I'll start with the review of the guitar, then I'll write a little novel about how Gibson is horrible and Thomann is great.
The guitar is beautiful. I love the warm color and the wood grain. The nitro finish is delicate, as you may know. Do not spill your whiskey over it. I find the guitar well balanced, but if yours is a bit nose-dropping then a wider strap should keep her in place. The pickup switch is far away, especially if you wear your guitar Hetfield-style, but it's the only complaint I have about this design. The neck is wide and comfy, thick but not baseball bat-like thick.
This thing is loud and clear. Overall, the sound is wider than an SG's (which is more midrangey, albeit they share the same pickups) and clearer than an LP's. The bridge pickup is made for distortion, yes, but the neck pickup sings on the cleans as well.
I'd say the territory of this guitar goes from pop-rock to old-school hard&heavy. Modern metal would require a pickup replacement (as did the folk from BMTH).
So, I'm totally happy with this guitar.
This is my third Explorer. Don't get me wrong: this is the third that I had in my hands in order to have one. Let me explain.
I drove all the way to Thomann headquarters to try and buy the new guitar I'd been waiting for years, and ended up choosing the Explorer (against a 335 Studio and an ESP-Ltd). Sadly, I noticed a blemish on the the side of the neck. They are honest folks and could not sell her to me. They would send me another as soon as new stock was available. In a couple of month's time, here it is at my doorstep. Won-der-ful.
I was in love with the guitar's tone, playability, and looks. Except, after a one-and-a-half year, I started noticing a depression in the back of the neck. My luthier's verdict: the truss rod was carving the wood, and the neck was doomed. So, the guitar went back to Thomann.
Were it a regular shop, I'd be crying over the money I wasted, because Gibson is known to play dirty, customer care-wise. Luckily it was Thomann, so they agreed to replace the guitar, and had the power to make Gibson do so.
Six months later I received my new Explorer, which I've been happily playing for three months and six gigs. Is it flawless? Erm, more or less. The pickguard is curved. Meaning that in the middle there's 1-2 mm between the plastic and the wood. Meaning it was screwed badly.
And that makes 3 Gibsons out of 3 that have some (minor or major) factory defects. I don't think this requires a comment.
I don't think I'll ever buy another Gibson - and still hoping this one will be fine -, but surey I'll continue to be a Thomann customer.