LTD KH-202 Review

manufacturer: ESP date: 11/15/2012 category: Electric Guitars
ESP: LTD KH-202
Easy to play with and easily tweakable with floyd rose. It's good quality/price stuff.
 Sound: 8.3
 Overall Impression: 8.8
 Reliability & Durability: 8.3
 Action, Fit & Finish: 8.6
 Features: 8.3
 Overall rating:
 8.7 
 Reviewer rating:
 8.5 
 Users rating:
 8.8 
 Votes:
 243 
reviews (18) pictures (2) 102 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 8.8
LTD KH-202 Reviewed by: tallica1708, on november 15, 2012
11 of 14 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 1004.67

Features: This guitar is a Kirk Hammett signature model, made in Korea. The fretboard is made of rosewood and it has 24 frets. The body is made of basswood. It has a liscensed floyd rose bridge with a whammy bar (2 way). It has 2 EMG passive humbucker pickups (EMG-HZ). It's got 2 volume controls (1 for each pickup) and one tone control which is common for both pickups. So in total it has 3 knobs and a 3-way selector (neck pickup, bridge pickup and both pickups used together). It has ESP locking tuners. My guitar came with an allen key to fix the floyd rose as well as the lockin tuners. It also comes with awesome skull inlays. // 10

Sound: This guitar is perfect for the music I play like rock and heavy metal (lots of Metallica stuff). I generally play it with a micro cube amp or a Fender Frontman amp and a Korg AX10G. I prefer playing it through the Micro Cube even though its a lot smaller. I like the neck pickup for clean tones because it gives a nice warm tone rather than the harsh tone given by the bridge pickup. When I use dirty tones, the bridge pickup is my favorite because it sounds alot heavier. Through the Micro Cube, the guitar is very quiet when I'm not playing it even though the amp is on. I don't get any hissing sounds but then again, I never play very loud. // 8

Action, Fit & Finish: My guitar was set up very well. I have had no problems with my floyd rose so far. Everything is perfect except that sometimes I get a hiss sound when I turn the volume knob for the neck pickup. // 10

Reliability & Durability: I feel that this guitar will stand playing live but I would always keep a backup because ifa string breaks, it would take a long time to fix the string due to the floyd rose. Personally, I would never play live without a backup when I'm using a floyd rose. The finish has ot spoilt yet and it seems that it will last if you take good care of it. // 8

Overall Impression: Again it is perfect if you are a metallica fan or if you like hard rock. I've been using this guitar for one year and so far so good. Even though it is an awesome guitar, if I lost it, I would not buy it again because I like to experiment with different guitars. I would probably buy the KH602 which is a more expensive version of this guitar. I love the whammy bar and the awesome skull inlays but I hate having to change the strings because it take time and is annoying. It is not as simple as a Strat or a Les Paul. I first chose this guitar because of the skull inlays. They are so much cooler than dots. I think it would sound much better with active pickups like the ones kirk uses himself. // 8

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overall: 8.8
LTD KH-202 Reviewed by: bassisto, on november 15, 2012
7 of 7 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 474

Purchased from: mothers music

Features: '06 model has a 25-1/2" scale, Basswood body, Maple neck with rosewood fretboard, EMG-ESP LH-300 pickup set, 2 volume, tone, 3-way switching, Black hardware, Floyd Rose licensed tremolo, 24 extra-jumbo frets. The pickups are passive, the tremolo isn't perfect but it works, and I love the woodgrain finish on the back of the neck. I think it looks cool. The reverse headstock and skull inlays pulled out the old visa for me. // 8

Sound: I'm in love with the tone. There is so much more top end compared to my Epi Les Paul. I play with a wah, flanger and a noise suppressor into a Marshall AVT 50. It sounds great, perfect for rockin the thrash metal. The only issue with the sound is that the clean tones can be a little compromised, but that's what the Les Paul is for. // 8

Action, Fit & Finish: This is the guitars specialty. The neck is thin and built for speed to kill. The black finish is great just like the saying "black is beauty". Only issue: black shows everything! Every tick, fingerprint, cigarette burn, or lipstick Kiss from my old lady shows up on here. it's a tad annoying. I bought this guitar to shred and shred it shall do. // 9

Reliability & Durability: LTDs are f--kin tough. Tougher than Fords. I've played their basses and guitars and these things are tough as nails. I've never had a problem playing klive although my bands nature prevents from gigging w/o a backup (different guitars for different tunings and tones). // 9

Overall Impression: At the moment, I'm a pretty hardcore, all-out, long mop sportin metal-head, so this guitar is right up my alley. The shape is natural, the playability is excellent, great metal tone, and it looks wicked cool (sadly which is half the battle). I always like ready what people write for the stolen thing, so personally, I would take the guitar from the moron Who took it and impale his sternum upon the headstock (ala If you want Blood), pick up the guitar and rip a painfully fast solo over his rotting corpse. Then probably burn his house down. // 10

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overall: 9.4
LTD KH-202 Reviewed by: nickfinn, on november 15, 2012
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Features: The KH-202 is my 2nd guitar after a 2nd hand Fender Strat. Compared to this it has great features. The 24 XJ frets will please and benifit any shredder. it comes fitted with a floyd rose tremolo system along with locking nut. The controls are 2 voloume and 1 tone and a 3 way selector selecting the EMG-HZ's. I was a little disapointed with the black finish, every single mark and smudge shows up and would of looked better and cleaner if it was mat black. The coolest part of the guitar is the scull and crossbones inlays which impresed me and anyone that looks ot the guitar. Sadly it came with no extras. // 9

