Price paid: € 579
Features: This guitar was made in 2008, China. It has 24 extrajumbo frets and thin 25, 5" maple set-neck with rosewood fingerboard. Body is made of basswood and it's white with black pinstripes. The body style is Alexi-V. This model features ESP-licenced Floyd Rose-bridge, (of course) locking nut (42mm), black nickel hardware, and ESP HZ H4-passive pick-ups at neck and Bridge positions. As controls there are tone knob, 3-way pick-up Switch and volume knob. The tuners are ESP's own non-locking. I would say this is an unofficial Alexi Laiho signature. // 7
Sound: The guitar has exactly the sound I was looking for. It's similar with Alexi Laiho-signatures and with when tuning this to Drop C and using settings similar to Laiho's on Boss ME-25-multi-effects unit I get exactly the same sound as that on, for example, "Sixpounder" by CoB. With tone know turned to zero and using Peavey Valveking's overdrive channel I get the same sound Petri Lindroos of Ensiferum had during his time in Norther. With ME-25, it's possible to get almost any sound necessary for metal(and many even for cleans).
This guitar suits many kinds of metal well. It not at it's best on cleans as it doesn't have much sustain and it has quite dark sound. It's quite easy to use harmonics on this guitar. The pick-up starts rather feedbacking than humming. This guitar is at what it was made for. // 9
Action, Fit & Finish: Action on this guitar isn't from the lowest end, but not also from the highest. It's notably higher than on some Ibanez-shred guitars. The pick-ups were adjusted to quite normal height. I raised them a little as I wanted more gain. The Bridge was routed well and it hasn't had any flaws. // 9
Reliability & Durability: I don't know of the withstanding live yet, as I have never gigged with this guitar. Hardware feels quite durable. I have switched strap buttons to black Schaller strap lock, which haven't ever failed. I would use this without back-up, as I have never snapped a string or had any other problems except loose whammy bar post, where I used to lock whammy bar too tight, but problem solved by learning not to force the whammy bar tighter. // 9
Overall Impression: I play melodic metal and this guitar is very suitable for that purpose. I have been playing it for a year at the time of writing this article. I'm using Boss ME-25 as preamp at home and Peavey Valveking at rehearsals and this sounds good through both of them. If it was stolen, I might buy new one as I like the shape of the body, the sound and the features. I like the metal-fitting sound of this guitar, but I dislike the clean sound, as it's not of the best end, but this wasn't designed clean sound in mind, so it doesn't matter. Especially I like that this sounds exactly like Alexi Laiho's guitars :D Only thing I wish this would have had would have been original Floyd Rose and some other kind of whammy post. Setting the intonation is also quite hard because of FR, but the other features of FR compensates that. // 10