LTD MH-1000FR Review

manufacturer: ESP date: 11/30/2012 category: Electric Guitars
ESP: LTD MH-1000FR
The guitar factory set up was great, perfectly in tune and action, intonation set not quite right but easily adjustable.
 Sound: 8.8
 Overall Impression: 8.5
 Reliability & Durability: 8.5
 Action, Fit & Finish: 8.3
 Features: 8.8
 Overall rating:
 9.1 
 Reviewer rating:
 8.6 
 Users rating:
 9.6 
 Votes:
 37 
reviews (4) pictures (2) 16 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 8.4
LTD MH-1000FR Reviewed by: sea`, on november 16, 2012
2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Price paid: C$ 800

Features: The LTD MH-1000FR is a Korean-made guitar built in the semi-famous World Instruments factory, which is responsible for the higher-end budget lines of many guitar manufacturers, including Sterling by Music Man, Charvel, and others. Features include: - Mahogany body & set-in 3 piece maple neck - Thin, flat, comfortable U-shaped neck, 24 jumbo frets - Dark rosewood fingerboard - Quilt top veneer, cream binding & abalone inlay work - Super Strat body type (modeled after the ESP Horizon) - Clear gloss finish - Floyd Rose 1000-series licensed tremolo bridge & locking nut - Active EMG 81 & 85 pickups (bridge & neck) - Single volume & tone knob, 3-way blade switch - Grover tuners - Comes with manual & wrenches for bridge adjustment The MH-1000, like all LTD 1000-series instruments, is extremely well-built and has a number of high-end specs. Although spec-wise it is very similar to some cheaper guitars, the quality of the build, woods used, finish and setup is much better than what you would find in a lower-end Ibanez, LTD etc. The 1000-series are professional-quality and would easily stand up to any touring or gigging, though on the grand scale they are not built to the same exacting standards of "real" ESP guitars. The MH-1000FR definitely holds its own, however, next to an ESP Horizon the difference in build quality and tone is apparent - whether it is worth 2-3x the price is another matter. Small downsides include the lack of an Original Floyd Rose bridge, although the 1000-series is excellent, and the veneer, which lacks the 3D look of real quilt tops. // 8

Sound: The MH-1000FR has a mahogany body, and combined with the classic EMG 81 and 85 pickups, this results in a very full, but still articulate tone. Whereas EMGs can sound overly bright or harsh in alder, basswood and other brighter woods, mahogany complements them excellently, leaving behind a very balanced tone. Obviously, with its dark stylings, this guitar is geared towards metal and rock, which is what I primarily use it for. I play my MH-1000 through a Peavey 6505+ 1x12 Combo with the speaker swapped for an Eminence Swamp Thang, often boosted with a GFS Greenie Classic (Tube Screamer copy). With the speaker swap, the guitar is powerful and is able to produce a really great, articulate growl when played at high gain settings that is ideal for all sorts of metal, save perhaps the most Traditional types. For leads, it's equally capable, especially using the neck pickup to play smooth, soaring leads or fast two-handed tapping parts. Although many players tend to dismiss most metal guitars as, well, only capable of metal (doubly so for those equipped with EMGs), looks aside, the MH-1000FR is actually very capable of warm and dry jazzy tones, as well as classic rock, blues and lead playing. Cleans are also sparkly and extremely clear, especially when paired with reverb or delay. While I would not pick this guitar for pop music, funk, blues or anything requiring a more Vintage tone, it works extremely well for just about anything else. As EMGs tend to be a bit more clinical than other pickups however, you may need to tweak your amp settings or your technique to get the tone you want. // 9

