Price paid: A$ 699
Purchased from: Ebay (Second hand from Noise Music in Melb)
Sound — 7
I play metal and only metal and the original pick up was just your average humbucker but still nice, but having said that I played this guitar Brand New in a shop for a while and the one I got came from ebay second-hand with a different pick up which I won't comment on. Now I replaced the pick up with Alexi's EMG-HZ signature pickup with a ABQ push pull volume knob and now it sounds like a beast! (Check EMG website for more info). I've set it up for drop-C and its got very chunky lows and awesome ringing highs. The sustain on this guitar is average due to the bolt-on neck, but with the new pickup it's a little better but a lot better with the ABQ engaged but still average. Harmonic divebombs and other techniques using the ESP floyd has a nice feel to the guitar like it's a solidly built guitar, but if you do a Alexi style natural harmonic divebomb (or whatever its called) at the 15th F and A (g and b string for standard players, Children Of Bodom guitar players will know what I'm taking about) the harmonic will break up and turn to string noise as you pull the bar up, but my intonation is pretty much spot on so I don't know if it's the guitars fault or my set up fault.
Overall Impression — 8
I play metal only and I'm a big fan of Children Of Bodom so naturally I would want his signature model and play metal, but I'm sure you can play something boring and soft on this guitar but why would you? (I also so recently got a Edwards Al-166 Pink sawtooth and I will be making a review when I've played it long enough to make a decent and informative review but so far its just awesome) It's a great bottom of the range guitar which can be improved with some cash which is why I bought this guitar in the first place (to do up). I've changed the pickup and put some black stripes to make it look like the Alexi LTD-600. If it were lost or stolen I would save up more money for a V guitar with a neck through/set neck just because. But if I were to get a bottom of the range V guitar again I would get this again due to the fact it's the best value for money and easiest to play because of the extra cut out for better fret access which is probably the best feature on the V guitar. What other brand of a low price V guitar has all these features? I don't care if it doesn't have a second pickupI rarely use it on my other guitars anyway, but to each his own.
Reliability & Durability — 7
If you look after your guitar it will last, its just common sense. The hardware seems like it will last except for the tunerswhich are ESP designed. I use Alexi's DR 10-56 gauge on this guitar for drop C and the heavier string tuners seem to struggle with the tension but they are lasting just fine. The strap buttons are solid and in a nice position on the guitar for a proper standing V guitar position, but like all the guitars I own I've replaced them for Schaller locking ones. I would gig with guitar but I would have a back up in case of Sting breakage as most guitarist would do if the had a guitar with a floyd. The paint on this guitar seems fine to me but like all guitars if it you drop it etc it will chip or break something off of it.
Action, Fit & Finish — 7
The guitar I played in the shop was set up nicely in standard, and the action and pickup height was fine as far as I can remember, but it was in store so the owners probably went over it before displaying it. Now the guitar I own is a second hand one which had a scratch on the back of the upper v horn and was cheap over ebay which is why I bought it, and I can't fault this guitar on any finishing flaws.
Features — 7
Built in China Gloss white in colour Bolt on neck 3 piece maple neck, 24 frets with white biding including headstock, rosewood fingerboard with pearl (or something that looks like pearl) sawtooth inlays ESP Floyd Rose ESP tuners 25.5 scale Basswood body (the version with the cut out for better fret access) ESP LH-301 humbucker (was replaced, more on this later) One Volume