'84 Explorer Reissue review by Gibson

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  • Sound: 10
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 9
  • Features: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 9.8 Superb
  • Users' score: 9 (83 votes)
Gibson: '84 Explorer Reissue
1

Price paid: $ 1249.99

Purchased from: Guitar Center

Sound — 10
I play '80s metal, new metal, hardcore, some classic rock and alternative. The guitar suits my music styles perfectly. I use a Vox AD100VT-XL amplifier with a Boss MT-2 metal zone distortion pedal and a modded Boss Blues Driver. The guitar is very quiet on all settings except when the gain on the pedal is cranked to full. The guitar has a bluesy sound when your using the EMG 60 pickup and sounds amazing with overdrive. The bridge pickup has incredible sustain and gives insane pinch harmonics.

Overall Impression — 10
I play mostly metal and this guitar fits perfectly. My favorite band is Metallica and this guitar is a copy of James Hetfields guitar. I have been playing for 3-4 years and I also own a modded out Fender Strat, and a Washburn acoustic guitar. I wish I had known that active pickups don't sound that good on a analog tube amp. I would gone with a solid state half stack. if it was stolen or lost I would murder the person who stole it. The problem is that the guitar was a special edition and only 400 were made. My favorite thing about the guitar would be the neck and the pickups. The pickups give the guitar great versatility and I have been considering putting a EMG 60 in the neck position of my Fender Strat. I picked the guitar because of the artist affiliation, the name brand, the look of an Explorer and the features. The one thing I wish it had is strap locks Standard on the guitar.

Reliability & Durability — 10
The guitar could definatly withstand live playing. The hardware seems like it would last a long time and everything is solid. The only problem is the strap buttons seem a little small but if you buy a guitar this expensive you should buy straplocks. I bought some schaller straplocks and they've worked great so far. I would use it on a gig without backup with my only worry be breaking a string. The finish seems like it should hold up for a long time and I've smacked on furniture without marks several times.

Action, Fit & Finish — 9
The guitar was set up fairly well when I got it. There was a bit of fret buzz but I fixed as soon as I recieved the guitar with some minor bridge adjustments. The pickups were a tad low but those were fixed easily as well. The only flaws on the guitar were some black plastic or tar or something on the nut and the neck pickup volume knob seemed like it was melted on one side.

Features — 10
The guitar was made in 2008 in the USA. It has a thin and fast 22 fret neck with jumbo frets and a ebony fretboard. it's a solid top and the entire guitar is made with solid mahogany. The alpine white satin finish looks nice and you can see the grain of the wood through the paint which is unusual. The bridge is a Tune-O-Matic and gives the guitar very good sustain. It has active electronics. there are two volume knobs and one tone knob. There's a EMG 81 in the bridge position and a EMG 60 in the neck. It has non locking mini grover tuners. The guitar came with a Gibson USA hardshell case.