Action, Fit & Finish: The 1000-series LTDs go through significantly more quality control and setup work than the lower-end models, and as such they tend to be far more consistent out of the factory. My MH-1000 was set up for very comfortable play right out the box, once it was tuned up, despite being shipped halfway around the world. Action was low, though not quite as low as some guitars, and there was virtually no fret buzz. I have since set the guitar up a few times to suit my preferences for a lower action, and even with the action at around 0.25mm at the 12th fret, I get almost no fret buzz - the neck is straight and set very well in the body. Pickups were set high, as is common with active pickups like EMGs, but not too high as to kill the tone or provide unmanageable output, and have not required any further adjustment. Frets were leveled well from the factory, and intonation and tuning have not been a problem. The remaining fit and finish - binding, inlays, paint, gloss, etc. - is all impeccable, save for a few very minor flaws in the binding edge which are no doubt the sorts of things that would be eliminated on a more expensive ESP. There were no faulty input jacks, loose switches or knobs, dirty pots, etc. Although slightly unconventional, I really like the "side block" inlays, as they are still highly visible but let the very dark, smooth grain of the fretboard come through. There are two main complaints I have with this guitar as far as finish goes. The first is the top. The guitar uses a pretty obvious veneer instead of a real maple top, and the result is a quilt that lacks a true "3D" look. Instead, it comes across as a slightly cloudy, grey-purple sort of texture which is only really visible in bright lighting. It doesn't look bad per se, however, if you are expecting a stunning quilt top, you won't get one here. However, considering this is ultimately a budget guitar, it's comparable to other guitars I've played in the same price range. The second major problem is the Floyd Rose-1000 licensed bridge. It holds tuning as well as a real Floyd, and is very durable and reliable. I have used licensed Floyds in the past and have not been impressed, as all of them have had tuning issues that I was never able to fully correct. The 1000 series bridge is built to Original Floyd Rose standards, except in Korea instead of Germany, and I expect it to last a long time. However, it uses the new style tremolo arm, which does not fit snugly in the threads and tends to vibrate and come loose with use (a problem even on real Floyds). Additionally, the dark metal finish used on the bridge has begun to wear off less than a year after purchasing the guitar, especially where I rest my palm on the sixth string saddle. While ultimately a cosmetic blemish, it's a problem I didn't expect to have with the guitar and is a pretty strange omission given the top-quality components everywhere else. Final note - the abalone is not really to my liking, and is a bit tacky and excessive while probably adding to the guitar's cost. I'd like to see this toned down in future models. // 8

Reliability & Durability: The 1000-series guitars, as I've said, are professional-quality instruments. While they might not match real ESPs or stand up to $3000+ Suhr or Tom Anderson guitars, they are more than capable for both live use and recording situations, and are very much a "working musician's" instrument. The MH-1000 is no exception in this respect - I would trust it for just about any application. As mentioned above, the Floyd Rose-1000 bridge is not a real Floyd, though it is made to high specifications and is definitely a step above your average licensed Floyd bridge. From all I have heard, as far as tuning stability and performance goes, they are as capable as Original Floyd Rose bridges, however, we'll see if that's the case in 20 years. The dark grey finish on the saddles has begun to wear off on mine, which is apparently a common problem. If I experience further issues, I might replace it with a Gotoh Floyd Rose from Floyd Upgrades down the line. Last, no stainless steel frets. These are uncommon even on high-end instruments, but I don't expect the frets on my MH-1000FR to stay perfectly level, or to last for 50 years before re-fretting is required. But, this is a complaint that can be made of instruments two or three times the price as well. // 8

Overall Impression: I've been playing for close to tend years and am at an intermediate level, doing my own recording and songwriting although not much live playing. As I play primarily metal, this guitar looks, feels and sounds the part. It is a very solidly built instrument and a very good value at under $900 CAD, and is capable of achieving the tones I want no problem. The MH-1000FR, on a personal level, is also an extremely comfortable guitar. The ESP Horizon body style is a standard super Strat shape (less aggressive than some out there), however, it also features an arch top similar to some PRS models. This gives it a really nice contour that is just comfortable to play on. Unlike the M-1000 (ESP M-II style), the guitar overall is just slightly bigger than your typical Ibanez, enough to fill your hands and rest comfortably on your leg, but also by no means bulky or heavy. The neck profile is classic ESP: thin, fast, accessible, with excellent upper fret reach, nice and flat high up, but a little rounder and thicker near the headstock for playing chords. Although I like the speed of super-thin necks from Jackson and Ibanez, that thinness doesn't always translate into comfort over the long term. I can play my MH-1000FR for hours and my hands never get fatigued, and it just sits right in my hands no matter what I'm trying to play on it. The fingerboard radius is about 14 inches, which is very flat for a six-string guitar. As I have shorter fingers than some, the flatness makes it easier for me to stretch for hard-to-reach notes. Overall, when I set out to buy a new guitar early this year, I was looking for something capable of metal tones, precise, articulate and playable, but with additional warmth typically not found on bolt-ons, and high-quality features absent from a lot of other models in the same price range, like Ibanez. The LTD MH-1000FR has not disappointed me, and while there are flaws with it that betray the fact that it's still ultimately not a top-end instrument, I have seen very few in the same price range that look, play, or sound as good. If it were stolen, I probably wouldn't get another one, however, only because I'd get something a little nicer at this point. For intermediate players who want to step up from a cheaper instrument to something more fully-featured and that doesn't require lots of tweaking to get playing well, the MH-1000 (or any 1000-series LTD) is an excellent choice. For professional musicians looking for a solid workhorse guitar with good quality control and a little bit of "bling", the MH-1000FR also delivers. There are better guitars out there, but I am definitely satisfied with mine. // 9

