could withstand anything including a gig. I think the hardware will last until the guitar is ready to decay. The finish is thick and good, but I would advise you to wipe it clean of fingerprints when you're done playing. The strap buttons are there to last. I've had the guitar fall before but that was because of my crappy strap. Another piece of advice is to buy a strap lock just so it won't fall. Or if you don't want to pay $15 bucks for a strap lock you could use a bread tie to hold the straps. All you have to do is put the bread tie between the strap and the strap button. It should hold. I've never played a gig before since I'm only 12, but I would recommend a backup, there's no reason why not to have one. // 8

Overall Impression: For metal and hard rock you can look no further than this guitar. I've been playing for about a year now. My last guitar was a crappy Wasburn, so this guitar was a huge improvement. One thing I wish I would have liked to have before I bought this guitar would be a Marshall stack, then I would have no worries. I don't anyone would still this guitar because I'm keeping this sucker under lock and key. I love everything about this guitar and hate nothing. My favorite feature would of course be the body of the guitar. It's shaped like a black lightning bolt with a white pickguard, you can't get any better than that. I tested several different guitars in the store and this guitar beat out a Jackson, an Ibanez, an Eddie Van Halen signature, and an Epiphone Les Paul. This guitar was made by Epiphone but it is awesome. Don't think that this guitar is bad just because it doesn't have Gibson on the headstock. This guitar was just as good as a Gibson Explorer and half the cost. So don't get reeled in and have to pay a fortune. I chose this guitar because I love the shape and I love the sound. I can't play a guitar that looks like a piece of crap but plays good,you know? Looks are half the reason I bought it. One thing I wish this guitar did have would be a whammy bar, but you can't one on this guitar. It's all good, though. The last thing I would like to say is that this guitar has gold hardware. Don't get mad when the gold starts wearing off and become silver, it's going to happen. So if you're looking for a killer looking guitar and an awesome sound at a low price buy this. This guitar is James Hetfield's favorite guitar.Is that good enough for you? // 10

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overall: 8.2
Goth 1958 Explorer Reviewed by: breadfan82, on february 01, 2007
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 350

Purchased from: Brickhouse Music

Features: Mine is probably an '03 or '04 model, most likely made in Korea. Has 22 frets, mahogany body and neck, rosewood fingerboard, black satin finish. Just like 95% of all Gibson/Epiphoe guitars, the stock pickups were garbage, so I replaced both humbuckers with EMG 81's. Has a stop-bar tailpiece, two volume, one tone, three-way selector. Non-locking tuners, no bonus accessories. After my modifications, my rating is a 9, but the day I bought it, the rating would be. // 8

Sound: I play mostly thrash, metal, and alternative, and after the new pickups were installed, this thing suits my styles very well. Has very punchy, crisp distortion and full, crystalline cleans. I can do just about anything with this axe. Has a lot of natural low end, so I used EMGs to balance out the tone. // 9

Action, Fit & Finish: Factory setup was trash. I lowered the action, adjusted the truss rod, and tweaked the bridge due to some problems with intonation. Pickups go ripped out the same day and replaced with EMGs, so I set them where I wanted them and everything was fine after that. No flaws in the finish or hardware. After my mods, rating is a 9. Day I bought it. // 6

Reliability & Durability: This thing is a beast now. Withstands everything I throw at it. Hardware is very solid and durable. Strap buttons were solid, but have been replaced with Schaller strap locks. I can depend on this thing sounding great every time I plug it in. At a gig, I never use any guitar without a backup, but this thing is pretty damn reliable. The finish is very even and has no flaws, and seems like it will last quite some time. // 9

Overall Impression: I play thrash, metal, and alternative, so this is right up my alley. I've been playing for 8 1/2 years, and I have a Jackson JS30KV and a B.C. Rich Bronze Warlock. I'd say it's better than the Warlock, but not the Jackson. I love this axe, but if it got stolen, I would probably get an Olympic White ESP LTD EX-400 instead, because they have faster necks and just look really cool. I love the fact that now that it has EMGs, this guitar couldn't possibly get any more black. I love the balance of the instrument and the shape of the body. I hate the fact that it has no inlays except at the twelfth fret. I do a lot of soloing, and it would be nice to be able to tell where I'm at on the fretboard. I compared this to the afforementioned ESP LTD EX-400, and to the Gibson Explorers, and this was the cheapest of them, so I got this one instead. I wish it had all of the Standard inlays, but other than that, this thing is pretty cool. // 9

