Hi everyone, I thought this would be a good place to place this question. I am looking for my next guitar, but I don't have a fortune to spend so here are the contenders: 1. Gibson Explorer. 2. Ibanez Xiphos. 3. ESP LTD EX-400. The main purpose of these guitars will be to play heavy gain music. My band doesn't really play that kind of music; we are more like rock and sometimes some thick riffing, so the ability to play rock, and metal are required of these guitars. I know the explorer is a great guitar, and right now it is my top contender. But I do wonder if I am getting more for my money than if I went with either of the other two choices. I like the fact that the Ibanez has the locking tremolo bridge (though not a necessity), but I think it looks too 'metal.' The ESP is there because it looks like the explorer and it also seems to be fairly well built. I know the pickups on the gibson are pretty hot, but I can see myself replacing them for something from Seymour Duncan in the future, or maybe those DiMarzio activators (like the ibanez). So what are your thoughts? Thanks!