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overall: 9.8
LTD MH-1000FR Reviewed by: otter4200, on november 16, 2012
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: A$ 1400

Purchased from: Local Music store

Features: It was a 2011 model with 24 easily accessible extra jumbo frets. Has a beautiful Quilted maple top. Floyd Rose 1000 series. EMG Active pickups. Master volume and master tone. Had to buy Hardcase separately. // 10

Sound: I play metal, and this guitar is metal. It is great for my style, it probably wouldn't suit country or soft rock but It is VERY good at what it is intended to do. I'm playing it through a Marshall stack and the wall of sound produced from it is amazing, can't beat it. Any noise experienced would come from the amp or cable, the EMG's are dead silent. I've used them direct into a computer and found there was no background noise at all. Without the 18V mod it isn't as good doing a natural rock kind of sound but once the 18V mod is done it is very versatile. I would have done the 27V mod but I read that it doesn't do much. The neck pup does heavy chords really well and is surprisingly good for solos, but of course it can't beat the ultimate shred machine, that is the EMG 81 bridge pickup. It lives up to the reputation it has built. It shred very similarly to most modern metal bands, and the power chords it does are very akin to the sound of Metallica. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: The factory setup was adequate but as with all Floyd Roses, it needed a shop setup. After the shop setup, it stayed in tune surprisingly long it would stay in perfect pitch for weeks on end! The bridge pickup needed raising but the neck pickup was fine. The electronics were perfectly set, inside it had all the cables neatly tied up. It took a while to get used to the Jumbo frets but in the end they turned out good. // 9

Reliability & Durability: This guitar will definitely withstand live playing, whether you would risk taking it on stage is a different question. The hardware will definitely last, probably be best idea to take a few spare batteries to a gig just in case the EMG's run out. The strap buttons were very solid, I would recommend a locking strap for live gigs but for home use, the buttons were perfect. The finish will last, it is very smooth to touch and is very durable. I could gig without a backup but I probably wouldn't since I just would never do that with any guitar. // 10

Overall Impression: I play metal, this guitar is exactly that. I've been playing five years and own a few other guitars, none like this. If it were stolen I would definitely buy a new guitar, and some battery packs for the 18V mod! I highly recommend anyone who has this guitar to do the 18V mod, it helps a lot. I love the floyd rose on this guitar, it dive bombs live Eddy Van Halen on roids. I was a bit sketchy on the weight of it since I'm used to playing a Fender Squier but I've since found its a lot lighter than most other guitars. I compared it to other EMG fitted guitars but I found this was the one with everything I wanted, and it looked awesome too! I wish it had come with a hardcase like Gibson's but I didn't really mind paying the extra bucks for one, they are definitely necessary and worth it. // 10

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overall: 6.6
LTD MH-1000FR Reviewed by: unregistered, on november 16, 2012
0 of 3 people found this review helpful

Price paid: A$ 1350

Purchased from: Icon Music

Features: It is a 2011 model I got around the end of 2011, as with most LTD's it's made in Japan. - 24 frets - 25.5 scale - Jumbo frets - Flamed maple top - Strat style body - EMG 81&85 (b&n) active pickups. - Floyd Rose 1000 series, pretty much just the OFR but not made in Germany. - Master control & Master Tone - Came with fitted case. // 7

