Best Poplar Body Explorer Style Guitars in 2024

Here you'll find the best Poplar body Explorer style guitars. It's similar to Alder in terms of tone as it has a fat low-end with strong mids, but it's a lot cheaper and softer. It's a bit heavier so it's mostly used for tops.

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. Jackson Pro Series Signature Brandon Ellis Kelly

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Jackson Pro Series Signature Brandon Ellis Kelly
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Playability 77
Sound 76
Build quality 67
Value for money 73
Overall Score 73

What our users think

  • Neck profile shape: D (31 votes)
  • Neck speed (thickness): Fast (34 votes)
Own it? Share your opinion
FIND IT ON:
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  • 5 Prices - New from $1,349.99 >
  • From Jackson's 2021 Artist Signature series
  • Made in Indonesia
  • 6 strings
  • 25.5"'' scale
  • 12" to 16" Fretboard Radius
  • Poplar body
  • Maple neck
  • Ebony fretboard
  • Bridge pickup: Seymour Duncan Parallel Axis Original (Humbucker/Passive)
  • 1 volume and 0 tone Dome knobs
  • Floyd Rose 1000 Series Double-Locking Tremolo (Recessed) bridge
  • Speed Neck-Through neck
  • 24 Jumbo frets
  • Jackson Sealed Die-Cast tuners
  • See all specs and compare >
Show all Specs
  • 5 Prices - New from $1,349.99 >
  • From Jackson's 2021 Artist Signature series
  • Made in Indonesia
  • 6 strings
  • 25.5"'' scale
  • 12" to 16" Fretboard Radius
  • Poplar body
  • Maple neck
  • Ebony fretboard
  • Bridge pickup: Seymour Duncan Parallel Axis Original (Humbucker/Passive)
  • 1 volume and 0 tone Dome knobs
  • Floyd Rose 1000 Series Double-Locking Tremolo (Recessed) bridge
  • Speed Neck-Through neck
  • 24 Jumbo frets
  • Jackson Sealed Die-Cast tuners
  • See all specs and compare >
Strengths & Weaknesses
Jackson Pro Series Signature Brandon Ellis Kelly
  • Expensive Wood
  • Locking Nut
  • Top Brand Pickups
  • Neck-Through Build
  • Tremolo
  • Compound Radius Fretboard
  • Strap Lock
  • Cheap Fret Wire (NS)
  • No Locking Tuners
  • Made in Indonesia
  • No Push Knob or Extra Switch Option
  • No Weight Relief
  • No Luminescent Inlay
  • No 21:1 Tuner Ratio
  • No Retainer Bar

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2. Jackson X Series Kelly KEX

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Jackson X Series Kelly KEX
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Playability 77
Sound 71
Build quality 64
Value for money 76
Overall Score 71

What our users think

  • Neck profile shape: D (31 votes)
  • Neck speed (thickness): Fast (34 votes)
  • Pickups noise: Slightly Noisy (8 votes)
  • Pickups power: Clean (6 votes)
Own it? Share your opinion
FIND IT ON:
Amazon logoReverb logoSweetwater logoMusician's Friend logo
  • 6 Prices - New from $749.99 >
  • From Jackson's 2022 X series
  • Made in Indonesia
  • 6 strings
  • 25.5"'' scale
  • 12" to 16" Fretboard Radius
  • Poplar body
  • Maple neck
  • Laurel fretboard
  • Bridge pickup: Jackson High-Output Humbucking (Humbucker/Passive)
  • Neck pickup: Jackson High-Output Humbucking (Humbucker/Passive)
  • 1 volume and 1 tone Dome knobs
  • 3-way Switch
  • Floyd Rose Special Double-Locking Tremolo (Recessed) bridge
  • Speed Neck-Through neck
  • 24 Jumbo frets
  • Jackson Sealed Die-Cast tuners
  • See all specs and compare >
Show all Specs
  • 6 Prices - New from $749.99 >
  • From Jackson's 2022 X series
  • Made in Indonesia
  • 6 strings
  • 25.5"'' scale
  • 12" to 16" Fretboard Radius
  • Poplar body
  • Maple neck
  • Laurel fretboard
  • Bridge pickup: Jackson High-Output Humbucking (Humbucker/Passive)
  • Neck pickup: Jackson High-Output Humbucking (Humbucker/Passive)
  • 1 volume and 1 tone Dome knobs
  • 3-way Switch
  • Floyd Rose Special Double-Locking Tremolo (Recessed) bridge
  • Speed Neck-Through neck
  • 24 Jumbo frets
  • Jackson Sealed Die-Cast tuners
  • See all specs and compare >
Strengths & Weaknesses
Jackson X Series Kelly KEX
  • Locking Nut
  • Neck-Through Build
  • Tremolo
  • Compound Radius Fretboard
  • Cheap Fret Wire (NS)
  • No Locking Tuners
  • Made in Indonesia
  • No Expensive Woods
  • No Top Brand Pickups
  • No Push Knob or Extra Switch Option
  • No Weight Relief
  • No Luminescent Inlay
  • No 21:1 Tuner Ratio
  • No Retainer Bar
  • No Strap Lock

