LTD AX-50 Review

manufacturer: ESP date: 11/15/2012 category: Electric Guitars
ESP: LTD AX-50
The body has an amazingly cool looking AX type body. Everything about the body screams metal all the way.
 Sound: 7.8
 Overall Impression: 8
 Reliability & Durability: 8.5
 Action, Fit & Finish: 7.3
 Features: 7.8
 Overall rating:
 8.5 
 Reviewer rating:
 7.9 
 Users rating:
 9 
 Votes:
 57 
reviews (6) pictures (1) 12 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 7.8
LTD AX-50 Reviewed by: unregistered, on november 15, 2012
5 of 5 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 350

Features: Dunno about what year this was made, but it was made in Indonesia. 24XJ frets on a Rosewood fretboard with a hard maple neck and Basswood body which assures a rich Warm and Balanced tone.Solid body and a shape that's just so Metal! Tune-O-Matic bridge with string-thru body construction that provide some decent sustain. 1-volume, 1-tone knob, 3-way-toggle pickup selector switch, pretty easy to operate and get you the desired configuration Fast! 2 passive ESP LH-150 humbuckers, which are just OK, not that great but are pretty decent, I will suggest to swap them ( SD Invader is a good optioin for this guitar ). Stock ESP tuners, what else would one expect from a $350 low range LTD? // 7

Sound: I used to play mostly metal for which this guitar suits nicely, but being constructed of Basswood with Maple/Rosewood neck and fretboard it can handle almost any style of music you throw at it. Nowadays I'm quite into Blues and Psychedelic, and some Jazz its pretty much good for them too. I play it into a Dunlop Crybaby 535Q and a Boss GT8 ( pretty simple rig ). Its a bit noisy when I turn any of the knobs maybe due to improper wiring or bad pots. // 7

Action, Fit & Finish: Fit and Finish on this guitar is seriously of good quality, but the action was a bit too high for my liking. Pickup heights are perfect. There is a tiny flaw that the volume knob got loose after about a year and half of playing. Except that loose knob there is not any other problem. // 8

Reliability & Durability: I have been playing this guitar for almost 3 years now, and believe me its a fighter! The hardware will last... At least a decade, the strap buttons are solid and they are huge! I never used straplocks on it and the strap never gave a intention of getting loose even after 3 years! I can entirely depend on it, I do use it on gigs without backup, but I will suggest backup, because a string never informs ya when its gonna snap ( so I'm getting another ESP! ) Finish will also last a long time, its kinda rough when new but gets smoother and develops a Shine after some usage. The neck bolts are very sturdy and I can assure you that because I almost broke the neck off, and it remained angled a bit... But it gets back in position if I push it back into its right place, nowadays its as good as new, no issues at all. Plus now I can do a whammy kinda effect by applying pressure at the neck..heh! // 9

Overall Impression: Overall its a pretty good guitar for any starter also can be a good option if you want a basic guitar for making your own customized or modded axe! It it were stolen/lost I will definitely miss it.. ( maybe even cry! )as its my first electric guitar so there is quite a strong bond with it. But I would not buy it again because now I have moved up and would get something much much better. It has a pretty thin neck that's very comfortable and great for fast phrases. Also it has a very good cutaway that provides access to the 24th fret ( I can even reach beyond it with my Pinky! )I dis compare this with some Ibanez mostly GRG's and other Ltd's like Viper and M-50, but I was most comfortable playing this one. Only wish if it had a floating bridge and some decent pickups, but hey I would not have purchased this one because it would be out of my then budget ( you get what you pay for! ) // 8

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overall: 8
LTD AX-50 Reviewed by: DNAx, on november 15, 2012
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: € 340

