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Razorbz

Gibson Explorer Elite 2018 vs Gibson Lzzy Hale Explorer


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Hi all,

 

I'm shopping for a Gibson Explorer but I'm not sure which model to go for. So far I like how both the elite and Lzzy explorer look and sound but I know they're both completely different makes.

Mainly different pickups, body finish, and fingerboard material.

 

Pickups are swappable but the other two I have some concern:

 

Nitrocellulose lacquer(elite) vs gloss nitrocellulose nacquer(lzzy).. I've tried both guitars and I think the black gloss finish weights down the resonance heavily as I tested it out

unplugged and felt a lack of vibration on the lzzy compared to the elite. I'm not an expert but does a highly resonance guitar means a better guitar? Should this be a a deciding factor?

I only had access to one of each guitars so maybe it was just a bad one from the batch? Has anyone else compared them?

 

Lastly Baked Granadillo(elite) vs Richlite is there an actual difference? Both guitars sound good but I can't compare them tonewise since they use different pickups. (Burstbucker/57 Classic)

 

Which model should I go for? I plan on adding Optima Gold strings on it too in the end to complement the gold hardware.

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I bought the 2018 EXPLORER 'ELITE' last week and I am glad I did. The deciding factor for me was the 'RICHLITE' board on the HALE.

 

I'm real glad I got the 2018 EXPLORER 'ELITE', it is definitely BAD-A$ !!!

 

Buy an 'ELITE', save your self $600 and get yourself a Guitar made of wood.

Edited by Wild Bill 212

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I bought the 2018 EXPLORER 'ELITE' last week and I am glad I did. The deciding factor for me was the 'RICHLITE' board on the HALE. I just could not bring myself to buy a Guitar that is not made of wood, it just seems very un-natural to me! AND everyone else I know that plays Guitar says the same thing......and FWIW, people who buy the 'RICHLITE' boards say they have no issue's with them.The Granadillo Fret-Board on my 'ELITE' is real smooth and sounds great.***NOTE*** I saw the inspection card was dated Dec. 18, 2017, so I put a little linseed oil on the board.The oil made it slightly darker but had no effect on the tone of the Guitar. The Guitar is also a dream to play, it is the easiest Guitar to play that I have ever touched, as soon as I picked it up I knew I got the Guitar I wanted. It is even easier to play than my 'NIGHTHAWK'.It has that good ole GIBSON TONE too, plenty of it !

 

As far as P-Up's go, the BB3 Bridge P-Up on my EXPLORER is really bright, kinda like the BB Pro on my Les Paul Standard (i'm not crazy about either P-Up) but is tamed with the tone control turned down.I'd have really liked to have '57's on it or a BB1 & BB2 combo, BUT like you say, P-Ups can be changed...although I have no intention of swappin out the originals, if I disliked them that badly, I would rather just return the Guitar.

 

As far as the price of the two Guitars, It was NOT the deciding factor, the fret-board was.

 

I'm real glad I got the 2018 EXPLORER 'ELITE', it is definitely BAD-A$$ !!!

 

Is there a reason you capitalize select words?

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<br>Is there a reason you capitalize select words?<br>
<br><br>if I told you it is because I hate your ****in guts, would you believe me ? You have commented on this a few times, and I have purposely ignored you.This purposeful ignoring of you will surely continue now, AFTER THIS BRIEF COMMENT. <br><br>When things are beyond your control in your personal life, it must be interesting times at your home, eh ?<br><br>Seriously, now that you have mentioned it , AGAIN(? WTF? U HAV A PROBLEM ?), IDK  what?......and NO, IDGAS if you like it or not, I REALLY DO NOT ! I do not comment on your specific methods/style of commenting here on this web-site and would never even think of doing such a thing. BUT, now I would have to suppose, after a few such comments, that you do not like me, or have some similar type problem, LMAO........ surely, you do not know me, I will see that it stays that way. Edited by Wild Bill 212

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<br><br>if I told you it is because I hate your ****in guts, would you believe me ? You have commented on this a few times, and I have purposely ignored you.This purposeful ignoring of you will surely continue now, AFTER THIS BRIEF COMMENT. <br><br>When things are beyond your control in your personal life, it must be interesting times at your home, eh ?<br><br>Seriously, now that you have mentioned it , AGAIN(? WTF? U HAV A PROBLEM ?), IDK  what?......and NO, IDGAS if you like it or not, I REALLY DO NOT ! I do not comment on your specific methods/style of commenting here on this web-site and would never even think of doing such a thing. BUT, now I would have to suppose, after a few such comments, that you do not like me, or have some similar type problem, LMAO........ surely, you do not know me, I will see that it stays that way.

 

Wow, you really are demonstrating your intelligence with your posts. Ignorance is bliss I guess...

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I got an elite and I love it. The pickups are far better than the 57's that come in the Izzy Hale. I own those pickups in my LP Studio. The Burstbucker 2 and 3 are amazing. I struggled with the same choice but the only compelling thing about the Hale model is if you are into gold those frets are so attractive, but I do not have any idea how fast they would wear. That guitar is about the look, I strongly feel the elite model is a better made guitar. You might replace the nut with bone or something other than gibsons plastic one. Check it for cracks, (nut). It is a great guitar. I made my own custom pickguard out of maple, only because i wanted a black one.

