Price paid: € 719
Purchased from: thomann.de
Sound — 9
I bought this guitar to fill in the sound gap I had between my Epi Prophecy LP GX with Gibson Dirty Fingers and the LTD Deluxe EC-1000 with EMG 81/60. I prefer my sound coming from the guitar more than from the amp and, since I play different styles ranging from '60s British rock to Zeppelin, GNR, all the way through grunge and metal, I wanted different guitars for different styles. I use this one to play mostly 60's and 70's rock, but it can easily handle metal, with the right amp and effects. The cleans are beautiful too, just flick the pick-up switch and it goes from full-bodied to bright. Crank up the amp and the sustain is endless; the gain doesn't affect clarity and if you use the tone control wisely, you can get a really rich sound. I believe it's thanks to the thick body that provides this guitar with much more resonance compared to my EC-1000.
Overall Impression — 9
While I don't recommend this guitar if you want to play Slipknot (without effects, that is), I think it's versatile enough to provide the sound range usually desired by most amateur/semipro rock guitarists. I didn't have the opportunity to play the guitar anywhere before ordering it online, but after having owned and played my EC-1000VF, I had enough confidence in LTD products. I researched online and when I finally found out it had a thicker body than the EC-1000, I was sold. And if I decide I can't Live without them, I could install Gotoh hardware and have a guitar comparable in sound AND features to the ESP Eclipse-II. Almost.
Reliability & Durability — 9
Looks and feels like a solid guitar, however I strongly advise on investing in straplocks and locking tuners to make sure you'll have no surprises during live playing. Would I use it without a back-up? No, but I wouldn't use any guitar (or amp, for that matter) without back-up in a gig. Otherwise, I have confidence this will last a long time. I'll get back to you after I drop it a few times, though.
Action, Fit & Finish — 9
Out of the box, the guitar was set up perfectly, all it needed was a slight tune. Low action without fret buzz, perfect intonation, solid hardware... no complaints here whatsoever. My guitar is finished in Tobacco Sunburst and it is flawless too. The only problem I can foresee in the long run is keeping it clean, as you can see every spec of dust and every single fingerprint on it.
Features — 9
Made in Indonesia in 2008. LTD's mid-range take on the Les Paul which manages to provide great bang-for-buck, thanks in part to the Seymour Duncan 59/JB pick-ups.. The guitar features a thick, yet lightweight mahogany body with a flamed maple top, finished in either Tobacco Sunburst or Faded Cherry Sunburst. It has a set mahogany neck, rosewood fingerboard, 42mm Earvana compensated nut, thin U neck contour, 22 extra jumbo frets, chrome hardware, Grover tuners, TOM bridge & tail.