Sound: This guitar would suit many styles from bluse to heavy metal and byond. I play my guitar through a 30w Roland Cube and sounds the cleanest, and brightest I've ever heard. On the other hand with the gain all the way to 10 it sounds like I could play on stage with Metallica. The guitar is quiet as but has loads of sustain. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: When I got it form the shop there was nothing wrong except for a wrongly put in string that broke immediately after ising the tremolo bridge but that was easy fixed. After about a week the tromolo arm is loose when wound all the way in but is tolerable. And also the 22 fret had a little rust but all this will be fixed for free when I sed it back to musos corner. // 9

Reliability & Durability: I would personly not toke this guitar giging without a backup only because of the floyd rose bridge, if a string breaks your stuffed. the hard ware dosen't seem like it will last 50 years but that is only because the bottom line of pickups and floyd rose. The more you pay the more you play. // 9

Overall Impression: Overall this guitar is awesome compared to other guitars I've played (Fenders, Epiphones) but if I lost this guitar I wouldnt but it again purely because I like variety and I really want an ibenaz jem. I really like the floyd rose abd the scull inlays. But I dislike it when a string breaks because it takes longer than usual to fix. // 10

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overall: 10
LTD KH-202 Reviewed by: Insane Esp, on november 15, 2012
1 of 2 people found this review helpful

Features: The ESP KH 202 is one great guitar. It is made out of basswood with a 24fret extra jumbo rosewood neck. On the neck it has Kirk Hammet's signature pearl skull and crossbone inlays. It comes in a beautiful black finish that if you look into it you can see your reflection. IT has a licensed floyd rose tremolo system that is amazing. It also has a set of EMG H-Z humbucking pickups that are insane. It has 3-way switching with two tone knobs and a master volume knob. It also comes standard from ESP all the tools necessary for tuning and tweaking the guitar. // 10

Sound: I mainly play heavy metal/ euro metal/ massively hardcore music. This definately fit the needs. It plays massively hard but yet is insane for soloing. its perfect for any metal guitarist. Many people have told me, Oh get EMG '81s, I say it is great with the ones on it and wouldnt change a thing. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: The action is medium to low which is great. The pickups were perfect along with the factory settings. Everything was perfect. // 10

Reliability & Durability: So far I've had this guitar for about a half a year now and its great. The neck is still fast, the hardware and tremolo is still mint and I've only broken a string. Yes the tremolo can be difficult at times but that will occur with all Floyd rose bouble locking tromolo. I'd say it is gig ready no matter what kind of gig. Everything is durable great and dependable. // 10

Overall Impression: Like I said I play hardcore metal and this fits me great. if anyone wants a great dependable guitar for a low price I say this is the one for any rocker. I compared this to the Jackson Dinky guitars and it had everything it had except for the price. It eas $100 dollars less. All in all I say this is a great product for any guitarist that likes hardcore palm muting or insane soloing. I would reccomend this to anyone Who is in the market for a great guitar. ESP has once done it again. Shred on Kirk Hammet. // 10

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overall: 9.8
LTD KH-202 Reviewed by: metallica_death, on november 15, 2012
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 915

Purchased from: www.Dawsons.co.uk

Features: My ESP KH-202 is the latest with chrome hardwear, I didn't like it at first but then I got used to it and then loved it and in difference to to the black hardware it was much better. It came with a floyd rose, it had emg ESP unlike the black hardwear which have H-Z. // 9

Sound: The ESP KH-202 suits my playing style very welland has a very nice tone and suits my metal playing style, me and my friend compared both the sounds to the black hardware one and we prefered the one with EMG ESP's. we plugged it into a BB Blaster and it sounded really kickass. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: The factory set up the guitar spot on! The pickups were adjusted well, the floyd rose wasn't too high or too low. And there no faults in the guitar except for some picks scratches which were self inflicted by me accidently, also the guitar has really low action which enables me to play faster and benefits me and helps me to improve my playing. // 10

Reliability & Durability: I have played a couple of gigs with this guitar and it is great for playing live and is very durable. The hardware seems like it will last after it took a few bemps and no damage was done. The strap buttons are really solid and the strap has not become loose or the strap has not fallen off unlike my old guitar. The finish seems built to last, pick scratches are hardly visable and there are no scratches on the finish after a few months of owning the guitar. // 10

Overall Impression: I play metal and Metallica style music (hence me buying the kirk hammett guitar in the first place) and was a good decision me buying it. I have been playing for around 2/3 years now and my other guitar is a Jackson Randy Rhoads V but the KH-202 is my guitar of preferance and is the main guitar I play. If it was stolen I may buy it again or I might see any other guitars are around. Ilove everything about it and I wouldn't change it to be honest although I was thinking of putting a ouija board finish on it like kirk has but in the end I didn't. In comparison to some ofthe other guitars I played in the same price range it was superior to most of them. And there isn't really anything I would change about the guitar and is my best purchase to date. // 10

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overall: 1
LTD KH-202 Reviewed by: waxhead, on november 15, 2012
1 of 20 people found this review helpful

