Hi all,
I have an ESP LTD M100FM, and after discovering my type of playing, I'm looking to upgrade to something more standard and pretty (Fender Strat and Gibson/Epiphone Les Paul come to mind). I'm looking for help with my decision on such a guitar that fits my needs.
Things I love about my ESP:
  1. Thin, maple neck (thin is important)
  2. Pretty finish and good build quality
  3. Pickups sound beautiful
  4. Whammy bar compatible
  5. Action is somewhat easy to adjust

Things I HATE about my ESP:
  1. Overall, floyd rose special bridge is a curse more than a blessing...
  2. Tuning locks are just annoying
  3. Fine tuning is not preferred
  4. I find stringing to be unnecessarily difficult
  5. Fretboard could be simpler (I don't need the extra shredding frets)

I love the beauty of Strats, Telecasters, and Les Pauls. I'm looking to spend any amount on a guitar that maintains what I love about my current guitar, and excludes what I hate.
Last edited by pmcg521 at Jul 9, 2017,
Last edited by dspellman at Jul 9, 2017,
dspellman I find that reply to be the opposite of constructive. Just looking for pointers here... not criticisms of my taste (or distaste)
Where abouts in the world are you?
Bass Gear:

Mensinger: Speesy
Fender Precision 1989 (CIJ Rosewood)
Fender Steve Harris (CIJ)
Lakland J Sonic 5
Epiphone Explorer
Maruszczyk (custom) Jake

Ashdown CTM 100
We need a budget and to know what styles of music you play. Also why did you buy your current guitar?
This ESP is my first electric and I learned a ton from it. I would not have picked this guitar from a store, but it was almost free, sold to me by a friend. I played the hell out of it for the past 2 years but it's just not right for me. I play mostly 60's-70's rock (Eagles, Beatles, Led Zeppelin). I love playing classic chords and solos. However, I often play grunge and heavy metal riffs (drop D Nirvana, system of a down, pantera). If I were to choose between a guitar that's better for metal and one that's better for classic rock, I'd pick classic rock.
Quote by pmcg521
Thin, maple neck (thin is important)

How thin? Quantify what you're looking for.

Pretty finish and good build quality
Pickups sound beautiful

These things are incredibly subjective. You need to tell us what exactly what kind of pickups you're looking for.

Everybody on planet earth wants a guitar that is well made and looks nice so really it tells us nothing. You must be more specific about what you're looking for.

What is your budget? You need to give us something quantifiable to work with. $500? $1000? $10,000? 
Quote by TheSennaj
And well yes, I'll enjoy the carpal tunnel and tendonitis, because trying to get one is clearly smarter than any word you have spoken thus far.
Well double locking trem systems are that way, if you want one you have to deal with all the negatives.

Budget & location are kinda key for any recommendations.
Fleet of MiJ Ibanez
Couple of Balls
Peavey & EVH Wolfgangs
Fender HM Strat
Kemper KPA
5150 III 50w & cabs
Okay, look.
Eliminate the Floyd Rose and you've eliminated most of your gripes about your guitar. The locking nut disappears, fine tuners disappear, guitar stringing issues are reduced. If you want a trem ("whammy bar"), you're not going to want a Les Paul. The headstock just won't allow them to stay in tune. Pretty much any Les Pauls that have a trem have a Floyd Rose for exactly that reason.

I have no idea what you mean by "the fretboard could be simpler." It really doesn't matter whether your guitar has 22 or 24 frets (the extra two frets are not "shredding frets"), except that it's usually easier to get to the 22nd fret if there are 24 on the guitar. I'd eliminate that from your concerns.

I have no idea what you mean by "pretty" in terms of finish -- that's personal taste.
There are a kajillion guitars that meet the rest of the criteria, most of them some version of a Strat or super Strat.

You got the eyeroll because your query is far too broad with far too little information.
I would just get a trem stop or Tremol-No and set the Floyd for dive only.  That pretty much eliminates all the gripes people have about FR's.  String changes will be much easier, if you break a string you wont go out of tune, you can change tunings much easier, you can tension the springs tighter to stay more in tune with bends and you will have even better tuning stability. WIth it set to dive only it will perform like a Fender style trem but far, far more stable.   FR's IMO are extremely easy to maintain and they are one of the most rock solid bridge systems out there for tuning stability.  
Not all ESP guitars have floyd rose bridges. There's the kind of bridge that goes through the body, the kind of bridge that doesn't go through the body, that evertune kind, and probably a normal strat style bridge (on the ones that look like a fender strat, a guitar that seems like every company has to make a version of)
- Strandberg OS 7
- A cheap fender strat knock-off not worth naming
- Garageband
- Boss GT-1
- Potato
One more comment: Getting to a point where you're familiar and at ease with a Floyd Rose would make a big difference to you and expand your choices of other guitars quite a bit. This takes a bit of practice, in much the same way that you practice a part over and over until you're familiar with it in your music. Most LPs don't have Floyd Rose trems, but most of those that I play frequently *do*. One major benefit is that it takes a guitar that has difficulties staying in tune and turns it into one that's pretty much always in tune. That one benefit alone would have been enough to get me to move to Floyd-Rose-equipped Les Paul style guitars.
Hmmm...G&L ASAT Z-3? @$1200 new.
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Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
your guitar is garbage, that's why you're having problems with the floyd rose. FR is a great bridge/tool if you use it correctly. my M-1000 deluxe stays in tune so well that I never have to unlock the nut unless i'm changing the strings (it really not that difficult) (and it's tuned to drop A#). 

since you have an unlimited budget, i recommend a custom made gibson les paul with a thin neck and 22 frets. otherwise i would say LTD MH-1000NT might do the trick for a guitar that's similar to what you already have. since you like classic rock mostly, maybe an american stratocaster with a humbucker in the bridge.
It's all about feel