Purchased from: Musicians Friend
Sound — 10
The Explorer is a great guitar for sound and looks. The guitar has great tone for many types of music. It is good for blues, rock, metal, and some slower music. The neck pickup is a little bassy but with the playing with the tone knob it clears out really well. It is good for a clean tone which is good for a jazz or blues tones. The bridge pickup 500T is a hot pickup and has a great treble and is good for dirtier tones and is also good for blues to hard rock distortion. The Explorer has great sustain better than my Gibson SG. The combination of the two Humbuckers gives you a great clean and dirty tone with is great for classic rock sound and is also a good clean tone with the gain put down. I use a Peavy 100 watt amp with a Boss GT 8 effects processor. I play with a band every week and this guitar is a great stand up guitar. It is one of the best guitar for Live performances but not just for it's looks(even thought it looks really awesome)but it has the best balance of any guitar I have ever played you can let the guitar go and it stays level(My Gibson SG always nosed dived) The draw back is the Explorer is not a good sit down guitar it can be done but it is somewhat unconformable siting. But it is a great all around guitar.
Overall Impression — 10
I play blues, some jazz, metal, surf, rock and many more. I have been playing for about 5 years been playing Live for a 4.5 years playing lead guitar in my band. My first guitar was a Silvertone SG after that I knew I needed a better quality guitar. Right now I still have the Silvertone SG, I have Gibson SG which is a great Guitar as well, And last but not least and my favorite is my Gibson Explorer. I would love to buy more Explorers if I could, but my wallet won't let me.
Reliability & Durability — 10
This guitar as I said earlier is a great for Live playing. I play live twice a week and it holds up great. I recommend getting strap locks for it just with experience with my older guitars I have always had straps falling off my guitars and almost falling on the ground and with a $1,200 guitar Strap locks is quality cheap insurance. I can depend on this guitar lasting throughout the whole performance without any problems.
Action, Fit & Finish — 10
I bought the Explorer from Musicians friend and the shipped it within two days. When I received it everything was perfect out of the box. I had no problems and I have had my Explorer for 10 months now and I still have no problems with it. The body is very strong I have hit the wings with chairs, walls, desk, with it and it hasn't been dented yet just light scratches. The gold hardware on my bridge is fading off but I heard it is pretty normal ware for the gold to ware off the bridge from the hand rubbing it off. But the electronics are great I had no buzzing or any type interference with my guitar.
Features — 9
I have a 2006 Gibson Explorer with natural finish with Gold hardware. I play all types of music from blues, surf, classic rock, metal and lots more which I play all with the Explorer. It has 21 frets with rosewood fingerboard with mahogany neck and body with a Tune-O-Matic bridge. It has one tone knob for both Humbuckers and a two volume knobs with a three way selector. It has 496R-500T Ceramic Humbuckers and it has mini grover tuners. The guitar came with a nice hard case with plush inside but the only complaint I had with the guitar was the case that it came with. The hardcase feels like it weighs 15 pound heavier then the Explorer.