Features: This guitar has your Standard thrashy Strat. ESP locking tuners, flat you neck, jumbo frets and a lisenced trem. Sound comes from a set of EMG hz/h4 passive pikups; for those of you playin out there this is a '05 model, last of the Kh-202's to come with real EMG pikups, and a somewhat contoured basswood body. // 1

Sound: Of the guitars I have played, this is the worst, though the EMG's do have some punch there is too much difference between bridge and neck sounds, the bridge with no sustain and a strange cutoff that resembles a noisegate, it's physically impossible to play any song with it, and the neck being a muddy flat mess with little definition. I've messed around with tube stacks, solid state stacks, combos and even practice amps and there is just nothing exciting, even the good old analogue stompboxes just don't seem that good hooked upto this guitar. // 1

Action, Fit & Finish: Of the 12 months in use, I had played this guitar for maybe 3 months tops. From the factory, the neck was warped and not a single fret was set properly, originally jumbo, these frets now resemble Vintage sized frets from the work done on it. The lisenced tremelo fell apart after I restrung to a nicer guage of strings then continued to almost reach snapping point for no apparent reason. The physical finish is rough as guts, every little ding in the wood from manufacture can be seen through the paintwork and the glossing is horrible. // 1

Reliability & Durability: A guitar that you buy then can't play for 9 months then find it's still unplayable doesn't even deserve this section of review. Comparable to a guitar made entirely out of glass or possibly ice. This doesn't help but just scroll up to "action, fit and finish." // 1

Overall Impression: I've played a few ESP guitars, and they all seem to be cheap, being a lefty and playing something that sits between Sonic Youth, Frank Zappa, Mr Bungle and Captain Beefheart I'm very limited. This guitar is very expensive firewood with a magnet whacked in for good measure but never could it pass as an instrument. Lefty's don't have a choice of instruments seeing as custom shops won't even build them, so what's on offer is very limited and I nthis case cheap. I did go back to muso's corner, a.k.a destroyer of guitars and played a right handed version, just as bad. Thanks ESP for screwing up my life. // 1

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overall: 9.4
LTD KH-202 Reviewed by: AiC, on november 15, 2012
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Features: Just got my second guitar... and my dream baby, an ESP KH-202. I've a Epiphone Les Paul Special II, but this baby is in a different league altogether. Mine is manufactured in China, I think, well that's atleast what it says behind the headstock. It is a super Strat design with 24 xtra jumbo frets and a superb maple neck and a rosewood fretboard. it has a bolt on construction with a basswood body. The finish is black. The only problem is that all marks and fingerprints show up on it, but that's something that can be easily resolved with a piece of cloth. It has a licensed Floyd Rose tremlo system, which stays in tune fairly well, although I have to say that this is my first experience with a tremlo system of any kind, so I'm still learning. It has 2 LH-300 passive Humbuckers with 3 control knobs. 2 for volume and 1 for tone and a 3 way pickup Switch. It has a double locking system and my guitar came with a gig bag, allen wrenches and a string set. // 9

Sound: I mostly play stuff like Metallica, creed, nirvana etc and it suits my playing style perfectly. I play it through a pretty crappy Kustom 20 watt and a Boss OS-2 pedal. It's very good especially in the clean channel. with the distortion it's even better. The difference that stunned me was how much clearer and bright it played compared to me Les Paul. // 9

Action, Fit & Finish: The action was a bit too high when I played it initially, but I got it lowered at the shop. Other than that it did not have any flaws, everything else was alright. The pickups didn't need any adjusting, the factory setup was fine. the finish was clean and good. // 10

Reliability & Durability: This guitar will definately withstand Live playing (although I've never gotten the chance yet:), hopefully that day isn't far off ), but then again it isn't very wise to gig without a backup. The strap buttons feel like they would hold, but then again you could get strap locks to be on the safer side. This finish on this thing won't last 50 years but will do. // 9

Overall Impression: This is the part where people threaten to do all the different kind of things if their axe was stolen, but I'll say this, if it was lost or stolen I would be devastated, but would definately buy it again. it is perfect value for money and a pretty serious guitar. // 10

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overall: 8.8
LTD KH-202 Reviewed by: unregistered, on november 15, 2012
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 469.99

Purchased from: Guitar Center

Features: 2009 Model, made in China. Thin, 24 XJ fret maple neck with a rosewood fretboard. Black superstrat basswood body with all black-chrome hardware. Double-locking Floyd Rose Special bridge, with passive ESP-LH301 humbuckers, controlled by two volume/one tone knob, and a 3-way switch. The tuners are a non-locking, ESP brand. A kit of essential tools was included (allen keys, etc.) The features of this guitar aren't far out there (no coil-splitting, passive electronics), but the necessities are all there and work great. I love the two 3 in-line control knob configuration. Features are fairly Standard for this price range. // 8

Sound: I'm a metallica fan until I die. Since begining to listen at 8, I've bought every album and DVD they've put out and seen them live. My favorite tone over the long career would be Kirk's smooth leads on display in S&M. I keep this baby tuned Eb, as this allows for the widest variety of Metallica covers. I use a Crate Stealth GT50 (Celestion Vintage 30 equiped combo). I replaced the pu's with kirk's go to setup (EMG 81/60) and there is a night/day difference. The sound of this guitar, variety, cleans, smooth leads, and chugging rhythm's are a 9 with the EMG's, but only a 6-7 with the stock pu's. The tone is pretty dry, lifeless with the stock pu's. With the EMG's its a smooth and creamy, yet cutting and nasty. You can pull off any metal, and any clean tones you want with this. ACDC and classic rock fans look elsewhere. // 8

