Price paid: € 850
Purchased from: An Italian online shop
Sound — 8
The Explorer suits my style perfectly. I play hard rock and metal (mainly power metal) and this guitar is perfect. Very rich, powerful and full sound, no noise at all, pinch harmonics are easy to do and feedbacks comes only when you want. I use it on a Roland Cube 60 and it sounds good on all settings, even on the clean channel. Some people say that the Explorer pickups have a bad clean sound, but it's not true. I actually like it a lot. You can play everything with this guitar. I'd give 10, but I don't like so much the sound of the neck pickup. The bridge one is amazing though, I'll never change it.
Overall Impression — 9
I play mainly metal (Edguy, Avantasia, Sentenced, Sonata Arctica, Hammerfall) and a bit of hard rock. I have been playing for 3 years and I have a Jackson RR3 plus two cheap guitars I never use. The Jackson is good, but not good as the Explorer. I'd definitely buy it again if stolen or lost. It's a perfect guitar, except for the neck pickup and the very last frets that are hard to reach, but they are not a problem for me: I always use the bridge one and I'm a rhythm player and don't need the 22th fret.
Reliability & Durability — 10
This guitar is rock solid, including the strap buttons, and will lasts for years. The hardware is very well made, it's Gibson afterall. I have a Jackson RR3 too but I'd definitely play live with the Explorer without the Jackson as backup. I'm looking forward to start a band and I'm sure the Explorer will be my main guitar for years, even if I become famous.
Action, Fit & Finish — 9
The guitar was setup perfectly. The action was a bit high, but still comfortable. The strings were a lot better than I expected, and very easy to bend. One of the pickups was moving a little, but it's an easy thing to fix. Other than this, all stuffs were setup properly: looks like a luthier did his best before shipping.
Features — 9
The Gibson Explorer '76 was made in 1976 (of course!) in the US. It has the famous shape used by many rock and metal guitarists (Jackson used that shape for their Kelly models too). Here there are the features: Body: Mahogany Neck/Profile: Mahogany/Rounded Fingerboard/Inlay: Rosewood/Dot Scale/Nut Width: 243/4"/111/16" Bridge: Tune-o-matic Hardware: chrome Pickups: 496R and 500T, both humbucker Controls: two volume, one tone, three-way Switch Strings: Brite Wires .009-.042 It also came with a very good hard case. The features are amazing, the only thing I don't like is the fact that the highest frets (from 19 to 22) are hard to reach.