Purchased from: Axe Music
Sound — 8
I am a big classic rock fan, and a little bluesy sometimes too. So I play lots of Eric Clapton, Guns N' Roses, Tom Petty, Boston, Bon Jovi and some Van Halen. For the most part, this guitar does the job just fine. I find it works very well for rhythm and power chord riffs, and not so much for solos/lead. The humbuckers are not cutting enough to produce a high treble sound. The trade-off for this is that they do have a very full and rich tone, which sounds great for riffing and the occasional lick. I use a Peavey Solo 15-W amp, and it provides the kind of tone I need for when I'm practicing. However, whenever I jam with my friend (Who owns an Epiphone LP and a Marshall 100-watt combo amp), I occasionally plug into his Marshall and then this guitar comes alive. It sounded just as good as his Les Paul, perhaps with slightly less clarity on the high end. So at the end of the day, if you're not looking for a heavy metal sound, a humbucker replacement and a string change should make this guitar perfect.
Overall Impression — 9
At the end of the day, I really like the EC 50. I have some gripes about the tone of the humbuckers, but I've learned to Live with it and adjust my tone settings to get more of a higher, treble, Strat-ish sound. I've been playing for over a year now, and I have owned the EC 50 for about 5 months now, and I like it a lot more than the Ibanez starter Strat guitar I owned before that. When I purchased this guitar, I just wished I had given it more of a test Drive, and not been so hasty to get it. Despite all this, I have really grown on it, and I wouldn't play anything else for now. If I had this guitar stolen, I would probably buy it again, but I would replace the humbuckers and strings right away. However, if you like playing punk or metal, then this guitar doesn't need any adjustments at all. It is perfect as is.
Reliability & Durability — 10
This guitar, I'm absolutely certain it will hold its own live. The knobs and components of the guitar are very strong and don't seem to be of poor quality. My strap has come undone a couple times practicing at home, but definitely less frequently than my previous Ibanez guitar. The glossy black finish, if polished often and well maintained, looks stunning. It does attract fingerprints though, so I highly recommend getting a good polish and microfiber cloth to keep your EC 50 looking top notch. The finish is really goregeous and thick. It won't be wearing off anytime soon.
Action, Fit & Finish — 10
The build quality of this guitar is top-notch. I've always been concerned about purchasing non-USA made guitars, as I've had problems with poor build quality in the past. But I took Faith in the fact that these ESP LTD guitars are not made in the USA, but are quality checked there. The only issue I've had is a loose tuning machine for the "G" string, which is annoying me a bit, but I'm sure it's something that can be repaired. It has a really nice weight to it that rivals Les Pauls. When you throw it over your shoulder, it has a feel and weight that makes it seem a lot more expensive and high-quality than its price would tell. It doesn't feel like a cheap piece of wood. It is solid and heavy. Sometimes it can be a bad thing, as I find that my back tends to get sore after a lot of practice standing up, so I find myself sitting on a chair playing often. I'd rather have a heavy, solid, quality guitar than a cheap, light piece of crap anyday.
Features — 9
This guitar was made in Indonesia in 2006-ish I believe. It sports 24 frets with a relatively thin neck. It has a rosewood fretboard. It has a solid agathis body, with no top, and has a high gloss finish. It comes in several colours, including black, dark red and white. I personally like the look of the glossy black finish, which is the model I own. It is similarly shaped to a Les Paul guitar, with a single cutaway. It has a Tune-O-Matic bridge with a stop tailpiece, which I find makes string changing very easy. I also like palm muting with it. It has the stock EC LH-150 humbuckers, which are well constructed, but a little to murky for my tastes (I'll explain later). The electronics consist of 3 knobs (Bridge, neck volumes and overall tone), and a 3-way pickup selector generally found in dual-humbucking guitars. Regular non-locking ESP tuners are equipped. I did not recieve any accessories with this guitar (although I felt I should have).