Epiphone Explorer
Epiphone Explorer

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

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tjon901 06/05/2011

Epiphone Explorer : tjon901's user review

« Budget Explorer »

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Epiphone is Gibsons affordable guitar line. These guitars have almost exactly the same specifications that Gibsons do except they are not made in America. Since they are officially licensed the shapes are exactly the same as you would get on a Gibson. Some foreign copies have to change the shape to avoid copyright infringement, Epiphone does not have to worry about this. This Epiphone is a copy of the 1976 reissue of the Gibson Explorer. This Epiphone model is made from the mahogany wood. It has a 22 fret mahogany neck with a rosewood fretboard. Two humbucking pickups which are a Epiphones own alnico humbuckers. Two volume and one master tone control with a 3 way toggle switch pickup selector.


This Explorer has the Gibson 60s profile neck. Gibson changed the neck profile in the 60s to make the guitars easier to play. The 50s necks were very large and some people found them hard to play. The 60s Gibson neck profile is one of their most popular. 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. When playing an Explorer you forget about the radical shape because the guitar is so comfortable. The shape gives the guitar perfect balance.


This Epiphone gets the warm tones you would normally expect from a Gibson guitar but at a much lower price. The guitars large shape means that there is a ton of wood. The more wood a guitar has the better it typically sounds. With this much mahogany the guitar has awesome resonance. The Explorers pickups come from the factory with the covers removed. Guitarists in the 70s found that if you removed the covers from humbuckers you could get a little more bite in your sound so Gibson decided to do it from the factory for the players. These pickups match well with the wood. The nice high end bite they give balances out the warm tones from the mahogany.


This is as close as you are going to get to a Gibson Explorer without paying Gibson prices. Being an official copy means that all the specs are correct and the shape measures up the same. Head to head soundwise this guitar does not sound much different than the Gibson version. And that sound is good. A lot of Les Pauls are being chambered for weight now. This means that some of the wood inside them is removed to make them lighter. This hurts the tone a little bit. The real Gibson tone comes from the wood and this Explorer has plenty of wood. If you want the Gibson tone for Epiphone prices you should check this guitar out.