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Gibson X-plorer Pro
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Gibson X-plorer Pro

V/XPL/FB Shaped Guitar from Gibson belonging to the Explorer series.

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tjon901 tjon901

« Smaller Explorer »

Published on 09/08/11 at 08:05
The Explorer is a classic design now. It was first produced in the 50s and quickly discontinued. When other companies like Hamer started reissuing the design Gibson said "Hey thats ours" and put out an official reissues in the mid 70s. They have been making it ever since. There are a few variants to the original reissue, and this is the Explorer Pro variant. The Explorer Pro is an Explorer with a smaller design. I guess some people didnt like the big shape or weight of a normal Explorer and Gibson bowed down to them. Along with the smaller body you get a natural finish with white binding. Apart from these features and the smaller shape it is pretty much a regular Explorer. It has a big mahogany body with a mahogany neck. The neck has a set neck design. The neck has a 22 fret rosewood fretboard with dot inlays. It has two standard Gibson pickups. I think the neck pickup is a 496 and the bridge is a 500. You get the standard Explorer controls with two volumes and a master tone with the pickup selector being out in another state in the lower bout.

UTILIZATION

With the smaller body the guitar is a little lighter. The shorter horns means the guitar is a little easier to move around as well. It is not a big difference. If you dont like the Explorer shape you still wont. The neck profile on this guitar is a pretty normal profile. I dont like to get into detail on neck profiles if it feels normal to me its normal. If its extremely big or small ill notice it. Gibson fretwork nowadays is pretty good due to the Plek machinei they use. They put the guitars into a machine and it levels the frets better than any human couid.

SOUNDS

The standard Gibson pickups in this guitar give it a standard Gibson tone. The Explorer usually has a fatter tone due to the huge body. They have a true Gibson like tone. The neck position is pretty smooth but has good bite. Not having covers on the pickup gives them a bit more top end bite. The extra bite means you can go farther without the neck position sound getting muddy. The bridge pickup is nice and crunchy. You can really rock out with it. It has a real classic rock voicing.

OVERALL OPINION

I dont really see the reason to get this model over the normal Explorer. Maybe if you have a bad back or something. If you want something even lighter you can get that gimmick Holy Explorer where it is just the outline of an Explorer. Being more limited than a normal Explorer it is probably more expensive as well. Overall unless you can get a good deal on one of these I would recommend the normal 76 reissue over this version.
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