 

 

c0dece6c254f34ddbd57aaea3de7abb1.png

 

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I got an elite and I love it. The pickups are far better than the 57's that come in the Izzy Hale. I own those pickups in my LP Studio. The Burstbucker 2 and 3 are amazing. I struggled with the same choice but the only compelling thing about the Hale model is if you are into gold those frets are so attractive, but I do not have any idea how fast they would wear. That guitar is about the look, I strongly feel the elite model is a better made guitar. You might replace the nut with bone or something other than gibsons plastic one. Check it for cracks, (nut). It is a great guitar. I made my own custom pickguard out of maple, only because i wanted a black one.

 

 

c0dece6c254f34ddbd57aaea3de7abb1.png

 

it looks great, in fact, one of the coolest looking explorers i've seen posted in here. but you did it the hard way. there are lots of places online where you can order any shape/color combination you'd ever want, and it's reasonably priced. even still, you got great results

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...Mainly different pickups, body finish, and fingerboard material....I've tried both guitars and I think the black gloss finish weights down the resonance heavily as I tested it out unplugged and felt a lack of vibration on the lzzy compared to the elite...

Both guitars - colour aside - have exactly the same gloss nitrocellulose lacquer finish. Nitrocellulose is used precisely because it doesn't affect resonance in the same way that, for instance, a polyurethane finish might

 

...Baked Granadillo(elite) vs Richlite is there an actual difference?...

Apart from the obvious, you mean?

Granadillo is a very good choice for a wooden fingerboard material. Richlite is a man-made product which feels exactly like the smoothest ebony as a 'board. Both are superb in their own ways.

 

...I strongly feel the elite model is a better made guitar...

In what way?

The Lzzy Hale is a Custom Shop instrument. I seriously doubt the quality would be anything other than top-notch.

 

As far as which one to go for? It depends entirely on your own personal preferences.

What sort of music do you play? Do you have a phobia about using phenolic resin fingerboards? How much 'bling' do you like?

My own preferences are for '57 Classic p'ups. I've played Richlite 'boards from Gibson as well as other manufacturers and they have all been perfect. I don't usually go for gold but in this case I could cope.

Both are nice but, all things considered, I'd go for the Lzzy Hale without the slightest hesitation. It could also be the case that it holds its value better (if that matters).

 

Pip.

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I thought the Lzzy was a limited edition run and not a CS guitar?

 

As always, get the one you like the best. I've no experience with Richlite, but I do like the un-baked Grenadillo on my V fretboard.

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I thought the Lzzy was a limited edition run and not a CS guitar?

 

As always, get the one you like the best. I've no experience with Richlite, but I do like the un-baked Grenadillo on my V fretboard.

Couldn't some of the Limited Edition guitars also go through the Custom Shop?

 

The Wilshire below may be an exception as this Reissue was supposed to have been developed at the Kalamazoo facility, like the original..

Wilshir62USA_CH_Splash.jpg

Back to Explorer's, below my custom built Explorer... complete with allen wrench holder... (or UK allen key?)

V7DbvdR.jpg

I feel an affinity with the beautiful guitar below, which is why I gotta vote for the elite like the one Roach has....

I got an elite and I love it.

c0dece6c254f34ddbd57aaea3de7abb1.png

and Wild Bill 212's elite below...

41238394440_2e3d1862c2_z.jpg

Edited by mihcmac

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I got an elite and I love it. The pickups are far better than the 57's that come in the Izzy Hale. I own those pickups in my LP Studio. The Burstbucker 2 and 3 are amazing. I struggled with the same choice but the only compelling thing about the Hale model is if you are into gold those frets are so attractive, but I do not have any idea how fast they would wear. That guitar is about the look, I strongly feel the elite model is a better made guitar. You might replace the nut with bone or something other than gibsons plastic one. Check it for cracks, (nut). It is a great guitar. I made my own custom pickguard out of maple, only because i wanted a black one.

 

 

c0dece6c254f34ddbd57aaea3de7abb1.png

 

Wow that looks really good in black; I'm probably going change it too.

 

 

Both guitars - colour aside - have exactly the same gloss nitrocellulose lacquer finish. Nitrocellulose is used precisely because it doesn't affect resonance in the same way that, for instance, a polyurethane finish might

 

 

Gloss nitrocellulose lacquer and nitrocellulose lacquer are the same? I thought the lzzy has an extra layer(the black) but it did resonance a lot less than the elite; does a better resonating guitar mean a better guitar?

 

 

Apart from the obvious, you mean?

Granadillo is a very good choice for a wooden fingerboard material. Richlite is a man-made product which feels exactly like the smoothest ebony as a 'board. Both are superb in their own ways.

 

I meant if there's a difference in tone. I've read a lot about richlite being lower quality; that it shouldn't be used on higher end guitars and that it doesn't compare to actual wood like ebony or so. I do know the good things about it though

but this is one of the things that makes me not want to get the lzzy if it's true.

