8 Best Explorer Style Guitars for the Maverick Musician

If you have a love for the unconventional and want to make a statement with a guitar as bold as your sound, you might find yourself drawn to the iconic Explorer-style guitars. With their radical shapes and punchy tones, Explorer guitars are a symbol of rebellion and innovation in the guitar world.

So, let’s dive into the world of angular beauty and sonic power with some of the best Explorer-style guitars out there.

1. Gibson Explorer

Starting with the original maverick, the Gibson Explorer, which burst onto the scene in 1958, challenging the norms with its futuristic design. Known for its angular body and scorching sound, the Gibson Explorer features a solid mahogany body and rosewood fingerboard, delivering a warm, sustained tone with plenty of bite. It’s a go-to for those who want to stand out both in looks and sound.

2. Epiphone Explorer

The Epiphone Explorer brings the iconic design and tone of the Gibson Explorer to a more accessible price point. It features a mahogany body and neck, offering a rich, resonant tone with excellent sustain. The pair of high-output humbuckers ensures a powerful, punchy sound, making it a fantastic choice for rockers on a budget who still crave that classic Explorer vibe.

3. ESP LTD EX-401

Next up, the ESP LTD EX-401, a metal machine known for its sharp looks and aggressive tones. With a mahogany body and set-thru neck construction, it provides smooth access to the higher frets and excellent sustain. The active EMG pickups deliver high-output tones with plenty of clarity, making it a favorite among metal players seeking performance and style.

4. Jackson Kelly

The Jackson Kelly takes the radical design of the Explorer and adds its unique twists, featuring sharper points and a more elongated body. It’s known for its speedy playability and high-gain tones, courtesy of its high-output pickups and fast necks. The Jackson Kelly is a perfect companion for shredders and metalheads looking for an eye-catching instrument with a cutting edge.

5. Ibanez Destroyer

The Ibanez Destroyer offers a sleek, modified take on the classic Explorer shape. Known for its versatile tones and smooth playability, it features various pickup configurations, allowing for a wide range of sounds. The slim necks and contoured bodies make them incredibly comfortable to play, making the Destroyer a popular choice among players of various genres looking for a stylish, versatile axe.

6. Dean Z

The Dean Z takes inspiration from the iconic Explorer design and adds its unique aesthetic and design elements. Featuring a series of sharp curves and points, it stands out with its aggressive looks and sounds. With its high-output pickups and comfortable necks, the Dean Z is a reliable choice for those who love to rock hard and look good doing it.

7. Hamer Standard

The Hamer Standard is a classic in the Explorer style realm, known for its high-quality construction and premium materials. It features a mahogany body and set neck, offering excellent sustain and resonance. The dual humbuckers deliver powerful, well-balanced tones, making it a preferred choice for those seeking quality, performance, and classic Explorer aesthetics.

8. Schecter E-1 Standard

The Schecter E-1 Standard combines the bold Explorer shape with Schecter’s renowned quality and playability. It features a mahogany body and 3-piece mahogany neck, ensuring a warm, rich tone with plenty of sustain. The coil-tapping feature offers tonal versatility, making it suitable for players who want a range of sounds in one striking instrument.

Conclusion: Rockin’ the Radical

So there we have it, fellow axe wielders! We’ve navigated through the world of Explorer-style guitars, discovering instruments that defy conventions and demand attention. Whether you fancy the original Gibson Explorer or the sleek, modern lines of the Kramer Assault 220, there’s an Explorer out there to suit every rocker’s taste and style. Remember, it’s all about finding the right partner to bring your musical visions to life, so pick your axe and let the music do the talking! Keep strumming, keep exploring!