Price paid: $ 600
Sound — 8
The guitar is very well suited to the type of music I prefer to play which would be metal. I'm running it through a cheap Epiphone Studio 15R amp. The guitar can get some real nice clean low tone and highs, I use it distorted and play wit the selector to see how much of a difference it makes, very noticeable, I wish I had a better amp to get its true potential though. I've been able to clearly notice the sound produced from pulls offs, tapping, strum patterns, finger picking, picking, unfortunately I've never picked up the skill of sweep picking so I can't give any intel about how it sounds with that, so the variety is pretty wide, just no tremolo stunts really... Since it lacks a tremolo. This section received an 8 because its got amazing sound but with no FR could be slightly limited depending on your skill level.
Overall Impression — 9
I play metal mainly would be the classification, the guitar was meant for this type of music. I've been playing for I can't count how many years now but my other Tele guitar is a Schecter Damien Special FR, the upgrade from passive to active pick ups was noticable and nice, same with the bridge, love a tremolo but string thru body so much nicer. If this guitar were stolen and had the money I'd get another. I love absolutely everything about the guitar, the most noticeable for me would be that it has the Ultra access neck so it makes those frets downstairs so much more comfortable, then the string thru body and non locking tuners is great because less work with tuning and changing strings, that was the main reason I wanted the guitar was I wanted to get out of a FR system and into something a bit easier, only thing I hate is like many guitars its shape the "horns" are always at risk to damage and I don't wanna ruin the gorgeous finish, people complained about the weight of these guitars but its actually light. I compared this guitar to only other ESP guitars since this was the brand I was set on trying this time around, the price range was 600 or less, I chose this because its a beautiful looking guitar with everything I wanted in it, the inlays are there but don't look tacky like its predecessor the LTD-AX400. Just wanna sum it all up for you. This guitar is an AMAZING guitar, don't let the rating fool you, may seem basic but I'm not gonna go crazy and give it 10s across the board, honest ratings from me, like all reviews its opinion, someone who love FR may hate this guitar, but I love it, the action is great, the neck is amazing and easy to glide up and down, the sound you can get from this thing is great, and that's coming from the guitarist with a cheap amp, overall for me I believe this to be an end game guitar.
Reliability & Durability — 7
I don't thing a guitar like this would last too long playing live because live playing is hazardous to guitar health and this is a very odd shaped guitar. The hardware isn't cheap so I expect it to last. Straps are solid. If I absolutely had to use this live I would gig without a back up. The finish seems pretty tough but don't wanna push it. This section received a 7 because its a great guitar with sturdy hardware, but any guitar with horns are notorious for being worn down.
Action, Fit & Finish — 9
The guitar was set up like I would expect, nothing noticeable. Everything was set up properly. No flaws. A 9 was given here because I'm not luthier so I'm not sure yet if anything internally was set up wrong, but it plays like it should so far as I know, no problem in anything.
Features — 10
- Guitar was made in 2009 if reading serial correctly - 24 jumbo frets - Solid top no plywood here - Mahogany body, Mahogany neck - See thru red finish, flamed maple - TOM bridge - Active pickups - 3 controls are given: master volume, master tone, 3 way selector - EMG 81 in neck and bridge - Grover tuners I gave this section a 10 because it had everything I personally wanted.