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NGD = hand made Korina Explorer replica arrives from Land of the Rising Sun

bursty

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Joined
Dec 25, 2012
Messages
106
I purchased a one off hand built Korina Explorer replica back on April 29.
The guitar was sold with no hard case and no gig bag. :oops:
I imported the guitar from Japan and the Explorer arrived today.
The shipping box was packed full of Japanese newspaper, bubble wrap, and packing peanuts.
To my delight the guitar arrived intact with no damage!! HUGE RELIEF !!! Props to my peeps in Tokyo for a 'beyond pro' packing job!!!

The first thing I noticed while unpacking the guitar was a massive smell of nitro lacquer :cool: = one of my favorite smells!!!

The seller described the finish on the guitar as, "There is no middle coat, it is an all-lacquer finish with only the sealer and clear layered. This is similar to Old Gibson. Also, it is not a perfect mirror surface, but an aged finish."
All I know is when I was unpacking the guitar all I could smell was a room full of lovely smelling nitro lacquer that smelled good enuff to eat!!

So, the guitar arrived free from any damage, smells like a nitro lacquer production facility, and I will be documenting the attributes of the beast here as I have time.

The seller stated the fingerboard as being rosewood but I swear it looks like ebony. Oh well; no biggy either way.
The seller also stated the neck thickness as 25mm at the first fret. The seller was not kidding as the neck is HUGE!!

Here is a quick & crappy flash photo.
Gotta go clean the gutters & mow the yard before it rains. Cheers ........


Exp rep delivery.jpg
 

bursty

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Joined
Dec 25, 2012
Messages
106
What pickups? Looks nice!

seller stated, "pickups are 1970s Greco U-1000 or U-2000" so, I'm not sure.
These were installed in some Grecos during the mid/late 1970s era.
I haven't looked under the hood yet but one of the seller photos did show a pickup base with a 5 digit code that looks like a Maxon pickup code from 1977.
Once I get around to giving the beast a thorough documentation I may get a better idea about the pickups.

seller pic under the hood
EX tenon.jpg
 

bursty

Active member
Joined
Dec 25, 2012
Messages
106
The Explorer replica arrived with strings detuned so, I offered it a good day plus to see what the tuning stability is like.
That checked out well so, on to a bit of exploring under the hood and measuring attributes.

The seller listed the neck thickness at fret 1 as 25mm (.984") and that is pretty accurate as the neck thickness is .974" at fret 1 by my measurement.
To put that into context the thickest neck listed in the BOTB is a 1958 example which measures .921" at fret 1.
This is by far the thickest neck I have played on any guitar but surprisingly I am really liking the true baseball bat neck on this Korina beast.

The seller listed the pickups as 1970s U1000 or U2000. Both pickups do have the code 27714 which is a typical five digit code for old Maxon pickups used in many Greco examples back in the day. Pretty sure the 27714 code denotes a 1977 manufacture.

The Explorer has several attributes that lead me to believe the guitar may be a fairly newer build.
- the Goto bridge is a newer model that has shown up in just the past few years on production examples of a very well known Japanese brand.
- the instrument was off-gassing major amounts of nitro lacquer fumes when I unpacked it. This indicates a newer build, not an older guitar.
- the pots are newer but undated as they are embossed with STEWMAC (Stewart - MacDonald) and the solder has no noticeable oxidation.
- the frets look basically unplayed and the fingerboard has no gouging from long fingernails; both items indicate very little playing time.
- the two strap peg screws look pristine and free of any oxidation. It is extremely unusual to see a guitar from Japan that has no oxidation on these screws.
All of the above would seem to indicate a fairly newer build; my guess is the guitar was likely built/finished within the past 1 to 2 years at the most.

The build quality of this Explorer is just absolutely sick!! :cool: The neck/body join and the fret work are all top shelf. Whoever produced this instrument has some serious knowledge and some serious tooling to produce such an incredible result. Too bad I won't ever know the talent that created this beast.

Going forward I will certainly be on the lookout for more offerings from the seller that I purchased this one from.

Tried to post a couple of pics but it says the files are too big. :ROFLMAO:


Body meets the technical spec for flat sawn on the bass side at the center seam and the technical spec for quarter sawn on the treble side at the center seam.
The flat sawn lumber where the bass side bridge post and tail piece are both anchored really tighten up the bass response on this gem!!
Exp end grain.jpg
 
Last edited:

Sybex7254

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Feb 4, 2017
Messages
10
Possible to share where you purchased from and cost? Got my interest.
 

