Should my brand new Explorer neck bend this easily?

Discussion in 'Epiphone Guitars' started by thejeffersonlee, Jan 27, 2021.

  1. thejeffersonlee

    thejeffersonlee New Member

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    Got a brand new Explorer today from Zzounds. It's already going back because of some funky wiring issues, but what has me most worried is the neck. It bends if I breathe on it. It bends if I just barely lean over to reach the tuning pegs. I am curious to know if this is normal for Epiphones or if I just got a lemon before I ask for a return/refund/exchange.
     
  2. Stillhouse

    Stillhouse Member

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    Doesn't sound normal to me. Send it back.
     
  3. soulman969

    soulman969 Well-Known Member

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    Never having owned one I can't say but since this one is going back if you exchange it and another does the same you'll have an answer.

    All necks will bend to some degree but what you've described seem unusual and would surely impact it's playability.
     
  4. thejeffersonlee

    thejeffersonlee New Member

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    I kept having to retune strings I had just tuned before I realized that they weren't holding pitch because just applying pressure to the headstock was causing the neck to warp while I turned the pegs. Already requested a return. Hopefully it's just a bad piece of mahogany (along with the bad wiring job), and the next one will be better. A shame, though, because the grain on the fretboard was really nice. Maybe I need a maple necked guitar like my Fenders?
     
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  5. soulman969

    soulman969 Well-Known Member

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    I know that with any of my guitars or basses simply holding onto the tuning key while tuning will produce a slightly higher pitch than if I remove my hand.

    It makes sense when you consider the physics. The neck itself is like a long lever and even light pressure on the headstock will cause a slight shift in it's position.
     
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  6. thejeffersonlee

    thejeffersonlee New Member

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    I generally let go of the tuning peg to stabilize the neck when I'm checking for pitch. It still wouldn't explain the rubberiness of the neck I discovered once I realized what was happening. Kicking myself for not picking up on the "rubber neck" puns when I first posted about this.

    I'll find out once the second one arrives. It was a toss up between this and the Sheraton II Pro, and I'm wondering if the Sheraton would have a better chance of having a sturdier neck since it is maple and 5-ply. If the second one duds out, I'll go for the Sheraton.
     
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  7. guitarlover

    guitarlover Member

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    Similar to the Explorer, I’ve always noticed SGs and Firebirds to be a bit bendy and need a lighter touch compared to Les Pauls and even more when compared to bolt-on necks.

    I’ve used this “flaw” to help learning a softer left hand technique, but it’s not ideal. You do get that bend effect when you want by leaning on it slightly, which has been used by lots of players!

    I think it’s partly due to the design and also the general quality of Mahogany to a certain degree. As you mentioned Maple and laminate is going to be a stronger neck, and one that I prefer usually.

    It will vary from guitar to guitar, and I imagine there’s lots of variability between single pieces of mahogany even within manufacturers tolerances, if they even exist!
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2021
  8. Glyn Jones

    Glyn Jones New Member

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    Check the truss rod, nuts probably loose
     
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  9. Dr_Martin

    Dr_Martin Member

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    Yes, the Sheraton Walnut/Maple neck is much more sturdy.
    I always found mahogany necks feel bendy like a Hot Dog.

    And: go for the Sheraton anyway

    :-)
     
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  10. Raiyn

    Raiyn Well-Known Member

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    Do you just do a daily search for the word Sheraton? That's all I ever see you comment about.
     
  11. Antigua

    Antigua Active Member

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    I didn't know a guitar neck could bend so easily until I got my hands on a particular Chibson SG, and the neck would flex so easily that the it was an unplayable guitar. It would fret out just by clutching it too hard. My feeling is that the neck wouldn't support much weight, and that the truss rod alone much have been giving it any degree or straightness. I'm sure the explanation is nothing more than improper wood having been used.

    If I had an Epi as OP describes, I'd become super suspicious of it being counterfeit, based on my experience.
     
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  12. thejeffersonlee

    thejeffersonlee New Member

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    Okay, the replacement Explorer came in today. This time it was double-boxed (guitar box inside a larger box), and everything checks out. (FedEx delivered the last one in just the guitar box. Shipped that way judging by the labels.)

    The neck is MUCH better on this one. Still more flex than the maple Fender necks I'm used to, but nowhere near as rubbery as the last one. Electronics are in order, and the knobs are staying firm. Plays like a dream, or will once I condition the fretboard. It's SUPER dry, hard to slide up and down.

