Price paid: $ 749
Purchased from: Guitar Center
Sound — 8
This Guitar was produced by ESP to the new generation of metal guitarist who want a heavier sound than what they can get from a normal 6-string (I like to play progressive djenty stuff). I use it with an Ibanez TBX150H through a Crate 4x12 with a Boss DD-7. The guitar can be noisy at time when I have the gain past the 2:00 position on the HOT channel, the main reason I can believe is the 81-7 in the bridge, it is way to muddy and the output feels to low for it to be the so-called standard of EMG pickups (mainly talking about the 81 in general). However the 707 is the most beautiful sounding pickup I have heard, it actually has more output (at least more volume) in the neck position than the 81-7 on the bridge (trying to figure that out). I have noticed in the comments section that this guitar should only be played for metal but I think they are wrong personally. This guitar gives the most amazing clean sound I have heard in all of my guitars in the neck position. It also sounds great doing some blues stuff in the middle position if you set the volume right on the bridge. This guitar has a lot of potential if people look past the EMG pickups as strictly metal pickups.
Overall Impression — 10
Good match for anything really, I plan on dumping the 81-7 for another 707 for the bridge but other than that it is good for anything even country if you rig the battery pack with a simple piece of wire to get a p90 or single coil sound (not recommended for high gain at all though). If this guitar were lost or stolen I would cry, then go on a killing spree just to get it back. I love the fact that the guitar is so unique for a 7 string being a LP shape. You don't find many 7 strings in shapes other than the Strat style. I did not compare it to other 7 strings because I am sick of the Strat shape and not a fan of the crazy Explorer and V shapes. The only thing I wish it came with was a case for safe storage, especially for how much I did pay for it.
Reliability & Durability — 10
This guitar seems like it will play forever by my experience with other ESP guitars, I would have a back-up in case of string breakage on stage or for other tunings. The hardware seems like it will last except the paint on it. The strap buttons seem solid but I am about to change them with the DiMarzio strap lock system. I would never personally go to a gig without a backup just because of the hassle it is trying to fix a broken string on stage. I haven't had this guitar long enough to know if the finish will last or not but when I dropped it (yeah by accident) some paint chipped off of the bottom on the back side and the finish seems to be thick enough to last years of constant playing before seeing actual wood.
Action, Fit & Finish — 8
When I got this guitar through the mail it was set up almost perfectly for my style the only things I had to do was tighten some nuts with the included Allen keys. Other than tuning it up the first time I didn't do much to it at first. The pickups where at their top level which I wish the bridge could get closer but it can't. The only flaws that I could see on the guitar were the neck binding missing its "aged" look in some spots and the binding on the headstock where some of the black and meld in certain spots, and on the higher part of the fretboard there are some fileing marks on the 7 string side but nothing that can be noticed when gigging or from afar. I was disappointed by the inlays when I noticed that they look too flat for pearled plastic. Other than that nothing that effects actual playability.
Features — 10
Made in China in 2012, I am vary surprised by this guitar. I have always been an ESP fan of guitars but I never bought any that actually had EMG pickups. So this is my first EMG equipped guitar and my first 7 string at the same time. It comes in either Snow-white satin or black satin (I got the black), so there is not really a choice in colors, but they do make sense for a guitar produced strictly for metal. Specs: - Set-neck construction - 25.5" scale body (perfect for that natural detuning of the low b-string when it is played by it self!) - Single Cut-away Mahogany Body - Maple Top - Maple neck finish in same way as body with satin paint - Rosewood fingerboard (mine is actually darker than all other rosewood fingerboards I have had in the past, I don't know if that was on purpose or not but makes the guitar look better in my opinion.) - 48mm standard nut - Thin U-neck contour (never played a 7-string before this so I was surprised how thick it was but how natural feeling it was!) - 24 XJ (extra jumbo) Frets - Black Satin Hardware - TOM Bridge - EMG 81-7 (B)/ EMG 707 (N) - 3 way toggle - Bridge and Neck Volume Knobs - Master Tone Knob - ESP Tuners P.S. Don't follow what it says on the website when it comes to the tuners due to the fact they are not Grover tuners.