Price paid: $ 699
Purchased from: Guitarcenter.com
Sound — 10
This guitar is at home in hard rock and metal. The distortion output is thick, tight, and powerful. But its not a 1 trick pony. EMG pickups have a Neutral sound that you can use for any style. The clean sound is very bright. These pickups work well with effect pedals. I use my Boss Super Chorus with it a lot on clean, and it comes through very well. But if you are mostly a clean player, these pickups might not be for you. They don't have that rich full sound that standard magnet pickups give. But like I said, depending on your tuning, the way you play, and what effects you use, you really can make this guitar sound however you want. Very versitile.
Overall Impression — 8
This guitar is super versitile, full of top knotch features, and looks amazing. I just wish it had a little better set up job from the factory. But hey, I have played American made guitars costing over $2000 that were in worse shape. And a good professional set up job isnt that expensive and every one should get one from time to time. Once set up right this is one of the best playing guitars I have ever used. It is super fast and very comfortable. I have been playing guitar for 10 years, have taught for 4, and have been in several bands, as well as worked in recording. This is a great guitar for the money. Even if it has some set up issues (which most don't, I just got an unlucky one) after the cost of a set up job its still a FANTASTIC guitar for the price. I play through a 100 watt all tube half stack, and this thing always sounds great. I also have a Schecter C-1 Classic, wich is no longer made. My Shcecter is still my favorite, but the EC-1000 has a sound and feel all its own. I wouldn't hesitate to get another one if I had to. Check one out, you'll love it!
Reliability & Durability — 10
All the electronics are solid, and have a sturdy feel. Usually in guitars of this price range you wont have to worry about shoddy electronics. The finish feels fine. I would have no problems awith using this guitar for a live show. ESP is a name you can trust. I will however recomend getting strap locks AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. Not because the strap buttons are bad, but because of were they are. A 'les paul' shaped guitar has the strap button on the top shoulder which is round and a strap can easily slip off. All of the fret inlays, as well as the Abalone binding are very well installed. No gaps, no large amounts of filler, and everything looks amazing. Over all a very welll built instrument
Action, Fit & Finish — 8
This Guitar came with not nearly as good of a set up job as I was expecting. The intonation was way off. The string hieght was alright. But the frets need some work. I got mine for a lot less than normal price because mine was a 'Restock" model so I am not too upset about it. But if I paid the normal price of around $850 I would be a little upset. To have the guitar fully set up and have any frets filed and dressed will run a bout $75. All things considered not a bad price to make this great guitar play like a $2000 one.
Features — 10
First of all, its the features that make this guitar. Solid mahogany body and neck. 24 fret rose-wood fretboard. Standard "les paul" scale of 24 3/4'. Locking ESP tuners that work GREAT! I could bend until my strings snapped and it would still be in tune. Earvana Componsated Nut really does make the guitar stay intonated better. Locking TonePros bridge and tail piece for easy set up and string change. Of course the EMG Actice 81/60 pickups sound exactly like they should. Very Neutral sound with HEAVY distortion output. Very responsive with great harmonics. Mine has the Transparent Blue finish which look great. Yes it is a Korean made guitar. But who really cares anymore? I mean seriously, the quality of these over seas guitars today rivals (but does not surpass) American made companies. It would cost you close to $500 dollars to add these features to a guitar (Pickups, Bridge & Tail piece, Tuners, Compensated Nut). It has 1 master tone knob, and 2 independant volume knobs.