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overall: 8.6
Goth 1958 Explorer Reviewed by: redwing91007, on march 12, 2008
1 of 2 people found this review helpful

Purchased from: Private Seller

Features: 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. // 9

Sound: 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. // 9

Action, Fit & Finish: 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. // 8

Reliability & Durability: 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. // 8

Overall Impression: 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. // 9

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overall: 8.6
Goth 1958 Explorer Reviewed by: EpiExplorer, on may 21, 2008
1 of 2 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 667.95

Purchased from:

Features: Comes with a nice matte black paint job that is extremely good and much much better than a normal coat on other guitars like a Strat, black pickguard, 3 way Switch, 2 volume knobs and a tone knob, painted black chrome hardware, locking tuners, open humbucker pickups, basic Tune-O-Matic bridge, not sure about the fretboard but it has 22 medium frets but this guitar is generally well made. Not sure what it's made of but it's definately much lighter than most guitars I've played, even if grotesquely large. it's in a flattened X shape in my opinion. 'Twas made this year (2008) at around may, in Korea. Only problems with it is the strap buttons. One time you can be playing then your Epi will just hit the floor. I seriously recommend strap locks. Also it doesnt't come with any accessories such as cables. also I suggest tightening the washer at the input plug, as that likes to unscrew itself alot. Overall, simple yet satisfying. // 8

Sound: My style is mostly metal, ranging from Slipknot to Metallica. This beast can do all of them. It even has that unique opening sound when playing the intro to Aerials by SOAD. Only problems, that isnt really a problem for me because it makes up for my lack of equipment, is that when using the up Switch on the 3 way Switch when turned to zero, then you will still get a bit of distortion from te other pickup. This is actually the perfect SOAD sound when doing songs such as Aerials, Hypnotize and Lost in Hollywood. amps wise, this thing can go with anything. It even sounds amazing on my crappy Stagg amp that I got with my first guitar. The strings are a basic 11 - 48 which are medium but I'm replacing them with some thicker ones. This has an extreme metal sound. It has that overall sound that fits SOAD, Disturbed and Slipknot. To be honest you could probably fit many bands guitar sounds. However I'm also aiming to change the pickups because I can't get a decent pinch harmonic out of it. Frets make it perfect for short to medium length solos, however due to it's history of use it is seen as a rythm guitarists guitar. Overall, a monster of metal. // 9

Action, Fit & Finish: This guitar has a glued neck that hardly shows. this is extremely well made, not having a single thing out of place. Pickups were unevenly placed but it was hard to rectify so I didn't bother. Also the input jack washer can become loose quite quickley so you need to tighten it. Hardware can't oxidise, unless you purposely remove the paint, which is pointless. Paint on body and hardware is perfect and of very good quality, but extremely static. It picks up dust like a vacuum cleaner and transfers all of it to the pick board to give you raised hair, which is very uncomfortable. Controls were easy to use and don't unscrew unless you really mess with them. // 8

Reliability & Durability: As before, I really recommend strap locks. the X shape means you'd have to tip the head downwards or a strap is quite likely to slip off. Hardware is briliant, aluminium most likely and is estremely resilient. Only problems with it is that the paint. Especially when playing Slipknot and you get the urge to jump like a monkey with eveyone else. This guitar is as hard as brick. Really. At Most you could only scratch the paint, which is about 3 layers thick. however it's size means that it is quite cumbersome at times. If I ever brought it to a show, I'd buy the same one again for when I change tuning and that's it. Very good stuff. // 9

