Price paid: $ 800
Purchased from: Sam Ash.com
Sound — 10
This guitar is exactly what I need for my style, because I play mostly metal and thrash. I use a DigiTech GNX4 and two amps, a Marshall MG50DFX and a Peavey Bandit 112. This guitar has so much versatility when it comes to what tones and sounds you can create. The pickups are active, but are extremely well rounded in terms of tone and shape, and still rival the sheer power of any EMG pickup to date.
Overall Impression — 10
As I said, I play thrash and metal, so this is not only a good match, but a perfect one. I have been playing for almost nine years, I own a B\.C\. Rich Warlock, a Jackson King V, and an Epiphone 1958 Gothic Explorer, and this thing is the best out of all of them. I would get another if it were lost or stolen, because this thing is so playable and versatile that it would be a mistake to not have one. I love everything about it, but if I could change something, I would make the neck just a tad bit slimmer. It's pretty speedy as it is, I just wish it was a little thinner. I compared it to the Gibson Flying V, and the DV-200, and I know I got the right one. It has better sound and looks, and it plays better than the other V-shaped axes out there. I also wish that the hardshell case would have came with it instead of having to buy it separately (it cost me another $130), but I guess it doesn't bother me too much. Way to go, ESP. This guitar is incredible.
Reliability & Durability — 10
Live playing? This guitar would withstand a train wreck. The hardware is very high quality, and seems like it will last at least as long as the guitar itself. There are no strap buttons, due to the Dunlop Flush-mount locks, but they work very well and seem to be of rather high quality. I would never use any guitar without a backup, that's just silly. Always bring a backup in case something insane happens and your axe dies. The finish is the best I've seen on any guitar, and should last the entire life of the guitar.
Action, Fit & Finish — 10
Well, I had to adjust the action a bit, it seemed too low for me, and I had to adjust the pickups to my liking, but afterwards, the guitar was perfect. I had to tighten the tuning key on the high E string, but that was the only flaw, which most likely occurred during shipping. Finish is very even and solid, and it was damn near tuned perfectly when it got to my house after a week on the road.
Features — 10
My DV8-R is an '06 model, made in Korea. It has a solid mahogany body, three-piece mahogany neck with 24 jumbo frets and a 25 1/2 inch scale. I have the snow white finish with the black pickguard. The body style is obviously the giant V style that Dave has made so popular. It has a Tone Pros locking bridge with string-thru-body. It also came rigged with the Seymour Duncan Dave Mustaine Live Wire active humbuckers. It has a three-way selector Switch with 2 volume knobs and 1 tone knob, and Sperzel locking tuners. Also came with the Dunlop Flush-mount strap locks.