best explorer style guitar

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Hey, guys! Are you ready to rock? If you’re a guitar enthusiast, you know that finding the perfect instrument can make all the difference in your playing. And when it comes to unleashing your inner rock god, nothing beats the power and style of an explorer guitar. With their distinctive shape and shredding capabilities, explorer style guitars have become iconic in the world of rock and heavy metal.

In this article, we will dive into the world of explorer style guitars and explore the best options available in the market. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or just starting your musical journey, these guitars offer a unique blend of aesthetics and performance that will take your playing to new heights.

1. Gibson Explorer 🎾

The legendary Gibson Explorer needs no introduction. With its angular body and aggressive tone, this guitar has been a favorite among hard rock and metal guitarists for decades. The mahogany body and neck provide excellent sustain, while the dual humbuckers deliver that classic Gibson crunch. This iconic instrument will make you feel like a true rockstar on stage.

Key Features of Gibson Explorer:

Feature Description
Body Material Mahogany
Neck Material Mahogany
Pickups Dual humbuckers
Bridge Tune-o-Matic
Fingerboard Rosewood

2. Epiphone Explorer 🎺

If you’re on a budget but don’t want to compromise on style and performance, the Epiphone Explorer is the perfect choice. Built to the same specifications as its Gibson counterpart, this guitar offers excellent value for money. The Alnico Classic humbuckers deliver a wide range of tones, making it suitable for various genres. Whether you’re playing in a garage band or rocking out at a local gig, this guitar will exceed your expectations.

Key Features of Epiphone Explorer:

Feature Description
Body Material Mahogany
Neck Material Mahogany
Pickups Alnico Classic humbuckers
Bridge LockTone Tune-o-Matic
Fingerboard Indian Laurel

3. Jackson X Series Kelly 🔥

For those who crave extreme performance and a more aggressive look, the Jackson X Series Kelly is a beast that can handle any amount of sonic assault. The Kelly shape is synonymous with heavy metal, and this guitar lives up to its reputation. The high-output humbucker pickups and Floyd Rose tremolo system allow for blistering solos and dive bombs. Get ready to unleash your inner metalhead with this guitar in your hands.

Key Features of Jackson X Series Kelly:

Feature Description
Body Material Poplar
Neck Material Maple
Pickups High-output humbuckers
Bridge Floyd Rose Special Double-Locking Tremolo
Fingerboard Amara

4. Gibson Custom Shop 1958 Explorer 🎮

For those seeking the pinnacle of craftsmanship and vintage vibes, the Gibson Custom Shop 1958 Explorer is a dream come true. This meticulously crafted instrument pays tribute to the original explorers of the late ’50s and offers unparalleled quality and tone. The BurstBucker humbuckers faithfully recreate the iconic sound of that era. If you’re a collector or simply want the best of the best, this is the guitar for you.

Key Features of Gibson Custom Shop 1958 Explorer:

Feature Description
Body Material Mahogany
Neck Material Mahogany
Pickups BurstBucker humbuckers
Bridge ABR-1 Tune-o-Matic
Fingerboard Indian Rosewood

5. ESP LTD EX-401 🔧

ESP has been synonymous with heavy metal guitarists for years, and the LTD EX-401 is no exception. Featuring a set-thru neck construction and EMG active pickups, this guitar is built for pure sonic mayhem. The sleek black finish and aggressive styling make it a perfect fit for any stage. Whether you’re playing rhythm or taking a blistering solo, the EX-401 will deliver the goods.

Key Features of ESP LTD EX-401:

Feature Description
Body Material Mahogany
Neck Material 3-piece Maple
Pickups EMG 81/60 active pickups
Bridge TonePros Locking TOM & Tailpiece
Fingerboard Macassar Ebony

6. Dean Dimebag Darrell Signature Razorback 👾

No list of explorer style guitars would be complete without the legendary Dean Dimebag Darrell Signature Razorback. Designed in collaboration with the late Pantera guitarist, this guitar is a true testament to his iconic style. With its aggressive body shape and powerful humbuckers, the Razorback is built for shredding. Pay homage to one of metal’s greatest pioneers with this unforgettable instrument.

Key Features of Dean Dimebag Darrell Signature Razorback:

Feature Description
Body Material Mahogany
Neck Material Maple
Pickups EMG Dimebag Darrell Signature Humbuckers
Bridge Tune-o-Matic
Fingerboard Ebony

7. Ibanez Destroyer DT520 🎶

Last but not least, the Ibanez Destroyer DT520 offers a modern take on the classic explorer design. With its versatile tone and comfortable playability, this guitar is well-suited for various musical styles. The DiMarzio pickups deliver a wide range of tones, from crystal-clear cleans to high-gain distortion. If you want a reliable workhorse that won’t break the bank, the DT520 is the perfect choice.

