Gibson Explorer X-Factor Pro Reviews 5

I bought this axe through E.M.Shorts Guitars of Wichita, KS. This dealer had the absolute lowest price anywhere ($1090) and I've bought 6 guitars through them in the past, all Gibsons. After reading the review in Guitar Player and seeing that it won an Editor's Pick Award, I thought it would be a great addition to my arsenel. As it turns out, this guitar is SO good, I've gotten rid of all my other axes and replaced them with Explorer Pros!

First off, the body is a little smaller than standard Explorers, making it lighter and a whole lot easier to play all night! The frets are well shaped, the neck has an amazingly comfortable rounded "C" contour, the binding is nicely fitted, and the flame maple top in both colors is FANTASTIC! All the controls nobs are easy to get to and differ from the standard Explorer(they fall in line with the bottom of the wing, not the top). This axe has dead-on balance...it hangs wherever you put it.

The 500T bridge pickup is VERY hot! If you're a metal player, you'll love it. However, for a more well-rounded rock sound, I replaced all my 500T's with Seymour Duncan JB's. That pickup in this model axe delivers all the tone I've ever tried to get out of other axe/pickup combinations. It is truely a matched fit. Also, I recommend Graph-Tech saddles. The Gibson saddles have never been consistent in finish and tone. I've always had to re-file the grooves...not anymore since I've changed them out. In addition, I replaced the tuners with Sperzels. Grovers are ok, but Sperzels are THE choice of club and pro players.

Hey, it's the best axe Gibson makes under $2,000. Fit, finish, weight...it's all fabulous. I like these so much, I replaced all my touring axes with Explorer Pros. A+ quality all the way around.

Lightweight, killer looks, and tone to die for-this is a no-brainer choice for the serious player.

rated this unit 5 on 2004-09-16.

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