weird huh? i've seen these for sale used on ebay and craigslist occasionally but i didn't know that epiphone was still making these.. cuz they looked brand new (still had the shrink wrap on the pickguard). re-reissue or something maybe? anyway, they were both black, and hanging seductively in the epiphone corner of the bass section (which is really like saying the corner of the corner... of the closet), so i had to give them a go. i've always wanted an explorer bass so i grabbed that one first and plugged it into an acoustic B600 (or whatever) and 8x10. first impression: holy fat neck batman! this bass makes chris farley look like her. i don't like fat necks... so that was a downer from the get go . the tone was pretty good, deep and muscular but not muddy, actually i really liked it's sound a lot. the fittings were ok, brass all over, nothing too special, not horrible though either. i guess overall i wouldn't get one due to the neck... (plus it's set neck or neck through so you couldn't even replace it), but i still want an explorer bass of some kind. i grabbed the flying v next. like the explorer it was black with white pickguard and brass doohickeys, but somehow seemed a bit cheaper (i dunno it might have been the shrink wrap on the pickguard that was peeling off, or the 3 point bridge). the v is short scale and although i think the nut width was the same as on the explorer the neck wasn't nearly as uncomfortable. quiet managable, plus i like short scales i don't recall what the tone was like because i only played 2 notes before it slid off my lap like a greased seal and hit the floor, and i was then asked to leave.