All Prices

3. Jackson X Series Kelly KEXQ

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Jackson X Series Kelly KEXQ
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Playability 77
Sound 71
Build quality 65
Value for money 76
Overall Score 71

What our users think

  • Neck access to high frets: Easy (1 vote)
  • Tuning stability: Holds tune well (1 vote)
  • Weight: Lightweight (1 vote)
  • Neck profile shape: D (31 votes)
  • Neck speed (thickness): Fast (34 votes)
  • Pickups noise: Slightly Noisy (8 votes)
  • Pickups power: Clean (6 votes)
Own it? Share your opinion
FIND IT ON:
Reverb logoAmazon logoMusician's Friend logo
  • 6 Prices - New from $799.99 >
  • From Jackson's 2019 X series
  • Made in Indonesia
  • 6 strings
  • 25.5"'' scale
  • 12" to 16" Fretboard Radius
  • Quilt Maple top
  • Poplar body
  • Maple neck
  • Laurel fretboard
  • Bridge pickup: Jackson High-Output Humbucking (Humbucker/Passive)
  • Neck pickup: Jackson High-Output Humbucking (Humbucker/Passive)
  • 1 volume and 1 tone Dome knobs
  • 3-way Switch
  • Floyd Rose Special Double-Locking Tremolo (Recessed) bridge
  • Speed Neck-Through neck
  • 24 Jumbo frets
  • Jackson Sealed Die-Cast tuners
  • See all specs and compare >
Show all Specs
  • 6 Prices - New from $799.99 >
  • From Jackson's 2019 X series
  • Made in Indonesia
  • 6 strings
  • 25.5"'' scale
  • 12" to 16" Fretboard Radius
  • Quilt Maple top
  • Poplar body
  • Maple neck
  • Laurel fretboard
  • Bridge pickup: Jackson High-Output Humbucking (Humbucker/Passive)
  • Neck pickup: Jackson High-Output Humbucking (Humbucker/Passive)
  • 1 volume and 1 tone Dome knobs
  • 3-way Switch
  • Floyd Rose Special Double-Locking Tremolo (Recessed) bridge
  • Speed Neck-Through neck
  • 24 Jumbo frets
  • Jackson Sealed Die-Cast tuners
  • See all specs and compare >
Strengths & Weaknesses
Jackson X Series Kelly KEXQ
  • Locking Nut
  • Neck-Through Build
  • Tremolo
  • Compound Radius Fretboard
  • Cheap Fret Wire (NS)
  • No Locking Tuners
  • Made in Indonesia
  • No Expensive Woods
  • No Top Brand Pickups
  • No Push Knob or Extra Switch Option
  • No Weight Relief
  • No Luminescent Inlay
  • No 21:1 Tuner Ratio
  • No Retainer Bar
  • No Strap Lock

