#1
Hello everyone,

I recently joined Ultimate Guitar, although the website was useful when I used to play guitar in the past. Passion is back and I want to buy an electric guitar, but I can't decide, see figure, which one would be better. Note that I've played guitar before, but it's been about 5 years since I last touched one.

What I'm seeking for is a guitar on which it would be ''appropriate'' to play on Drop B and C. My favorite band is Soilwork (Swedish Death Metal) and it is a style I would like to learn/refine(?). The band's guitarists use ESP guitars. I've look at some models that appealed to me and that were affordable...

- ESP M-100 FM
- ESP MH-50
- ESP MH-53
- ESP MH-100 QM
- ESP M-103 FM

I've also taken a further look at the Mitchell MD400. It looks very nice, although it has medium fret size (probably better pickups though).
Some might want to know what type of pickups I'd like... and the honest answer is I couldn't tell you. My first guitar was a $200 USD Yahama guitar... which I really hated because of the fret buzzings.

Can the guitar experts give me their advice on this? Maybe another brand would be better too...

Thanks for your help,

Dave
#3
Well, you can't really tell a guitar without a proper setup. Usually the out of factory guitars are with cheap strings, have traveled god know how many climes, etc. So it is really hard to pick something based on its out of box experience. You need to put new strings, check intonation, bridge height, neck bow, etc. before you could tell.
#4
I would be iffy on LTDs under the 400 level.

are you ok buying used?
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#5
Where are you located? Are we speaking in terms of $US?

If you're from the US, the used market is heavily saturated in guitars much better than what you've listed for $500.
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#6
Toodeepblue is right. Used market much more vast. And used will more than likely have a setup like diabolical was saying.
#8
You have a few issues here that really narrow the scope of what can be recommended.
You've narrowed "best under $500" to "best under $500 that says ESP on the headstock because I'm fanboi-ing a Swedish death metal group and they use them, and I don't understand what a setup does and haven't looked at used gear."

And then you're looking at $700-$1000 guitars on Kijiji. Wut?
#9
If you can find an ESP for $400, I'll take my hat off to you. But these guitars are not ESP's. They're LTD's.

If you're obsessing over the name ESP, you may have to add an extra figure to that $500 budget.
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#10
dspellman Alright, so the 2 guitars on Kijiji are in $CAN, my mistake for not mentioning it. That means, the one at $725CAN is $541USD, not that much of the $500USD budget.

As for the narrowing, title shows ''other?'' and in the first post of the thread, I wrote: ''Maybe another brand would be better too...''. I'm not restricted to ESP...
#11
T00DEEPBLUE Well, I get your point. I wouldn't expect to get a ESP ESP for $400. But LTD is still ESP, (ESP's cheaper and less affordable guitar). If you refer to the post just above, I'm not obsessing over ESP. It just seems a good guitar brand to play metal and is the one I concentrated my researches on.
#12
Now as I've played both, ESP and LTD is two different guitars. One (ESP) is made by Japanese craftsmen probably going back a generation or two, while the LTDs are made in the Indonesian factory that also builds teak furniture for Pier1.
The top LTDs, M-1000 range made in Korea got very close to the lower end ESPs and were a great deal up to few years ago, so maybe look these up used.
Another brand to look for is Schecter, I think their Korean Hellraisers from few years back are great guitars.

On another note, I ordered LTD GH-200 against all reason as I need knockabout guitar. I'll report back on that one as it should arrive in 2 days.
#13
Quote by Snowblood8
T00DEEPBLUE Well, I get your point. I wouldn't expect to get a ESP ESP for $400. But LTD is still ESP, (ESP's cheaper and less affordable guitar). If you refer to the post just above, I'm not obsessing over ESP. It just seems a good guitar brand to play metal and is the one I concentrated my researches on.


For that price you may want to look into a used MIJ Ibanez or maybe an MIJ Jackson Pro series, or a higher caliber LTD that is used maybe Shecter all great for metal.

Just remember LTD may be owned by ESP but they are assembly line guitars made in a completely different factory than the actual ESP's not in Japan. LTD are to ESP what Epiphone is to Gibson bascially a separate independent company that is owned by the parent company, not they they don't make some decent guitars but considering them to be an ESP or Gibson is a stretch.
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Last edited by Evilnine at Mar 6, 2017,
#15
In your price range, IMHO, I would be searching for an early 90's Jackson Professional series (Not to be confused with the later and/or current PRO series'). These ones actually have the word "Professional" on the headstock. These are some of the best MIJ Guitars ever made, especially for metal.
#16
What about Charvel San Dimas? Until 2 yrs they were USA made...don't know used prices but new they were $800-900.
You're Canadian, look up Godin. They had some shred guitars with Floyd Rose trems that got very good reviews.
#17
Buy this
http://www.kijiji.ca/v-guitar/gatineau/charvel-desolation-w-hetfield-emg-set/1237145300?siteLocale=en_CA

pickups are changed so I can't tell if its a DS-1 or DS-2, but even if its a DS-2 its a decent guitar. I have a DS-1 setup in Drop Bb at the moment and its great. Although they have the LP shape they are a 25.5" scale so they will work for lower tunings just get a heavy gauge of string.
Last edited by guitarsngear at Mar 6, 2017,
#18
As good a value as the Charvel Desolation guitars are, I've seen accounts of some awful quality control with those guitars that cannot make me recommend them.