Action, Fit & Finish: The factory setup was absolutely perfect. I like my action as low as possible, but not so as to lose tone/sustain from fret buzz. The pickups came perfectly setup and adjusted. The fretboard, neck and body of this guitar were absolutely perfect. Frets were dressed and leveled appropriately, there were zero finish flaws, and everything was secured properly. The floyd required no adjustments, which is quite surprising for any floyd, let alone at this price range. For this guitar to come as perfectly setup as it did, that is either a miracle or a testament to the quality of the LTD brand. Absolutely perfect. // 10

Reliability & Durability: This guitar will absolutely withstand live playing. The hardware will last a lifetime if cared for properly. The strap buttons are excellent, and won't need replacing anytime soon. I would not, under any circumstances gig without a backup, in particular with a Floyd Rose guitar. The tuning sacrifices for dips and dives make that impossible. Outstanding, and compares rather well to the much more expensive Jackson RR3 floyd system. // 9

Overall Impression: This guitar is a perfect match for my playing style and musical tastes. I wished the guitar came with kirk's EMG 81/60's, but coming in at under $500 you can't have everything. Use the money you saved on some overpriced guitar and make this thing SCREAM. The foundation is here for your Metallica dream tone and vibe. 4 years playing, lifetime of listening (rock, metal), and will be comparing the KH-202 to all the guitars i've owned. This includes ('06 Gibson SG, '93 Epiphone LP STD +top, '07 Ibanez RG120, '08 Jackson RR3, '08 Epiphone Goth LP, '99 Gibson Explorer). This is my favorite, as well as my go-to guitar. Upgrade the electronics and this one compares favorably to any guitar on the market. *On my 1-10 scale a perfect 10 is something that either doesn't exist, or I haven't played yet* // 9

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overall: 10
LTD KH-202 Reviewed by: cwbwakeboard9, on november 15, 2012
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 375

Purchased from: IE

Sound: I play rock & metal this thing does the trick. I use it through a Crate amp and it sounds pretty good, although I would get a Marshall if I had the cash. It has passive pickups and it is virtually soundless on a distortion channel unless of course you have the gain maxed out. The whammy bar can make a bunch of cool noises and pinch harmonics on this thing are pretty good. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: Action is nice and low, it is comfortable to play and you'll enjoy it if you are a good guitarist. Pickups are well adjusted, but I have my own preference for them and they are easy to adjust. The guitar came in perfect condition and you could play it right away, mine even came in tune. // 10

Reliability & Durability: This guitar could withstand live playing although it hasn't been used live. Hardware is not loose nor is it deteriorating in any way, shape or form. I can definetely depend on this thing, My amp on the otherhand is not very dependable. Finish seems good, not any sign of use on it with exception of the small amounts of dust and pick debris. The only thing about this guitar is that the locked nut makes it take a while to tune, although you can tune it by lowering or hightening the tremolo system but that is not something someone should do. // 10

Overall Impression: I just with the locked nut was gone on this guitar, it would be easier to tune. I think it's a very good guitar though and I would buy another one if I had to. // 10

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overall: 6.2
LTD KH-202 Reviewed by: theking4everr, on november 15, 2012
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 549

Purchased from: Music123.com

Features: Basswood body Bolt-on maple neck 25-1/2" scale Rosewood fingerboard Locking nut 43mm neck width Extra thin flat neck 24 XJ frets Black nickel hardware ESP tuners Double-Locking Floyd Rose Special bridge ESP LH-301 pickups 3 way selector Nothing special but it does the job well enough. I've had it for 3years now and I used to really like the features of this particular guitar which made me get it(and also I'm a huge Metallica fan..haha). Now after growing'as a musician, these features are not enough and I would definitely like better pickups specifically and better locking nuts. // 6

Sound: I play a lot Heavy stuff. Metallica-Dream Theater-Opeth-Trivium -Soloing etcand with a bit of blues and jazz as well. I've played it through many amps but right now I'm using it with a Marshall MG50DFX. I usually try NOT to play with a lot of effects but I use a lot of delay at times. I try to keep it simple. This guitar sounds awesome when played with distortion. Very heavy and you can really hit those harmonics well! When played clean it sounds great too which is quite surprising for me. I've had this guitar for a long time but it still sounds great to me although I'm planning to upgrade to a better one. But if you're an intermediate guitarist looking for a good metal guitar, This one is good. Very rich and bright cleans and really heavy distortion. The downside is it isn't exactly the most versatile guitar out there. // 8