 

 

As far as which one to go for? It depends entirely on your own personal preferences.

What sort of music do you play? Do you have a phobia about using phenolic resin fingerboards? How much 'bling' do you like?

My own preferences are for '57 Classic p'ups. I've played Richlite 'boards from Gibson as well as other manufacturers and they have all been perfect. I don't usually go for gold but in this case I could cope.

Both are nice but, all things considered, I'd go for the Lzzy Hale without the slightest hesitation. It could also be the case that it holds its value better (if that matters).

 

Pip.

 

Short answer; I'd like to get a neck sound similar to Dethklok's speed picking tone. Bridge pickup; I guess not too hot but enough to play chunky mute open string stuff.. like the Bark of the moon intro. (will be adding coil splits)

I'm kinda a technical guitar player that vamps solo.(progressive music mostly)

 

Two things keeping me from picking the Lzzy explorer; the resin fingerboard(if the complains are true) and the lack of resonance that might be due to the black finish. I do like the looks of it better than the elite and would

put on a set of Optima Gold strings if I get it.

 

As for the elite; I like the aged cherry look but wish it had better looking inlays than the dots. Maybe I played a bad lzzy guitar.. going to check a different one on another store.

 

Thanks for the inputs!

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Wow tough choice. I think each one would look hot with the black pick guard. Maybe have to get both..[thumbup]

 

DSXEH18ACGH1_MAIN_HERO_01.jpg

DXLZ18EBGH1_MAIN_HERO_01.jpg

Edited by mihcmac

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Update; I'm going for the elite; will be in stock around September from Sweetwater.

Congratulations and looking forward to the NGD thread.

What were the deciding factors which meant you chose the Elite?

 

Pip.

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Congratulations and looking forward to the NGD thread.

What were the deciding factors which meant you chose the Elite?

 

Pip.

 

Seeing the elite explorer fretboard in person; it's actually darker brown than in photos that shows it looking very orange. The elite resonates a lot more and sounded better imo and I like seeing the mahogany grains under the cherry finish.

 

Lastly the lzzy cost $550 more along with more to probably swap the pickups which was the main deciding factor; could use that to partly upgrade the amp or so.

Edited by Razorbz

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Seeing the elite explorer fretboard in person; it's actually darker brown than in photos that shows it looking very orange. The elite resonates a lot more and sounded better imo and I like seeing the mahogany grains under the cherry finish.

 

Lastly the lzzy cost $550 more along with more to probably swap the pickups which was the main deciding factor; could use that to partly upgrade the amp or so.

 

You can get a 2018 EXPLORER 'ELITE' right now from THE MUSIC ZOO dot com, its what I did. Best part of that dealio is the 48 month 0% interest financing, all with zero $$$ up front. 1ST you have to get their credit-card, if you Qualify for the Credit-Card, make the purchaase and the guitar is in your hands in three days. First payment is due 4-6 weeks later. It comes out to about $37/month...and that is a lot of Guitar Tone for less than $40/month.

 

The MusicZoo is not as big as SWEEWATER but they have the same dealio's, and my experience with them so far has been nothing less than EXCELLENT. and FYI, the credit card company behind them is the same as SWEETWATER, Synchrony Bank.

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You can get a 2018 EXPLORER 'ELITE' right now from THE MUSIC ZOO dot com, its what I did. Best part of that dealio is the 48 month 0% interest financing, all with zero $$$ up front. 1ST you have to get their credit-card, if you Qualify for the Credit-Card, make the purchaase and the guitar is in your hands in three days. First payment is due 4-6 weeks later. It comes out to about $37/month...and that is a lot of Guitar Tone for less than $40/month.

 

The MusicZoo is not as big as SWEEWATER but they have the same dealio's, and my experience with them so far has been nothing less than EXCELLENT. and FYI, the credit card company behind them is the same as SWEETWATER, Synchrony Bank.

 

You mean www.musiczoo.com? [confused]

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No, that is NOT what I mean. What I stated in my comment is the URL to go to.

 

So you mean like this?

 

the music zoo dot com

 

That just takes me to a google search page. Do I have to capitalize it?

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You can get a 2018 EXPLORER 'ELITE' right now from THE MUSIC ZOO dot com, its what I did. Best part of that dealio is the 48 month 0% interest financing, all with zero $$$ up front. 1ST you have to get their credit-card, if you Qualify for the Credit-Card, make the purchaase and the guitar is in your hands in three days. First payment is due 4-6 weeks later. It comes out to about $37/month...and that is a lot of Guitar Tone for less than $40/month.

 

The MusicZoo is not as big as SWEEWATER but they have the same dealio's, and my experience with them so far has been nothing less than EXCELLENT. and FYI, the credit card company behind them is the same as SWEETWATER, Synchrony Bank.

 

 

Going with sweetwater since they're the safest online that can offer a lower price and they have their 55 point inspection.

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Going with sweetwater since they're the safest online that can offer a lower price and they have their 55 point inspection.

 

Don’t trust Sweetwater’s inspections. I bought an RD Artist and it arrived in scratch and dent condition. There is a post on here with pictures of what they sent me.

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