LTD AX-50 review by ESP

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  • Sound: 7
  • Overall Impression: 7
  • Reliability & Durability: 8
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 5
  • Features: 7
  • Reviewer's score: 6.8 Neat
  • Users' score: 9 (59 votes)

Price paid: $ 355

Purchased from: Furtadoes

Sound — 7
I play Blues, Jazz and Metal, this guitar is mainly more metal but does some decent clean tones too. Its has a dark sound and thick sound, the pickups aren't noisy and are pretty good for the price paid but they could be much better, no noise at high gains and cleans on the neck pickup are very good. I use it with a Zoom G1.2u and a Laney LX12. The shape is very good for metal though I bought it because of its wide body, playing is comfortable, some people complain that the ends jab in the chest while playing but you need to adjust to it like it applies for any shape. Tonally its not a bright sounding guitar, the sound is thick and I played it along with a F-50 but the guitar sounds heavier on the same settings, the tone knob is useless compared to other high end guitars but for the price you pay, you get amazing tone out of it. The down part is low sustain of only about 4-6 seconds on my amp with clean settings and full volume.

Overall Impression — 7
If you are a intermediate/beginner guitarist and have a low budget then this is a good guitar to buy, its worth every penny and has a very good sound for metal and hard rock. I have been playing for 5 years now and I have played lot of guitars both low and high end, this is not the best guitar but for 350 $ you cannot ask for a better guitar. There have been lot of reviews from total noobs calling this the best metal guitar ever and some calling it a piece of shit guitar, I think compared to all the other guitars in this range (Ibanez, rat, Washburn and low end bc rich) this is the best buy, I tested lot of guitars before buying this one and I am completely satisfied with it. There is no point comparing it to a high end guitar and calling it a piece of shit, if your budget is high you can get way better guitars. And BTW I changed the orginal nut to a bone nut for more sustain and installed EMG 81/85 combo on it, the sound is much better now and the tonal possibilities have increased and so has the sustain. I hope this review was helpful to you.

Reliability & Durability — 8
I have already used this guitar for lot of live shows and its completely dependable. The hardware will last as I have been using it 2 1/2 years now and no problems. The fretboard gets dirty quickly so it needs cleaning and maintainance once every 3 months. The finish is fine and has lasted well considering I am not very careful with this guitar but I am planning to change it.

Action, Fit & Finish — 5
I took lot of time to setup this guitar, I use gauge 11's and play at standard c#. The action is relatively high, but not enough to cause any problems, personally action depends from player to player and I like the action to be a bit high so that the notes are clearer. The black satin finish looks very good and didn't chip off after a few knocks here and there. I am very satisfied with it. Wiring seems to be fine and the bridge is fitted well, the screws for the connection cable came out loose so had to tighten them up but everything else has been fine. The strap locks are not very sturdy so I had them tightened up. The factory setup was terrible, I had to do the whole setup again, lot of fret buzz but now it handles fine.

Features — 7
I think its a 2007 make, it has 24 frets, its basswood with rosewood fretboard and a sating finish. String thru body bridge with passive ESP pickups. It has a volume control and a tone know and a 3 way pickup selector. A gig bag and and a Laney strap came along.

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