Best Explorer Guitars With Gold Hardware in 2024

Here are the top Explorer style guitars with Gold hardware.

After comparing the 2000+ guitars in our database, these are the best scoring ones with these characteristics. You can use our filters to the left to narrow down these results, or click on "Compare" to get a deep comparison between them. Our automated scoring system takes into account the ratings from ours users who own the guitar, and dozens of parameters to determine the build quality, playability, pickups quality, value for money, and more.

There are affiliate links on this page that may earn us a commission if you purchase after clicking. We are members of the Amazon Associates Program, and many others. However, we compare each guitar against each other under the same parameters, so this doesn't influence our scoring.

1. Schecter Cesar Soto E-1

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Schecter Cesar Soto E-1
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Playability 83
Sound 76
Build quality 64
Value for money 74
Overall Score 74

What our users think

  • Neck profile shape: C (44 votes)
  • Neck speed (thickness): Fast (39 votes)
Own it? Share your opinion
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  • 4 Prices - New from $1,149 >
  • From Schecter's 2021 Artist series
  • Made in Indonesia
  • 6 strings
  • 24.6"'' scale
  • 14" Fretboard Radius
  • Mahogany body
  • Mahogany 3-pc neck
  • Ebony fretboard
  • Bridge pickup: EMG 85 (Humbucker/Active)
  • 1 volume and 0 tone Dome knobs
  • TonePros T3BT Tune-O-Matic w/T1Z Tailpiece bridge
  • Thin C Set neck
  • 22 Jumbo frets
  • Schecter Locking tuners
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  • 4 Prices - New from $1,149 >
  • From Schecter's 2021 Artist series
  • Made in Indonesia
  • 6 strings
  • 24.6"'' scale
  • 14" Fretboard Radius
  • Mahogany body
  • Mahogany 3-pc neck
  • Ebony fretboard
  • Bridge pickup: EMG 85 (Humbucker/Active)
  • 1 volume and 0 tone Dome knobs
  • TonePros T3BT Tune-O-Matic w/T1Z Tailpiece bridge
  • Thin C Set neck
  • 22 Jumbo frets
  • Schecter Locking tuners
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Strengths & Weaknesses
Schecter Cesar Soto E-1
  • Locking Tuners
  • Expensive Wood
  • Black Tusq XL Nut
  • Top Brand Pickups
  • Luminescent Inlay
  • Cheap Fret Wire (NS)
  • Made in Indonesia
  • No Neck-Through Build
  • No Push Knob or Extra Switch Option
  • No Weight Relief
  • No Tremolo
  • No Compound Radius Fretboard
  • No 21:1 Tuner Ratio
  • No Strap Lock

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2. Harley Benton EX-76 Classic GHW

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Harley Benton EX-76 Classic GHW
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Playability 80
Sound 77
Build quality 62
Value for money 83
Overall Score 73

What our users think

  • Pickups noise: Noiseless (2 votes)
  • Pickups power: Slightly Hot (3 votes)
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  • 1 Prices - New from €329 >
  • From Harley Benton's 2018 Tribute series
  • Made in Indonesia
  • 6 strings
  • 24.75"'' scale
  • 15" Fretboard Radius
  • Mahogany body
  • Mahogany neck
  • Purpleheart fretboard
  • Bridge pickup: Roswell LAF Alnico-5 (Humbucker/Passive)
  • Neck pickup: Roswell LAF Alnico-5 (Humbucker/Passive)
  • 2 volume and 1 tone Speed knobs
  • 3-way Switch
  • Wsc Tune-O-Matic bridge
  • Harley Benton Slim Taper C Set neck
  • 22 Jumbo frets
  • Grover Locking Machine Heads tuners
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  • 1 Prices - New from €329 >
  • From Harley Benton's 2018 Tribute series
  • Made in Indonesia
  • 6 strings
  • 24.75"'' scale
  • 15" Fretboard Radius
  • Mahogany body
  • Mahogany neck
  • Purpleheart fretboard
  • Bridge pickup: Roswell LAF Alnico-5 (Humbucker/Passive)
  • Neck pickup: Roswell LAF Alnico-5 (Humbucker/Passive)
  • 2 volume and 1 tone Speed knobs
  • 3-way Switch
  • Wsc Tune-O-Matic bridge
  • Harley Benton Slim Taper C Set neck
  • 22 Jumbo frets
  • Grover Locking Machine Heads tuners
  • See all specs and compare >
Strengths & Weaknesses
Harley Benton EX-76 Classic GHW
  • Locking Tuners
  • Expensive Wood
  • Ivory Tusq Nut
  • Top Brand Pickups
  • Cheap Fret Wire (NS)
  • Made in Indonesia
  • No Neck-Through Build
  • No Push Knob or Extra Switch Option
  • No Weight Relief
  • No Luminescent Inlay
  • No Tremolo
  • No Compound Radius Fretboard
  • No 21:1 Tuner Ratio
  • No Strap Lock

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3. Gibson Custom 1958 Korina Explorer Reissue

