Gibson Explorers. What do you think of them?

Hydra19

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I like them, I've had my first one for a year and it rocks. It really made me question why I was buying Les Pauls. The Explorer sounded as big if not bigger, and they're much cheaper and lighter. They do feel comfortable and my Explorer from 1987 has pretty low action, and it likes it like that, which makes it easy to play a
 

Slashperryburst

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Always thought they were cool. Played a few in the 90's, liked the overall tone and necks, but always felt like I was strapping on a table.

Sold my explorer to a friend. His place was small and cluttered and he didn't really have a good place to store the case. He had a little table at the side of his living room, so he dumped the explorer case on top of the table. Now he has a bigger table.
 

Metlking

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I had an 84' I bought in the early 90's. It was a dud to be honest. I had a lot of different pickups in that thing and it never sounded quite right. I sold it for a nice profit once the internet hit and everyone found out that's the year Hetfield had early on. I have an ebony 94' and a natural 06' these days.........
 

WaywerdSon

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My Hamer Standard
74952258_10216261589995974_6142324809813458944_n.jpg
 

LPTDMSV

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Hamer made a really cool copy back in the day

Cheap_Trick_1980_Rick_Nielsen_8610216.jpg
I want you to want me.
Just made an offer on this '07 Explorer Pro...

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if you get it, it'll be interesting to know how different it feels in the hands and balance on the strap - that body is quite a lot smaller than the original Explorer.
 
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LPTDMSV

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I had an 84'. It was a dud to be honest. I had a lot of different pickups in that thing and it never sounded quite right.
I would have said something very similar about my '81. Tried various pickups in place of the standard Tarbacks but I couldn't make it sound half as exciting as it looked.
 

Deftone

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I had an 84' I bought in the early 90's. It was a dud to be honest. I had a lot of different pickups in that thing and it never sounded quite right. I sold it for a nice profit once the internet hit and everyone found out that's the year Hetfield had early on. I have an ebony 94' and a natural 06' these days.........

Same exact story here...my '84 was even white like Hetfield's. Not the case with the '76 re-issue though, that thing sounded killer.

if you get it, it'll be interesting to know how different it feels in the hands and balance on the strap - that body is quite a lot smaller than the original Explorer.

Found a size comparison pic...

iu
 

Fritz

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I had a natural-colored mahogany I bought new in 2006. I swapped out the stock black-bobbin pickups for a 57 Classic & 5C7+ set. It was looking really nice like a '58 Korina model. But I gigged it a few times and it didn't fare well for me. It would go out of tune easily, and the stretch on the B and e Strings was long, probably because of the length of those two strings. The overall tone was bland, the case was huge, the headstock and rear point always seemed to want to hit something, and really the whole thing felt like a big klunker. Felt like driving a big long car. I kept in 10 condition, in its case, where it stayed until I pulled it out once a year for a gawk and squawk, then back in the case it would go.

I finally traded it towards another guitar 10 years later, and the shop only gave me $600 and tagged it for $1,100. I was sad because I originally paid $1,160 for it new, and felt it was worth much more than that because it had that 50's vibe to it and I knew it would fly off the shelf. The store kept it until the 7-day return window expired, then they put it on the sales floor and it sold that day. I was like, "you dummies! You could have tagged it for $2,000!".

I don't like explorers much, but a lot of people do of course. They do look quite badass, but they're wieldy. You have to seriously consider where you're going to be playing it. For example, you're going to look a bit stupid playing in a wedding band or a Jazz ensemble. Otherwise, you'll just keep it in the case and dream on.
 
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LPTDMSV

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Accepted counteroffer this morning.

Knobs, Pickup rings and switch tip are going black. Black/black Wolfetone Blister bucker will go in the bridge and black/black SD '59 probable for the neck. Maybe some Gibson p'up...whatever I have lying around.

Going to look great.
 

Fritz

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BTW - I hope I didn't crap on anyone's love for Explorers above, if you like 'em that's all that matters. I was just posting my thoughts and experience. Of those Gibson "futuristic" designs, I'd be more of a Flying V type. The only advantages for me were the tone and tuning stability. But they have drawbacks too, predominantly, that you really have to play them standing up.
 

Deftone

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BTW - I hope I didn't crap on anyone's love for Explorers above, if you like 'em that's all that matters. I was just posting my thoughts and experience. Of those Gibson "futuristic" designs, I'd be more of a Flying V type. The only advantages for me were the tone and tuning stability. But they have drawbacks too, predominantly, that you really have to play them standing up.

You may have just had a dud. It happens. My '84 was terrible but my '76 re-issue was killer all the way around. But like you said, it was a bit large and somewhat cumbersome.
 

Fritz

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You may have just had a dud. It happens. My '84 was terrible but my '76 re-issue was killer all the way around. But like you said, it was a bit large and somewhat cumbersome.
Yeah, it wasn't a great example, but it didn't exactly suck either. It was built wll, played well, sounded... "ok". Just nothing unique about it, and I didn't like the way the strings bent so far for soling. It would have been a good rhythm guitar, but I had my sights on an R9 when I sold it.
 

LPTDMSV

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I don't like explorers much, but a lot of people do of course. They do look quite badass, but they're wieldy. ...
Setting aside the size and shape questions it seems to me, that like other solid Gibsons of all shapes, you can get good, bad and indifferent ones - fundamentally dependent on the tree and the way it was sliced up . . . test and try before you buy :D
 

Deftone

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if you get it, it'll be interesting to know how different it feels in the hands and balance on the strap - that body is quite a lot smaller than the original Explorer.

Just following up on this...

It's been well over 15 years since I sold my last Explorer but I can tell you from memory, that guitar felt large and somewhat cumbersome, In fact that's why I sold it. The Explorer Pro feels quite a bit smaller and lighter. I've been playing a Strat a lot lately, and even compared to the Strat, the Explorer Pro feels small and compact. I can see a seam for a cap, (some Explorer Pro's have Flame Maple caps) so it could very well be weight relived. It definitely feels weight relived. I'll try to weigh it this afternoon. Despite the light weight, there is no neck dive at all. The guitar sits perfectly in place where I want it, even when I let go of it. Very comfortable. It feels right in my hands and begs to be played. This guitar makes me want to start a band again.
 

LPTDMSV

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@Deftone Never mind the price/brand/style, a guitar that makes you want to play is a great guitar!
 

Jay4321

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Explorers are okay but don't even crack the top 5 as far as Gibson models go for me most days, even if you exclude semi-hollows and acoustics.

But they're still cool guitars and in the right set of hands can certainly get the job done for sure.
 

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