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Talk me out of buying a Gibson Explorer

Noel Holden

Member
Messages
122
OK. I play Ibanez Destroyers. So, NO I WON'T TALK YOU OUT OF IT!
Of all the guitars I've owned, there's only ONE I regret selling: 1981 Explorer II.
I must have lost all brain function when I was 23. I can't afford one now, that's for sure.
 

GraybeardME

New Member
Messages
2
I started playing guitar twenty-two years ago at age 12. I wanted, more than anything in the world, to own a Gibson Explorer. My well-meaning parents bought me a Cort S400 Strat copy. I played the heck out of that little thing and I loved it, but it wasn't an Explorer. At age 14, I got a Slammer Explorer for Christmas after I had asked my mom to drive me out to the local music store to just look at it on the wall for the better part of a year. It was a piece of plywood with bargain bin humbuckers slapped on for fun, but dammit, it looked like an Explorer, and I was so happy with it. I trucked along with my Explorer-shaped piece of plywood for the next fourteen years, and then bought a second hand Dillion Explorer for $400.

Here's the problem: the Dillion is a perfectly serviceable instrument. It's reasonably well-built for a copy guitar, it's comfortable to play, and it sounds great. On par with any Epiphone, if not better. I haven't once regretted the purchase over the last six years. The stock pickups were replaced by a previous owner and they are pretty much exactly the sort of pickups you'd want on an Explorer -- bright, hot, punchy -- to the point where I would probably want to use them instead of the stock pups on an actual Gibson Explorer.

But it's not a Gibson Explorer. Part of me still really, really wants a natural finish Explorer that says "Gibson" on the headstock. I'm financially comfortable in my thirties and can easily afford it, but how do you justify a $2000 headstock when you don't produce music professionally, when you don't play live, when you've got a copy guitar that sounds great? I don't earn any money by playing music. Not one cent. I have over 4k YouTube subscribers, but since I only ever post cover videos, my channel is obviously de-monetized. Logically, financially, I know it makes no sense to drop $2k on this guitar. I don't need it. I just... want it.

Talk me out of it, guys. Tell me your Gibson Explorer horror stories.
I was into bikes for a while. Started with a Honda, nice bike. Stepped up to Yamaha's cruiser line, Star. Air cooled v twin, ton of power, handled sweet, looked badass. Almost as badass as a Harley. But I didn't "need" a Harley - i didn't ride a ton, and the Star was cheaper to own, more reliable, and unique. Harley guys admired it, complemented it.
Then I bought a Harley. Every time I looked at it I smiled. I'm 59 & to this day it was the most expensive vehicle I have ever owned, and I live in Maine - 4 month season at best; but there was not one day I regretted spending way too much for that bike. I gave riding up a while ago (started to feel mortal) but I'll never regret owning what I truly wanted.
Buy the Gibson. Don't regret.
I started playing guitar twenty-two years ago at age 12. I wanted, more than anything in the world, to own a Gibson Explorer. My well-meaning parents bought me a Cort S400 Strat copy. I played the heck out of that little thing and I loved it, but it wasn't an Explorer. At age 14, I got a Slammer Explorer for Christmas after I had asked my mom to drive me out to the local music store to just look at it on the wall for the better part of a year. It was a piece of plywood with bargain bin humbuckers slapped on for fun, but dammit, it looked like an Explorer, and I was so happy with it. I trucked along with my Explorer-shaped piece of plywood for the next fourteen years, and then bought a second hand Dillion Explorer for $400.

Here's the problem: the Dillion is a perfectly serviceable instrument. It's reasonably well-built for a copy guitar, it's comfortable to play, and it sounds great. On par with any Epiphone, if not better. I haven't once regretted the purchase over the last six years. The stock pickups were replaced by a previous owner and they are pretty much exactly the sort of pickups you'd want on an Explorer -- bright, hot, punchy -- to the point where I would probably want to use them instead of the stock pups on an actual Gibson Explorer.

But it's not a Gibson Explorer. Part of me still really, really wants a natural finish Explorer that says "Gibson" on the headstock. I'm financially comfortable in my thirties and can easily afford it, but how do you justify a $2000 headstock when you don't produce music professionally, when you don't play live, when you've got a copy guitar that sounds great? I don't earn any money by playing music. Not one cent. I have over 4k YouTube subscribers, but since I only ever post cover videos, my channel is obviously de-monetized. Logically, financially, I know it makes no sense to drop $2k on this guitar. I don't need it. I just... want it.

Talk me out of it, guys. Tell me your Gibson Explorer horror stories.
Better to regret what you did than what you didn't do. Buy it. If it's a disappointment you'll never wonder "what if?"
But it won't be.
 

