#1
Hey guys just curious about guitar setup on high end guitars vs lower end. I currently have an ESP LTD deluxe MH-1000 and I'm looking to get an E-II. The E-II's are supposed to be higher quality. Just wondering if they play better and if it being higher build quality if you can get the action lower ? Or will it be similar ? Thanks!
#2
Action is determined more so by neck radius and player preference.  not the price of the guitar.
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#3
I'll add to what has already been stated and say that there might be more attention to the frets which will also allow the action to be lower.
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#4
Typically, cheaper guitars will have a worse setup relative to more expensive guitars which will have a better setup. However, you cannot guarantee either price points will have their guitars "properly" or "optimally" set up upon purchase. It depends on the manufacturer, shipping methods, climate differences between factory location and retail location, etc.

Cheaper guitars will also typically have their components not properly placed (in particular the frets, bridge, and nut), which completely hinders the player from doing user-serviceable setups and requires professional luthier care. More expensive guitars are the opposite- typically their components will be correctly placed, requiring just the typical setup procedures. At least, more expensive guitars will likely be easier to set up compared to cheaper guitars.

Now cheap guitars, if you know where to look, can still get you professional results after a setup. The more expensive Squier and cheaper MIM Fenders, for example, are often bought on the USED market for their cheap price, and when set up properly, they play professionally. However, I would not try to get any cheaper than that price point (around $250-400 used). Guitars under that price point are moreso a risk. A guitar at $100 may be able to be set up properly, but it may also be so improperly made it is not usable for professional environments.
Last edited by Will Lane at Apr 3, 2017,
#6
I have a LTD EC-1001FR and an E-II Eclipse.  The build quality of the E-II is better and per a fret rocker tool - the E-II has much more level frets than the 1001.  

If you want lower action, it all comes down to the setup (especially the nut and neck relief) and levelness of the frets.  

I did a comparison thread of these 2 guitars a while back that you may find interesting - https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1697441

Since I wrote that I had to have some material removed from under the locking nut on the 1001 to get the action down.  
Guitars:
Jackson Kelly KE3 - MIJ (Distortion/Jazz)
Jackson DKMGT Dinky (EMG 81/85)
ESP E-II Eclipse Custom (JB/'59)
ESP LTD EC-1001FR (EMG 81/60)
Fender MIM Strat

Amps:
Mesa/Boogie Dual Rectifier Roadster 212
Laney IronHeart IRT-Studio
Peavey Vypyr 30
Peavey ReValver Amp Sims
TOOOO many T.C. Electronic Pedals. . .
#7
Higher end LTD is very close to low end ESP IMO. Their neck countours are about the same and overall I think you will have a very similar experience.

Who is doing your setups, why can't you get low action?

I get farily low action on my M-1000. My Ibanez gets even lower action, so it might be time to switch to another brand, maybe try Ibanez Prestige or Caparison?
I find the LTD/ESP necks a bit thicker in comparison to Ibanez, especially if you get the Wizard neck.
#8
I've done my own setup on it. It's not that I can't get my action low but just curious if higher end guitars can be lower. I've thought about taking it in to get it setup professionally to see how far off I was and to see where it needs to be.
#10
Quote by mwolfe219
Hey guys just curious about guitar setup on high end guitars vs lower end. I currently have an ESP LTD deluxe MH-1000 and I'm looking to get an E-II. The E-II's are supposed to be higher quality. Just wondering if they play better and if it being higher build quality if you can get the action lower ? Or will it be similar ? Thanks!

Playability is related more to setup than anything else. Expensive guitars don't come perfectly set up all (or even most) of the time, and some inexpensive guitars can arrive not only well set up but in tune! 

A good setup starts with level frets and a flat fretboard. Nut height and well-cut nut slots are a must, as are bridge height adjustments and accurate bridge saddle adjustments. And finally, a proper amount of relief (usually set with feeler gauges) seals the deal. The two best setups I've seen leaving the factory have been on Suhr and Carvin (now Kiesel) guitars. Gibsons usually have nuts that are set too high and often have slots that need to be tweaked to avoid tuning issues. A lot of the guitars on the walls at your local GC have been there long enough that they've sprung a fret or two and the frets may need to be leveled. If you have no clue what that means, you need to have a tech show you. Some very expensive guitars need to have their frets crowned and dressed; the wood may look pretty, but the guitar needs (sometimes) a couple of hundred dollars worth of work to make it a player. 
#12
I was very impressed with the E-II's i demo'd. I had an EC1000, a long time ago and it was nice, but I would go E-II if i wanted to go that route again.

I am a huge fan of of ibanez' prestige series. i own five. IMO they are the best playing and highest quality guitars for the buck. I picked them up for anywhere from $380 to $650ish used in great shape and for that, you are getting an awesome tremolo too. construction is flawless. the only shortfall is that the cheaper ones have less than awesome stock pickups. which are easily replaced. and hell, I swap pickups o n a ton of guitars.
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#13
When I ordered my E-II M-I, I was really skeptical because I wasn't impressed in the slightest with any LTD I'd ever picked up, but I was told that the E-II's were completely different world, and I knew I could return it.

End result, besides ESP's necks being thicker than I'm used to, I'm very happy with it and very impressed with it's quality.  My current collection consists of mostly USA Jackson's and it can definitely hang with them. 
#14
Well in your case, you're not looking at high end vs low end. The 1000 series LTDs are good/solid mid-ranged guitars. The E-II will have better attention to detail in a bunch of areas, but not by a whole lot. Basically you're starting to hit the law of diminishing returns when looking at 'better' guitars in that price range. The largest reason I own an Eclipse over an EC-1000 was that I found a killer deal on the Eclipse.

I always expect to do a little setup work with any new guitar. Well other than my JP6, it was perfect :P
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#15
Talking about setups, I've had friends that bought $1000 guitars to only take it to the tech and get their frets leveled, so

My EB Music Man came out with perfect setup from the factory and has been an amazing player. So has my Jackson Soloist (Japan) as well. The LTD that I recently bought ($500) went back to the seller. It had a horrible factory fret job and the hardware on it was garbage. I needed about $400 to make that guitar right.

I haven't played a high end LTD recently, besides mine that was bought used, but from what I remember the M-1000 models were a lot better made than their lower end models. Then ESP seems to jump at a slightly better category, but very marginally better compared with something like the LTD the M-1000 line.

Someone mentioned Suhr guitars - the ones I tried out were amazing. I'm going to own one someday....hopefully soon