Action, Fit & Finish: I ordered it online so it was shipped to me. The action was perfect for me. Low action. The pickups were adjusted perfectly too but the guitar wasn't tuned (probably because it was being shipped). The bridge was routed perfectly well too. Basically when I got it everything was perfect except it wasn't tuned. The finish is black nickel hardware and it has lasted me quite a while. I've gigged around with this guitar and I've dropped and hit it quite a few times. So now there are a few chips on my guitar but if you take care of it I can guarantee the hardware will last you a lifetime! After so many years of playing with it, I'm now facing a problem with the bridge and the tuning pegs and the strap locks. This guitar rarely stays in tune for me now.I've got it fixed plenty of times but it doesn't stay in tune which is really pissing off honestly! The strap buttons don't hold up well any longer so I have to make sure I don't jump around when I'm playing live with it! IAlso,this guitar CANNOT withstand low tunings!!Drop C or Drop B etc etc...no effing way!! If you're looking to get this guitar and play stuff like As I Lay Dying. learn to transpose or get another guitar! Haha // 4

Reliability & Durability: Like I said, I've played with this guitar live and I still do just that I have problems with it now so I try not to use it much live.I could play with it live when I first got it and for a year after that maybe! Its probably that I don't take care of my guitar much at all and that's why it has so many problems all the time. I'm not sure.I never gig without a back-up anyway and I wouldn't gig without a back up if I had a Joe Satriani signature. The strap buttons are so NOT solid but that's again because I never really took care of my guitar! The finish is great and after so much dropping and banging it into walls and corners I've had only a few chips on the body. The finish is definitely one of the best features about this guitar. I have a huge feeling that all these problems occur to my guitar because I travel a lot with it and maybe its the vast temperature changes that screw the intonation one too many times. It's just old now I guess! // 5

Overall Impression: For Metal this guitar is great! I've been playing for 5years and before I bought this guitar I tried out an Epiphone Explorer and the Jackson marty friedman sig. But I only bought this guitar because I've always been a huge fan of metallica and used to be a huge fan of Kirk Hammett that time! This has been my main axe for the past few years(even with all the problems! ) I'm planning to upgrade to the JPX6 soon. This guitar is definitely a beast when it comes to playing metal.Great sound from it and it feels great too. Simple shape but looks Metal.. When I got it I fell in love with the skull bone inlays! It is a really good instrument if you take care of it.I didn't and I'm facing the consequences now I guess! If this guitar was stolen I wouldn't go kill the thief..that would be way too easy. I'd probably torture him/her! If I lost it, I would probably shoot myself! And get a new Kirk Hammett signature but next time I'll get the ESP version of it and not the LTD! All in all, if you're looking to buy a good metal guitar which looks great and sounds killer(and you're ready to take care of it like a baby) then get this one. You won't regret it. I honestly don't regret buying it. Its a great instrument! If only I took care of it!:( // 8

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overall: 8.8
LTD KH-202 Reviewed by: bygkok, on november 15, 2012
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 429.99

Purchased from: Cherry Street Guitars

Features: I'm not sure what year it was made....probably in 2009. It has 24 XJ frets (a little big at first but with time are comfortable and not noticeably big.) 25.5 scale as are all esp's with 24 frets. Rosewood fingerboard with "skully" inlays...very cool. Alder body and I think maple neck. Solid black finish that shows EVERY fingerprint and smudge. Sort of a Japanese Strat style body shape with Floyd Rose licensed tremolo and Dual ESP humbuckers (supposedly based on the EMG HZ.) Two volume controls one for each pickup (I love this as you can do the Randy Rhodes style kill Switch sound) and one tone control. Non-locking tuners but who needs em! // 9

Sound: Very suited to my style of playing which is mostly thrash style...all palm mutes and power chords! I use this guitar as my Eb tuned guitar. I play through a Peavy Vypyr amp and almost always get a good sound when using any type of distortion. Recently have been playing through a Boss Mega Distortion pedal...but I do get quite a bit of buzz...thinking of installing Duncans or EMG pickups. As I said very good distortion sound. But the clean can sound pretty dull, so if you like a good bright clean sound...don't bother. Although I love chorus or a little phase on a clean channel with this guitar. // 8

Action, Fit & Finish: Had the dude at the guitar shop set it up for me...lowered the action to offset the big fat XJ frets. Pickup adjustment is fine. All hardware was in perfect shape...once I loosened up the floyd from the newness it performed great. No body or paint flaws... // 9

Reliability & Durability: I think this guitar would perform just fine...I haven't had the grand opportunity to perform live yet but it would do just fine. It stays in tune perfectly and I have yet to break a string. Very solid strap buttons...but if you constantly are putting on and removing your strap the buttons will stretch the hole and may cause the strap to fall off. I would never gig without a backup...you NEVER know what might go wrong. // 9

Overall Impression: As I said I'm a metal player. It is a very good match. I played for 7 years seriously...3 not seriously...then 1 1/2 years not at all...and just recently picked it back up...this is my first guitar since I started again. I also own an LTD V300 and right now the only amp I own is a peavy vypyr 30w. If the guitar were stolen I would probably go with a higher end model...one that actually has Kirk's signature on it. I bought it because it was Kirk's guitar and most of the stuff I learned to play as a teenager was metallica. The only thing I dislike about the guitar...and this is the case with all locking tremolo guitars...they usually only will support one tuning without setting up the floyd tension and all that after detuning. I wish it had active pickups...other than that...I love it! // 9

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overall: 7.2
LTD KH-202 Reviewed by: Bobguitarist, on november 15, 2012
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: £ 400

Purchased from: can't remember!

