Saturday, August 3, 2019

Review: Epiphone 1984 Explorer EX

Hello and welcome to this week's article!

Today we are going to review a guitar that has been on my watchlist for long time now, and that a dear friend of mine has recently bought and let me test: the Epiphone 1984 Explorer EX!

This is another of those Epiphone guitars that sets themselves in the mid-high range of the brand (still not as expensive as a Gibson, but also not on the cheapest side), and features already all the most common upgrades a metal player does when buying a guitar: great mechanics and pickups.

This guitar is a version of the classic Explorer made for modern rock and metal, and it's clearly made to resemble the model (first Gibson and recently Esp) played by James Hetfield of Metallica in countless concerts: it is white, it has two active pickups (the duo EMG 81 and 85, the "Zakk Wylde set") and Grover machine heads, which really makes the difference in terms of tuning stability.

The body and neck are made of Mahogany, and the neck shape is a very comfortable Slimtaper D shaped, so it's faster and less chunky than most of the other Epiphone and Gibson necks, and all those features leads to think that this guitar is made with fast playing in mind.

The build quality is surprisingly good, better than your average Epiphone, and this is probably due to the very simple layout: most of the money value instead of going towards a fancy top or other aesthetical details went in this case into a very well crafted neck and fingerboard, perfectly comfortable out of the box, and premium hardware.

The sound of this guitar reflects its specifications: mahogany is a dark, round sounding wood, that united with active pickups delivers a powerful low end: palm muting makes a lot of "rebound" effect, but the Emg 81 packs also a lot of clarity in the top end, so the guitar is full of body but also capable of screaming in the solos.

All in all this is a very good guitar, that offers a lot of value for its price and I suggest anyone looking for a solid guitar for metal and any Metallica fan to check it out.

If only they would make a version with 25.5" scale!

Thumbs up!

Specs taken from the website:

- Body: mahogany

- Neck: mahogany

- Neck shape: SlimTaper™ “D” Profile

- Scale: 24.75”

- Fingerboard: Pearloid dot inlay

- Pearloid: Dot Inlay 12”

- Nut width: 1.68”

- Neck Pickup: Active EMG-85

- Bridge Pickup: Active EMG-81

- Controls: 1-Master Volume, 1-Master Tone, 1-Bridge Volume

- Battery: 9-volt, hinged compartment in back

- Pickup selector: Epiphone all-metal 3-way toggle switch

- Bridge: LockTone™ Tune-O-Matic

- Tailpiece: StopBar

- Hardware: Black

- Machine Heads: Grover® with small metal buttons

- Color: Alpine White (AW), ebony (EB)

- Typical Weight (+/- 5%): 8.3 lbs

- Strings: D’Addario® 10, 13, 17, 26, 36, 46

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