Purchased from: Guitar Collection
Sound — 7
I would say it suits me pretty well. I play mostly rock and I prefer the sound off the humbuckers. I use it with a Roland Cube 30 amp. To me, it has a chunky full sound when your using the neck pickup. it's great for chords and muting. I usually compare the sounds with a Godin SG and I wouldn't say it's a whole lot better, but it's better nontheless. Shredding solos on this guitar is nice. Puts a big smile on my face. But I guess the pickups aren't all that fantastic when you're pinching harmonics. It can be done, but sometimes it sounds somewhat numb. Overall sound, I think it's good enough to play live with. But I would consider getting better pickups.
Overall Impression — 8
Overall impression is I love my guitar. Somehow I've tested on more expensive guitars. Sure, they sound better albeit because of the better pickups. But this guitar grows on you. It's what you would call the Jack of all trades really. It doesn't go above and beyond, but it does takes you somewhere close. If it was stolen, I'd buy another ESP, but not necessary this one. Still, I would kill if to find out who took it. The black finish for this model is better than the grey. But the black scratches easily which is unavoidable. Still overall, this is a good guitar and I would recommend anyone with a budget looking for a decent guitar with decent performance. I dare say it's just as good as some of the more expensive stuff you can find. Last words, ESP makes good guitars. I have No Doubt my next guitar would be another ESP/LTD.
Reliability & Durability — 7
I haven't played live so I wouldn't know if it can withstand a live show. The knobs were abit fiddly when I got the guitar from the shop. Sometimes it feels tight, sometimes it's loose. But I never touch the tone or volume while playing. it's set to full most of the time. But I'm guessing that's not the point. The strap buttons a perfect, nothing to say about them. I would use it on a gig without a backup. I think it would last long even with real hard playing.
Action, Fit & Finish — 8
From the shop, it was pretty well set up. No string buzzes or rattles. Changing the strings for the first time got me learning how to tune the action, setting the string just enough to miss the buzzing and low enough to get good action off the fretboard. Mostly easy stuff, all you need is the right sized screwdriver and you're pretty much in good hands. I got a black EC-50 and the only problem I have is the palm and finger stains. After a short play there's prints everywhere. Also, pick scratches are very evident. I don't mind it at all, but if you're thinking of selling the guitar, it's a factor for depreciation. The body is really solid though, and heavy too. Somehow you sense quality when you hold it. For me, I'm more than satisfied with fit and finish.
Features — 8
Let's not waste time on the already known hardware this axe has coupled off the shelf. The few major features I like are the 24 jumbo frets, the standard stock twin ESP LH-100 pickups which are good and the fact that it's an Eclipse design. The body is considerably heavy. Gives you that quality feel when you strap it on.