Purchased from: Nowhere
Sound — 10
The Black Cherry EC-1000 is more of my preference because of the EMGs. Downtuned far enough and with a high gain amp (I tested it through a Peavey Valveking), this guitar kills. The sustain goes on forever, and the tone is crushing, but it can clean up when needed. Pinch harmonics are so easy to hit with this thing. It's really good for a metal/hardcore/metal-core tone, or even some punk stuff. The Amber Sunburst EC-1000 looks nice, and the classic JB/'59 combo is awesome for any generic rock tone. I really got to test Drive this thing at my local store (I practically work there so I get to do whatever I want, I guess). My friend and I (he works there) took a Peavey XXX 212 combo and hooked it up to two custom built 4X12 cabinets. With the amp on the crunch channel, the EC-1000 put out some of the most insane rhythm and scorching lead tones I've heard in a while. Pinch harmonics are easy to hit, but easier on the Black Cherry EC. The clean sound on this guitar is better than the other, so I guess that's the trade off.
Overall Impression — 10
My first idea of LTD guitars were that they were relatively cheap and that Schecter pwned ESP (that's what I've been told). After playing both, I've determined for myself that LTD guitars are some the best middle-priced guitars I've ever played. I recommend either one of these guitars to anyone who wants a Les Paul, but without having to sell a couple organs to get one. It's all preference, so depending on what tone you want (metal or just rock), either guitar can suit anyone's musical needs. Also, this year, LTD has two more EC-1000's comming out, which look even better than these two. So if you don't neccessarily like the finish on either one of these, you can pick up an Vintage black EC-1000 w/ EMGs or a Vintage Honey Burst EC-1000 w/ the JB/'59 setup. Definately go check one out.
Reliability & Durability — 10
This guitar could most definately withstand live playing, but anyone should bring a backup (just in case). The hardware seems like it could definately last. The strap buttons are solid, and the finish is awesome (definately not going anywhere).
Action, Fit & Finish — 10
The action on both guitars was low, and very easy to play. Sweep-picked arpeggios and fast scale runs were very easy on both guitars. The pickup height on both guitars was fine. The finishes on both were superb, with no noticable flaws anywhere. Nothing seemed noisy and there was no fuzz when turning any knobs.
Features — 10
Made in 2003-04 in Korea. 24 XJ frets on a rosewood fretboard on a very comfortable neck (think a Les Paul on a diet). 24.75" scale, and very easy to play. The bodies on both are mahogany, with a cutaway in the back for comfortable playing when standing up. Here's where the difference comes in. Depending on which guitar bought, one has an Amber Sunburst finish w/ a flamed maple top, while the other has a quilted maple black cherry top. Both guitars are similar to a Les Paul, just with a sharper cutaway to make the higher frets more accessible. Abalone binding (body and neck), Tonepros locking bridge w/ stoptail piece (which is locked onto the guitar so when it doesn't fall off when changing strings), Earvana compensated nut, Sperzel locking tuners, and one tone and two volume knobs.