Korina Explorer review by Epiphone

logo Ultimate Guitar
  • Sound: 8
  • Overall Impression: 7
  • Reliability & Durability: 9
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 1
  • Features: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 6.8 Neat
  • Users' score: 8.1 (71 votes)
Epiphone: Korina Explorer

Price paid: $ 630

Sound — 8
Before changing the pickups, it's dull, harsh on distortion, clean sounds kinda ok. So I changed the pickups to EMG 81 in the neck and 60 in the bridge (to give a extreme sound to match the look). Myself is not a metal head but I am impressed with the sound. Think metalica sound, when distorted, it's really punchy, fat and powerful. The Korina body has a good sustain (better than my LP Studio even be4 changing pickups), the active pickups prolonged that further, but sound a bit fake. The decay just weird. A lot of you may ask if the combination should be reversed? I do that in purpose. The 81 in the bridge is quite muddy, so I swap the pickups (btw this is really easy for all active pickup series, disconnect the cable and plug back in, job done). It sounds stunning, fat punchy and clarity. Not as expressive as My Gibson LP custom but perfect for trash, heavy metal. Again, active won't do clean, I know this is a bit stereotype but it is truth. The clean is messy and muddy anytime any amp (from AVT 20, AD 30 to AC 30). Knowing this is unfair but when comparing with the Gibson LP custom and the 335 Block Reissue, the clean is a joke, but the distortion slap the 2 back.

Overall Impression — 7
I play blues, classic rock punk and sometimes metal. This guitar will be deadly for punk and metal (after changing the pickups), will do rock but not Blues, doesn't have the vibe. If this is stolen, I say I will get the New epip Wildkat instead, cos I like the P-90 tone but I have got one guitar with P-90 yet myself. As I prefer blues classic rock style, those EMG are a bit too extreme for me. Don't get me wrong this is not actually a bad guitar at this price range, but it definitly worth to safe up a bit more for a low end Gibson or Fender, mid range Jackson instead.

Reliability & Durability — 9
This is actually my backup guitar. but after changing all the small parts, it should be dependable. It's kinda of solid but just the finishing is not there. Strap buttons are a suprise, they are actually better design that Gibson's one, they are more solid and more secure. The guitar never fall off once but I had that with the Gibson several times!

Action, Fit & Finish — 1
As in the Gibson design, you can change the action to your own favourite. A lot of people review saying why paying so much for the Gibson but you can get the same in Epi? This is not truth, wood does matter the tone, pickups affect tone, and most importantly, the finishing in Epip is piece of, you know what! I took out those pickups there are lumbs of glue, which looks like a lumb of mucus, underneath the pickups, the fretboard is not smooth, bridge buzz, nut is almost cut to the bottom, machinehead not staying in tune (which is a surprise as they are "Grover"). The worst finshing ever.

Features — 9
Made in Korea, Korina body in natural finish, 22 frets rosewood, good hardware with 2 crappy humbuckers (changed to EMG 81/60). It looks futurstic even now. Angular shap and aggressive feel. 2 volume and 1 master tone control. With Gibson type Tune-O-Matic bridge with stop bar. Well nice looking guitar but come on, give me a gigbag at least. It does not come with anything at all!

1 comment sorted by best / new / date

    I'm looking at getting either this guitar or a Jackson Kelly. I like the shape. For your review of the action on the Epiphone, I think I'll get the Kelly.