Epiphone 1958 Korina Explorer
Epiphone 1958 Korina Explorer

1958 Korina Explorer, V/XPL/FB Shaped Guitar from Epiphone in the Explorer series.

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SonicPulverizer 09/03/2012

Epiphone 1958 Korina Explorer : SonicPulverizer's user review

« Better than the Gibson? »

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The Epiphone Explorer is an homage to the rare original 100 Gibson Korina Explorers produced in 1958. Features a korina body, mahogany neck, and a rosewood fingerboard. The onboard electronics are made up of a pair of Alnico Classic humbuckers wired to two independent volumes and a shared EQ. The natural korina top looks great and is complimented by gold hardware and a white pickguard. The guitar could easily be mistaken for it's gibson counterpart.


The explorer's slim neck profile allows for quick chord changes and fast lead passages. The 24-3/4" scale length allows for easy bends and loose playing feel. Tuning stability is actually better than on the Gibson USA explorer. The inherent cutaway in the the explorer body shape allows limitless access to all frets.


I played the Epiphone through a Mesa Boogie Triple Rectifier. Mesa 4x12 cab. No pedals.

Tonally speaking, the guitar is at the least comparable to the it's Gibson brother. The guitar can dish out any genre you put into it. Cleans? It's got them. Classic rock? Yes. Modern High gain? Of course. I was very impressed with how great the guitar felt. Being in the market for an explorer, I initially turned my nose up at Epiphone. Incidentally, I liked the feel and sound of the Epiphone better.


The Epiphone 1958 Korina Explorer outperforms the Gibson USA model in both tone and feel. Gibson's build quality of late is so sporadic that it has really damaged the brand in my eyes. No longer is it "safe" to purchase a lower priced model without getting hands on with it first. That said, I played 6 different Epiphone Explorers over the course of 4 years and all were consistent. That says something. The guitar is no longer in production but can be common found for as low as $150 on the used market. Incredible value for money.