Key Features of Ibanez Destroyer DT520:

Feature Description
Body Material Mahogany
Neck Material 3-piece Mahogany/Maple
Pickups DiMarzio Air Norton/ The Tone Zone Humbuckers
Bridge Tight-Tune
Fingerboard Bound Ebony

Advantages and Disadvantages of Explorer Style Guitars


1. Unique Design: The explorer shape sets you apart from the crowd and makes a bold statement on stage. 🔥

2. Powerful Tone: Explorer guitars are known for their aggressive and full-bodied sound, perfect for rock and metal genres. 🎹

3. Comfortable Playability: The ergonomic design of explorer guitars ensures easy access to the upper frets and a comfortable playing experience. 👌

4. Versatility: While primarily associated with rock and metal, explorer style guitars can handle various musical styles, from blues to hard rock. 🎶

5. Iconic Heritage: The history behind explorer guitars adds a layer of prestige and nostalgia to these instruments. 🎮

6. Quality Construction: Many explorer guitars are crafted by reputable guitar makers, ensuring top-notch build quality and reliability. 🎵

7. Stage Presence: With their larger-than-life appearance, explorer guitars command attention on stage and make you feel like a true rockstar. 🎹


1. Weight: Some explorer guitars can be heavier than traditional guitar shapes, which may cause discomfort during long playing sessions. 🙁

2. Limited Styles: While versatile, explorer guitars may not be the ideal choice for certain genres that require a more traditional or mellow tone. 😐

3. Size and Shape: The unique shape of explorer guitars may make them less portable and challenging to fit in standard guitar cases or stands. 🙏

4. Price Range: Explorer guitars from reputable brands can be quite expensive, making them less accessible for budget-conscious musicians. 💸

5. Subjective Aesthetics: While many love the distinctive look of explorer guitars, personal preferences may vary, and some players may not resonate with the shape. 😐

6. Customization Limitations: Modifying the design or hardware of an explorer guitar may be more challenging compared to traditional guitar shapes. 🙐

7. Uncomfortable Seating Position: The shape of explorer guitars may require some adjustment in playing posture when seated, which may feel unfamiliar at first. 😾

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

1. Can I use an explorer style guitar for genres other than rock and metal?

Absolutely! While explorer guitars are commonly associated with rock and metal, they can be versatile enough to handle various genres, including blues, hard rock, and even jazz.

2. Are explorer guitars suitable for beginners?

Yes, explorer guitars can be suitable for beginners, especially if they resonate with the unique shape and sound of these instruments. However, it’s essential to consider factors such as comfort and playability before making a purchase.

3. Are explorer style guitars heavier than traditional guitars?

Explorer style guitars can be slightly heavier due to their larger bodies and unique shape. However, not all explorer guitars are heavy, and this can vary depending on the specific model and materials used.

4. Can I modify the pickups on an explorer guitar?

Yes, most explorer style guitars offer options for pickup modifications. However, it’s essential to consult with a professional technician or luthier to ensure compatibility and proper installation.

5. Are there left-handed explorer style guitars available?

Yes, many brands offer left-handed versions of their explorer style guitars to cater to left-handed players. However, the availability may vary depending on the specific model.

6. Do explorer guitars have good sustain?

Explorer guitars, especially those with mahogany bodies, are known for their excellent sustain. The combination of the wood and construction contributes to the instrument’s impressive sustain capabilities.

7. What is the ideal amplifier for an explorer guitar?

The ideal amplifier for an explorer guitar depends on personal preference and the desired tone. However, due to their typically high-output pickups, explorer guitars often pair well with high-gain amplifiers that can handle aggressive and distorted tones.

8. Can I play clean tones on an explorer guitar?

Absolutely! While explorer guitars excel at delivering heavy tones, they can also produce beautiful clean tones when paired with the right amplifier and settings. Their versatility allows for a wide range of sonic possibilities.

9. Do explorer style guitars stay in tune well?

Explorer style guitars equipped with quality hardware, such as locking tuners or tremolo systems, can provide excellent tuning stability. Proper setup and regular maintenance are also essential factors that contribute to staying in tune.

10. Are explorer guitars suitable for shredding and fast guitar solos?

Yes! Many explorer guitars are designed with fast and technical playing in mind. The comfortable access to the upper frets and the typically slim neck profile make them ideal instruments for shredders and those who enjoy playing fast guitar solos.

11. Can I travel with an explorer style guitar?

While explorer style guitars can be slightly less portable than traditional guitar shapes, they are still suitable for traveling if you have a suitable case or gig bag that accommodates their unique shape.

12. Are explorer guitars suitable for smaller players?

Explorer guitars may feel slightly bulkier for smaller players, but it ultimately depends on personal comfort and playability. Trying out different models and adjusting strap length can help find the right fit.

13. Can I achieve the same tone as my favorite guitarist with an explorer guitar?

While the choice of guitar is an essential factor in achieving a specific tone, it’s important to remember that many other elements contribute to an artist’s sound, such as amplifiers, effects pedals, playing technique, and more. However, an explorer style guitar can certainly help you get closer to your favorite guitarist’s vibe.

Conclusion: Unleash Your Inner Rock God!

After diving into the world of explorer style guitars, it’s clear that these instruments offer a unique blend of style, power, and versatility. Whether you decide to go for

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