Overall Impression: Perfect for all metal, and hard rock but is probably a bit much for 'normal' rock. I've been playing for a year and a half, owned 3 guitars unincluding this one and by far this beats them all. if I lost it, I would wait years just to get it again. If someone stole it, I'd find them, break their knees and hit them on the head with it (and this guitar wont even dent). What I love: looks, weight, accessability to frets, sound, hardware, almost everything. What I hate: weak pickups, strap buttons, input jack and size (though that's more a dislike). Favorite feature: it's overall rock solidness. I would compare it to other wierdly designed, great sounding guitars such as the Flying V, Ibanez Iceman/IC400 and anything from B.C.Rich. I would choose this above even an SG because of it's looks really, but also because it has the 'System' sound that no other guitar has. This guitar is reminiscient of an idol of mine, James Hetfield Who although uses ESP's, I thought this was the next best thing. It would be awesome if they released one with EMG's, an EMG 81 and an EMG 85, because those pickups are quite bad and also I wish it came with a special bag for it because of the shape because I have to use a bag made for a large size accoustic guitar. This is definately a very good product, Epiphone cheapness and garuntee with Gibson quality and sound. Absolutely perfect. // 9

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overall: 8.6
Goth 1958 Explorer Reviewed by: unregistered, on may 27, 2008
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 399.99

Purchased from:

Features: I purchased my Explorer in December 2007. It is a Korean made model. it's your basic 22 fret guitar with no fret markers except a pearl roman numeral 12 (XII) inlay on the 12th fret. The goth Explorer has a fat 1958 style neck, very comfortable. The whole guitar is solid Mahogany I believe with a Rosewood fret board. It has a cool black satin finish that gives it a really cool metal look. I prefer the flat black satin to a glossy finish-just personal preference. My guitar is the model with the hard-tail bridge and tune-o-matic. The stock pickups are just plain old Epiphone passives... nothing too exciting there. There's a 3 way selector Switch, 2 volumes, and 1 tone knob. The tuners are Grover, which are really great. Mine just came with basic 9 gauge strings and an alan wrench. // 7

Sound: I play metal... if you're buying this my guess would be that you play metal as well, but you never know. The stock pickups were far from spectacular. They sounded weak and buzzed quite a bit for me. They couldn't seem to really lots of gain and volume. So if you're a little bit more experienced player you're definitely going to want to change them. I put a Seymour Duncan SH-6 Distortion in the bridge position of my Explorer. Now it has a really killer metal tone. Some of you may prefer active to passive, but whichever you choose your guitar will sound great. I drop tune to C# (or Db, witch ever you want to call it) and the sound doesn't muddy up or get out of control with the new pickups. The Mahogany body and Rosewood fret board give this axe a really full bodied tone. The cleans are quite stunning as well as the crunch. This guitar has lost of natural low end, which I like, and it makes for a really big sound. The Duncan's really helped balance out the highs, mids, and lows. The variety for this guitar, with what I have done to it, is really great. it's definitely focused more on metal, but you can get some nice bluesy tones from the neck pickup and nice crunch, metal, or clean sounds. I use a Line 6 120 watt and it really has a nice range of sound settings. So depending on your amp/pedals and your pickups you can make this thing do whatever you want. // 9

Action, Fit & Finish: The set-up when I first received the goth Explorer was ok. I ordered mine from which does a pretty great job of giving you the best basic setup right out of the box. The only thing that you'll really need to worry about ordering from them is setting your own action up. I use "worry" very loosely because it's not something you should really worry about. It's not hard at all to mess with the bridge a little bit until you find your perfect level for the strings. I have mine set as low as I could get them without any dead notes and minimal fret buzz. The pickups were set up just fine when I got them, again because of Sweetwater's pre-shipping setup. I ended up changing them anyway, but for the record the originals were set fine. There aren't really any huge flaws with this guitar. It's really pretty solid. The one thing that's most noticeable is the thing that when you are on one pickup that is turned all the way down and the other is all the way up you can still hear a faint sound coming from it. Not a huge problem though, it's just something I learned to deal with. It seems to be kind of common with these as I've read of this happening before. The finish isn't the most durable part of the guitar. It wears pretty easily, but it just goes from flat to glossy on parts that are constantly touched by you. Again, not a big deal. The black chrome hardware is very solid. There's not really any more I can say about the hardware except that it's very good. The pickup selector is fine-not very noisy when changing pickups-nothing to really complain about there. Basically everything on this guitar is very solid and well made. I think that any guitarist would be extremely happy with what the goth Explorer has to offer at such a reasonable price. // 9

