Epiphone Explorer Ebony

20

Electric Guitar

  • Inspired by the Gibson Collection
  • Body: Mahogany
  • Neck: Mahogany
  • Fretboard: Indian laurel
  • Fretboard inlays: Dots
  • Neck profile: Slim Taper "C"
  • 22 Frets
  • Scale: 629 mm (24.75")
  • Nut width: 43 mm (1.693")
  • Pickups: ProBucker-2 (neck) & ProBucker-3 (bridge) humbuckers
  • Controls: 2 Volume, 1 Tone
  • CTS Electronics
  • Bridge: LockTone Tune-O-Matic
  • Stopbar tailpiece
  • Machine heads: Grover mini (gear ratio: 18:1)
  • Colour: Ebony
Available since January 2020
Item number 482588
Sales Unit 1 piece(s)
Shape EXPLORER
Colour Ebony
Soundboard Mahogany
Top Mahogany
Neck Mahogany
Frets 22
Scale 629 mm
Pickups HH
Active Pickups No
Tremolo None
Incl. Case No
Incl. Bag No
$575
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20 Customer ratings

4.6 / 5

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14 Reviews

S
A steal at the price
Slartibartfarst42 30.04.2023
I usually buy guitars costing a lot more than this and the only reason I bought this one was because I'd always fancied one in this shape. A shallow reason I know, but there you are. I'd never even picked one up before buying it, nevermind playing one!

Negatives?
1. Upper fret access is a lot worse than you expect.
2. The knobs are too big to access easily, so I changed them to knurled metal Tele-style knobs. Much better!
3. The knobs are better positioned on the old Ibanez Destroyer.
4. Certainly required a set-up on arrival.
5. Seems to go out of tune a bit more than expected, but I suppose I do play with a lot of bends and I'm used to using a Floyd so perhaps I'm overly sensitive to this.
6. Stock pickups aren't great.

Positives?
1. It's about the coolest looking guitar I've ever seen!
2. Other than needing a set-up, it's well built and certainly on a par with the Gibson Les Paul Studio I bought back in 2013.
3. It's surprisingly comfortable to play, either sitting down or stood up. It's especially good to play stood up.
4. With the right pickups, it can certainly give you that iconic Gibson tone. I'd say it sits somewhere between a Les Paul and an SG tonally.
5. The neck is an excellent compromise. Compared to my LTD, it's chunky, but in reality it's thin enough for fairly fast lead work while also being comfortable for rhythms.
6. It inspires you to play.

Conclusions

In 2013 my Gibson Les Paul Studio cost about £1,000 from Thomann and in 2022, my Epiphone Explorer cost about half that. In terms of build quality, there is VERY little to choose between them. I'd say the Gibson perhaps had the edge, but there rerally isn't much in it at all. Everything works exactrly as it should and other than needing a set-up, it was ready to go straight out of the box. My LTD M-1000E Deluxe required a far more extensive set-up and that guitar retails at three times the price, although with that set-up done, it is a noticeably better built guitar. The only thing I would recommend doing to this Explorer is changing the pickups. The stock items are OK but certainly not great. I installed a set of Gibson 498T/490R pickups, making my Epiphone the same specification as the entry level Gibson model that is three times the price. It sounds exactly like the Gibson now and you'd be hard pressed to tell them apart in a blind test.

Inevitably on a guitar like this, it's tempting to say it's a really good guitar 'for the money' but that isn't to excuse its weaknesses, it's more out of astonishment that this is so close the what you get from the £1,500 Gibson version. At least half of the negatives I've posted here would be equally true of the Gibson version.

The real beauty of this guitar is hard to put into words. My LTD is better built, has better pickups, a better neck, far better upper fret access, and better quality components. The LTD costs significantly more and is my #1 guitar, yet I find myself playing the Explorer at least as much as the LTD. In truth, I probably play the Explorer more than the LTD! It just has something about it that makes you want to play.
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E
Pretty decent guitar
Elkin 02.11.2021
As a man, who played strat only and as a new for extreme guitar shapes I chose exactly this one. I can surely say that guitar fits perfectly In hands from the beginning, the quality of all parts is amazing no doubt. Every piece of it is telling me that I’m handling an expensive guitar. As for the pickups, they are really loud. When I first plugged in, it was like I was deaf before. I’m loving it. The only thing that I can complain about is the size of the instrument. It’s ergonomically uncomfortable for those , who has a small place like me. However, it doesn’t make playing this guitar unenjoyable.
This Epiphone inspired by Gibson series is worth to catch an eye on it.
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A
My favourite guitar
Anonymous 04.11.2021
The guitar is great. The pickups aren't the best, but still can do the job. Fretwork is nice. Neck feels good. It has very stable tuning. Overall good guitar and for that price you can't find better one!
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B
Cool and fun guitar
BobOnThis 03.02.2021
My first epiphone and very happy with the quality of the construction and the sound. The guitar did need minor setup tweaks but I was expecting this and thus did not diminish my "new guitar" experience. If you don't have the experience to adjust a guitars truss rod and set a guitars intonation and action then be sure to take it to someone who can do these things correctly. I am enjoying this guitar and see it getting much play time in the future.
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