Horizon FR review by ESP

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  • Sound: 9
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 9
  • Features: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 9.6 Superb
  • Users' score: 7.8 (39 votes)
ESP: Horizon FR
2

Price paid: £ 1300

Purchased from: Thomann International

Sound — 9
The sound is the best part of this guitar. All I can say, is clarity, clarity, clarity. Single notes? Defined. Powerchords? Punchy and agressive. Full Barre Chords with high distortion? No problem. I haven't played many guitars that can pull that off convincingly. The guitar is a jack-of-all-trades, master of one. That being Metal. It still has a great clean tone though, and the coil tap option is actually pretty persuasive... I would describe the tone as rich and full. Not as bright as say, an Ibanez, but a great place in the middle. Leads are fantastic and does very decent rhythm work.

Overall Impression — 10
I play heavy metal/virtuoso style guitar (Steve Vai/Paul Gilbert/Kirk Hammet), mostly lead but with rhythm as well. I definitely chose well in terms of suitability, this is a real workhorse guitar. I've been playing for only 2 and a half years, but I've progressed a lot faster than I thought I would, so I thought I needed a pro-level guitar. If it was stolen, I'd go on a rampage then buy another. I wouldn't even think of trying anything else first. My main love with this guitar is that it doesn't really seem out of place in any setting. I started out playing some Metallica on it, then tried some Iron Maiden with the coil-tap on, then played Stairway (sorry, but nobody was around) and some chords/fingerpicking. At no point did I think 'hmm... this could be a little better in x or y'. I was considering buying an Ibanez instead, but I'm glad I didn't. An absolutely lovely guitar.

Reliability & Durability — 10
The finish on mine seems to be extremely durable, I hit it against something earlier and I can't even see where I hit it. Original Floyd Rose stays in tune perfectly, as expected. Very neat tremolo rout, by the way. Everything seems solid, if anything the knobs were a little TOO hard to take off... but at least I know they're not going anywhere. The input jack seems to have a clip mechanism, which is good. You really have to push the cable in. Strap buttons are fine, but I'm switching them for Dunlop Straploks as soon as they come in the post, because I love them. Highly recommended.

Action, Fit & Finish — 9
Seeing as I bought this online (I couldn't be bothered to wait for one to be ordered in at my local shop) I had booked it in for a setup for when I received it. After taking it out of the box and playing it for a few hours, I canceled the setup. Granted it was ever so slightly out of tune, but the action was just how I like it and the intonation was perfect. I mean actually PERFECT, even up at the 24th fret. I adjusted the pickup height ever so slightly on the neck pickup, but that was more of a personal preference and not that the height was set badly. As far as I can see, there are no production flaws in mine, with the sole exception of the coil tap push/pull motion being a little dodgy, but I easily fixed that by opening the control cavity and fiddling. Which reminds me, this guitar had the neatest control cavity I've ever seen. The cavity was also painted black... God knows why. The fretboard is the tidiest I've ever seen, absolutely spot-on. The fingerboard grain has really popped out on mine, which I love. The binding area isn't perfect, but still good. I think to get any better quality I would have to get a custom guitar.

Features — 10
I don't know about the year made, but it's definitely new, so I'm going to assume 2009. 24 Jumbo Frets Maple Neck / Ash Body / Neck-Thru / Ebony Fretboard Plain Gloss White Finish Original Floyd Rose Bridge Gotoh Tuners Seymour Duncan SH-1 (Neck) & TB-4 (Bridge) 1 Volume (With Coil-tap) / 1 Tone / 3-way Switch Comes with fitted ESP hard case & wrenches. I know the spec isn't anything too revolutionary, but it's absolutely brilliant. I don't think I'd want anything else on it.

