Explorer review by Hondo

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  • Sound: 10
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 9
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 8
  • Features: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 9.4 Superb
  • Users' score: 6.2 (12 votes)
Hondo: Explorer

Sound — 10
It is frickin' amazing for my genre (heavy metal) it makes a really nice sound, you can adjust it from a deep strong sound to a clean crispy sound. I am using it with a Fender roc pro and sometimes a Fender cybertwin. It sounds really very nice. It is perfect for fast soloing.

Overall Impression — 10
I play metal, it is a perfect match and good for any metal player. I have been playing 8 years and own numerous other amps and settings and 1 other electric: a Washburn WI200. If it were stolen or lost I would like to buy it again, but I doubt I would be able to, it is extremely rare and I doubt I would ever see one like it again. I love the look of it, it looks awesome. And I find the sound amazing. It is a very hardy guitar and it will hopefully last me for another couple of years. I wish it had more settings, it only has a tone and volume.

Reliability & Durability — 9
This guitar can handle live playing easily. The strap buttons are good so I do not need to fear it falling off. I would not use it a gig without backup, just because I am extremely surprised it has lasted so long. It may at a random point just give up on working. The finish is great, it looks as good as it did when it was bought. The hardware looks like it will last.

Action, Fit & Finish — 8
It is very well made and has lasted for near 30 years. Everything is working. I had a problem a couple of months back when it just would not carry the sound through to the amplifier. But after leaving it for about a week it sorted itself out (I do not know how). There are no flaws, apart from that it is uncomfortable to sit down with due to the shape, it is also very heavy so it hurts after extended standing up. It has rusted, the pickups and bridge. But that is from my neglect, I have gone sometimes years at a time without looking at it.

Features — 10
This guitar is pretty damn amazing. Also, extremely rare. Even pictures of it are very hard to find. There is no certain history about this guitar. I think it was made in the '80s. There are 22 frets and it has a chess board like finish. It doesn't even have a proper name, I know it is part of the Hondo Deluxe Series 781. There is nothing with this guitar, I cannot tell what pickups, bridge and stock they are.

11 comments sorted by best / new / date

    I've got an '81 Hondo 935 series semi hollow, damn fine guitar. Mine looks all worn and punk, the way semi hollows are supposed to look!
    It sounds awesome. I'd like to get my hands one someday. Explorers have always been a favorite of mine. any suggestions on where one would start looking for one, just to give me a direction? I understand its rare but that doesn't often stop me from trying.
    I have that same series guitar. The only difference is I have the "Disco-ball" finish. I will try and add pictures of it to my profile when I get a chance. I agree with the review, great sounding guitar. I have been looking all over for information on this and haven't been able to track anything down about it. Any direction would be appreciated. I was toying around with the idea of re-finishing it, but decided against it since it is so unusual. Also was thinking of putting it up for sale, but don't know what it's worth so I am holding off on that for now.
    I had one of these in 1985 with a kahler tremelo. It was very solid, great sounding. For the price back then good, brown with a white pick guard, gold hardware.
    @FearOfTheDuck: My one is actually in pretty good condition, the picture of the top is of the same model guitar, just not my one. As you an see that one is pretty rusted. C0FF1NCAS3: I am really sorry, I have no idea where you could get it today, the only people i know of that own it is me, and sadly it's not for sale. I'd check out your local guitar shops, who knows? You may find one like it. @Vinnie1975: That would be great, I'd love to see those pictures when you get them! The only other finish besides mine I have seen is the spiderweb finish. Which can be found on Google Images. I would highly advise against selling it, I can understand if your a bit strapped for cash but if you are not then I would keep it, it's very rare and is an antique. @jrowen368: Really? Do you still have it? If so would it be possible to take some photos?
    My first "new" guitar was a Hondo Deluxe Series 871 black with flames, the music store also had a white one with black spider webs. From what I've seen the deluxe 871 was made from 1981-1983. I purchased mine in either '82 or '83. I have seen checker board and the "prism" and the black with white spider webs for sale online all around $230.00- $240.00 I no longer have mine as I came across an even trade I couldnt pass up...a Fender Stat(mexican)like new back in the early 90's. I love it! I really liked my 871 but it was HEAVY!!! It was a good beginer guitar though. Check e-bay!
    @bahunt, really only $200? I really thought it would go for more than that.
    I own a hondo deluxe series 781. Traded some of the oddest set of undercover police like lights for the one I own, they were orange and green. When I got it, it had no strings on it, bridge was rust free and at some point, someone replaced the old tuners with what looks to be really old schallers from what I can tell, and what someone has told me. String retainers are rusted, it had no electronics besides the pickup which I believe is original, no pickup ring, no jack plate, no control cavity cover. It was missing a string saddle or two but I had some spares. The finish was red with stripes in it like van halen and someone added the black stripes to complete the look. There was a lot of abuse to this guitar that I re painted it with spray paint and achieved an exceptional silverburst finish and intended to laquer it but I couldn't find my laquer and some unfortunate events happened and got a scrape on the point at the far rear-upper tip. Once I fixed this guitar up, I was appalled by its performance, for now its kind of a beater until I can take the time to give it a full resto-mod makeover. There is not a database for hondo brand guitars, trust me, I searched and searched. These guitars were never serialized so there is no telling the history and specific date of manufacture. Another thing that concerns me, yours is a 22 fret, mine is a 21 fret like the one depicted, and that one is a 782 which is the dual double humbucker variation of the 781.
    Hi. Sorry for re-open this post but I have a Hondo Explorer. I will reform it. If anyone wants to see pictures, let me know.
    I bought that exact Rick Nielsen-ish guitar back in '83....wish I'd never swapped it for another guitar!