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I think Gibson tried to market this toward the metal crowd. I don't do any dropped tune stuff, but the Dirty Fingers+ pickups are articulate and have a character that really suits the feel of the guitar. I get many tone compliments playing this one, and the feel is great. Richlite board is a vast improvement over the streaky ebony I've seen hanging on the walls of some instruments that cost 4x more than this. The Richlite has a silky feel and uniform colour. It was quite expensive for an Explorer, but has proven to be worth every penny. Came with a photograph in the case taken during final assembly of the guitar. This one gets a few shows a month from me.