Price paid: C$ 550
Purchased from: Tom Lee
Sound — 7
This guitar is perfect for me as I am a metal guitar player. I like fast solos and I like heavy riffs. However, if you do decide on this guitar, you must switch the pickup to get the most out of your guitar. Because the stock pickup will make your guitar sound as if you don't have your distortion turned up all the way, and is sort of muddy sounding overall. I changed the pickup sometime in 2009 to a Seymour Duncan Blackout AHB-1 in the bridge, and the difference was amazing. I still use the Blackout to this day. The highs are more crisp, the mid-range is fresh, and the lows were nice and heavy. It sounds virtually indistinguishable from an Alexi-600 once you get a good pickup installed (and a good amplifier to run the sound on of course). Taking into account the stock parts and the price I paid for the guitar, I would give the sound a 7. I will not let my own customization of the guitar influence the rating because this is a review on the guitar without aftermarket parts installed.
Overall Impression — 8
I have been playing this guitar for around 4 years, and it is actually my first guitar. This is my main guitar, and I don't think I'll ever sell it because of the sentimental value it has to me. Not to mention that the Seymour Duncan Blackout I installed in the bridge makes the tone I get on this beast sound absolutely killer. This is my go-to guitar for anything metal. I love this guitar because it looks and sounds metal. The V shape is extremely aggressive and I've gotten many compliments from people telling me that my guitar looks cool. If this were stolen or lost... I'm not sure what I would do. I might get another guitar. The reasons I keep this guitar around is because I have achieved a good tone with it as a result of customizing and finding a good tone with it by tweaking my rig, and it is also my first guitar so I would never sell it. But if it were stolen, buying it again and doing everything over would be pointless, so I might just move on to another guitar. But I love my ESP LTD Alexi-200 and for those of you who don't want to spend over $1000, get this guitar, and change the pickup to whatever you want, EMG, Seymour Duncan, or DiMarzio, and you'll have a unique, tonally great sounding guitar. For this section, I will average up the scores from the sections before and grade it based on that. 34/40 = 85% 8.5/10. Since there is no 8.5 on the scale, it will show up as 8/10. Hope this review helped!
Reliability & Durability — 10
I've played shows with this guitar, and it kills live. It is made quite well in my opinion, and I can safely depend on this. I have used this guitar for shows without a backup and it has been very good to me. This guitar will last you a long time if you take good care of it. But this applies to almost any guitar. If you don't take good care of anything, it won't last. Keep it in a case when you're not playing it, clean it when you have time, and wash your hands before playing and you won't be disappointed.
Action, Fit & Finish — 10
Everything was set up in E standard at the factory, the action was at a perfect position so as to eliminate fret buzz while still remaining easy to navigate around. No complaints here. It's nice to know that ESP/LTD puts the same amount of attention and care into making their more affordable guitars as they do the higher end models.
Features — 7
I bought this guitar in 2008, so I own the 2008 model. It only has one pickup (bridge), so it's basically built for metal. The neck is maple, and the body is basswood, as opposed to the alder body of the Alexi-600. Many people believe that basswood is sonically inferior to alder in every aspect because it is cheaper, but in reality just gives a slightly different and warmer sound. Given the soft nature of basswood, it tends to smooth out sharp highs and deep lows, leading to more pronounced mid-range, similar to Alexi's tone circa 1999-2001. The only thing that alder wood has over basswood is that it will not dent as easily. But if you are taking good care of your guitar, this should not be a big issue. This maple + basswood combination boosts its sustain, and gives more bite to the highs that were originally dampened by the basswood; working together to give a brighter tone. The guitar is fitted with 24 extra jumbo frets, with a fast neck; a shredder's best friend. It is also equipped with a Licensed Floyd Rose, which is not as good as an Original Floyd Rose in terms of quality, but LFR's made by ESP are generally very good (from my experience), and the difference in feel and sound is not too bad. There is no tone control - it is always on the highest, but there is one volume control. The pickup it comes with is the ESP LH-301 in the bridge, which I will go into more detail about later on in the review. For the price of the guitar, the features get an 7/10 from me. I docked 2 points for the crappy stock pickup, and 1 for the LFR.