33 comments sorted by best / new / date

    SquierLolz
    "The cavity was also painted black... God knows why." They hang the body's up and then spray paint them, so the cavitys get painted as well.
    SeanX3187
    i understand that people have their off days. i do quite often. i just brought the video up to fit in the previous statement as a little joke. i'm not a fan of kirk, but i'm not a "hater"
    Mayu!~
    I'm really thinking about getting one of these horizon guitars. I've heard nothing but great things about these pickups. (seymour duncan SH1N&TB4)These guitars are just SO incredibly expensive... Double the price of an LTD. I was thinking about getting either the snow white horizon OR the LTD MH-327 with seymour duncan custom 5 and a hot rail pickup. so, a humbucker and a single coil+floyd rose special bridge. I really like neo classical music. for example Versailles' guitarist HIZAKI who also uses a horizon guitar. Now I really want to know can someone please tell me which would be the best choice? The LTD or the ESP? Quality of material doesn't mean all that much to me.
    BloodBound
    Well i -did- do a review. Hell if i know where it is now. Anyway, I was just wondering, whats with the users rating of 6.4?? This is like the pinnacle of production guitar wantability.. Flawless. All i would ask for is another guitar for variety, i.e. a schecter c-7... Gotta' love the Djent. Or maybe a Musicman JP 7er...Then again, i dont have a money tree. Amp plz.
    BloodBound
    Oh crap, here comes my bad review. Just a few months ago i couldnt find a review on this specific guitar. Only today did i bother to recheck... too late Maybe ill throw a different spin on some things, and be made up where im lacking by the previous review
    SeanX3187
    metallicaddict wrote: Sorry for the writing snobbishness, I just had a very formal education.
    There is nothing wrong with proper grammar. It does not make you worse than someone who uses ridiculous abbreviations which just make words more difficult to spell. (Not directed towards anyone specific) I think it's great that some people still consider grammar to be important. I see nothing wrong with a good education.
    metallicaddict
    SouthpawJoe wrote: MetallicaAddict,You said the cavity was white? You better read your own review because you said the cavity is black in your review
    What I meant was, my guitar was white, but the control cavity was painted black, as stated in the review. In response to SquierLolz, yeah I guess you're right about the shielding paint. This guitar has no noise whatsoever.
    Tostitos wrote: then played Stairway (sorry, but nobody was around) I lol'd
    Glad someone got it.
    flying V boy wrote: Which reminds me, this guitar had the neatest control cavity I've ever seen. The cavity was also painted black... God knows why. The fretboard is the tidiest I've ever seen, absolutely spot-on. The fingerboard grain has really popped out on mine, which I love. THE BRITISH ARE TAKING OVER!!!!!
    Sorry for the writing snobbishness, I just had a very formal education.
    SquierLolz
    metallicaddict wrote: SquierLolz wrote: "The cavity was also painted black... God knows why." They hang the body's up and then spray paint them, so the cavitys get painted as well. Yeah but my one was white...
    Shielding paint.
    SeanX3187
    XeroDivide wrote: sparkeyjames wrote: EyeHatePunks wrote: Wow retards, locking tuners lock your strings so you don't have to wind them arround the peg to get tuning stability but they don't lock the tuning you are in!!! If you would do a serious dive bomb on a guitar with a trem and locking tuners but no locking nut, the tuning will go all over the place! Err Umm not. Most of the problem with tuning on trem equipped guitars comes from the trem spring/ string tension balance. Several devices that reside in the trem spring cavity have been invented to combat this. I personally have a strat with a tremsetter and it stays in tune after trem use. The Floyd Rose locking nut only eliminates slop from crappy tuners and or string installation. You can easily use a Floyd Rose Trem without the locking nut. I'm with EyeHatePunks, have you tried a floating Floyd? Use that without your locking tuners like he said and dive bomb, that sucker won't stay in tune for the life of you.
    i haven't used locking tuners extensively, but i'd have to agree that without a locking nut, you're ****ed. my buddy has a floyd but never uses it so he took the locking nut pieces off so he could change tuning faster, but has locking tuners and when i come over and mess with the dive bombs, it doesn't stay in tune very well.
    XeroDivide
    sparkeyjames wrote: EyeHatePunks wrote: Wow retards, locking tuners lock your strings so you don't have to wind them arround the peg to get tuning stability but they don't lock the tuning you are in!!! If you would do a serious dive bomb on a guitar with a trem and locking tuners but no locking nut, the tuning will go all over the place! Err Umm not. Most of the problem with tuning on trem equipped guitars comes from the trem spring/ string tension balance. Several devices that reside in the trem spring cavity have been invented to combat this. I personally have a strat with a tremsetter and it stays in tune after trem use. The Floyd Rose locking nut only eliminates slop from crappy tuners and or string installation. You can easily use a Floyd Rose Trem without the locking nut.
    I'm with EyeHatePunks, have you tried a floating Floyd? Use that without your locking tuners like he said and dive bomb, that sucker won't stay in tune for the life of you.
