LTD AX-350 review by ESP

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  • Features: 10
  • Sound: 9
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 9.8 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.7 (33 votes)

Price paid: $ 278

Purchased from: Guitar Center

Features — 10
The 24XJ frets feel great for this guitar, the neck is a little thinner than some of the other ltd necks, not as thin as an Ibanez Wizard, but thinner than the rest, which I find great for my large hands. A solid top gloss black finish, the body made of mahogany with a maple neck which is gloss black over and neck-thru construction for AMAZING sustain. Body shape is very close to a B.C. Rich Warbeast but with more curves. A TOM bridge which surprisingly on this guitar I think is the best thing for it as compared to a hip-shot hard-tail or some other fixed bridge. Passive EMG HZ H4 bridge H4A neck. 1 vol 1 tone and a three way switch (no taps). And standard LTD tuners. Almost forgot, rosewood fret board, and lets not forget the BEAUTIFUL "tree of life" (i think thats what its called) inlays. They glow in the light so great for when I'm on stage. Another thing that you cant see in pictures, the binding along the neck is white with black dots so its easy to see on stage, and makes the guitar look really sexy from the side. And the all black hardware makes this thing look BRUTAL.

Sound — 9
I play metal, metalcore, and so many sub-genres I wouldn't be able to fit in this review, so I was looking for something versatile. I personally don't like Active pickups unless I'm playing on a 9 string and some 8 strings. The pickups are clear, despite the hate they get. Very comparable to SD Distortions. They handle me tuning all the way down to drop G (on a six, yes, I know, I'm crazy). I play through a Marshall AVT 150 half-stack with a custom cabinet and some pedals for external push to give me a nice hardcore punchy sound. It's a great amp for a hybrid. The hum protection is great, I stand right next to the half stack and get very little from it even when I put the guitar right in front of it with a high gain setting. But give yourself a little space if you are planning on cranking it. The metal sound is great, if you want a punchy mid more modern tone, or even if you want a classic scooped metal tone. They really fit this guitar with it's distinctive shape and mahogany body! Only slight thing is that they aren't perfect, can be a little gainy when on cleans, but honestly, switching to the middle position is absolutely a beautiful thing to do.

Action, Fit & Finish — 10
I got this guitar used for about half the usual price so I was expecting it to be set up carelessly. I was wronger than i had ever been. FIRST thing I did was change the strings, they were beyond rusted and gross, but that's not the guitar's fault :D I slapped on my Skinny Top Heavy Bottom 10-52 Ernie Ball strings and in about 7 minutes and no post adjustment whatsoever, my action was so low with NO fret buzz I wasn't sure it was possible. I did get it used, but even then, there were only two nicks in the guitar, one on the bottom tooth (which looks like a spot where that could easily happen if dropped down to hard and you cant see it unless you are behind me looking in very closely) and another by the neck pickup which is about the size of the head of a pen, which really isn't noticeable unless you get VERY close.

Reliability & Durability — 10
This guitar is pretty dang tough. ESP/LTD builds their guitars very well. Take it on tour, to your school to show off, even your friends house, it'll be fine. Guitars like this always look so delicate like the teeth will fall off or snap easy, but it is solid. Use it as a primary, or backup, either way, you'll be fine! And the strap buttons are nice too, just make sure they are screwed in all the way. Also the comfort is a very good mentioning point for this monster. With cuts on both the side and bottom, you have two sitting style options, you can sit with it like a V between your legs, or across your leg like any other guitar.

Overall Impression — 10
This guitar is great for everything. I've gotten bluesy classic tones from this thing by switching pickups. I've been playing for about 8 years now. This is probably the best guitar I've owned. Keep an eye out if you find them. They cost about $550 new, but they stopped production, and you can find them used for about $300 if anyone is will to let go of theirs. I love ESP/LTD products and this guitar is just another reason why. If I lost this guitar, I'd scramble all over the internet to find another. No I wouldn't look for the 360 because I don't like active pickups. I may or may not change the pickups to SD invaders, but I like the way the covers look on this thing so I'll probably leave it alone. I have 2 other LTD guitars and this is the best one.

1 comment sorted by best / new / date

    I'm nervous, I just picked one of these up used from guitar center for $200, I'm not sure if it's a fake or if they just way underpriced it... or worse yet, it's damaged... Hoping it turns out okay.