    The only issue now is the Epiphone Deluxe Explorer case I also ordered. Didn't bother putting the first guitar in it as I was sending it back. After everything checked out in the 2-hour jam session, I pulled out the case to put the guitar away.

    Except IT DOESN'T FIT! Either the upper bout sticks over by an 1.5" or the lower bout does. I. Am. Gobsmacked. Zzounds suggested just getting a different case as a new one would like yield the same result. I can't find anything on the interwebs about this Explorer model being bigger or having different specs. Its only differing characteristic is that it's olive drab green.

    I'm guessing it has to be a different spec'd body, because I find it hard to believe that they would pump out thousands of cases for a guitar that won't fit it. Still, would have been nice to know from Zzounds (or any other retailer) or Epiphone themselves that the case and guitar would be incompatible. I mean, I looked everywhere trying to find anything suggesting that the body measurements were different between Epiphones current offerings of the Explorer but came up with bupkis.
     
  13. Supersonic

    Supersonic Well-Known Member

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    Just a guess but maybe that case was meant to fit the Epiphone 1984 Explorer reissue that I think had some different specs. SKB makes one that is a certified fit for the Inspired by Gibson Explorer if that helps any. Good luck.
     
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  14. thejeffersonlee

    thejeffersonlee New Member

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    I think that's probably the case* (wah wah :rolleyes:). It would have been helpful if they posted specs about body measurements, though. I doubt even a sales rep would be able to answer the question of fit given the lack of information from Epiphone. I'm really just glad this guitar shipped box-within-a-box and has a better neck. It really does play and sound amazing.

    Fretboard dryness aside, I'm really impressed with the setup out of the box. Checked intonation at 12th fret, fretted vs harmonic vs open string, and it's solid. And I am truly impressed with the ProBuckers. This is my first Epiphone guitar. The Gibson Explorer I had back in the day had SD Full Shreds, so I've never had a PAF-ish pickup before. The only time I'd played an Epi or Gibson since my 12-year Tele obsession was at GC. Hard to get an accurate picture of tone and such on an amp I don't use in a room the size of a warehouse without my pedalboard. I'd take this guitar and pickups over a Gibson LP Tribute any day, which was my next option if this second Explorer was also a dud. I thought about the Sheraton. It was honestly a toss up, but after spending 20 minutes or so with it I couldn't get comfortable playing it without a strap or standing up. The Explorer is the sleeper comfort guitar. Love my purchase. Love the Explorer!
     
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  15. Raiyn

    Raiyn Well-Known Member

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    This is why I have my new guitars shipped in their new SKB TSA cases. Granted, I do all of my new business with Sweetwater (who would pack things properly even without a case) but the added protection of the case is reassuring. Plus, I know the guitar fits.
     
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  16. thejeffersonlee

    thejeffersonlee New Member

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    I'm wishing I had just pulled the trigger on the SKB case, but a part of me wanted that Epiphone logo on the case. Could have just used the sticker that came with the guitar. Smdh
     
  17. thejeffersonlee

    thejeffersonlee New Member

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    I don't think Zzounds would be selling counterfeit guitars. They get their products from the manufacturer's distributors. If I'd bought it on Reverb, I might be suspicious, but Zzounds is a reputable retailer, owned by American Musical Supply.

    If the second guitar was still flimsy, I'd think it was just a bad or poorly aged/cured batch of mahogany Epiphone got in China. But the new one is considerably stiffer, more playable and tunable.
     
  18. Raiyn

    Raiyn Well-Known Member

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    Indeed, you could have. Then again, it's a guitar, not a NASCAR, no need to give anyone free ad space. In my case situation, I have the guitar's name on the side above the handle in vinyl lettering and a sticker indicating the namesake or character of the guitar on the lid. Makes it easier if I ask SWMBO to grab a particular axe for me if I'm rushing to go somewhere.
    Name stickers 1.jpg Name Sticker 2.jpg Case Sticker 1.jpg Case Sticker 2.jpg

    SWMBO, might not be able to tell you much about the actual guitar inside, but she knows which one is which by name / character. That's something which is going to be even more important when my Jaguar gets here because it'll be in the same model Jazzmaster / Jaguar case as GIR, my Doheny.
     
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  19. thejeffersonlee

    thejeffersonlee New Member

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    Not a bad idea. A Doheny is on my list. I put G&L MFDs in my MIM Tele for some extra growl and love them.
     
  20. Raiyn

    Raiyn Well-Known Member

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    Don't hesitate, that Doheny Tribute has become my go to axe. So comfy. There's a link in my sig, I did a little work to mine, but all personal preference stuff.
     

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