    sparkeyjames
    EyeHatePunks wrote: Wow retards, locking tuners lock your strings so you don't have to wind them arround the peg to get tuning stability but they don't lock the tuning you are in!!! If you would do a serious dive bomb on a guitar with a trem and locking tuners but no locking nut, the tuning will go all over the place!
    Err Umm not. Most of the problem with tuning on trem equipped guitars comes from the trem spring/ string tension balance. Several devices that reside in the trem spring cavity have been invented to combat this. I personally have a strat with a tremsetter and it stays in tune after trem use. The Floyd Rose locking nut only eliminates slop from crappy tuners and or string installation. You can easily use a Floyd Rose Trem without the locking nut.
    SouthpawJoe
    MetallicaAddict,You said the cavity was white? You better read your own review because you said the cavity is black in your review
    EyeHatePunks
    Wow retards, locking tuners lock your strings so you don't have to wind them arround the peg to get tuning stability but they don't lock the tuning you are in!!! If you would do a serious dive bomb on a guitar with a trem and locking tuners but no locking nut, the tuning will go all over the place!
    flying V boy
    Which reminds me, this guitar had the neatest control cavity I've ever seen. The cavity was also painted black... God knows why. The fretboard is the tidiest I've ever seen, absolutely spot-on. The fingerboard grain has really popped out on mine, which I love.
    THE BRITISH ARE TAKING OVER!!!!!
    Ibanezbelyeu
    CrusaderTrivium wrote: That's not what he means. He means Hammet is shit.
    HAHAHA. kak rude but Compared to vai and gilbert, he's just a baby
    jetwash69
    MetalLlama wrote: I lol'd when you said "Virtuoso style" and then said you play Kirk Hammet stuff. Anyways, it's a nice guitar.
    Saw that one coming a mile away... The most impressive thing is how such a maligned soloist can sell so many CDs with the most hated drummer on the planet. BTW, I like Metallica, especially DM & St Anger.
    stompbox
    thats a nice guitar i never had esp befor so i took a chance and got me one the neck was kind a fat but top side that counts plays great ,i bet this one glides a good flat neck rocks . very nice guitar you have
    Unispex
    Uh... That post made me look retarded haha, I'll just say it again here: I actually think locking nuts look good, and stay in tune WAY better than locking tuners.... Just so much better.
    Unispex
    saint_berzerker wrote: I just can't understand why guitars, especially high-end models, still use locking nuts. They're ugly and cumbersome. I actually think locking nuts look good, and stay in tune WAY better than locking tuners.... Just so much better. I never see a guitar with locking tuners. Just so much easier, neater. But that's one nice guitar. 2 grand is just a bit too much for me.
    W35M4N
    As Carter Pewterschmitt would say... Wish I had an ESP. That'd be sweeeet.
    XeroDivide
    Its So Easy wrote: SeanX3187 wrote: CrusaderTrivium wrote: That's not what he means. He means Hammet is shit. hahaha +1
    I've seen that video, god forbid he could be human. I bet every other artist is 100% perfect every time in studio.
    +1, we all have our off days. Some of you guys are too ashamed to admit it, not a big fan of Metallica either. On topic with this guitar, it's freakin' sweet!
    Its So Easy
    SeanX3187 wrote: CrusaderTrivium wrote: That's not what he means. He means Hammet is shit. hahaha +1
    I've seen that video, god forbid he could be human. I bet every other artist is 100% perfect every time in studio.
    salsawords
    CrusaderTrivium wrote: That's not what he means. He means Hammet is shit.
    Better than you I'm sure.
    metallicaddict
    CrusaderTrivium wrote: That's not what he means. He means Hammet is shit.
    I know that's what he's saying That's why I said 'I see what you're saying though' I play in the STYLE of Kirk Hammet (i.e. metal/blues). I'm not just copying him. That's the best thing I could think of to describe my playing style... Same with the others (mostly because Vai is impossible to copy ).
    SeanX3187
    CrusaderTrivium wrote: That's not what he means. He means Hammet is shit.
    hahaha +1
    metallicaddict
    MetalLlama wrote: I lol'd when you said "Virtuoso style" and then said you play Kirk Hammet stuff. Anyways, it's a nice guitar.
    I DID say heavy metal/virtuoso There is room for both. I see what you're saying though...
    metallicaddict
    SquierLolz wrote: "The cavity was also painted black... God knows why." They hang the body's up and then spray paint them, so the cavitys get painted as well.
    Yeah but my one was white...
    saint_berzerker
    I just can't understand why guitars, especially high-end models, still use locking nuts. They're ugly and cumbersome. I never see a guitar with locking tuners. Just so much easier, neater. But that's one nice guitar. 2 grand is just a bit too much for me.
    MetalLlama
    I lol'd when you said "Virtuoso style" and then said you play Kirk Hammet stuff. Anyways, it's a nice guitar.
    Roooger
    The only negative side on this guitar is that you can't use drop D or other similar tuning due to the Floyd Rose so I still need my Gibson a lot to play some SOAD and RATM.
    What do you mean you can not play DROP D, etc.. I hope that I will be able to play Drop B if I buy the guitar?