Growing up one of the first albums I owned myself was Master of Puppets and I listened to it repeatedly, learning the whole album back to front. I never bothered with the leads as I always preferred rhythm playing and singing. So naturally as I got more and more into Metalica I gravitated toward Explorers, namely the ESP MX models.
I always dreamed about owning a set neck MX250. Every time one came up for sale at a reasonable price I've not been able to buy it. So this popped up in Japan and I had to jump on it.
It's an LTD MX130. One of the few LTD models made in Japan. These were ¥130,000 new in 1995 and have the classic mahogany body and neck combo, however the board appears to be rosewood. Originally it came with a pair of EMG 81s but the previous owner put PRS HFS/Vintage Bass pickups. So out those came, and in went an 81 in the bridge and a 60A in the neck, as it should be.
The hardware stock is all Gotoh so no fooling around with upgrading. The earliest models have no serial number and this one is no different. Doesn't even have the (R) on the logo. Plus no stupid fucking block inlay at the 12th fret. Just good old dot inlays all along.
I can't stop playing the damn thing. It fits like a glove, the neck is brilliant and the relative shallow nature of the waist of the body places the strings closer to my leg which suits my playing just right. Having this just makes my planning for my Japanese trip in May to buy a brand new MX250 even more justified.
Slinging this thing on you just can't look bad. An explorer turns you from a little wimp, or fat roll of lard into a mysterious riff God who women want and men want to be (and probably want also). You feel as though you could change the rotation of the earth with one single power chord.