Features: I bought the guitar in january of 2008 and it was made in china. It has a Floyd Rose tremelo bridge with fine tuners because of the locking nut. It has a maple neck with a rosewood fingerboard which has 24 frets and skull and crossbone inlays which look pretty cool. The pickups are EMG hz passive pickups and a 3 way pickup selector. The locking nut is good as it never really goes out of tune but is a pain when you want to tune down or want to change the strings. // 9

Sound: There is none of that annoying buzz when you put it into distortion. Infact, through my line 6, it is completely silent. My style is hard rock and metal so this guitar is perfect for my style. On the distortion channel it is brilliant and is gives a very strong sound. However when you put it on clean, the sound is not so great but that isn't what this guitar is for. // 8

Action, Fit & Finish: The guitar was very well set up and all I had to do was lower the action slightly and it was fine. Some instructions on string changing would have been nice as I had no idea what to do as I had never had a locking nut before. // 6

Reliability & Durability: This guitar, behind all the wacky skulls and stuff is actually very delicate. I accidently hit it against a wall while playing and damaged the jack. If it was something like a Stratocaster it wouldn't have been a problem because it is not right at the tip of the guitar. Some wires inside has had to be resoldered (a few times before hitting it) and now it is on its last thread and I will get it replaced. The neck pickup has kind of sunken down which hasn't happened on any other of my guitars. I would however (and have) play live without a backup because it is other wise very sturdy and has withstood some major falls. If a string broke live I would be a bit screwed though... // 5

Overall Impression: I play largely on the distortion channel so it is perfect for my metallica style playing. If it were to be stolen or whatever I would probably end up with a Fender Stratocaster as my playing has slightly changed since I bought it and fenders have brilliant sound and can withstand a lot of hits. (I have had a squire for about 6 years and has been thrashed and is still going strong, even if it is cheap and sounds a bit crap) Overall it is the best guitar for and improver who play's heavy rock or metal but can be fustrating at times. // 8

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overall: 9.6
LTD KH-202 Reviewed by: 666xJohnnie, on november 15, 2012
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Price paid: $ 550

Purchased from: Guitar Center

Features: This guitar is a special edition Kirk Hammett signature model. It is very special because it is the only Hammett LTD guitar in White. Its has 24 jumbo frets. Bolt on construction, 25.5" scale, Basswood body, maple neck, rosewood fingerboard, esp tuners, and its own special editon floyd rose. 2 ESP stock pickups(they are OK, but you can always change them) which are located in the bridge and neck position, 3 knobs: 1 tone 2 volume, and a super fast and thin neck. // 9

Sound: I Play mostly alternative and rock. But I love the heavy distorted high gain sound so I mess with that alot. I run it throught a Line 6 Floor POD into a Line 6 half stack or a rp70 into a Raven rg60. With this guitar you can do sone crazy dive bombs, the harmonics are great, its not noisy at all, and the tone is rich and full. You can get a rich clean tone just by turning the guitar volum down but it sounds like your in a different channel. // 9

Action, Fit & Finish: Everything was factory set and perfect. Flawless. The action was set to kirk hammetts preferences I might change it to match my needs but well see. The bridge is flush with the body when in Standard but if you plan to stay in a different tuning (like if this was you drop c guitar and it never came out of drop c)properly adjust it if you want to ocassionly tune down its ok. But as I said before sdjust it so you can get the most out of the whammy. Also if you use a heavier gauge than ten adjust intonation and add more springs... OR ELSE! // 10

Reliability & Durability: I've played live and it sounds and feels great. The hardware is durable. This is a really solid and durable guitar the finish doesnt't wear off and the silver hardware on the white finish it sexy. Just clean it every so often I use Dunlop formula number 65 and bodygloss 65. // 10

Overall Impression: I Play mostly alternative and rock. But I love the heavy distorted high gain sound so I mess with that alot and its a perfect match. I have been playing for a year but I play as if it has been for 5 years. I own a Line 6 halfstack, Raven rg60, Line 6 floor pod, AXL badwater, and DigiTech rp70 which I just won so I'm playing with it. The only thing that bothers me well it doesn't actually bother me its a personal preference is that the knobs are 1 tone 2 volume, I would rather have 2 tones one volume but now that I have had it for a while I make it work. This guitar is perfect for me and my standards. Its awesome cause when people see the headstock their all like "oh yeah thats totally johnnie". its awesome and I recomend it@! // 10

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overall: 8.8
LTD KH-202 Reviewed by: @li@s H4nZu, on november 15, 2012
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Price paid: € 450

Purchased from: Thomann.de

Features: I bought it in 2009 so I guess is's made in 2008. Taken from Thomann.de: "ESP LTD KH 202 Kirk Hammett signature guitar - bolt-on neck with rosewood fretboard, 24 extra jumbo frets, basswood body, EMG-ESP LH-300 pick-up set and FR tremolo. Inlays: skull & bones. Colour: Black." It also has 3-way switch, chrome hardware, 2 volume and 1 tone knob. Great features. At least when its brand new. // 9

