Sound — 8
I play mostly metal music and this guitar does get the job done really well with that genre or anything around it. I use a Line6 Spider III amp with the "Metal" or "Insane" effect on. There is a fair amount of feedback on the pickups but that can be overlooked on the messy settings. But overall, there's a pretty sharp sound.
Overall Impression — 9
This guitar is really good for metal music and shouldn't be overlooked if someone is looking to get into guitar or is looking for a low priced guitar. I've been playing for about a year and a half, I own a ESP LTD V-401DX as well along with a Line6 PODX3 + Spider III amp. If it happened to be lost or stolen, I would buy it again because this guitar has been really, really good for me. I love the metal shape of it, I love how the neck feels, and overall I love how it plays for it's price. This can be compared to let's say, an F-50 or and AX-50. I picked this one because the finish is solid and that shapekicks ass. The only thing I wish this guitar had was 24 frets but it's not too big a deal. If you're looking for a low priced guitar that plays f--kin excellent, then you won't be dissapointed with the EX-50!
Reliability & Durability — 8
The guitar will withstand Live playing at an average level. The neck seems to outweigh the body of the guitar consistantly. The strap buttons however, are not solid. The strap holder nearest to the neck got ripped out and later on the other one got ripped out. It's easy to repair them but things like this shouldn't occur when playing a guitar standing up. This is a dependable guitar but I would have a backup just in case. The finish is good enough to last, I play for about 4 hours a day and the finish still looks really good.
Action, Fit & Finish — 8
The action wasn't too great because I had intentions for it in D Standard. It still wasn't even that good in E Standard but adjusting the bridge gave a big help. Again, since the bridge had to be adjusted, the pickups had to be adjusted as well so they weren't properly set up. But other then that, everything's top notch!
Features — 8
The low end product of the Explorer series is a very well made guitar for any beginner or anyone looking to get into guitar. It has 22XJ frets, a bolt on construction, a gloss black finish, and a rosewood fretboard. It's a fixed bridge guitar so using it for multiple tunings won't be a big problem. It has ESP LH-150 pickups in both the bridge and neck along with a 3-way toggle switch. The Explorer shape looks really metal and it's finish looks outstanding. It has a basswood body and a maple neck. The other parts include ESP tuners, one volume knob, and one tone knob. This guitar was made and inspected in the United States.