Sound: At first when I got this guitar I was blown away from the sound, the clarity and the electronic sound it had. After about a month or so the sound started sounding very dull and horrible. I figured this was just the batteries running out so I replaced them. It sounded better but still the tone from this guitar is far from what you'd expect when forking out big money. I now just find it lifeless even with the 18v mod. Also unlike my previous electrics which have never been worth more than $400, this guitar has no real feel to it, no real soul. Its kind of like when you ear people saying they picked up a Gibson and it just felt good. This guitar doesn't. Don't get me wrong the guitar is ABSOLUTELY silent, no feedback or background noise. Its just the tone and sound is not very desirable. I've found this guitar really doesn't suit any style of music I've tried; Country, metal, rock, blues, clean, jazz. // 6

Action, Fit & Finish: The guitar factory set up was great, perfectly in tune and action, intonation set not quite right but easily adjustable. // 7

Reliability & Durability: This guitar will withstand a few live shows but personally I wouldn't gig without a backup, purely due to the floysd rose. It stays in tune most of the time but can easily be bumped and go out of tune while playing live. Also the jumbo frets make playing rhythm a nightmare. // 7

Overall Impression: I usually play Heavy rock, sometimes going into metal. I also try to mix it up a bit and play blues/country sometimes. I've been playing fro 4 years now and this is my first good electric, in hind sight this guitar was probably not the right choice as when I bought it I hadn't learnt my lesson yet and bought without trying and ended up regretting it. Before buying this I wish I had really sought out different guitars to see which one suits my tone right, unfortunately I didn't. If it were stolen/lost I would most definitely not buy a new one, maybe going for an Ibanez, high range Epi or low range Gibby. I don't mean to be completely harsh on this guitar but I have to say, having only two control knobs is horrible, it can pretty much only do a crisp sound and a muddy sound. // 6

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overall: 9.4
LTD MH-1000FR Reviewed by: unregistered, on november 30, 2012
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 600

Purchased from: Craigslist

Features: I own the 2006 Snow White version of this guitar made in Korea. I bought it off a guy on Craigslist. It was a second hand guitar (now a third) and it's still in immaculate condition. I live in Hawaii and this thing has gone all the way from Texas to here and still has no dents, scratches, only some discoloration to the black chrome hardware. It has 24 XJ frets, beautiful abalone binding on the headstock, neck and body. Equipped with EMG active pickups and a Floyd Rose 1000 series bridge. I've owned it for about 3 weeks now and I love it. // 10

Sound: I play mostly metal music and I have to say for a 3rd hand guitar, it probably still sounds as well as it did on day one. It came stock with EMG 81/85 combo, but I switched out the 85 for a 60 and it sounds way better. Suits the guitar more and also the style of music. Sweet leads that sound ohhh so good through my solid state Roland Cube 40XL. Not much of a wow with the amp, but played through a Blackstar or a Marshall and this thing sings. There is no noise at all, plus it had the 18 volt mod on it already. Pretty sweet deals. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: The way I got it, the Floyd Rose was blocked so the guy could drop tune. I immediately removed it and set it up perfectly to a drop C tuning and it's perfect. Action is just right, not to low, not to high. Pickups needed a little adjustment. Bridge has fantastic pullups and dive bombs. This guitar had no flaws at all. The white leaves no visible finger prints or anything. Abalone trim is fantastic and pretty flashy. Locks were perfect, and Floyd was intonated properly. Awesome hardware choices and maintains tuning all the time. // 9

Reliability & Durability: Haven't taken this thing out to a live performance yet, but I'm pretty sure it'll do just fine out there with no backup. Strap buttons are solid and hardware will definitely last you. Finish seems to be very durable and wont fade or rub off anytime soon. This thing is always in a case and is always in a cool temperature controlled environment. This guitar is just amazing, especially for the price I paid. Even for regular price, this guitar would be worth it. Ohhh, it also comes with Grover tuners that stay in tune (even though you have Floyd locks) and are just as awesome as the other hardware. // 9

Overall Impression: This guitar in all is AMAZING. If I lost this guitar, I'd buy it again. Although I'd be sad to lose this finish (because they don't make it anymore) but I'd definitely buy it again without a question. I've been playing guitar for about a year now, and I have to say that out of all the guitars I've tried, this has to be one of the better feeling ones. From Ibanez, to Schecter, to Jackson, this LTD takes the cake. If your lucky to find one of these out of production Snow White models, cherish it, because its just beautiful.

// 9

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