Reliability & Durability: This is, again, a very solid guitar. Live playing will not be an issue for most people as long as they have strap locks. The biggest problem with this guitar is where the strap knobs are located. The top one would be much better off on the back of the guitar, but it's just not. So either change it or deal with it. Strap locks will solve most of your strap problems though. It will fall off the strap very often playing Live if you don't have them. So beware!!! The Explorer dives a bit, but it's just another thing that isn't worth getting worked up about. As long as you're actually playing it and not just standing there letting it hang it's not going anywhere. The finish does come off with excessive playing like I mentioned before, but it's something to care less about in my opinion. You're the only person that will be able to tell the difference when some spots are flat and some are glossy. I wouldn't worry about not having a backup while playing shows with this. Unless you break a string or something it's gonna be fine. Just don't drop it off the stage. // 9

Overall Impression: The Epiphone Goth Explorer is definetly a metal guitar. So naturally it's made to be "metallized". It has great metal tone, but it's not restricted to only metal. I play lots of different styles just for fun and with the right pedals and whatnot I can get about whatever sound I'm looking for. I've been playing for 6 years so I've owned and played quite a few guitars. Out of the box this is not the most spectacular guitar you'll ever play, but with some work and customization to your personal styles and tastes this can be one of the better guitars you'll own. If this guitar were stolen I'd definetly be upset. I really love this guitar and I'd really consider buying a second one. I might buy a different guitar just for something new, but this is one really worth buying. I compared this guitar to a few other explorers, but Gibson and Epiphone are really the only ones Who make the Vintage looking explorers. All the others like ESP have a more "futuristic" look to there guitars, which I still like-i was just in the mood for the original. I kind of wish I had bought the one with the tremolo, but it's not hard to go and buy one and get it installed. there's nothing I hate about the Explorer, but I love the way it feels and hangs. it's great. Remember thought that when buying a new guitar you should always research it and find out how it will suit you and what you'll need to add or take from it to make it better. I'm sure I can realate to all guitarists when I say that anything you buy is never good enough and you always feel like you need to build on or buy something better. I love that this guitar comes simple and has lost of room for improvement. I love adding to guitars to make them mine and this is the perfect guitar to do that. // 9

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overall: 9.2
Goth 1958 Explorer Reviewed by: SaboteurVenom24, on september 22, 2009
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 400

Purchased from: Greenwich Music

Features: Bought in 2009 at Greenwich Music but made in Korea for $400, this guitar is a sinister looking axe that has caught eyes without fail. This completely black guitar is an all mahogany guitar except for the fretboard which is rosewood, as most common guitars are. 22 frets is the norm on Explorer guitars that aren't custom made. All black hardware with a stop bar tailpiece and Grover 6-in-line tuner heads, the pickups are passive humbuckers and are open coil stock pickups from Epiphone and are designed by Gibson. No frets on the fretboard except for the 12th which is the number 12 in roman numerals. As previously stated, the satin black finish is a beauty combined with the black everything else i.e. hardware, pickgaurd, body & neck, the 3 knobs (2 volume, 1 tone)etc. // 9

