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Rating and Reviews: Epiphone 1958 Explorer

Get classic looks and tone at an affordable price. This guitar features a Korina body that sounds great and creates a tight, grain pattern.

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"Epiphone 1958 Korina Explorer Guitar - better than expected, well worth the price" submitted July 8, 2012

By David M in suffern, NY
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Musical Background: Mostly electric guitar. Played in high school but started taking it very seriously at age 47 for the last 3 years.
Music Style: rock, blues, prog rock, classic rock
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Overall: For the price, this is the 2nd best value in guitar I've come across, the other was a PRS SE (and not all of them are, I just happened to get a great one). All reviews of this Epi people dissed the pickups, so maybe I was expecting worse, but I like them. I have a Gibson Les Paul and love those pickups and these are voiced differently, so it is an interesting difference. They take dirt and other pedals well. The guitar looks beautiful and the Korina was finished nicely, and has a nice weight to it. The neck needed a little adjusting. The fretboard is ok, could be better, but for the price you can't expect perfection. Tuners are fine, stays in tune for me. Bridge is fine. When I got it I thought I'd invest in changing the electronics and possibly tuners, but so far I see no need to do that. If it were my main axe maybe, but if it were my main axe, then I would have spent all that extra money and gotten a Gibson.
5 of 6 people (83.33%) found this review helpful. Did you?
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"Never to old for an Explorer!" submitted February 1, 2010

By a customer from charter.net
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Musical Background: Is there anything below amateur?
Music Style: Rock, Country
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Sound: I play the Explorer through a 25W Fender amp, you can go from clear as a bell tones to that ZZ Top growl. Very pleased overall with the sustain, rings forever. Feature: Two volume and one tone with a 3 way switch, can't get any easier. Ease of Use: Out of the box and all I had to do was tune it and plug it in. If you can't get the tones you want from this guitar you don't need to be playing. Quality: Mine is Natural Korina, color is not too vibrant (good thing). Frets all feel excellent and don't shred your fingers. Gold plated mechanics are nicely done, not overly flashy. Value: Beats my 72 Fender Tele Squire reissue. Best $500 I have spent. Manufacturer Support: Not had to use support The Wow Factor: I'm 50 and thought it would look out of place. Nothing further from the truth it fits and feels great. Weight is nice balance on the strap is comfortable. Overall: I don't plan on getting rid of the Explorer any time soon. Looked at a Dean Z-X which was very light but did not feel right. Peavey Rotor EX lines were a little to sharp and squared for my liking. I have played guitar on and off since I was 16 and now I'm 50. I am still just a beginner. If you are a parent and thinking of buying a guitar for your kid, don't buy a cheap guitar and don't buy one that's overly expensive. This guitar fits in a perfect niche for the beginner on up.
15 of 19 people (78.95%) found this review helpful. Did you?
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"Modify This Great Looking Guitar and Gig on a Budget!" submitted November 1, 2011

By a customer from yahoo.com
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Musical Background: Hobbyist
Music Style: Classic Rock, Hard Rock, Heavy Metal, Blues
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Sound: First, acoustically, this guitar is as loud as my Gibson Flying V, which is loud indeed. When you plug in, though, the pickups are pretty substandard. While you can get somewhat serviceable tones out of the neck and bridge positions, in the middle position it sounds boomy with little body or definition. I bought this as a project guitar anyway and replaced the pickups with a set of DiMarzio Super Distortions and upgraded the electronics. Once I did that, this thing sounds bloody sweet. So if you invest an extra $250 or so for pickups, innards and labor, you get a sound that can go from Gary Rossington on the one hand to a nice, surprisingly rich 70's and 80's hard rock or classic rock tone on the other. Unless you put EMG's into it, though, it will not do modern metal or Metallica type stuff. I find using these babies as project guitars a good alternative to spending $1400 for a Gibby Explorer. Feature: It comes with Grover tuning machines, so it will stay in tune. The color of the body, while looking kinda goldish in the vendor's photos (the stock pickups have gold covers on them, too) is actually a nice reddish brown. The wood quality, while of a lower stripe than on a Gibby, is more than good enough to get the job done. Modify this axe and you can gig with it. There have been some reported issues with the plastic nut, but not on mine since the slots were cut correctly and don't snag the strings. It will also neck dive, which isn't that big a deal since that's an easy thing to get used to compensating for. Or you can just have a tech change the strap position. Ease of Use: The original set up from the factory was relatively high in the upper registers, making playing fast there somewhat awkward. The tech who did the pickup replacement tweaked the action for me gratis and it made a big difference in playability. Keep in mind that the factory set up from Gibson on my V was far worse, though. Few guitars come right out of the box ready to play fast on without a bit of adjustment, anyway. There is zero fret buzz, btw. Quality: Evaluating the stock instrument, I had to dock it two stars for the substandard pickups and the cheap Korean electronics plus the high action out of the box, even at this price point. If you change them out, though, this baby can scream and becomes a definite nine or better. It is perhaps a reflection of the actual overall quality that after waiting for rather a long time for used ones to pop up on the sites of retailers I trusted none showed up, So I felt compelled to buy one new. It's a beautiful looking axe anyway. Value: The price is low enough and the basic quality is good enough that hot rodding it is still a much more than viable proposition. And it looks killer. As a project guitar for someone who wants to gig on a budget this is a pretty solid investment. In fact, I'm thinking of buying and modding another one. The Wow Factor: This is a great looking instrument with some pretty solid features. Epiphone could easily upgrade the pickups (for example, by putting a Duncan, or for us 70's relics, the Dimarzio SD, in the bridge) and the electronics and charge another hundred dollars and deserve to get it. Overall: Again, as long as you mod the pickups and electronics, this is a great buy for the classic or hard rocker and I expect to play it for the rest of my life.
6 of 8 people (75%) found this review helpful. Did you?
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"Best guitar i own, and it'll stay that way." submitted December 29, 2007