Maguchi

Member
Messages
1,145
I started playing guitar twenty-two years ago at age 12. I wanted, more than anything in the world, to own a Gibson Explorer. My well-meaning parents bought me a Cort S400 Strat copy. I played the heck out of that little thing and I loved it, but it wasn't an Explorer. At age 14, I got a Slammer Explorer for Christmas after I had asked my mom to drive me out to the local music store to just look at it on the wall for the better part of a year. It was a piece of plywood with bargain bin humbuckers slapped on for fun, but dammit, it looked like an Explorer, and I was so happy with it. I trucked along with my Explorer-shaped piece of plywood for the next fourteen years, and then bought a second hand Dillion Explorer for $400.

Here's the problem: the Dillion is a perfectly serviceable instrument. It's reasonably well-built for a copy guitar, it's comfortable to play, and it sounds great. On par with any Epiphone, if not better. I haven't once regretted the purchase over the last six years. The stock pickups were replaced by a previous owner and they are pretty much exactly the sort of pickups you'd want on an Explorer -- bright, hot, punchy -- to the point where I would probably want to use them instead of the stock pups on an actual Gibson Explorer.

But it's not a Gibson Explorer. Part of me still really, really wants a natural finish Explorer that says "Gibson" on the headstock. I'm financially comfortable in my thirties and can easily afford it, but how do you justify a $2000 headstock when you don't produce music professionally, when you don't play live, when you've got a copy guitar that sounds great? I don't earn any money by playing music. Not one cent. I have over 4k YouTube subscribers, but since I only ever post cover videos, my channel is obviously de-monetized. Logically, financially, I know it makes no sense to drop $2k on this guitar. I don't need it. I just... want it.

Talk me out of it, guys. Tell me your Gibson Explorer horror stories.
I can't. I have almost 50 guitars and many of them are expensive Gibson's. I don't know where some of the Gibson hate or bashing comes from. But I've been pleased to delighted with every Gibson I've owned. Have never owned an Explorer yet, but I've been Jonesing for one on and off. They are beautiful, well made, great sounding, smooth playing guitars. Don't listen to those who advise you to get something more "sensible" like a Les Paul. You are still in your early 30's, the Explorer has been around a long time and is a classic shape in its own right. If that's what you want, get one...and enjoy the hell out of it.
 
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Pete Dabell

Member
Messages
383
Just buy it! They are incredible guitars! They are comfortable to play, standing or sitting, they sound fantastic and look fantastic! I think it`s to do with the shape and actual area, but they are supremely easy to coax controlled feedback out of! They are actually quite light ( mine is ) - I have a 90`s vintage with a limited edition label on the back of the headstock area. It has gold fittings and is fantastic to play! I play music because it is something that has driven me since my teen years and I would do it whether I was paid for it or not! Sometimes you have to treat yourself and this sounds like one of those times!
 
Messages
208
Got a super nice Gibson Explorer on CL for $650. The only thing wrong with it was the big scratch in the top. Doesn't bother me at all. The Explorer is actually really well balanced and, thus, very easy and relaxing to play. The neck has just enough heft to make me happy. Plus, I really prefer the look of an unbound neck and a transparent finish on a slab of mahogany. The hot, uncovered humbuckers sound great. Still play this guitar regularly.
 

6$trings

Member
Messages
2
In my experience the only one who can properly convince you that you don't want one is you. Try to find one in a shop to take for a spin and decide for yourself. If the only way you can get one is to jump in the deep end and buy without trying, then buy used and make sure you buy for what the going rate is, so if you don't like it, you can sell if off for what you paid.

There's no amount of reviews you can watch that will substitute five minutes of playing something in your own house.
 

ScubaK

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
36
You can get one for about $1200 lightly used and i wanted one with the split headstock so i paid a 3K premium on top of that to get one...life is too short...also if you don't love it, as others have said you can get most of your $$ back!
 

6stringpsyche

Member
Messages
44
I'm financially comfortable in my thirties and can easily afford it, but how do you justify a $2000 headstock when you don't produce music professionally
Re: the first part of this quote - then BUY it!

Re: the second part - ask all of the doctors, lawyers, engineers, tech guys, et al. who probably own the vast majority of all of the most expensive guitars, new or vintage. My guess as to their answer would be "because I wanted it and could afford it."
 

Gear Advocate

Member
Messages
27
I started playing guitar twenty-two years ago at age 12. I wanted, more than anything in the world, to own a Gibson Explorer. My well-meaning parents bought me a Cort S400 Strat copy. I played the heck out of that little thing and I loved it, but it wasn't an Explorer. At age 14, I got a Slammer Explorer for Christmas after I had asked my mom to drive me out to the local music store to just look at it on the wall for the better part of a year. It was a piece of plywood with bargain bin humbuckers slapped on for fun, but dammit, it looked like an Explorer, and I was so happy with it. I trucked along with my Explorer-shaped piece of plywood for the next fourteen years, and then bought a second hand Dillion Explorer for $400.