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Gibson Custom 1958 Korina Explorer Reissue
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Playability 73
Sound 72
Build quality 70
Value for money 57
Overall Score 72
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  • 5 Prices - New from $9,999 >
  • From Gibson Custom's 2022 Historic Collection series
  • Made in United States
  • 6 strings
  • 24.75"'' scale
  • 12" Fretboard Radius
  • Korina body
  • Korina neck
  • Rosewood fretboard
  • Bridge pickup: Custombucker (Humbucker/Passive)
  • Neck pickup: Custombucker (Humbucker/Passive)
  • 2 volume and 1 tone Bell knobs
  • 3-way Switch
  • ABR-1 bridge
  • Vintage 50s Set neck
  • 22 Medium frets
  • Kluson with Celluloid Tips tuners
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  • 5 Prices - New from $9,999 >
  • From Gibson Custom's 2022 Historic Collection series
  • Made in United States
  • 6 strings
  • 24.75"'' scale
  • 12" Fretboard Radius
  • Korina body
  • Korina neck
  • Rosewood fretboard
  • Bridge pickup: Custombucker (Humbucker/Passive)
  • Neck pickup: Custombucker (Humbucker/Passive)
  • 2 volume and 1 tone Bell knobs
  • 3-way Switch
  • ABR-1 bridge
  • Vintage 50s Set neck
  • 22 Medium frets
  • Kluson with Celluloid Tips tuners
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Strengths & Weaknesses
Gibson Custom 1958 Korina Explorer Reissue
  • Made in United States
  • Expensive Wood
  • Nylon Nut
  • Top Brand Pickups
  • Cheap Fret Wire (NS)
  • No Locking Tuners
  • No Neck-Through Build
  • No Push Knob or Extra Switch Option
  • No Weight Relief
  • No Luminescent Inlay
  • No Tremolo
  • No Compound Radius Fretboard
  • No 21:1 Tuner Ratio
  • No Strap Lock

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4. Gibson Lzzy Hale Signature Explorerbird

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Gibson Lzzy Hale Signature Explorerbird
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Playability 73
Sound 72
Build quality 69
Value for money 61
Overall Score 71

What our users think

  • Neck profile shape: C (8 votes)
  • Neck speed (thickness): Fast (6 votes)
Own it? Share your opinion
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  • 5 Prices - New from $2,531.34 >
  • From Gibson's 2022 Artist Collection series
  • Made in United States
  • 6 strings
  • 24.75"'' scale
  • 12" Fretboard Radius
  • Mahogany body
  • Mahogany neck
  • Indian Rosewood fretboard
  • Bridge pickup: 70s Tribute with Gold Screws/Rods (Humbucker/Passive)
  • Neck pickup: 70s Tribute with Gold Screws/Rods (Humbucker/Passive)
  • 2 volume and 1 tone Speed knobs
  • 3-way Switch
  • Tune-O-Matic bridge
  • Slim Taper Set neck
  • 22 Medium Jumbo frets
  • Grover Mini Rotomatics tuners
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Show all Specs
  • 5 Prices - New from $2,531.34 >
  • From Gibson's 2022 Artist Collection series
  • Made in United States
  • 6 strings
  • 24.75"'' scale
  • 12" Fretboard Radius
  • Mahogany body
  • Mahogany neck
  • Indian Rosewood fretboard
  • Bridge pickup: 70s Tribute with Gold Screws/Rods (Humbucker/Passive)
  • Neck pickup: 70s Tribute with Gold Screws/Rods (Humbucker/Passive)
  • 2 volume and 1 tone Speed knobs
  • 3-way Switch
  • Tune-O-Matic bridge
  • Slim Taper Set neck
  • 22 Medium Jumbo frets
  • Grover Mini Rotomatics tuners
  • See all specs and compare >
Strengths & Weaknesses
Gibson Lzzy Hale Signature Explorerbird
  • Made in United States
  • Expensive Wood
  • Ivory Tusq Nut
  • Top Brand Pickups
  • Cheap Fret Wire (NS)
  • No Locking Tuners
  • No Neck-Through Build
  • No Push Knob or Extra Switch Option
  • No Weight Relief
  • No Luminescent Inlay
  • No Tremolo
  • No Compound Radius Fretboard
  • No 21:1 Tuner Ratio
  • No Strap Lock

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5. Gibson Custom Explorer Custom w/ Ebony Fingerboard Gloss

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Gibson Custom Explorer Custom w/ Ebony Fingerboard Gloss
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Playability 73
Sound 70
Build quality 67
Value for money 55
Overall Score 70
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  • 4 Prices - New from $5,499 >
  • From Gibson Custom's 2022 Modern Collection series
  • Made in United States
  • 6 strings
  • 24.75"'' scale
  • 12" Fretboard Radius
  • Solid Mahogany body
  • Mahogany neck
  • Ebony fretboard
  • Bridge pickup: 498T Humbucker (Humbucker/Passive)
  • Neck pickup: 490R Humbucker (Humbucker/Passive)
  • 2 volume and 1 tone Speed knobs
  • 3-way Switch
  • Stop Bar bridge
  • Medium C Set neck
  • 22 Medium Jumbo frets
  • Grover Kidney tuners
  • See all specs and compare >
Show all Specs
  • 4 Prices - New from $5,499 >
  • From Gibson Custom's 2022 Modern Collection series
  • Made in United States
  • 6 strings
  • 24.75"'' scale
  • 12" Fretboard Radius
  • Solid Mahogany body
  • Mahogany neck
  • Ebony fretboard
  • Bridge pickup: 498T Humbucker (Humbucker/Passive)
  • Neck pickup: 490R Humbucker (Humbucker/Passive)
  • 2 volume and 1 tone Speed knobs
  • 3-way Switch
  • Stop Bar bridge
  • Medium C Set neck
  • 22 Medium Jumbo frets
  • Grover Kidney tuners
  • See all specs and compare >
Strengths & Weaknesses
Gibson Custom Explorer Custom w/ Ebony Fingerboard Gloss
  • Made in United States
  • Expensive Wood
  • Top Brand Pickups
  • Cheap Fret Wire (NS)
  • No Locking Tuners
  • No High-Quality Nut
  • No Neck-Through Build
  • No Push Knob or Extra Switch Option
  • No Weight Relief
  • No Luminescent Inlay
  • No Tremolo
  • No Compound Radius Fretboard
  • No 21:1 Tuner Ratio
  • No Strap Lock

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