All Prices

4. Jackson X Series Kelly KEXM

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Jackson X Series Kelly KEXM
FIND IT ON:
Reverb logoSweetwater logoAmazon logoMusician's Friend logo
Playability 77
Sound 71
Build quality 64
Value for money 76
Overall Score 71

What our users think

  • Neck profile shape: D (31 votes)
  • Neck speed (thickness): Fast (34 votes)
  • Pickups noise: Slightly Noisy (8 votes)
  • Pickups power: Clean (6 votes)
Own it? Share your opinion
FIND IT ON:
Reverb logoSweetwater logoAmazon logoMusician's Friend logo
  • 7 Prices - New from $849.99 >
  • From Jackson's 2021 X series
  • Made in Indonesia
  • 6 strings
  • 25.5"'' scale
  • 12" to 16" Fretboard Radius
  • Poplar body
  • Maple neck
  • Maple fretboard
  • Bridge pickup: Jackson High-Output Humbucking (Humbucker/Passive)
  • Neck pickup: Jackson High-Output Humbucking (Humbucker/Passive)
  • 1 volume and 1 tone Dome knobs
  • 3-way Switch
  • Floyd Rose Special Double-Locking Tremolo (Recessed) bridge
  • Speed Neck-Through neck
  • 24 Jumbo frets
  • Jackson Sealed Die-Cast tuners
  • See all specs and compare >
Show all Specs
  • 7 Prices - New from $849.99 >
  • From Jackson's 2021 X series
  • Made in Indonesia
  • 6 strings
  • 25.5"'' scale
  • 12" to 16" Fretboard Radius
  • Poplar body
  • Maple neck
  • Maple fretboard
  • Bridge pickup: Jackson High-Output Humbucking (Humbucker/Passive)
  • Neck pickup: Jackson High-Output Humbucking (Humbucker/Passive)
  • 1 volume and 1 tone Dome knobs
  • 3-way Switch
  • Floyd Rose Special Double-Locking Tremolo (Recessed) bridge
  • Speed Neck-Through neck
  • 24 Jumbo frets
  • Jackson Sealed Die-Cast tuners
  • See all specs and compare >
Strengths & Weaknesses
Jackson X Series Kelly KEXM
  • Locking Nut
  • Neck-Through Build
  • Tremolo
  • Compound Radius Fretboard
  • Cheap Fret Wire (NS)
  • No Locking Tuners
  • Made in Indonesia
  • No Expensive Woods
  • No Top Brand Pickups
  • No Push Knob or Extra Switch Option
  • No Weight Relief
  • No Luminescent Inlay
  • No 21:1 Tuner Ratio
  • No Retainer Bar
  • No Strap Lock

All Prices

5. Jackson JS Series Kelly JS32

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Jackson JS Series Kelly JS32
FIND IT ON:
Amazon logoReverb logoMusician's Friend logo
Playability 73
Sound 72
Build quality 55
Value for money 77
Overall Score 67