Purchased from: The American Guitar Store

Features: This guitar was made in 2006, the year all was good and pretty. There are two differences that I need to point out between my version and the 2008/2009 version (not sure whether there is a difference with the 2007 version) currently on sale. First off all, the type of wood for the body is different. The 2006 version has an agathis body while the 2008/2009 one has a basswood body. Second off all, the pickups are different. Instead of the ESP LH-150 the current version has my guitar has the LH-100. I do not know whether there is a significant difference between them. As I said before, it was made in 2006 and it was manufactured in Indonesia as are many lower end guitars. It has 24 X Jumbo frets and a 25.5" scale. The body is made of agathis and the neck is Maple and is bolt-on. It has a nice thin you contour neck which allows perfect gripping and a good reach at all strings. The body is also cut out low enough to reach all of the 24 frets perfectly, except for the low e which can be a bit of a hassle, but not all to much. The neck is Rosewood. I have the black satin finish but it is also available in silver. The body has a, in my opinion, amazingly cool looking AX type body. Everything about the body screams metal all the way. It also has a Tune-O-Matic bridge and features String-thru body. The pickups are ESP LH-100 in neck and bridge position. The pickups are passive. Controls given are Volume, Tone and a 3-way selector. The Tuners are Non-locking and made by ESP. These are about all of the features of the guitar. // 8

Sound: I bought this guitar about 2 years ago, so I had the time to test out the sounds I could get from it. I mainly play metal with an occasional clean bit here and there. Not only the looks are metal, the sound is very decent to. I play it through a Coxx 40 watt amplifier and a Behringer Ultra Metal UM-100 and it sounds like a raging beast. It gives a nice solid and clear sound with the minimal amount of background noise. Playing it through a golden cable eliminates all noise. With some tinkering around with the settings I get a really full but bright sounds, exactly what I'm looking for.I'm in a band and the other guitar player has a Ibanez XPT 700 but my guitar can hold it's ground next to it. I've also played it through a Hartke GT60 4x8 Piggyback Half Stack but also a Line 6 POD X3 connected to a Roland cube and it always sounds great. I prefer the bridge pickup to the neck pickup for playing distorted, because the neck gives a more fat and meaty sound which is not what I like in terms of distortion. The clean on this guitar is also really nice if you use the neck pickup. Using the bridge will create a somewhat "plastic" and fake sound, but using the neck pickup gives you a full and thick clean which sounds really nice. Not much more to say here. I will be swapping the original pickups for some EMG's because I like the sound of those active puppies better, but the stocks aren't all that bad. // 8

Action, Fit & Finish: I can't be sure whether the guitar was set-up great at the factory or that the store set it up before they send it off to me, so it's hard to say anything about it. When I got it the action was a bit high at the end of the neck (and it still is), but the intonation and everything else was about perfect. Pickups where about the right height and needed almost no adjusting. The finish was (with the emphasis on was) perfect and so contained no flaws and everything looked just perfect. I'm giving it a seven because I can't be sure about some things whether they were done in the factory or at the store. // 7

Reliability & Durability: The guitar is very durable, except for the finish. Although it is now 2 years later, the satin look of the guitar has certainly worn off. It looks dirty, but it's just a bit of glossy black mixed with some satin. The screws used are also looking a bit rusty and need to be replaced, it's not a big deal, but it is a bit of a waste. But these are about the only 2 things that are not looking all to good after 2 years of use and abuse. It has some natural wear and tear like little bumps, but there is no paint missing, which means it is quite sturdy. Would I use it for a Live performance? Definitively! It's a great guitar which will easily survive many gigs. You have to smash it into the audience and then jump on it to scratch it. The hardware hast lasted so far, with only a slight crackle in the volume knob which was fixed by simply opening the back and touching the wires once or twice. Except for that, not a single problem what so ever. The straps are positioned perfectly and very solid so there are no worries about the guitar ever falling. I would use it without backup no problem, I trust that monster! // 9

Overall Impression: My overall impression? OMFG, that thing is great! I mainly play metal and it does right that. It always hit's the sweet spot. It looks killer and it plays even better. I have to confess, I bought this guitar after seeing it on the ESP site and just falling in love with it's looks and I never tried it out. I can only say that it was a choice I can never regret. I have been playing for 2 years and I don't have the best gear, but this guitar just makes it sounds great. If someone was evil enough to still my guitar, I would buy a new one the very next day. I have had the chance to compare it with a Jackson and 2 Ibanez guitars (I own 1 myself) and those guitars just weren't any competition. So again, I would buy another one. I wished it had some EMG's in it as stock pickups, but you can't have everything. Also, maybe some other inlays then Standard dots would have been nice and could have maybe added to the metal feeling of the guitar, but it isn't that much of a deal, because everything else that is one the guitar makes up for it. // 8