Here's the problem: the Dillion is a perfectly serviceable instrument. It's reasonably well-built for a copy guitar, it's comfortable to play, and it sounds great. On par with any Epiphone, if not better. I haven't once regretted the purchase over the last six years. The stock pickups were replaced by a previous owner and they are pretty much exactly the sort of pickups you'd want on an Explorer -- bright, hot, punchy -- to the point where I would probably want to use them instead of the stock pups on an actual Gibson Explorer.

But it's not a Gibson Explorer. Part of me still really, really wants a natural finish Explorer that says "Gibson" on the headstock. I'm financially comfortable in my thirties and can easily afford it, but how do you justify a $2000 headstock when you don't produce music professionally, when you don't play live, when you've got a copy guitar that sounds great? I don't earn any money by playing music. Not one cent. I have over 4k YouTube subscribers, but since I only ever post cover videos, my channel is obviously de-monetized. Logically, financially, I know it makes no sense to drop $2k on this guitar. I don't need it. I just... want it.

Talk me out of it, guys. Tell me your Gibson Explorer horror stories.
Why don't you talk me out of talking you out of buying a Gibson Explorer!
 

Cgiff

Member
Messages
51
You should buy one ! But make sure it’s the right Explorer for you. My recommendation, Play as many as possible. You’ll know the one you need to buy!
 

S3bird

Member
Messages
350
If you can afford it why not. Especially given your story go ahead and do it. Worst case is you sell it down the road. Should hold most of it's value.

I've never regretted getting the better version
 

Townie

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
180
I started playing guitar twenty-two years ago at age 12. I wanted, more than anything in the world, to own a Gibson Explorer. My well-meaning parents bought me a Cort S400 Strat copy. I played the heck out of that little thing and I loved it, but it wasn't an Explorer. At age 14, I got a Slammer Explorer for Christmas after I had asked my mom to drive me out to the local music store to just look at it on the wall for the better part of a year. It was a piece of plywood with bargain bin humbuckers slapped on for fun, but dammit, it looked like an Explorer, and I was so happy with it. I trucked along with my Explorer-shaped piece of plywood for the next fourteen years, and then bought a second hand Dillion Explorer for $400.

Here's the problem: the Dillion is a perfectly serviceable instrument. It's reasonably well-built for a copy guitar, it's comfortable to play, and it sounds great. On par with any Epiphone, if not better. I haven't once regretted the purchase over the last six years. The stock pickups were replaced by a previous owner and they are pretty much exactly the sort of pickups you'd want on an Explorer -- bright, hot, punchy -- to the point where I would probably want to use them instead of the stock pups on an actual Gibson Explorer.

But it's not a Gibson Explorer. Part of me still really, really wants a natural finish Explorer that says "Gibson" on the headstock. I'm financially comfortable in my thirties and can easily afford it, but how do you justify a $2000 headstock when you don't produce music professionally, when you don't play live, when you've got a copy guitar that sounds great? I don't earn any money by playing music. Not one cent. I have over 4k YouTube subscribers, but since I only ever post cover videos, my channel is obviously de-monetized. Logically, financially, I know it makes no sense to drop $2k on this guitar. I don't need it. I just... want it.

Talk me out of it, guys. Tell me your Gibson Explorer horror stories.
Hey, just noticed a 2nd hand one for sale. C$1350 from a reputable store. No idea what shipping would cost but it must be a lot less than $650. https://www.reidmusic.com/collectio...cked-line-6-spider-iv-15-and-fbv-express-mkii
 

shoule79

Member
Messages
238
Can't help you, my old Explorer was one of my favorite guitars of all time, and i'm not exactly a rock player.

I'd buy used though to save some coin.
 

GraceToo

Member
Messages
472
Hey, just noticed a 2nd hand one for sale. C$1350 from a reputable store. No idea what shipping would cost but it must be a lot less than $650. https://www.reidmusic.com/collectio...cked-line-6-spider-iv-15-and-fbv-express-mkii
This is actually freaking me out so much right now. I posted this thread on Thursday. Reid Music literally put this thing up for sale the same day… I missed their Facebook post because I’ve been on FB a lot less lately. I had NO idea. Saw your post this afternoon, lost my ****, called them up, they still had it. Shipping wasn’t an issue, as they’re literally just up the road!!! Thanks, @Townie !

So… I have a Gibson Explorer now! My hands were shaking so much I could barely play it in the store, haha. :rotflmao I couldn’t believe it. A used Gibson Explorer in a price range I was comfortable paying, my preferred finish, AND available locally. But man… it sounded heavenly, even through my shaky fingers. Previous owner barely played it, apparently. It’s in excellent condition. And the previous owner even made upgrades that I would have made myself! Just needs a gold bridge and tail piece.







Thanks for keeping this thread alive by refusing to talk me out of it, guys. I totally would have missed out on this opportunity otherwise!
 




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