Purchased from: Musicians friend
Features — 10
This is a 2014 Gibson USA Explorer. It has 22 frets. The entire guitar is Mahogany with a rosewood fret board. Vintage style finish, not shinny at all, kind of a dull clay color. This has pair scorching, red hot Dirty Fingers humbuckers. Grover tuners and it comes with a Gibson hard-shell case and certificate of authenticity signed by the CEO of Gibson. The guitar was made from wood confiscated by the USA government in a raid on Gibson. The wood was eventually returned to Gibson.
Sound — 10
I play metal only, I am using a Dime Blacktooth 20w amp, a Electro-Harmonix MetalMuff pedal and a cheap Behringer EQ pedal. I own several guitars and have played my share of guitars nothing can compare to the raw power that this guitar delivers. If you have even seen Metallica live, you can make a real close comparison to James Hetfield's sound with his setup. The pickups are simply incredible.
Action, Fit & Finish — 10
I have noticed not one flaw on this guitar. It came setup to my satisfaction. I play metal riff guitar, I don't solo, I don't need or like super low action. It appears to have 10's on it. I may drop the action a tiny bit but right now it seems fine. The case that it came in was scratched lightly in a couple spots almost like box cutter scratches but it's a case and it didn't dig into it. I'm good with it.
Reliability & Durability — 10
This is a Gibson USA Guitar, it will be around long after I am gone. I would use this in a gig with no backup but that can be taking a chance, no matter how great a guitar is anything can happen. I see this guitar's finishing looking better and better as it ages. I can see it probably will get a little darker and the dullness that shows on aging guitars probably will not show with this type of very thin finish.
Overall Impression — 10
As I stated, I play metal. Iron Maiden, Metallica, my own stuff and that sounds like a mix between Slayer, Volbeat and Metallica. I have been playing for 30 years on and off mostly off until the last 5 years. I own another Gibson, a Faded SG model. I own a Blacktop Strat, a vintage Fender Lead 1 and a couple other beater guitars. Epiphones and a Dean. If it were lost or stolen I probably would not buy it again because I spent my entire savings on this, maybe that was stupid but I'm getting older and have always wanted a Gibson Explorer, thanks to James Hetfield, my musical hero. There is not one thing I can say negative about this guitar. It will be my number 1 forever. I will take care of it, love it, play it whenever I can, keep it in the case when not in use.