Sound: Considering I am running this guitar through a Line 6 Spider III 15 watt I don't the full potential of this beast but with just this practice amp I have come to love the tone with a burning passion. The guitar shape is most commonly recognized as James Hatfield's, Metallica's singer and rhythm guitarist, guitar collection which is a largely contributing factor to why I bought it do to James' heavy riffs, thundering palm mutes and heart blasting tone. On distortion this guitar shakes the room, the palm mutes and low string use is amazing for playing metal and the leads are perfect for shredding solos and piercing pinch harmonics. On distortion this is a metalhead's dream yet it has wonderful cleans as well. By switching into my up position on the toggle Switch (bridge pickup) I can get full luscious sounding cleans as I strum or play a blues tune. These are, mind you, just the stock pickups and I have been planning on getting a set of EMGs soon to improve the guitar 10 fold and make it even more amazing then now. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: This guitar was store bought so naturally the guitar techs gave this baby a nice setup and replaced the crappy stock strings with Elixer 11s (my choice). I don't remember particularly but I was pretty happy with the action pre-setup and the current action is just great, I can play very easily. For the price it is great on action and not to mention the finish. The all satin finish is obviously not the normal shiny kind and is just great, I love it. One thing worth mentioning is that with all satin finishes, the neck becomes greasy over time as you play it as the oils on your hands adhere to it and make it more shiny and slippery, however it is nothing of concern as it just breaks in the guitar to your feel and gives you a faster neck. I always play with a sweatband on my wrist just for the sake of keeping the area around my hand a little cleaner. I must say, that the tuning stays fine on all my crazy bends and playing. It stays great for days and I play all I want without worrying much. I don't know if it's the guitar or how it was setup, but all I know is that its just perfect // 8

Reliability & Durability: I have had this guitar for a few months now and I have not done anything of great danger or test worthy to talk about the durability of this guitar but from just playing around my room and jamming with friends, this guitar is great. It took me some time to find a case for this exotic shaped guitar but it is absolutely mandatory in order to keep it safe and open to travel. I recommend checking Musiciansfriend for the case as finding one in a store is next to impossible and you also might want to get strap locks because due to the I'll placed strap lock up the neck instead of behind it crazy moves or jumping around does not bode well for the guitar. // 9

Overall Impression: After a relatively short time with this guitar, I have to say it is one of the best I have ever played at such a great price. I have tried playing guitars of all sorts from other Epiphones to the Schecter Hellraiser, but the all fall inferior to the ground shaking awesomeness associated with the Epiphone Goth 1958 Explorer. Absolutely amazing sounds for metal and down tunings of all sorts on this axe, pinch harmonics are easy to do and sound crazy. I have said all the aspects I find great on this guitar, so naturally I must list all the features I do not like on the guitar as well. I do not like the placement of the strap button because if you do not watch yourself it will fall off and it will prove fatal to the guitar. The only other thing I don't really appreciate much are the control knobs, they get complicated and are kind of unnecessary. Other than that, I am absolutely infatuated with this guitar and would definitely get another one if something happened. Go get it now. // 10

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overall: 7.2
Goth 1958 Explorer Reviewed by: Motley Lou, on december 07, 2011
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Features: It features a blank fret board with a XII on the 12th fret, That looks cool. Took me some getting used to using the dots on the side of the neck. The paint job is killer. It's a MATT BLACK it looks way better in person than it does in any pictures but finger prints an smudges show up easily on it. I don't know what the original pick ups sounded like. When I got it, it had EMG's 81 in the neck an 85 in the bridge an I would say they are worth every penny if your thinking about getting them. // 8

Sound: The sound is Great, I like to play abit of everything. The guitar can pull off a few styles well. I play it through a Marshall MG-15CDR an for what it is it does a cracking job. Play alot of Motley Crue, Steel Panther, Ozzy an Iron Maiden an down that path. The pick ups (EMG 81-85) also sound good an clear on the clean channel. I have Ernie Ball hybrid slinky 9-46 on it at the moment. In standard E the guitar has a real snap an crack to the tone that sounds so cool. In step down it gives a nice roar an deep sound. // 8

Action, Fit & Finish: The guitar has neck dive, an can be quite a pain standing up. I had to adjust the strap an use my picking hand to hold the guitar up. But if you make the strap shorter an use your wrist to hold it then place your picking hand on the bridge it seams to do the trick, but it sort of twists the fret board up that takes some getting used to. It is easy to play sitting down no drama with that. I had to lower the bridge when I got it. It was like doing hurdals. But sure enough it sorted it out an the action is nice on it. The front strap holder fell out of its place an had to be refitted using wood glue an a wider screw. Bit annoying but worth checking if you are going to get one. // 7

