Price paid: $ 2
Purchased from: ESP custom shop
Sound — 10
Only one word to define the sound and the word is amazing. As I said before, the guitar originally came with two EMG pickups which sounded great. However I was looking for a large variety of sound and tone, so I chose to get Seymour Duncans, models Custom-5 and SH-2. My musical genres consist of metal, alternative, and post-hardcore. For these types of genres I needed something that had a rich and clean sound but when distorted, could cradle distortion and other effects very easily to make the sound that came out the best thing you've ever heard. Although the pickups made most of this possible, the guitars' craft played a huge role in this. Probably the best sounding guitar I've ever heard! Also the don't hesitate to keep the EMGs, I personally needed Duncans for my playing style. The EMG's are also great for any style along with SD's. I would love to be critical about the sound but it's impossible with how great it sounds.
Overall Impression — 9
This has been my dream for 2 years and I finally got it. I don't think I'll ever regret it either. I've been a solid player for about 4 years considering I'm still in my teens. I also own a Gibson Firebird V, some Marshall amps and other equipment. One thing that I wish it came with would be a whammy bar and an EMG afterburner, but then again that's more for V shaped guitars and such. I would buy this product again if I lost it until I ran out of money. I bought this guitar because ESP is the best out there, if you don't think so, try one out.
Reliability & Durability — 9
To tell you the truth, I haven't had this guitar long enough to tell you how durable it is, but I've already noticed that the guitar will with out a doubt withstand Live playing. The black nickel hardware I'm sure has a life long promise of lasting. I would honestly depend on this guitar and use it Live without a backup. The finish even when aged will last as long as I am playing the guitar so I have no worry on this. The top may chip on occasion, be careful!
Action, Fit & Finish — 10
All my years of playing, I've made the stupid choice of buying guitars that are unnecessarily heavy, trust me this is a horrible choice to make. Heavy guitars can lead to back pain and a lot of weight for no reason. Luckily, the Eclipse will not do this to you. This guitar is light weight and yet has a wonderful sustain. When I bought this guitar, everything was ready to go, not one flaw. For the first time in my life, the guitar felt like an extension of my body and not some huge weight dragging me down. The neck is so smooth, Live playing just got better. Getting your hand down from one part of the neck to another is a task anyone could gracefully accomplish. Best action and feel I've ever had, btw this tops Fender and Gibson easily in this category. For some reason the body had some sort of a bowl inlay going on I wasn't sure about, but it's not that bad.
Features — 8
My ESP was handmade in Japan about a year ago, 2007. The features on this guitar are simply outstanding. I am a Gibson player originally, I've only tried a few LTD models before. This guitar replaced all my others in the studio and Live because of the light weight and comfortable feel to it. If you know something about guitars, you would know that the shape of an Eclipse is almost identical to that of a Gibson Les Paul. So if you are a Les Paul fan or even if not, the Eclipse-II is very easy to appreciate. The EC originally came with EMG pickups but I replaced them with Seymour Duncans. An amazing feature that has not been known to me before were the Sperzel locking tuners, which is extremely convenient for changing strings. 2 volume, 1 tone and a 3 -way toggle switch. 22 XJ frets (although not that jumbo). Gotoh Tune-O-Matic & Tail bridge. An excellent quilted maple finish. Something to top it off its neck-through. I was pretty happy with it.