Price paid: $ 850
Purchased from: J.C. Music, Meriden CT
Sound — 10
I play mostly various forms of metal (death, thrash, glam, black) and progressive rock, and this is THE guitar for the price. The sound is sharp and aggressive on cutting leads and has sustain for weeks on end, every note is very clear. Properly balanced pickups enable a flick of the PU selector to go insanely chunky, brutal rhythm licks that demolish all and take no prisoners. I have yet to hear a better guitar for this kind of money (and more), and its sound is the definition of what a hard rock/metal guitar should be. I use EMG pickups on mine and they're very hot screamers, easily overdrive passive inputs on amps, but can sound very neat and precise when played clean. I've played this through a variety of amps and even with just a Boss distortion pedal it delivers bone-crushing crunch.
Overall Impression — 10
The only thing I have of complaint with this guitar is that the standard/deluxe series of ECs don't offer a tremolo bridge/whammy, however, it has other features coming out the @SS. For metal, you will be hard pressed to find a better guitar, and it's probably this guitar's slightly nicer brother, the ESP Standard Series Eclipse II, possibly the only guitar I would dream of replacing this with if it were lost or stolen. I love the combination of its styling, sound, and playability, that can make even a relative newcomer to guitar feel awesome all over when you pick it up and play. I've played with three or so bands now and I've never heard such massive tone. Our main guitarist for my current group is in love with this guitar, and he's a virtuoso Who knows his stuff too. The only thing I can think of as being negative on this guitar is if you like playing country or R&B. The PUs on this model (EMGs) are ok for edgier blues but if you want a warmer sound go with the ones with Seymour Duncans (JB & 59). Overally, I love this guitar (almost) as much as my girl.
Reliability & Durability — 10
Bottom line: this can be anyone, even the most agressive player's main Live guitar, provided enough care is given. I've heard this particular finish (satin/vintage black) is scratch-prone but otherwise ESPs are very durable. I haven't had this guitar for long but if it's anything like my cheaper (by comparison) ESP bass, it will be rock solid for as long as you own it, requiring minimal adjustments.
Action, Fit & Finish — 10
Action made fretting effortless and without excess noise or buzz. I own another ESP (a bass) and the setup on each of ESP's guitars is near-flawless. The lock on the A string tuner was a little soft and needed tightening but considering this was on display since the beginning of the sales year it was hardly irregular. Required very little adjustment if any (just a tuning check before dropping half step). Intonation was flawless, high consistency through all frets. The finish was perfect and pictures of this guitar do it no justice whatsoever. It is a guitar to inspire the self and envy in others, with a refined yet agressive appeal. Much lighter than its direct competitor (Gibson LPs) but heavy enough to feal real and make playing enjoyable. The neck is superfast, and makes chord switching feel like nothing.
Features — 10
A 2007 ESP LTD EC-1000 Deluxe solid body electric in Vintage Black (VB), 24 fret, 3pc mahogany neck w/ ebony fretboard, generous abalone inlays and white bindings, model number at 12th fret. Mahogany carved, Eclipse styled body, Tonepros tail, active EMG81(N) EMG60(B) 1 vol bridge, 1 vol neck, 1 master tone pots, 3-way PU selector (neck, series, bridge), gold hardware Sperzel locking Schaller tuners, Earvana compensated nut, 24.75 inch scale, 2-way truss rod.