Purchased from: Musicians Friend
Sound — 10
I play pretty much everything that you can play guitar to and this guitar has yet to disappoint me. I am not using the greatest of amps (a Crate GT65) but from what I can hear, it sounds damn good to me. I've used other amps with this guitar and it still sounds awesome. The guitar's JB pickup is awesome for playing insane leads and really heavy stuff and the '59 is incredible for acoustic and clean tones. The sustain from this thing would go on forever if I didn't mute the strings. The wood they used in the guitar resonates sound very well and dare is say can compete with a Gibson... yeah I said it. I'm not a Gibby guy to begin with but I did try a few out (explorers, v's, and a few LP's) and this bad boy is right up there with them if not better playing through the same equipment.
Overall Impression — 10
For what I play, I couldn't ask for a better guitar. From Dispatch to Zeppelin to Weezer to Deftones to Coheed to Metallica to Strapping Young Lad this thing covers all the bases and loses no tone in the process. I have been playing for well over 3 years now and this guitar really inspired me to elevate my playing ability just because I know I can get more out of this thing. If it was stolen or lost, I would probably get the same guitar but since they are becoming harder to find in black, I might settle with the new VF model for 2007. What I love about it is definitely its versatility. What I hate about it is the lack of an extra tone knob but you can get by. As I said before, I tried a lot of other guitars before I bought this one. Fender Teles and Strats, Gibby Explorers, Vs, and LPs, a Samick, and a few Epis. This blew everything but the gibsons out of the water and was right up there with the big bad wolf of the guitar world. Since I was getting the same tone and playability as a Gibson at half the price, why the hell wouldn't I buy this guitar? ESP is truly a great company and their LTD models are legit. I'm a convert and don't be afraid to try one out.
Reliability & Durability — 9
Many guitarists use this exact model so I would imagine that it is pretty sturdy during Live playing. I'm only a hobbyist but I've beating the crap out of this thing and it is still rocking like it did out of the box. The hardware is all chrome and looks solid. If I had a band or performed live I would have no issues busting this thing out. I have 2 other guitars (Fender Telecaster and Epiphone LP custom w/Zakk Wylde upgrades) and this is my numero uno.
Action, Fit & Finish — 9
The action on this guitar is awesome. A very comfortable and fast neck. I'm not a shredder but more of a David Gilmour bluesy type of lead guy and this thing's neck doesn't leave you cramped like my Telecaster normally does. The one thing I will gripe about is that my pickups were a bit lose when the guitar came to me but a simple screw driver fixed that problem. The finish and overall craftsmanship of the guitar is incredible considering it wasn't made at the mother plant. I was expecting a piece of crap from Korea but this thing is clean and a true black beauty.
Features — 9
Pretty sure this beast was build in 2006 because it's the black model and they don't offer that color anymore in the 2007 models. It is Korean made just like all other ESP LTD's 400 or lower. It has 22 XJ frets, rosewood fretboard, and comes with a 24.75" scale. It comes with a solid black finish and cream binding all over the guitar. It is a set neck construction with a mahogany body and neck. With a quick look and an untrained eye you could mistake it for a Les Paul but in my opinion much sexier looking. It comes with a Tune-O-Matic bridge with a stop piece which allows for this thing to very rarely get out of tune. There are 2 volume knobs, a tone knob, and a 3-way switch. The model comes stock with the Seymour Duncan JB/'59 setup which in my opinion is the most versatile setup you can get. The flag inlays are cool little design too that really pop on the fretboard. Finally it comes with grover tuners that are a breeze to use. The only hitch is the one tone knob that is offered. If they had switched a volume with an additional tone knob this guitar would be phenomenal. For the price though I am certainly not complaining.