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Explorer - What does it sound like?


RockNRollSalvation

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Hi!

 

I have been wanting to add a mahogany bodied, mahogany- necked, two-humbucker guitar to my collection. Something besides my SG Std., and a Les Paul just does not ergonomically fit me. I realized that an Explorer may fit the bill.

 

What do they sound like? How would you describe them, and who plays them so I can sample the sound?

 

Your thoughts and opinions are wanted.

 

Thanks,

 

RnRSalvation

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Best to try one out at a music store to see if it fits your body. Bring your amp so you know how it sounds with your amp.

I find an Explorer sounds inbetween a Les Paul and a SG, more so a Les Paul but the lack of a maple top maybe why I also think SG.

The default pickups are very hot and some people change them out.

As for artists go to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Gibson_players

and search on explorer.

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^ Wot he says...

 

But also, (whisper) I'm actually a "strat-man". An Explorer doesn't sound anything like a strat, but it does seem to have the same vibe while I'm wearing and playing it.

 

Les Pauls are Les Pauls, I like them, and love what other people do with them, but I don't really get on with them myself. I don't find I can express myself.

 

SGs I love, I've even told some strat players "try an SG, it's the strat-player's Gibson".

 

But the Explorer, something to do with how it hangs, etc, it seems to fit me almost as well as a strat...

 

Definitely try one out (beware though, I bought one when I did!!)

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To me, they sound slightly fatter than a flying v. I love the way they balance, the big tailfin takes a little gettign used to and you might whack it once or twice in tight quarters. Gonna be a bit heavier than your sg. Between that and the size, if you're a smaller person, it's going to be a bit like wearing a canoe until you get used to it. Modern explorers have sort of thin necks. I love my explorers, my comments notwithstanding. They definitely put me in a mood to strut while playing.

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I would say the Explorer is the closest thing to a Les Paul as you can get IMO. Much has to do with the density, the heavier the Explorer, the better sounding. That's the case with the Lester's in my experience of owning MANY of each model over the years

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I'm with you on the weight/density thing, although I've always thought that nothing else sounds quite like a les paul, subjectively. The guitar in my avatar was actually purchased specifically to be retrofitted with a 57/57+ set and 6IL Kluson style machine heads with keystone buttons to give it that LP mojo. I've always referred to it as my pointy les paul, hehe. It doesn't weigh as much, but it's a solid mahog back with a maple cap. Unfortunately, I couldn't get a stock toggle plate to fit under the switch to complete the look.

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With the stock pickups, the ceramics, the Explorers are obviously very hot-sounding guitars much like the V. I find Explorers easier to play than the V's however. Since the body and neck and all mahogany, I can't imagine it sounding too different from an SG if the pickups were swapped. Unfortunately, I've never owned one, I've only played and played and played others'. The best advice is to always play one at music store.

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Syracuse area' date=' Onondaga county. Just went out to HOG this past weekend [blink][/quote']

 

Sweet, I used to teach guitar there back in the early to mid 90s. I lived in Fairport (suburb of Rochester) then after I graduated from Rochester Institute of Technology. Then I moved to Irondequoit where the HOG is located. Tell Armand I said Hey Brother next time you are out there [biggrin]

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The Explorer is a guitar all its own. The weight tends to make it sound more like a Les Paul but the distinct body shape does add a touch of flavor all its own. The shape does take some getting use to it if you have never played one before. I encourage you to run down to your local music store and try one for yourself because your tone and the sound of a guitar is highly subjective. So it will depend on your setup, so if you can bring your amp to the store or play through a similar amp you can get a rough idea. I personally started on an SG and then started to look at Explorers the same way you are. You might be slightly put off by the ceramic pickups that are in the Explorer. The ceramic magnets will make the bridge brighter and the neck a little muddy. So try to see past this and focus on the playability, feel, etc. Ultimately its your choice, so my departing advice is choose something you are happy with. Its your tone, your sound, your dream. Good luck and hope this helps.

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