Price paid: C$ 799
Purchased from: LA Music
Features: This 2011 Korean Made ESP LTD EC-1000T CTM in Black Gloss is magnificent guitar featuring:
- 2" Carved Mahogany Body (No Top)
- Available in both Black Gloss and Snow White
- 1 Piece Mahogany Neck
- Set Neck construction
- 24.75" Scale
- Ebony Fretboard with ESP flag inlays
- 22 Extra Jumbo Frets
- 42mm Nut
- EMG 81 and EMG 60
- Tonepros locking bridge with tailpiece
- A "Thin U" Neck contour (Very similar to Gibson's 60's Slim)
- ESP Locking Tuners
- Gold Hardware (Bridge, Switch Ring, Controls, Strap Buttons, Tuners)
- Multi-ply Binding (Back, Front, and Headstock. 5 layers)
- Single Ply White Neck Binding
- 3 Controls V-V-T
Top notch hardware, pickups, and materials with a mighty fine price. A huge turnoff for this guitar is that ESP seems to have discontinued the Traditional EC-1000T which featured a flamed maple top, Seymour Duncan Alnico Pro II (Bridge and Neck) which makes this the only choice if you wanted the thick-bodied, double binding, Gibson-esqe LP guitar.
Without the more traditional variant of this guitar, sadly the features lean too much towards metal (as is ESP) which makes the guitar simply lack versatility. If you want a Les Paul shape guitar which leaned towards metal, by all means get this because this is what you want but if you want versatility... Look away from this. // 8
Sound: I currently play as a Session guitarist and bassist and have no favorites but personally lean towards old 80s rock and metal (Guns N Roses to Metallica) and some modern metal (Avenged Sevenfold) I personally would turn to my more versatile, lighter sounding ESP LTD MH-1000NT for the 80's Rock but will definitely use this guitar for metal.
I use a Mesa Boogie Dual Rectifier as the Jack-of-all-trades amp and a Fender Hot Rod Deluxe for cleans. The EC-1000T works wonders with the Dual Rectifier but lives up to the "EMG's can't do cleans" talk when doing pristine cleans, but does a mediocre job at cleans with a little filth and dirt. As said above... Metal, HELL YES! Versatile, Meh. And Cleans, No. // 7
Action, Fit & Finish: I had recieved the guitar right from the inspectors in the US. Whoever set up my guitar (props to inspector alias "RD") You did a good job on the action setup. But I can't say the same for those you constructed it in the first place. I can see black paint on the binding on the headstock which I see every time I play (complete eyesore) and the way the binding was placed at the neck joint is a complete utter mess (too bad I can't put pictures on the review).
All in all, guitars or products from Asia (excluding ESP's custom shop) can be pretty hit or miss, you might have a guitar luthier who has like 50 years of experience and masterfully crafts your guitar or you might have some trainee level luthier. Make sure to check out the guitar in a shop for blemishes or flaws, you might regret buying from an online source. // 7
Reliability & Durability: I currently own 3 LTDs and they take punishment like no other. The finishes stay strong for years unless you drop them from a stage. I have dropped the guitar once due to a faulty guitar strap button but what seemed to be a deathblow to the guitar was only a binding crack.
Most of the damage oneself can blame themselves for (jumping on stage). The golden hardware is lasting after a year of play, and so is the gloss finish. Glossy guitars are prone to pick scratches and being a black guitar just makes it worse. // 8
Overall Impression: Personally it only fits the metal side of me but others will have their own opinions. I have only been playing guitar for 9 or 10 years and own so much gear it's stupid, but notably I own an ESP LTD MH-1000NT, ESP LTD M-300FM, and a Gibson 76 Explorer. If I were to lose this guitar, I would either stick with my MH-1000NT or hunt for the ESP LTD EC-1000T Traditional variant. As said all over the guide, versatility is where the guitar takes it's biggest hit but everywhere else it has potential.
This guitar sits below ESP Standard Guitars, Gibson, and PRS but sits above the rest of the LTD line (being deluxe). Imagine borderline between Fender Deluxe and Fender Custom Shop. Overall a good guitar... For the right people. // 8