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talk me into an Explorer?!

minorseventh

Member
Messages
1,020
about a year ago I bought a 2005 explorer off ebay. in short, it was a dud.
it played, looked, and felt fantastic, but sonically, that thing was awful.
it was absolutely the thinnest sounding and brightest guitar Ive ever had. not only that, but there were some weird high pitched overtones happening all over the neck.
I swapped out the pickups twice. I tried a Motorcity detroiter and a dimarzio 36th anniversary in the bridge, and I even replaced the pots and all wiring just in the hopes I could make it better. finally I sold it, with impatience, and took a 200.00 loss.

the problem is I love explorers, and much like my cat, I just could not get that particular one to love me back.

so.... did I just get a crap Gibson? :mad:
tell me they arent all that bad. I just dont understand how such a big hunk of mahogany like that could sound so shrill and lifeless, and now Im hesitant. I might just have to find a cheap Epiphone to test the water again.
 

HyakuShiki

Member
Messages
1,017
You might have. It's been my experience that Explorers are pretty much oddly-shaped SG's in that they are pretty versatile. Obviously Clapton used one for some of his work, but I've seen a lot of different shades of rock artists use it. From Airbourne to Coheed and Cambria to Mastodon to Metallica to Foo Fighters.

As for yours, well, sometimes guitars just aren't good. I'd try another Explorer, but there are companies that also do Explorer shapes as well. Current production models include some Ibanez models, some ESP/LTD models and some Dean models. If you're willing to pay a bit more, Hamer used to do an Explorer-style model that is truly one of the best guitars ever built.

BUT, I don't recommend you give up on them now. Explorers are some pretty awesome guitars, and I hope you find one that's good.
 

minorseventh

Member
Messages
1,020
I am not crazy about the imports (LTD, dean, etc) because they usually have sharper points like they are tying too hard. i would absolutely love a hamer explorer, and I almost snagged one for a great price a few weeks ago, but then I got nervous because my Gibson left such a bad taste. hence the above post!
I cant even afford a new guitar right now, but I generally like to make up my mind, set a goal, and just chip away until I get a good one.
 

V-man

Senior Member
Messages
3,199
Didn't Hetfield use an ESP explorer much more than his Gibbys?
Yes. He was also endorsed by ESP, which explains why.

The Explorer is the Ergonomic all-mahogany LP. It is the only non V-type I own. Great guitars.... duds excepted, I suppose.
 

HyakuShiki

Member
Messages
1,017
I am not crazy about the imports (LTD, dean, etc) because they usually have sharper points like they are tying too hard. i would absolutely love a hamer explorer, and I almost snagged one for a great price a few weeks ago, but then I got nervous because my Gibson left such a bad taste. hence the above post!
I cant even afford a new guitar right now, but I generally like to make up my mind, set a goal, and just chip away until I get a good one.
I say invest in the Hamer Standard. Generaly, even the imports are considered very high quality, and they aren't terribly easy to come by, hence the patience and time to build funds! I had an import Standard a while back, great guitar but heavy as all get out.
 

XKnight

Member
Messages
11,087
I've only owned one Gibson Explorer and still have it. It's a great guitar even with the stock ceramic Gibson pups that came with it. I can only imagine how much better it would sound with some vintage PAF style pups. I also had a USA Dean Z with Dimarzios that I played throughout the early 80s that was a wonderful guitar. Sounds like you just picked up a dud.

Here's a pic of my current Explorer to get your blood pumping.

 

SlumFrog

Member
Messages
240
Yes. He was also endorsed by ESP, which explains why.

The Explorer is the Ergonomic all-mahogany LP. It is the only non V-type I own. Great guitars.... duds excepted, I suppose.
Thanks thought so. Sorry to mess your quote up by deleting, I thought the post said only Gibson Explorers, not just Explorers in general.

But out of curiousity how often did he use the Gibson Explorers, if ya know?
 

V-man

Senior Member
Messages
3,199
Thanks thought so. Sorry to mess your quote up by deleting, I thought the post said only Gibson Explorers, not just Explorers in general.

But out of curiousity how often did he use the Gibson Explorers, if ya know?
I remember him being a big fan of his Gibson Explorer, but they weren't cutting (him) any artist deals. There was a brief flirtation with Jackson (probably due to KH's '85 San Dimas Rhoads) and James got a White KV (interestingly enough, Dave Mustaine ended up slinging his signature black KV right at this time). Somehow JH's White KV broke and he ended up getting into ESPs.
 

