Hey all, this is my first post! I am the former owner and CEO of Dark Horse Percussion in NJ. For 17 years I built custom drums for some of the finest drummers out there! Last January I sold DHP. So what now???...feed my guitar obsession!

Here is my question, any feedback and or insight is greatly appreciated!

I have had roughly 20 different guitars over the years (have sold, traded, and swapped a few I still tear up over ) Always looking for the "right" feel and sound. One of the last axes I had was a Gibson 61 reissue SG. It played and sounded like a dream, but like so many other times...I sold it! I know, boo on me.

I like metal and rock, and hack out on my amp.

I picked up a ESP Viper 256 in the antique black. I got the guitar for a song ($200) on eBay and it sounds and feels great!

What would I really see as the major differences in the higher end ESP Vipers and or Eclipses? Are these upgrades "really" worth it?

It's an LTD not an ESP.
Roses are red
Violets are blue
Omae wa mou

Quote by Axelfox
the LTD probably has lower end pickups and has bolt on neck. The ESP Viper is a set neck and has EMG. the upgrade price is probably worth it.
It has a set neck and the pickups are LH150 from ESP. They sound decent with no complaints with my amp and effects. Just curious about the other upgrades.
Seems like the nut, pickups and tuners vary from the higher end, but the pricing is a HUGE difference.
Quote by flamzilla
Seems like the nut, pickups and tuners vary from the higher end, but the pricing is a HUGE difference.

As with all branding the price increases exponentially, kind of like buying a Walmart T-Shirt vs a Gucci T-Shirt.

Generally it is believed that as you move up the pricing points you get:

-Higher quality wood (fewer pieces, sounds better and if you sanded it it would look very nice)
-Better build quality
-Better QC
-(As you pointed out) More expensive hardware
-Increased playability/feel
-Say ESP without people jumping down your throat

I've never set foot in any factory but I'd expect on a £2000 ESP they've got someone going over it with a fine tooth comb, which probably isn't the case on a much cheaper model. Country of manufacture is also a factor. In countries like China where labor is cheap the factory workers are paid less than their American counterparts, which factors into the cost.
Last edited by MegadethFan18 at Nov 20, 2012,
The set neck with the viper body is just really sweet. As you go up the models, you have the option to buy a viper already loaded with EMGs or even Duncan pickups. You also get things like locking tuners. If you shop used, the difference in pricing isn't as vast as you might think. Believe it or not, the right sale of your Viper could probably pay close to half of the costs of a viper-1000. There are sweet deals out there when it comes to higher-end LTDs.