Reliability & Durability: I haven't used it for any gigs yet, I would take it but probably as a back up. It looks cool but to much hastle. The paint looks like it will keep its texture but only time will tell. The hardware looks solid an could take a beating. The nut is plastic an started to wear down abit, would need replaying in probably a year or so. Epiphone could have done a better job on it. // 6

Overall Impression: It has a killer tone an it works for my style very well. If it was stolen I would buy something else. Don't get me wrong its a nice guitar but it looks nicer than it is. The fact that it has neck dive puts me off. My favorite feature is the paint an the Pick ups. I wish it had a Floyd Rose an Epiphone had concentrated on balancing the guitar out even.Nothing more annoying than NECK DIVE. // 7

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overall: 9.2
Goth 1958 Explorer Reviewed by: Akula KO, on november 28, 2012
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: € 333

Purchased from:

Features: - Made in South Korea in 2011 - 22 jumbo(?) frets - 24.75" scale - "SlimTaper D" profile set-in neck - mahogany body/neck and rosewood fingerboard - Solid top Explorer body with a matte black finish & black pickguard - TOM bridge with stopbar tailpiece - passive electronics; 2 volume & 1 tone knob & 3 way selector - 2 classic Alnico humbuckers - Standard Grover tuners (but the Epiphone website now says "die-cast") - only accessory was a guitar cable and an allen key For the price these are good features I think especially the fact that it's all mahogany, has Grover tuners, a set-in neck, a TOM bridge, and is made in Korea. The only negative feature here may be the humbuckers. They are not bad but eventually you'll want to upgrade. Oh and I changed the strings to D'Addario .11-.54 but I do that to every guitar I've owned. The stock strings were fine. // 8

Sound: The guitar sounds very good to me. My style is pretty basic. I like extreme metal genres: doom, black, pagan, folk. I also have a fondness for Crust Punk and regular 70s - 90s Punk. The amp I use is a Roland Cube 40XL and it's a good combo. I can certainly achieve the sound I want with what I have now. The sounds I can get are all great to me. Probably to an experienced guitarist of many years it may sound lacking but the music I like isn't really "pretty nice" music. It's rough and raw and so I'm happy with the sounds. However this doesn't mean the cleans suck. They don't. The sound is clear when you want it, muddy when to want it. To me it is great but like I said my style is raw and basic. I only rank this as a 9 because I'll sooner or later swap the pickups for something hotter. // 9

Action, Fit & Finish: The factory set up was fine. I lowered the action a bit but this is a subjective thing and not the factory's fault. I could comfortably play it after opening the box and tuning it anyway. The pickups were also set up fine. I inspected the guitar very closely before playing. There were no flaws of any kind. The electronics worked fine, the tuners held strong, the bridge was solid. Essentially I got exactly what I expected. I can't think of a reason not to give this a 10/10 here. The people in the Korean factory must know what they are doing. // 10

Reliability & Durability: I don't play live but it's on my "to-do list". I would have no fears of playing this live though. I regularly play solidly for 30 minutes at a time as if I was playing live (sort of fantasizing) and I feel just fine about playing it. If I was playing a real gig then I would still want a backup but I'd feel that way about any guitar. Always have a plan B!!! The bridge, stoptail and tuners are all well-made. I trust them to withstand many years. The tuners on my guitar are Grover tuners but the Epiphone website now says that they are just die-cast so maybe they changed the stock tuners. Lucky me for the Grovers then. I changed the strap button because they didn't inspire confidence in me. I swapped them for basic strap locks and that worked fine. The finish is nice and smooth and importantly easy to clean and this includes the neck and fretboard. All you need is a clean sock or something. No stains, colour deviations, scratches, etc. Even where I regularly rub against it the finish has not faded. // 10