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overall: 7.2
LTD AX-50 Reviewed by: isaacmiranda7, on november 15, 2012
0 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 230

Features: I'm not very sure what year it was made in. It was made in Indonesia then shipped to USA. 24 XJ Frets whcih make it eady to play. 25.5 in scale. Agathis body and a maple neck. Bolt-on neck. Smooth rosewood fingerboard. Came with stock passive ESP LH-100 Humbuckers, 3 way Switch. Features a Tune-o-Matic Bridge. It's extremely lightweight. // 8

Sound: I play metal (Slipknot, Avenged Sevenfold, Bullet for My valentine)and it seems made for stuff like this. I use it with a Line 6 Spider III 75 watt and it sounds okay. I plugged it into a Marshall 120 and it burnt the place down! It's better than most LTD's on clean but I don't care much. The tone and volume knobs work pretty well, not suddenly booming up but going gradually. I still think that it would be better if I fit DiMarzio's or SD's into this one. // 7

Action, Fit & Finish: I don't know about the starting action since this was bought second-hand. The pick-ups werein okay condition when I bought them. The finish on the fretboard wood quality was extremely out and it had some kind of shellac stains on them. The body shape is pretty awesome but it chips easily. // 7

Reliability & Durability: It can last for quite a bit Live. Currently, I use an Epiphone Les Paul as my back-up but it doesn't quite match this. I wouldn't put it in the heat for too long and perhaps Switch between this ESP and another guitar just to re-configure everything. The strap buttons are't very reliable and I would use this as my back-up once I get my Jackson. The finish will probably last for a few more years I would say. // 7

Overall Impression: This guitar works with metal... And as an added plus it has the style too. If this were stolen or lost, I would not buy another one of these, though I might get the higher end version, maybe the AX-400Fm or the Horizon. I compared this to an Ibanez Rg and this seemed liek a more sturdy choice. I have been playing electric for about almost a year now and played classical before that and I own an FBV Shortboard and a Line 6 Spider III. I'm trying to save up for a Jackson with EMG's hopefully. // 7

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overall: 6.8
LTD AX-50 Reviewed by: munky2089, on november 15, 2012
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 355

Purchased from: Furtadoes

Features: I think its a 2007 make, it has 24 frets, its basswood with rosewood fretboard and a sating finish. String thru body bridge with passive ESP pickups. It has a volume control and a tone know and a 3 way pickup selector. A gig bag and and a Laney strap came along. // 7

Sound: I play Blues, Jazz and Metal, this guitar is mainly more metal but does some decent clean tones too. Its has a dark sound and thick sound, the pickups aren't noisy and are pretty good for the price paid but they could be much better, no noise at high gains and cleans on the neck pickup are very good. I use it with a Zoom G1.2u and a Laney LX12. The shape is very good for metal though I bought it because of its wide body, playing is comfortable, some people complain that the ends jab in the chest while playing but you need to adjust to it like it applies for any shape. Tonally its not a bright sounding guitar, the sound is thick and I played it along with a F-50 but the guitar sounds heavier on the same settings, the tone knob is useless compared to other high end guitars but for the price you pay, you get amazing tone out of it. The down part is low sustain of only about 4-6 seconds on my amp with clean settings and full volume. // 7

Action, Fit & Finish: I took lot of time to setup this guitar, I use gauge 11's and play at standard c#. The action is relatively high, but not enough to cause any problems, personally action depends from player to player and I like the action to be a bit high so that the notes are clearer. The black satin finish looks very good and didn't chip off after a few knocks here and there. I am very satisfied with it. Wiring seems to be fine and the bridge is fitted well, the screws for the connection cable came out loose so had to tighten them up but everything else has been fine. The strap locks are not very sturdy so I had them tightened up. The factory setup was terrible, I had to do the whole setup again, lot of fret buzz but now it handles fine. // 5