SlumFrog

Member
Messages
240
I remember him being a big fan of his Gibson Explorer, but they weren't cutting (him) any artist deals. There was a brief flirtation with Jackson (probably due to KH's '85 San Dimas Rhoads) and James got a White KV (interestingly enough, Dave Mustaine ended up slinging his signature black KV right at this time). Somehow JH's White KV broke and he ended up getting into ESPs.
Thanks. I totally forgot JH ever had a Jackson. Thats really interesting about to DM Sig coming out at the same time. With their history it wouldnt surprise me at all if he broke it on purpose or threw it away not wanting to share the same guitar as DM.
 

V-man

Senior Member
Messages
3,199
With their history it wouldnt surprise me at all if he broke it on purpose or threw it away not wanting to share the same guitar as DM.
lol. you have to give him credit for owning it, though.

JH started on Flying Vs, He had a Jackson KV and even a couple of ESP Vs (not to mention all the dozen and a half other guitars he screwed with) but he will forever be remembered as an explorer player.

DM started off a Rich Bich slinger and moved to Jackson KVs (likely after JH did) but nobody remembers that. Jackson is forever a DM brand even though he left them long ago for ESP and then Dean.
 

Mattbedrock

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
4,806
I have three - a Korina Epiphone, a 80's V2 and a mahogany Gibson with a maestro tem. The V2 - good. Great neck, solid sustain, hot dirty fingers pickups, but heavy. The Epiphone - better. Killer tone and comfort. Pickups were squeaky until I waxed potted them. Electronics are cheap, but functional. Great bargain. The Gibson - great. It was a GOW or GOM and is a lot like what Allen Collins played. Sounds great '57 Classics! Light weight and comfortable. One of my favorite stage guitars. Looks cool!
 

neoprimitive

Senior Member
Messages
2,348
My next expensive guitar is going to be a 1976 Explorer... my friend had one years ago and I fell in love with that guitar, every time I went to his house, I was like ''can I play the explorer?" No other guitar has ever felt so right to me. So comfy, and practically played itself.. it was an identical copy of Tommy Shaws Explorer in the too much time on my hands video, just like this one.
http://youtu.be/5XcKBmdfpWs
 

minorseventh

Member
Messages
1,020
I think you need to check some out in person.
agreed, but apparently there are none within 1.5 hours of me. Ive been looking.



so the common consensus is that I had a bum explorer, and they generally dont sound like angry bees??

I have had several SGs over the years, and I gather that a good explorer will sound closer to them than a les paul. Do they have a little more girth than an SG, due to the increased mass of wood?
 

minorseventh

Member
Messages
1,020
My next expensive guitar is going to be a 1976 Explorer... my friend had one years ago and I fell in love with that guitar, every time I went to his house, I was like ''can I play the explorer?" No other guitar has ever felt so right to me. So comfy, and practically played itself.. it was an identical copy of Tommy Shaws Explorer in the too much time on my hands video, just like this one.
http://youtu.be/5XcKBmdfpWs

oh sweet mother of jumpsuits!

but yeah... super cool guitar.
 

neoprimitive

Senior Member
Messages
2,348
oh sweet mother of jumpsuits!

but yeah... super cool guitar.
Heck yeah.. ya gotta love 1980.. I'd give my left nut to have Tommy's guitar he's playing in the video. Not to mention, the tone he had going for the solo was tastier than a Bacon wrapped cheese dog.. :p
 

SlumFrog

Member
Messages
240
lol. you have to give him credit for owning it, though.

JH started on Flying Vs, He had a Jackson KV and even a couple of ESP Vs
I do, makes me like him a 'little' better knowing he owned a Jackson lol. Big Jackson fan. I respect the hell out of him as a guitar player and musician, but I think he's one of the biggest douche bags alive. Never really forgave him after all the public death jokes made right after Cobain died and all the AIC/Layne insults regarding his addiction and death.
 

jimbugg

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,884
This song is all the convincing I've ever needed to buy both of my Explorers:

 

forum_crawler

Member
Messages
7,307
I got a faded explorer, loaded with SD Blackouts and thin is not a word one would use to describe it. I am not a big fan of the 300K pots Gibson puts on these guitars so they should be switched quickly.

If you play a bright amp then the stock pots will do, but generally, 500K CTS pots will breathe life into this guitar.
 






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