Overall Impression: Again the style of music I like is raw and rough metal and punk. I love this guitar because of that. The Explorer body is great and I feel very comfortable with it. I really like explorers and this one is probably my favourite of all the Explorer type guitars out there. The weight distribution is good and I feel good to stand with it for an hour without discomfort. No neck dive really. It feels like apart of me when I play and it's not awkward. Even when I play sitting I feel good with it (despite its fat a-s)! The only things I'd change about this guitar would be the pickups and the strap buttons. With some EMGs or some Seymour Duncans I'd feel that this guitar would be complete! I've been playing on/off since 2009 and more consistently since late 2011. I had an Ibanez GIO which I sold to get this and it was a great decision. This one feels more like a genuine guitar to me. If I lost it somehow then I would certainly buy it again. All these features and for a low price! Before buying it I compared it to the Ibanez RGA32. That guitar also has great features you'd think you'd only see on a higher priced instrument. // 9

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overall: 7.2
Goth 1958 Explorer Reviewed by: dementedthrashr, on october 17, 2015
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: £ 225

Purchased from: Guitar Guitar Edinburgh

Features: First here are the facts:
- Made in 2009
- Made in Korea

This is a 22 fret guitar at a 24.75 inch scale length. It features a mahogany neck,topped with a rosewood fingerboard, the body is also mahogany. It comes in a very smooth satin black although the back of the neck seems kind of glossy. It has a tune-o-matic bridge, two passive alnico humbuckers. It has 2 volume and 1 tone controls and a 3 way pickup selector. The best piece of hardware on the guitar has to be the set of Grover 14:1 tuners. A fairly decent feature considering the price I paid for the guitar. Thusly, the guitar isn't anything special feature wise, it is a stripped down, set neck explorer, can't complain about anything in that regard. // 7

Sound: I tend to play a fairly wide range of rock and metal music. Anything from Free and Bad Company to Cattle Decapitation and Cephalic Carnage. I have played this guitar through my Peavey 6505 +112 and I can get a fairly decent tone from it. The guitar seems to fit in with my style as the pickups are fairly aggressive, although that said it doesn't take much to make the 6505 break up on a clean setting. On a setting with everything at 12 o'clock on the Lead channel, it gives a nice mid focused punchy sound that could cover anything from Guns N' Roses to Iron Maiden and even any pop rock if it came to it. I have played it through a digital modelling amp I own and through a clean patch on that the guitar chimes. I have it dialed in for a nice tight,punchy piano like sound with a slight bit of delay, reverb and a touch of chorus. It produces a really nice run of the mill clean sound for arpeggiated chord progressions. This guitar does seem as if it could cover a fairly wide range of sounds if you needed it to and controlled the volume knobs well. It also has a killswitch, which to me personally is nothing more than something to mess around with. // 6

Action, Fit & Finish: The guitar came set up pretty well from the store. I had to lower the action a smidge for my own personal taste but other than that all was A OK. All the parts are set up and installed properly. The only thing I did notice was that the guitar had a significant neck dive so I have moved the strap pins to counteract the weight distribution. The nut I must say, is cut pretty much spot on for a cheaper Asian made guitar, I was afraid of getting a rough cut item where it would not keep in tune. The pickup selector as with most explorers is on the far end of the scratchplate. I wish this was in a different area preferably next to the controls so I didn't need to reach for miles for it constantly. // 7

Reliability & Durability: This guitar is very much a meat and potatoes guitar. It's solid and should see you through a gig no hassle, no matter how hard your band thrashes or jives. The hardware seems pretty solid and shows no signs of tarnish, yet. I cant say I would gig it without a backup, as I never gig without a backup. Although in a stick, I'm sure it would manage fine. The finish seems pretty thick, which I am happy about. Theres nothing worse than a jet black guitar with bits of light colored wood showing through. That would really ruin the look of this guitar and I would need to touch it up. // 8

Overall Impression: This guitar fits my style of playing well. I own a few other nice guitars and one thing I am particularly keen on about this guitar is the nice tapered D neck profile. If it were lost or stolen, I probably would like to get another, aesthetically its extremely pleasing to me as it reminds me of the black explorer James Hetfield of Metallica played in the '80s/'90s. I love the way it looks, I just need to uprgrade the pickups to some Duncans or Bareknuckles and I will keep it for as long as I possibly can. I wish it had a tone pro's bridge and some nicer pickups but I can invest in that myself at some point. Overall a great guitar for the money I paid for it and I cant wait to pick it up and start thrashing again. // 8

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