What our users think

  • Neck profile shape: D (31 votes)
  • Neck speed (thickness): Fast (34 votes)
  • Pickups noise: Slightly Noisy (8 votes)
  • Pickups power: Clean (6 votes)
Own it? Share your opinion
FIND IT ON:
Amazon logoReverb logoMusician's Friend logo
  • 5 Prices - New from $368.99 >
  • From Jackson's 2014 JS series
  • Made in China
  • 6 strings
  • 25.5"'' scale
  • 12" to 16" Fretboard Radius
  • Poplar body
  • Maple neck
  • Purpleheart fretboard
  • Bridge pickup: Jackson High-Output Humbucking (Humbucker/Passive)
  • Neck pickup: Jackson High-Output Humbucking (Humbucker/Passive)
  • 1 volume and 1 tone Dome knobs
  • 3-way Switch
  • Floyd Rose Licensed Jackson Double-Locking Tremolo bridge
  • Speed Bolt-On neck
  • 24 Jumbo frets
  • Jackson Sealed Die-Cast tuners
  • See all specs and compare >
Show all Specs
  • 5 Prices - New from $368.99 >
  • From Jackson's 2014 JS series
  • Made in China
  • 6 strings
  • 25.5"'' scale
  • 12" to 16" Fretboard Radius
  • Poplar body
  • Maple neck
  • Purpleheart fretboard
  • Bridge pickup: Jackson High-Output Humbucking (Humbucker/Passive)
  • Neck pickup: Jackson High-Output Humbucking (Humbucker/Passive)
  • 1 volume and 1 tone Dome knobs
  • 3-way Switch
  • Floyd Rose Licensed Jackson Double-Locking Tremolo bridge
  • Speed Bolt-On neck
  • 24 Jumbo frets
  • Jackson Sealed Die-Cast tuners
  • See all specs and compare >
Strengths & Weaknesses
Jackson JS Series Kelly JS32
  • Locking Nut
  • Tremolo
  • Compound Radius Fretboard
  • Cheap Fret Wire (NS)
  • No Locking Tuners
  • Made in China
  • No Expensive Woods
  • No Top Brand Pickups
  • No Neck-Through Build
  • No Push Knob or Extra Switch Option
  • No Weight Relief
  • No Luminescent Inlay
  • No 21:1 Tuner Ratio
  • No Retainer Bar
  • No Strap Lock

All Prices

6. Jackson JS Series Kelly JS32T

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Jackson JS Series Kelly JS32T
FIND IT ON:
Amazon logoReverb logoMusician's Friend logo
Playability 75
Sound 65
Build quality 52
Value for money 74
Overall Score 64

What our users think

  • Neck profile shape: D (31 votes)
  • Neck speed (thickness): Fast (34 votes)
  • Pickups noise: Slightly Noisy (8 votes)
  • Pickups power: Clean (6 votes)
Own it? Share your opinion
FIND IT ON:
Amazon logoReverb logoMusician's Friend logo
  • 6 Prices - New from $368.99 >
  • From Jackson's 2014 JS series
  • Made in China
  • 6 strings
  • 25.5"'' scale
  • 12" to 16" Fretboard Radius
  • Poplar body
  • Maple neck
  • Purpleheart fretboard
  • Bridge pickup: Jackson High-Output Humbucking (Humbucker/Passive)
  • Neck pickup: Jackson High-Output Humbucking (Humbucker/Passive)
  • 1 volume and 1 tone Dome knobs
  • 3-way Switch
  • Jackson TOM-Style Adjustable String-Through-Body bridge
  • Speed Bolt-On neck
  • 24 Jumbo frets
  • Jackson Sealed Die-Cast tuners
  • See all specs and compare >
Show all Specs
  • 6 Prices - New from $368.99 >
  • From Jackson's 2014 JS series
  • Made in China
  • 6 strings
  • 25.5"'' scale
  • 12" to 16" Fretboard Radius
  • Poplar body
  • Maple neck
  • Purpleheart fretboard
  • Bridge pickup: Jackson High-Output Humbucking (Humbucker/Passive)
  • Neck pickup: Jackson High-Output Humbucking (Humbucker/Passive)
  • 1 volume and 1 tone Dome knobs
  • 3-way Switch
  • Jackson TOM-Style Adjustable String-Through-Body bridge
  • Speed Bolt-On neck
  • 24 Jumbo frets
  • Jackson Sealed Die-Cast tuners
  • See all specs and compare >
Strengths & Weaknesses
Jackson JS Series Kelly JS32T
  • Compound Radius Fretboard
  • Cheap Fret Wire (NS)
  • No Locking Tuners
  • Made in China
  • No Expensive Woods
  • No High-Quality Nut
  • No Top Brand Pickups
  • No Neck-Through Build
  • No Push Knob or Extra Switch Option
  • No Weight Relief
  • No Luminescent Inlay
  • No Tremolo
  • No 21:1 Tuner Ratio
  • No Strap Lock

All Prices

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