Explorer review by Gibson

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  • Sound: 9
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reliability & Durability: 8
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 5
  • Features: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 7.8 Good
  • Users' score: 8.3 (230 votes)
Gibson: Explorer

Price paid: $ 1100

Purchased from: Guitar Center

Sound — 9
Sound wise... Oh man! This guitar is my most versitile guitar, honest! It can go from screaming metal riffs, to soft, smooth blues runs, and then back around to do a bit of surf music. I play almost anything, but I usually play a lot of hard rock, stoner rock, blues, metal, thrash metal, groove metal, rockabilly, punk, surf, and some jazz. I run it through my one and only amp, my Mesa Boogie Mark IV, which can give it a very varied sound, I run it through a Dunlop JH-1B Crybaby, a EHX Holy Grail Plus, and an ISP Decimator for those high gain things. The 500T pickup in the bridge is very crisp, clear, and defined, making it great for heavy loads of overdrive, it even breaks up the signal more easily than the 496R on clean. The 496R is much smoother, richer, and dark, I use it more for soloing on high gain settings, or for most clean work. It suits all of the above styles, or at least how I interperet them. I mean, this isnt going to sound like a Fender and a Jackson all in the same guitar, but I make it sound good for all of my styles.

Overall Impression — 9
I play almost anything, but i usually play a lot of hard rock, stoner rock, blues, metal, thrash metal, groove metal, rockabilly, punk, surf, and some jazz, and this guitar can suit them all. Very versitile, and a great guitar. I've been playing for around 4-5 years, and i've owned a variety of Fenders, Gibsons, and an Ibanez and a Danelectro, and this is one of my favorite's. I'll certainly still have this when i'm 50, and if some asshole stole it, i'd kill HIM. I love almost everything about her, and the only thing i can think of that i wish it had, was 24 frets, simple as that. My favorite thing about this guitar is the sound, it's so perfect! Unfortunatly, i was young and stupid when i got this, so i didnt compare much, i just saw Hetfield using one and i liked the look, but all things considered, i did a good job of picking it out.

Reliability & Durability — 8
Every single inch of this guitar will withstand my abuse. I've given it a serious beating or two, and once it's even been dropped by a girl. I mean c'mon bitch! I replaced the strap buttons with the buttons from a set of Dunlop straplocks, I just couldnt bring myself to put the drill into this work of ART. There is no rust, or wear on any of the hardware, even after 2 years of daily playing. I would never use it at a gig without a backup though, which is what my other guitars are for, backups for each other. The finish is chipped on the tail, and on the very tip of the headstock, but that's from my sister dinging it around.

Action, Fit & Finish — 5
From the factory, it was buggered! I had to have it set up, pickups needed adjusting, and when I recieved the guitar, it had a chunk missing from the neck! So I sent it back in, and they replaced it, and did all of the afore mentioned work. I replaced the plain white pickguard with a metal skidplate one, and recently I tried to spraypaint the white one black, failed, went to sand it off, and ended up with an awesome finish on it, (pictures on my profile.) The nut needed to be cut a bit, all three of the higher strings would pop out given a bit of oomph to my picking. But now that I've worked out all of the kinks, she's a beauty!

Features — 8
As far as I know, it was made in 2005, in the US of A, solid mohogany body with a 24.75" maple neck and a rosewood fretboard, 22 jumbo frets and simple pearloid Dot inlays. The tuners are small Grover tuners, and the bridge is a tune-o-matic. A Gibson 500T is in the bridge, and a 496R in the neck, and a three way Switch, two volume and one tone knob to control them. I got mine in the glossy black finish, with a white pickguard that I replaced, (More on that later.) I got the usual Gibson trussrod key, case candy, and the case with it.

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