« None more black »Published on 09/02/11 at 21:25
The Explorer isn't the most ergonomic guitar on the planet in general due to the fact that its shape is a bit on the large and somewhat ungainly side and can be difficult for smaller players to deal with. Considering that the Goth model is the same as a '76 reissue shape wise, it's really no different in the ergonomics department. It retains a very similar medium range weight too. The upper fret access is decent on these guitars, but not nearly as good as some other Gibsons like the Flying V or SG.
Getting a good sound out of this guitar is decent if you're a hard rock or metal player. Due to the higher output pickups and general nature they have in conjunction with the mahogany body, I found that the best tones out of this particular guitar were through a high gain amplifier playing heavier rock and metal rhythms and some leads. The Goth doesn't quite have the definition and dynamics that I would like for clean and lower gain tones as much though they're not terrible by any means.
The Gibson Goth Explorer is a guitar that I figured would sound best for hard rock or metal stylings based on its looks and I certainly wasn't led down the wrong path. Though in all honesty the guitar isn't THAT dissimilar to a '76 reissue, I still find that cleaner and lower gain tones are not the strong suite of this guitar. The hotter Gibson pickups combined with the all mahogany construction and ebony fretboard give a brighter and more metallic sound than the regular model that is apt for tighter tones with high gain rigs. The neck pickup has great sustain that works well for lead work in the shred vein, and the bridge pickup is great for chugging rhythms as well as more staccato based lead work with lots of screaming harmonics and overtones.
All in all the Gibson Goth is a decent buy for someone who is looking for a Gibson Explorer that is just that extra bit "heavier." Though it's really not dissimilar to the regular '76 reissue aside from the ebony fretboard, it has a certain quality to it that makes it more ideal for the heavier stylings of the day. Given that that was Gibson's intent with the line, I'd say they did a great job. Gibson has since discontinued the Goth series but you can pick one up used on eBay for a decent price if you look around.