Sound: It suits my playing style well since I play mostly metal at the moment but no doubt it could handle other musical styles as well. I'd suggest switching into some other pickups though because in my opinion the stock pups don't have enough balls and that distinctiveness that I missed a lot in the stock pups. They we're noisy as hell too. So I changed the stock bridge pickup into a Seymour Duncan Blackout and damn! The guitar just burst into flames! =D Haha just joking anyway now the sound much more raw and distinctive in the low end and the highs are just singing..well..high. It's much quieter now too. So I strongly changing the pickups. Not necessarily into what I switched but into whatever you prefer. I'm using this guitar with Bugera 333XL head and Framus 2x12 cab with v30's and I just love the raw crunchy tone I can achieve with it. Though after changing the bridge pup into a SD Blackout it's pretty hard to get a bright clean sound without turning down the guitar volume and picking a bit lighter but hey you just can't get it all can you? :) Besides I have other guitars for the cleans anyway this one is dedicated to metal. // 9

Action, Fit & Finish: Action and pickups were all setup well so I didn't have to tamper with them and got straight into the playing part. Actually I didn't get to the playing part right away because I just stared there looking at it because it looks so bad ass! The skulls & bones inlays got my attention (and of course being a Kirk Hammett signature :P ). No flaws whatsoever // 9

Reliability & Durability: I've used this guitar for about a year now and been through 3-4 both inside and outside gigs using it as my main guitar and it's still rocking. But it is not all bed of roses. I've had a few problems with it. For instance the "chrome" finish of the oh so cheap Floyd Rose Special is starting to corrode (lol my palm sweat is so corrosive :D ) and the paint from all the other hardware is slowly starting to wear off (screws etc.) but I guess that is normal when a guitar is in daily use since it is my main guitar. I'm more annoyed of the FR chrome to wear off. But the FR itself seems to last. The guitar is still in great condition there is of course some minor scratches on top and still I'd have to really search them with a proper lighting. // 8

Overall Impression: As I mentioned above at the moment I play mostly metal and this guitar delivers it (with a change of a pickup anyway :) ). I've been playing for 4-5 years. Other gear can be found in my profile. Well I wish that I had asked about the pickups and the FR but other than that I'm good with it. " If it were stolen / lost, would you buy it again or get something else?" Hehe silly question I would never let my guitar just lay there for some junkie to pick it up and sell it to get money for drugs. BUT in the most unlikely situation if it were stolen I'd get my money back from my insurance company, add some money into it and get the KH-602. But as I said I'd never let the events to lead into that some moron would pick it up and leave with it. =) I love the thin neck and fast playability and of course the looks but I hate some of the cheap hardware. I didn't have the chance to compare it nor test it since I bought it straight from the world of internet which is something I will never do again :D (Buying something from the internet without properly testing it that is). I wish it had better stock pickups and better FR but other than that it's great product for the price I think. As a overall rating I'd give it a 8 but oh well that goes to 9 since there isn't 8 as an option :). // 9

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overall: 9
LTD KH-202 Reviewed by: basschaos500, on november 15, 2012
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 499

Purchased from: Guitar Center

Features: I love it! its got a Floyd Rose, bad ass inlays (skull/cross bones), passive electronics // 8

Sound: It's really a fantastic guitar I currently run it through a MetalMuff pedal and into a small Line 6 Spider IV 15 watt amp, and it sounds great. It's perfect for grunge, metal, alternative, punk, post-hardcore... I guess it's okay for lighter music, but that's just not what I'm into // 9

Action, Fit & Finish: It came in perfect condition, so nothing that I would honestly complain about // 10

Reliability & Durability: I beat this thing to hell and back and it hasn't broken yet! I got strap-locks for it just to be safe (I'm dangerous) // 9

Overall Impression: Great, relatively inexpensive guitar that is extremely versatile and easy to play. Just awesome // 9

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overall: 9.4
LTD KH-202 Reviewed by: chzinio, on november 15, 2012
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Price paid: £ 350

Purchased from: GAK

Features: Was made in Korea 2010 brilliant rosewood jumbo 24 fret neck although I have a few chips in mine still plays amazingly the body shape is particularly good as I can easily go from the 2nd fret to the 24th the floyd rose is still holding even through a few tuning issues... Mine came with EMG-HZ's I am not sure if they do anymore but these are no doubt the best metal pickups in creation! They pick out the high notes while still amplifying the low tones. It came with a box and soft case. // 10

Sound: Plays Amazing on metal effects especially my Iron Maiden and Metallica tunes and also good on clean but sadly is pretty bad at light distortion I use it with a Marshall micro-stack 5 foot and Metal Zone pedal TBF the volume doesn't have a lot of variety. // 8

Action, Fit & Finish: Amazingly set up a good tight bolt on neck should secure my axe for a good 10 years yet! The action is brilliant the pickups were a little wonky though I don't think of it as a disaster no flaws when I bought it nothing has gone wrong yet. // 9

Reliability & Durability: I have gigged it a few times played awesome the pickups or bridge have never gone wrong on me I have never needed a backup for this but I always take one just in case... Strap buttons are a little slippy. The finish is amazing Ido not think I will ever see the wood! // 10

Overall Impression: For metal players looking for a cheap treasure chest this is it I have had a Gibson Explorer that didn't play metal as good as this! The sheer feel of the guitar is warm and edgy an amazing natural sound. Kirk Hammet's ESP KH202 is amazing for 350 with outstanding hardware. // 10