By a customer from aol.com
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Musical Background: i am in a band at school and i made a band of rock at home. Active musician
Music Style: rock, meatal, alternative, and some hardcore.
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Sound: Ok... definatly like the best sound i've heard and guitar play, or atleast any guitar i have. My main guitar that i used before this is a fender stratocaster. Sure the strat sounds beautiful but this guitar is soring high right when you play the first time. It works well with distortion and w/o. The difference between this and my strat is that my strat has single coil pick-ups and my explorer has humbuckers. Humbuckers are just 2 single coil pick-ups put together basically, hence the name; hum Bucker. Feature: It came with everything BUT a whammy bar. Personally i like this guitar with out the whammy anyways though because sometimes the whammy gets in the way or cramps the style of the guitar. Ease of Use: WAYYYYY easier then most guitars i know of. It may be just as good as my strat. I tried this out in a store and i fell in love. I tried almost every single guitar in the freaking store and hell.. this is the easiest. (hint hint, buy it its good.) =) Quality: No problems with anything falling off or breaking yet lol. I think this guitar is one of the best made epiphones out there and the wood that they used for it is just beautiful. ( i got natural color) This guitar is very durable but the only downside is that when you turn around, you're very liable to bump something with the huge explorer wingy thingy lol. Definatly tourable. you could easily take this on tour with you. Value: very good value. price is great for whAT you get. Manufacturer Support: Haven't delt with this yet. The Wow Factor: very sexy.... hehe the girls would be all over you with this baby. Of course because it is an explorer, it will rock out loud. Overall: i expect to get a les paul in a year and if it would be any better than this i would tell you. I plan to keep this baby for ever and ever. My whole family is impressed with the guitar. =)
20 of 26 people (76.92%) found this review helpful. Did you?
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"Solid Rock and Roll at a reasonable price." submitted July 5, 2010

By a customer from yahoo.com
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Musical Background: Hobbyist
Music Style: Blues Rock
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Sound: Standard Epiphone pickup sound. Not bad but a little muffled a little lower clarity than the Burstbuckers or classic 57s. With that said it is definitely not bad at all. Bridge pickup screams in a good way and the neck has a good solid humbucker neck sound. All in all for the money it is a great sounding guitar. Feature: You get a cable and a wrench, not much else expected. No gig bag or case which this needs based on it's shape. Pretty standard Volume, Volume, Tone controls. Ease of Use: It oozes rock and roll. Pickup selector in a good out of the way place plug it in and crank it up! Quality: A 10 for an Epiphone? Yes. I have had a few people play this guitar in the few weeks I have owned it, a luthier, a collector and my buddy I jam with and they were all completely blown away with it and said they would not change a thing. I literally took the guitar out of the box and took it to band practice, no setup, no new strings nothing and it sounded and played fantastic. Fret edges are smooth and joints are clean. Only draw back is the gold, I actually like the looks but it wears off quickly, but imho it just looks more rock and roll. Value: Well worth the money. Stock it's a rock machine if one were inclined to install a new set of pickups to match their musical tastes it would only get better. Manufacturer Support: Hard to rate this as I have never had to deal with them after owning 3 Epiphone guitars so to me that is worth a 9. The Wow Factor: It's an explorer, from Ricky Medlocke to ZZ-Top, Ace Frehley most rock icons have used an explorer at some point! Overall: I waited a while before I wrote this because I was so blown away by the take it out of the box and use it scenario. I can see myself having this in my collection indefinitely.
4 of 6 people (66.67%) found this review helpful. Did you?
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"1958 Karina Explorer" submitted June 17, 2012

By a customer from sbcglobal.net
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Musical Background: Playing for 20+ years. play at local clubs every weekend.
Music Style: Classic and southern rock
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Overall: Excellent guitar! The feel the sound of this guitar is amazing! If you play any Lynyrd Skynyrd this guitar is a must have! It was good enough for Allen Collins it will work for you too. It takes a little getting use to depending on what your use to playing. The looks alone of this guitar will blow you away. Then plugged into a good tube amp it will sing or it will scream!
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"Great Buy!!!!!!!!!" submitted March 5, 2008

By a customer from yahoo.com
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Musical Background: Guitarist, Co Band Manager
Music Style: Classic Rock
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Sound: The pickups are good and it sounds great I just wish that when you switch pickups it didn't sound like you switched guitars. Feature: There's volume and tone knobs, a pickup selector and strings, no real exiting features. Ease of Use: the necks fast and its stock with a nice action level Quality: its the best quility guitar I've owed, I've had it for about 2 months and the gold is already wearing away on the bridge pickup were I rest my hand though. Value: Its worth every penny
3 of 5 people (60%) found this review helpful. Did you?
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