I know one bad guitar doesn't ruin the roost, but the pictures I've seen are pretty shocking.
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#19
I hated my desolation. it was junk. frets, fit and finish absolutely shit
WTLT 2014 GG&A

Quote by andersondb7
alright "king of the guitar forum"


Quote by trashedlostfdup
nope i am "GOD of the guitar forum" i think that fits me better.


Quote by andersondb7
youre just being a jerk man.



****** NEW NEW NEW!
2017-07-07 2017-07-07 Update and a Chat On Noise Constraints *** NEW FRIDAY 7/7
2017-04-13 RUN AWAY from COMPUTERS!!! TCE? RANT ALERT!!!
2017-03-02 - Guitar Philosophy 1001- Be Prepared For the Situation (Thursday 2017-03-02)
2017-02-21 How to Hot-Rod the Hell of your Stratocaster for $50! (Tuesday 2017-2-21)
Resentments and Rambling from a Guitar Junkie
---> http://trashedengineering.blogspot.com/
#20
Excellent metal guitar. I have a DS1 and a DS2. That's a DS1, the most expensive model when they were made.  

They're honestly one the most surprising guitars I've ever laid my hands on. You'd never know they were Chinese made.
#22
Thanks everyone for pointing out suggestions. I'm getting all meticulous with them.

guitarsngear, I contacted the guy in the add; he doesn't know which one he has. Just said it had Hetfield emg pickups that were worth about $350 (CAN). 

T00DEEPBLUE, holy cow that's a bad one.
#23
Quote by Xander_X
Excellent metal guitar. I have a DS1 and a DS2. That's a DS1, the most expensive model when they were made.  

Just out of curiosity how can you tell?
#24
Quote by guitarsngear
Just out of curiosity how can you tell?

Abalone inlays.
#25
Quote by diabolical
Now as I've played both, ESP and LTD is two different guitars. One (ESP) is made by Japanese craftsmen probably going back a generation or two, while the LTDs are made in the Indonesian factory that also builds teak furniture for Pier1.
The top LTDs, M-1000 range made in Korea got very close to the lower end ESPs and were a great deal up to few years ago, so maybe look these up used.
Another brand to look for is Schecter, I think their Korean Hellraisers from few years back are great guitars.

On another note, I ordered LTD GH-200 against all reason as I need knockabout guitar. I'll report back on that one as it should arrive in 2 days.

^He's right, OP.
Schecter makes great bang for buck guitars but their resale value is really bad, so you can get a great used Schecter C-1 Hellraiser for $500.
#26
Quote by Xander_X
Abalone inlays.

Thanks, I couldn't remember the specs and I was thinking the DS-1 and DS-2 had the same inlays, I know they had different pickups - but as stated they changed them so that doesn't help and the DS-2 is a set neck and the DS-1 is a neck through but from the pictures you can't tell.
#28
Back to the Desolation, I'm really not surprised that they had QC issues.  They pumped them out so fast, out of China, and then they disappeared almost as quickly.  I was lucky enough to get two that were well done (though my DS2 came wired incorrectly, and the tone knobs didn't work).  I also stil see quite a few DX-1 left overs around.  I usually tend to pick them up and play with them when I see them.  Haven't come across a bad one yet.  

But again, not surprised that there were QC issues.  I actually could never REALLY get into either of mine just because in the back of my mind I always knew I was playing a Chinese guitar.  My snobbery won't let me truly love them lol.  
#29
Quote by Snowblood8
T00DEEPBLUE Well, I get your point. I wouldn't expect to get a ESP ESP for $400. But LTD is still ESP, (ESP's cheaper and less affordable guitar). If you refer to the post just above, I'm not obsessing over ESP. It just seems a good guitar brand to play metal and is the one I concentrated my researches on.

I had an LTD, the quality was excellent (EC401VF). You can find those for like $350... excellent guitars.

I like your avatar. :-p He was funnay.
#30
I play the ESP M-100 FM and I love the playabiity with that super thin neck. I've TRIED to find a better, more comfortable guitar FOR ME and can't.  I'm not that thrilled with the Floyd knockoff but it's not a major issue, it WORKS anyway.  Good luckin your search!