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overall: 9.4
LTD KH-202 Reviewed by: unregistered, on november 15, 2012
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Features: The body is made from Basswood and the neck is Maple. It has a Strat style shape and has a bolt on neck with 24 extra jumbo frets. It comes in a shiny black with black nickel hardware. It has a great double locking Floyd Rose and stays in tune! It has 2 volume knobs and 1 tone knob, and a 3 way selection switch. The pick-ups are ESP's version of EMG pickups, they are passive too, so you can just leave it pluged in and not have to worry about the battery. The tuners are ESP made, And the guitar is made in China. It comes with a bar for the the Floyd Rose and the basic tool kit that comes with every other guitar. // 9

Sound: The sound is great! It has perfect clean tones and works even better when distorted. But the knockoff ESP Pickups still don't sound the same as the Real EMG's. I have another guitar that has EMG active 81/85 and personally the difference isn't much unless you switch between the two. Although the guitar already sounds fine, I would want to get either the KH-602 or just put in EMG active 81/60s myself. I use this guitar with a 100 Watt Fender DSP and sometimes a 15 watt Line-6 and a 15 watt Randall. It works great with all amps! And for pedals, I Usually use the 2 Channels on the Fender amp, but at band practice I use a Boss DS-1 and a Chorus CH-1 Pedal. // 8

Action, Fit & Finish: When I bought the guitar, it came in great action because this was the only one guitar center had left, and it was out on the wall so everyone can play it. So when I bought it they had to do a set up for free. Which was great for me. But if you get the guitar new from the box, you should always do a Floyd Rose set up at your local guitar store. // 10

Reliability & Durability: I've bought the guitar about 2 months ago and used it nonstop. I'll always gig with a back up just in case the stings pop. But this guitar is built to last a lifetime. C'mon it's an ESP! The weather changes have messed up the tuning since I do take the guitar to band practice twice a week, but that's normal. ESP guitars are built to take a beating and last! // 10

Overall Impression: I mainly play Metallica, but I do sometimes play Pink Floyd, Iron Maiden, and Guns N Roses. This guitar works great for all types! I like how the pickups aren't active because the clean sounds are great for Pink Floyd songs. I've been playing for about 8 years now and If this guitar were stolen I would track the guitar down, Beat him with the guitar and most likely be able to play a gig with it after! Before looking at this guitar, I always wanted the ESP LTD M-100FM but compared to this guitar, It's horrible. // 10

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overall: 8.4
LTD KH-202 Reviewed by: unregistered, on november 15, 2012
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: £ 399

Purchased from: PMT Birmingham

Features: This guitar has a bolt-on neck, 25.5" scale, 24 extra jumbo frets, a basswood body with a maple neck finished in satin, a rosewood fingerboard with skull inlays and "KH-202" at the 24th fret, black nickel hardware, separate volume pots for the bridge and neck pickups and a master tone pot, a 3 way switch a Floyd Rose Special bridge and ESP LH 301 pickups at the bridge and neck. It is the lowest spec full-size guitar in Kirk Hammett's (Metallica, Lead Guitarist) signature range, and offers good features for the price. // 8

Sound: The stock pickups are decent as stock pickups go, and reasonably versatile, with the bridge pickup the highlight of the pair - it gives a nice sound for rhythm playing and some soloing - but I have upgraded the pickups to EMG 81 (bridge) and EMG 60 (neck) for 120, which is the same as the next one up in the range (the KH-602) and gave me a great improvement on an already good tone. My main amp (until I save more money) is a Marshall MGFX15, (although I have played through much nicer amps, which vastly improve the sound) and this combination lends itself more towards distorted rock and metal sounds, although nice cleans are possible with the neck pickup, or the bridge with the tone rolled off. The rating is for the stock pickups. // 8

Action, Fit & Finish: The neck on this guitar is superb, described as an "extra thin you neck contour", so the back is pretty flat, and is good for sweeping, etc. It had a small amount of what appears to be glue on the treble side at the 19th and 20th frets which won't come off, but this doesn't affect the playability of the guitar in the slightest, and is purely cosmetic. The rest of the guitar is finished immaculately, no imperfections in the paintwork and frets are well dressed with no sharp edges. The only changes I have made are to replace the pickups with EMGs and lower the action. The only downside I can find to this guitar is that string changes and tuning take up to half an hour due to the Floyd Rose, but the result is great tuning stability, and once strings are played in they stay in tune for weeks at a time. // 9

Reliability & Durability: This guitar would withstand playing plenty of gigs. I have had it for more than two years now, and while I don't mistreat my guitars I can be a little accident prone with them. The guitar is very tough, as I play for sometimes up to 12 hours a day (yes, I need a social life) and tend to knock it on walls, cupboards, other guitars, my keyboard and my clarinet, and after two years of this the only result is that the once viciously pointed headstock is not as sharp, and there is a hole in my bedroom wall where it went through. There are also a few scratches on the back (blame my belt) and a couple of dings on the headstock. Overall, pretty tough. // 9

Overall Impression: The 399 I paid for the 202 is definitely worth it if you're looking to upgrade from a beginner's guitar, as it has decent features for the price, although the stock pickups, while providing a decent sound for stocks, definitely warrant an upgrade if you want to get great sounds for gigging or recording. The extra 120 I paid for the EMGs takes it close to the 600 price tag of the next model, the KH-602, which has nicer woods and hardware, so for an extra 80 that would be a preferable purchase. The looks are rather understated completely black finish which contrasts nicely with the skull inlays and chrome hardware but still look nicely "metal"; in conclusion, a pretty tidy purchase. // 8

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