LTD EC-1000FR Deluxe review by ESP

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  • Sound: 9
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reliability & Durability: 9
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 9
  • Features: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 9.2 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.3 (10 votes)
ESP: LTD EC-1000FR Deluxe

Price paid: $ 650

Purchased from: Guitar Center

Sound — 9
I play a wide range of music. Anything from John Mayer to Journey, Bruce Springsteen to Paul Gilbert, and even often playing Trivium, Killswitch Engage, Children Of Bodom, and Death. I have numerous guitars that I can cover pretty much any of these, but lets face it, you're probably not going to buy this guitar if you're starting an Eric Clapton cover band or something like that. This guitar is really suited for heavier music. So I'm reviewing it based on that. It covers metal sounds great! The EMG pickups are definitely suited for more metal type music. As listed in the specs, they are an 81/60 combination, which is the only combination I've ever played. To me, they suit this guitar well. I run this guitar through a pretty straight forward metal type setup. A Peavey 6505+, 4x12 cabinet, and then just a few pedals: Maxon OD808, ISP Decimator, MXR carbon copy, and a EHX Neo Clone. There's really not much variety here, I find the EMG's don't have the greatest clean sound in the world, and that is something I do like to use.

Overall Impression — 9
As I mentioned earlier, I play a wide range of stuff, and for the heavier stuff, this guitar is perfect. I've been playing for about 12 years now, and I have owned many guitars in that time. This is definitely one of the coolest looking guitars I've owned over the years. I love the trans black! I do own several other guitars currently - Ibanez RG1570 Prestige, Ibanez RG921 Premium, Parker PDF100, LTD EC-1000, an Epiphone Les Paul Custom Pro, and a PRS SE 245 that I'll probably sell to help cover the cost of this one. I was skeptical of buying a guitar with a floyd rose on it again, and I was quickly reminded why when I changed the strings on it, but now that it's blocked off, I don't think I'll have any more issues. I have no complaints about this guitar. It's solid, beautiful, and extremely easy to play. I have found that to be the case with the three different EC-1000's I've played, and actually why I bought another one. These guitars are honestly probably the best PLAYING guitars I've played over the years. They just require very little effort I find, and that's what attracts me to them. If I could only buy one guitar for the rest of my life - I'd probably choose these guitars. They're awesome looking, easy to play, reliable, and can cover pretty much all types of heavier rock music. Other owners of these guitars will know what I'm talking about. If you haven't played one yet, go try one! Video from YouTube:

YouTube preview picture

Reliability & Durability — 9
I hope to start playing shows again soon, and I wanted something that I could play pretty much exclusively all night. With the locking trem and the extremely solid feel of this guitar, I would definitely this guitar could hold its own - easily. As far as the finish goes, I'm not sure how often/long the previous owner played it. Being that it has some finish issues makes me thing that it was probably a primary guitar, but I still hope to get many years of use out of it. It appeared to have some DiMarzio strap lock buttons on it, but since it didn't come with a strap or anything, I changed them to Schaller strap buttons off a guitar I'm not using right now. I can't really review the original strap buttons for that reason.

Action, Fit & Finish — 9
Being that it was a used guitar, it had some finish issues. It had the typical buckle rash on the back, and pick wear below the pickups on the front, but that's to be expected. I didn't really mind it though. I always get nervous playing brand new shiny guitars, so to have gotten one that's already been used makes me feel more comfortable playing it. I played this guitar for about an hour in the store, the longest I've played any guitar when testing it out before. I don't know if GC went through this guitar before they put it up for sale or not, but the trem wasn't adjusted very well. It was not parallel to the body, and was tilted up. I had to retune the guitar several times whilst playing it, but I new that if I bought it, I'd end up blocking it off anyway, so that is no longer an issue. It also had 9 gauge strings on it, which to me just makes it almost unplayable to me. I immediately switched to 11's when I got it home during the setup. Other than the finish issues, and pre-setup tuning stability (which I can't fault the guitar for), this thing is AWESOME.

Features — 10
Up for review today is an LTD EC-1000FR. I got this model in the trans-black finish - which is gorgeous! I'm not sure what year it was made in. Though i think it's more recent, as the tuners are ESP branded, and I believe they used to be grover branded tuners, if I'm not mistaken. At least they were on an older LTD I used to own. Here's a quick run down of the specs: - Set Neck - 24-3/4" Scale - Mahogany Body - Flamed Maple Top - Mahogany Neck - Rosewood Fingerboard - 1.65" (42mm) Nut Width - Thin U Neck Contour - 24 Extra Jumbo Frets - Black Nickel Hardware - ESP Tuners - Floyd Rose 1000 Series Locking Tremolo Bridge & Tailpiece - EMG 81 (B) / 60 (N) Active Pick Up - Controls: vol/vol/tone, 3-way Toggle Pickup Selector Couple things to note here - I've tried to stay away from floating trem guitars in the recent years, as I always got tired of the less than easy string changes, compared to a fixed bridge. However, in my opinion, there's nothing that stays in tune like a floyd rose style bridge that's setup correctly. Wanting the best of both worlds, I blocked off the trem in the cavity, so it goes neither up or down. It's just a preference. I use different tunings all the time, and don't want to be bothered with resetting everything. Also, mine came with an ESP hardshell case, the whammy bar, and all of the allen keys, and case keys. Also something else interesting, this is the SECOND EC-1000 I own. I own a fixed bridge EC-1000 in silverburst, and this guitar is much heavier than my first one. I'm not sure why really. Maybe it varied by year, or it could just be that every guitar that comes off the line could be drastically different, as I've noticed in my experience when playing similar guitars together. It definitely feels like a quality guitar though, so I think the weight is great!

9 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Love the black flame maple finish, love the bindings, the inlays, the Floyd Rose is great, but I'd prefer an original than 1000. Not all that keen on the EMGs but they're definitely gonna work for what the guitar is aimed for. I would sure as hell say $650 is a damn good price for a guitar like this, looks like it's worthy of a high score.
    Definitely got a good price on it. I have the 1000VB and absolutely love it, wouldn't trade it for anything.
    I have this exact guitar and have enjoyed playing it for the past couple of years. Bends are easy. Floyd works fantastic. Looks great imo. Solid instrument. These thing are about $900 new. You get what you pay for in this case, meaning, it does not feel and sound like a high end guitar (e.g. Gibson LP) and is definitely suited for metal. But, it is damn good, that's for sure. Enjoy yours, I still love mine!
    I've been looking at the Epiphone Matt Heafy Les Paul Custom lately, but I really like the finish on this, and I like the idea of having a guitar that I can really make mine. On the other hand, I love the specs on Matt's guitar, I could care less for the tremolo on this one. This guitar would look great with my EX-401FM in the same finish.