Price paid: $ 849
Purchased from: Musicians Friend
Features — 8
I bought a 2006 ESP LTD EC-1000 Deluxe in See Through Black Cherry finish. The body style is similar to a Les Paul, but with a sharper horn on the cutaway. The guitar was made in Korea. It has 24 frets, Mahogany neck, mahogany body, and a rosewood fretboard. It also has Abalone inlays and binding around the entire guitar. It came with a TonePros Tune-o-matic bridge and Sperzel locking tuners, and the EMG 81/60 set. It has two volume knobs and one tone knob. All of the hardware is black. It came with a very nice ESP hardcase for free.
Sound — 9
I mostly play metal and rock, but I also experiment with various other genres. Majority of the time, I play though amp sims. Particularly TSE X50. This guitar sounds great for metal. Beautiful chunky sound, but still has nice definition when playing massive chords. The EMG's are very high output and very quiet. The neck pickup sounds great for warm clean tones, as well as solos. The bridge pickup generally sounds thin with clean tones, though. For aggressive music, this guitar sounds close to perfect for what I want.
Action, Fit & Finish — 7
Out of the box, the action was a little too low and there was a little buzzing, but that was a simple fix. The pickups were at the correct height and needed no adjustment. The guitar didn't have any noticeable flaws. The top was matched well and the finish did not have any imperfections. The binding and inlays were cleanly set (unlike some guitars I've encountered that had glue on the fretboard from placing the frets).The frets were filed down nicely. The intonation required slight adjustment, but that is also easy to fix. Overall there were some problems with the set-up, but that probably falls more on Musician's Friend than ESP.
Reliability & Durability — 10
I've had this guitar for close to ten years now and it still plays as well as it did when I first bought it. Even with a decade of heavy use, the finish shows no signs of wear and the hardware is all still in perfect working order. The strap buttons are great and I've had no problem with them. This guitar is very dependable and definitely a guitar that has the capability to be used to gig with. I would feel comfortable gigging with only this guitar, if I did not have the option to have a back-up.
Overall Impression — 9
This guitar is a great match for the music I play. It cranks out heavy sounds, but can still clean up nicely when necessary. I've been playing for about 12 years and I own several other guitars that are all in about the same price range or higher, and this guitar is my favorite out of all of them. If something happened to this guitar, I would definitely have to have another one. There isn't anything about this guitar that I don't particularly like. Most of the features of this guitar are features that I prefer in a guitar. Before buying this guitar, I ordered an Ibanez, but when the Ibanez came in it had so many problems and was practically unplayable so I sent it back and ordered the LTD as a replacement. I couldn't have been happier with that decision after receiving this guitar. The only thing I wish this guitar had is an Evertune bridge, but those hadn't even been invented at the time this was purchased. If you're looking for a great metal guitar that also has the capability to dabble into other music, this is a great choice.