All things aside, which guitar would prove most durable and reliable over time? I have heard that the Eclipse (Vintage Black), with its locking tuners, will never go out of tune while the RR5 may with heavy bends. I have also heard that the RR5s gold hardware fades after a few years. Are these statements true? I can not decide between these two guitars and this is what it's coming down to-can anyone enlighten me as to the quality of one or both of these guitars?

Both made in Japan, Same pickups in certain colors (I don't know if you can get Duncans with the Vintage Black finish, EMGs come in it for sure though), Esp probably has a better bridge, Same # of frets, I'd say the ESP is built better, I even slightly prefer LTD quality over the Jackson Pro Series.

All in all, very similar guitars. I love the Rhoads body shape.
um yeah
ESP eclipse is better in terms of quality and sound
I have an ESP and the quality is outstanding
get the ESP
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I'd get the ESP over the Jackson, more reliable and durable
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I feel much more confident in the Eclipse than the RR5, as I allude to in my original post. If i were to buy the Eclipse I would have to vow to someday own an RR1 or KV2 because I love Jackson Vs. If money weren't an option I'd probably buy both now...but unfortunately it is. (actually if money weren't an option I'd buy an ESP EX as well, damn you Gibson).
Of course most people are gonna vote for the ESP, because there are so many ESP fans around. In reality the Jackson is just as good a guitar. A lot of people got pissed at the Jackson brand when they sold out to Fender, but they still make excellent guitars. Its all up to you in the end though. Take this advice. Play both at stores. Extensively. They are going to be very different. The Jackson is Alder, and the ESP Mahogany. The tone will be different. Jackson will be punchy and bright, great for leads, and the ESP is gonna be smooth and dark, well rounded tone. A lot of times you'll see rhythm players with mahogony, and leads with alder or ash. Such as James Hetfield and Kirk Hammett. The ESP is also going to weigh twice what the Jackson does. Heavier wood and more body mass. Either will make a good dependable axe, but its all in what you want in the end.
I imagine they're quite similar in terms of quality, but personally I prefer ESP. If I were you I'd just spend half an hour with both of 'em and see which one you feel the most comfortable with and then go for that.