Joe Desperado

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Joined
Jun 8, 2004
Messages
1,850
Ive never heard of a technical spec of flat sawn on one side an quarter sawn on the other. That would be news to me. Most try to match the grain orientation as close as possible which in return makes the top seam invisible
 

bursty

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Joined
Dec 25, 2012
Messages
106
Ive never heard of a technical spec of flat sawn on one side an quarter sawn on the other. That would be news to me. Most try to match the grain orientation as close as possible which in return makes the top seam invisible

I agree with you AFA most builders attempting to grain match, which is purely an aesthetic concern; wasn't the case here though.


I am aware of one particular Japanese maker that has produced a handful of 2 piece center seam Explorers and Futuras in Korina (white Limba) and also in Black Limba. Some are very well matched and some not so well. I have seen one of their Black Limba Futuras with a single 1 piece body. I tried to purchase that one but missed out.


The seller of this Korina Explorer replica explained in the listing which is translated here: "The body has quite different grain on the left and right, but the original 1 piece board is swapped left and right. (See image)"

The seller also supplied a rough drawing of the explanation which leads me to believe the board was just not quite large enough for a 1 piece body.
The sound of this Korina Explorer replica however overshadows any aesthetic concern, IMO. This thing sounds Earth shattering. LOL
I learned a long time ago to never judge a book by a cover and this Explorer only re-enforces the concept.
EX body concept.jpg

Here is an end grain pic of my only other remaining Explorer with a 1 piece body.
This board transitions from flat sawn on the very top end of the bass tip of the body to rift sawn at the very bottom tip of the treble side of the body.
This had to be one HUGE tree this board was taken from.
Explorer 1 pc. end grain.jpg


Here is a center seam end grain shot of my prototype/pre production Korina V that is very well matched but I will take the Explorer over the V any day .......
BFV-58K ct sm.jpg



BFV-58K bd ft fl.jpg
 
Last edited:

ADP

Active member
Joined
Jul 16, 2015
Messages
282
For my money it's gotta be a one-piece Explorer. Otherwise it might as well be mahogany. That's just my opinion. Seeing a multi-piece Korina Explorer is just instantly "not a real explorer" in my eyes.

Granted, it isn't trying to be real. Again, just my $.02
 

bursty

Active member
Joined
Dec 25, 2012
Messages
106
well, I guess the few 2 piece Explorers that Gibson produced and sold from the 1958 and 1959 period aren't 'real' either.

I am so relieved now to know this.
 

ADP

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Jul 16, 2015
Messages
282
Even though they exist, my opinion remains the same. It's still an amazing guitar nonetheles.
 

garywright

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 17, 2002
Messages
14,508
I purchased a one off hand built Korina Explorer replica back on April 29.
The guitar was sold with no hard case and no gig bag. :oops:
I imported the guitar from Japan and the Explorer arrived today.
The shipping box was packed full of Japanese newspaper, bubble wrap, and packing peanuts.
To my delight the guitar arrived intact with no damage!! HUGE RELIEF !!! Props to my peeps in Tokyo for a 'beyond pro' packing job!!!

The first thing I noticed while unpacking the guitar was a massive smell of nitro lacquer :cool: = one of my favorite smells!!!

The seller described the finish on the guitar as, "There is no middle coat, it is an all-lacquer finish with only the sealer and clear layered. This is similar to Old Gibson. Also, it is not a perfect mirror surface, but an aged finish."
All I know is when I was unpacking the guitar all I could smell was a room full of lovely smelling nitro lacquer that smelled good enuff to eat!!

So, the guitar arrived free from any damage, smells like a nitro lacquer production facility, and I will be documenting the attributes of the beast here as I have time.

The seller stated the fingerboard as being rosewood but I swear it looks like ebony. Oh well; no biggy either way.
The seller also stated the neck thickness as 25mm at the first fret. The seller was not kidding as the neck is HUGE!!

Here is a quick & crappy flash photo.
Gotta go clean the gutters & mow the yard before it rains. Cheers ........


View attachment 18104
that two piece looks great !
 

bursty

Active member
Joined
Dec 25, 2012
Messages
106
that two piece looks great !

This Explorer replica does have its' own odd character as far as aesthetic are concerned.

