Edwards guitars are showing up more and more in America and around the world. People are realizing they are a great alternative to getting a Gibson. Edwards is ESP's budget line of guitars. They are kind of like their Epiphone. These guitars are technically made for the Japanese market so they can copy anything exactly without getting in trouble. This with the high Japanese build quality means you get guitars that meet or exceed the quality of what they are copying. This guitar is like a Hetfield Explorer with a natural finish. It is a mix between Hetfields ESP Explorers and his custom Ken Lawrence explorer. A Ken Lawrence Explorer is super expensive so this is a cool option to have. A metal Explorer in a natural mahogany finish with EMG's from the factory. The setup is pretty simple. It has a mahogany body and neck with a 22 fret rosewood fretboard. It has dual EMG 81 pickups. The controls are simple as well it has a master volume a master tone and a 3 way toggle.
The playability is spot on to what an Explorer should be. Edwards uses their own neck profile which they say is between a 50s profile and a 60s profile. It feels good either way. The upper frets are easy to reach because of the Explorers design. The radical shape actually gives the guitar a perfect balance for playing while standing up. The neck will come to rest at a perfect angle due to the large body acting as a counter weight. The satin finish is smooth and doesnt slow you down anywhere on the guitar. The frets are nice and big and allow for a nice and low action. The natural finish means the body and neck feel really smooth to your hands.
EMG's are great for heavy music and tons of artists use them. Im kind of surprised they did not put the set Hetfield uses in this guitar. Instead of the 81 and 60 set like Hetfield uses they put in the dual 81 set which is what Hammett uses. I am not a big fan of the 81 in the neck. It has too trebley a sound for me. Your leads in the neck position come out harsh when you are using an 81 in the neck. A 60 or 85 would be better in my opinion. The 81 in the bridge on the other hand is great. You get a real sharp tone for your riffs. If you want even more crushing tone you can do the 18v mod to the EMG's. With the 18v mod you run the EMG pickups on two 9v batteries instead of just one. This gives you more headroom over all and more clarity. It will make your clean tones sound better too by giving them a more natural organic quality. You will just have to find somewhere to place the 2nd battery.
With this guitar you get all the feel and tone of a Gibson Explorer with EMG's without paying the price. This is a great alternative to getting a Gibson and putting EMG's in it. It is cheaper and already comes with the good pickups. The build quality in Japan is just as good as America so you are not sacrificing quality. If you are looking for an Explorer to play metal with you should consider getting an Edwards.