Reliability & Durability: I have already used this guitar for lot of live shows and its completely dependable. The hardware will last as I have been using it 2 1/2 years now and no problems. The fretboard gets dirty quickly so it needs cleaning and maintainance once every 3 months. The finish is fine and has lasted well considering I am not very careful with this guitar but I am planning to change it. // 8

Overall Impression: If you are a intermediate/beginner guitarist and have a low budget then this is a good guitar to buy, its worth every penny and has a very good sound for metal and hard rock. I have been playing for 5 years now and I have played lot of guitars both low and high end, this is not the best guitar but for 350 $ you cannot ask for a better guitar. There have been lot of reviews from total noobs calling this the best metal guitar ever and some calling it a piece of shit guitar, I think compared to all the other guitars in this range (Ibanez, rat, Washburn and low end bc rich) this is the best buy, I tested lot of guitars before buying this one and I am completely satisfied with it. There is no point comparing it to a high end guitar and calling it a piece of shit, if your budget is high you can get way better guitars. And BTW I changed the orginal nut to a bone nut for more sustain and installed EMG 81/85 combo on it, the sound is much better now and the tonal possibilities have increased and so has the sustain. I hope this review was helpful to you. // 7

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overall: 8
LTD AX-50 Reviewed by: DizzyPillow, on november 15, 2012
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 250

Purchased from: Local musician

Features: 24 XJ Frets. Passive pickups. Ax body style. String-thru body. Volume, Tone, 3-way switch. Made in Indonesia. Non-locking. Tune-O-Matic. Solid top. LTD ESP Ax-50. The person I bought it from provided me with a few picks and a strap. He did not change the pickups or any factory settings besides adjusting the action and pickup height. // 8

Sound: Suits my style perfectly. (Metal) Crate amplification. Sometimes has a hassle with feedback. Beautiful clean on the clean channel. Agressive crunch/distortion sound. Great for learning pinch harmonics and natural harmonics. Beautiful for learning all types of techniques. // 8

Action, Fit & Finish: I bought it used, and the previous owner adjusted the pickups and action. The previous owner did minor care for the guitar. Like with most Ax style bodies, the two lower horns have been scarred. 2-3 tiny chips in the paint/body. A slight loose neck. But once I fixed it up it looks great and plays great. // 7

Reliability & Durability: A very reliable guitar once you get strings completely stretched so it won't go out of tune. I would definantly consider using it on a gig without a backup. It has a great sound once you find a good adjustment for the pickups and the action. And sounds good for all types of music, with its beautiful clean sound and powerful distortion. // 8

Overall Impression: At first I was skeptical of the guitar. But with the experience we've had, I couldn't love it more. It has been with me through every learning process and I would strongly recommend it to any beginner/intermediate players. It will help with nailing the right notes and great for learning pinch harmonics and natural harmonics. // 9

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overall: 9.6
LTD AX-50 Reviewed by: MudkipRocker, on november 15, 2012
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 313

Purchased from: thomman

Features: I don't know what year it was made but it was made in Indonesia. 24 XJ Frets Rosewood Fingerboard Maple Neck 42mm Standard Nut Chrome Hardware Master Volume 3-Way Toggle Master Tone Satin Black Finish // 9

Sound: It suits my style well (Rock-Hard Rock) I think it sounds pretty good You could play any style of music on it. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: There were absolutely no flaws when i got it so i'll give it a ten // 10

Reliability & Durability: This guitar will fight for a long time and i mean it. The finish might come of a little with scratching but not completely. The strap button couldn't get off even if i used a hammer, it's big and solid // 10

Overall Impression: I play rock mostly like Sum 41, Nirvana, Metallica, Guns N' Roses, AC/DC and stuff like that I've been playing this since 3 months I wish it had a whammy on it // 9

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