As far as flame top LPs go I'm not a huge fan of the 'book matched' tops though I do have examples that are book matched.
I'm a big fan of what some refer to as flitch matched maple tops where the maple looks different on both top halves.

The body on this Explorer replica reminds me a bit of that flitch matched concept; body pieces cut from the same board yet offering a different look in the assembled piece.


Here is one of favorites flame tops: it is a flitch match (cut from the same board) but both top halves show very different lumber features.
Bass half is quarter sawn at the center seam and the treble half is flat sawn to slightly rift sawn at the center seam.
There are about 300 tiny birds eye in the upper areas of the bass half.
This one has just about every feature one might desire in a maple top. Stellar!
LS-60 1981 Tokai.jpg
 
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bursty

Active member
Joined
Dec 25, 2012
Messages
106
I did confirm the Maxon pickup codes 27714 are indeed from 1977.

2 = production code
7 = 1977
7 = July
14 = 14th day of the month

Still don't know if these are U-1000 or U-2000 as the seller stated.
Also don't know if these have ceramic or alnico mags but I am communicating with others with more knowledge on that matter.
Both have DCR values of 7.8 ohm but I'm not that impressed with the sonic response of these pickups.

Currently I am considering the potential for a mag swap in these.
If that doesn't pan out then I may consider swapping out the pickups.

I am a big fan of the Double Trick and the PU-2 which I do have two matched sets of each, all from the 1980 to 1982 range.
Sold off all of my very early '80s Dry Z sets so, those are not an option and to be honest the Dry Z really was not my cup of tea, even though the development of the Dry Z in 1979 is highly regarded as the pinnacle of Jun Takano's career up to that era.

The Explorer itself has been a huge blast; one of my all time favorite guitar purchases (of about 400) over a multi decade long journey. :)
 
Last edited:

Wally

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Joined
Feb 27, 2003
Messages
3,430
This Explorer replica does have its' own odd character as far as aesthetic are concerned.

As far as flame top LPs go I'm not a huge fan of the 'book matched' tops though I do have examples that are book matched.
I'm a big fan of what some refer to as flitch matched maple tops where the maple looks different on both top halves.

The body on this Explorer replica reminds me a bit of that flitch matched concept; body pieces cut from the same board yet offering a different look in the assembled piece.


Here is one of favorites flame tops: it is a flitch match (cut from the same board) but both top halves show very different lumber features.
Bass half is quarter sawn at the center seam and the treble half is flat sawn to slightly rift sawn at the center seam.
There are about 300 tiny birds eye in the upper areas of the bass half.
This one has just about every feature one might desire in a maple top. Stellar!
View attachment 18338
I would like to see a truly book th Ed Les Paul. All that I have seen are glitched matched…albeit to a finer degree of matching figure than we see in that Les Paul you show us. For 8nstance, the ‘burst at the top of this page is glitched matched…not book matched. The flame figure is well-matched, but when you look at the grain you will see that the top and bottom halves were not from a single piece that was split down the middle and laid out for a book match. When you see true book match, the GRAIN will be mirrored.
 

bursty

Active member
Joined
Dec 25, 2012
Messages
106
I would like to see a truly book th Ed Les Paul. All that I have seen are glitched matched…albeit to a finer degree of matching figure than we see in that Les Paul you show us. For 8nstance, the ‘burst at the top of this page is glitched matched…not book matched. The flame figure is well-matched, but when you look at the grain you will see that the top and bottom halves were not from a single piece that was split down the middle and laid out for a book match. When you see true book match, the GRAIN will be mirrored.


I have a billet that I would like to one day use for a flame top project and I would like to use the billet with the board ends flipped 180 degrees.
Here is how it looks 'flipped.'
In this configuration one of the two boards has been rotated/flipped 180 degrees end to end, and also side to side.
That is completely flipped out. o_O


billet - final answer.jpg
 

Wally

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Joined
Feb 27, 2003
Messages
3,430
I have a billet that I would like to one day use for a flame top project and I would like to use the billet with the board ends flipped 180 degrees.
Here is how it looks 'flipped.'
In this configuration one of the two boards has been rotated/flipped 180 degrees end to end, and also side to side.
That is completely flipped out. o_O


View attachment 18423

Pretty wood. I take it that you have opted to orient the pieces this way because the
Board would not accommodate the body as a book match? If that could be a book match, it would be marvelous, 8mho.
 
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