31 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Guitar Sushi
    What a waste of money. Get a Jackson Kelly or something, or if you wanna copy Hetfield. Just get a damn ESP. Gibson is just overpriced.
    joesyrnichenko
    the guitar is pretty much impossible to dent or damage due to the fact that its made entirely of mahogany. its extremely tough wood
    W>O
    the nicest guitar i`ve ever seen.. huahaha.. (**)\m/
    Kexmeister
    Fretman, Get a good chunk of mahogany and form it flawlessly - Then add the hardware and the finish. It must all be USA made. If you can get that for 50 dollars, then i recommend that you start a guitar company right away.
    Guitar God!
    Gibson guitars aren't overpriced. If you've played an epiphone les paul, then a gibson les paul, you can tell the difference. You are paying for that difference
    ESPman6505+
    yea gibson does overprice their guitars but i will say this...i played this guitar and a Flying V 84 reisue and i must say that they are the best guitars that i have ever played...but yea u do pay alot for the gibson name
    METALMAN95
    ESP and Gibs r WAY overpriced for what u get. It only costs about $50 to manufacture a guitar, theyre just stealing the money from ur pocket, getting you to beleive youre buying the best guitar out there. ur gay
    fretman5000
    ESP and Gibs r WAY overpriced for what u get. It only costs about $50 to manufacture a guitar, theyre just stealing the money from ur pocket, getting you to beleive youre buying the best guitar out there.
    hamer exp jp
    im a massive explorer fan this looks great although i do think that with gibson you pay extra for the name
    joesyrnichenko
    cajun_prince wrote: joesyrnichenko : sorry i ment sell it how much would you sell it then?
    im trying to get around $2000 for it ive seen 2500 on ebay
    EET.FUK
    yeah esp dont have the brains to work a new line of guitars..you take a look at their full line and every guitar is a copy of something else...esp just manufacture guitars..1. they take bodys from other companies 2. they shove other companies pickups in them 3 other peoples tremolos in them..sure this explorer has emg's in it but thats only to throw a new flavour into the mix of thier already brilliant line of guitars
    cajun_prince
    Sound goes to ESPs looks goes to Gibsons well gibson guitars looks good. though ESPs sound better.
    aajbpj
    Danelectros are cool and all I have one, but compared to those?
    CowboyUp
    ESP also makes a bunch of explorer esque models that aren't necessarily bad. BEAUTIFUL guitar! Nice review.
    Vrstone87
    guitargod21136 wrote: If its not a fender or gibson, more often then not it IS a knockoff. but there are exceptions.
    Schecter, Dean, Ernie Ball, Danlectro, Parker, etc.
    Jimi Wylde
    guitargod21136 wrote: If its not a fender or gibson, more often then not it IS a knockoff. but there are exceptions.
    I just say dean guitars
    Shinozoku
    travs2448 wrote: ESPs are a bunch of knock offs all there designs were already made by other companys
    Doesn't matter if they make copies that you like better and have features that you'd otherwise have to install separately
    Shinozoku
    ^ Yeah, you ned a good tube amp for those EMGs to sound good. And to make them sound better, you can run them at 18 volts...
    Kevin Saale
    Um, EMG's are made to drive tube amps. PS, that vox is a hybrid and only has one tube in the preamp for looks, it's not really a tube amp.
    Mo'Steel
    exceptions like Dan Electro, The Epiphone Sheraton, BC Rich, Italia, Dean, and other great brands.
    xTheVulcan
    Yeah now if only I had $1,200 on me. Very nice guitar, and really helpful review.
    guitargod21136
    If its not a fender or gibson, more often then not it IS a knockoff. but there are exceptions.
    Ginger-les-tom
    i reckon, explorers are lush, and the white one theyve got in the pic looks awsome,and the fact that its a gibson means it %99 likely to sound awsome, the only flaw is the headstocks look like a banana turned sideways
    travs2448
    ESPs are a bunch of knock offs all there designs were already made by other companys
    EET.FUK
    hey yeah i bought this guitar about 2 months or so ago and its bloody brilliant...there is a guitar out there for everyone and this so happens to be the one i was looking for...pricey yes but worth it...best 2300 i ever spent...the finish is great..the set up is brilliant and the sound is even better...gibson just make superior guitars..i dont care what anyone says
    Gryphon999
    Nice review and very nice guitar! Im also a Metallica fan and I would buy it if I saw one! Do you easily see dents and bumps on the body? Im a guitar newbie searching for a tube amp for EMG's 81/85/60 around the $1000,-. But what is the difference between Analog and Digital(?) tube amps?
    Miiiiks
    Guitar God! wrote: Gibson guitars aren't overpriced. If you've played an epiphone les paul, then a gibson les paul, you can tell the difference. You are paying for that difference
    They're still highly overpriced. I agree that you get much, much, much more from a Gibson than an Epiphone, but they still do cost more than I'd normally be willing to pay.