Sound — 10
This guitar sounds awesome! To good to be under $400. It's hot humbuckers sound full for metal and anything lower. You cannot go wrong with it's tone. And the sustain is fairly good. It pinches and bends with ease. Please do not falter in reasoning in buying the guitar for it's sound, that is no deciding option in choosing this instrument.
Overall Impression — 10
I try to take advantage of the high gain pickups by trying to shred and playing with high gain techniques. This guitar is perfect. I love to death and would not trade it for most Gibsons (although I would like to add some Seymour Duncans). I love the playability and 24 fret range. Without compromise, this is the best guitar under $400! Kudos to you, Electronic Sound Productions (ESP).
Reliability & Durability — 9
The action stays in place forever and the finish it durable, though it smudges easily. Beware: the tuners WILL gradually move. It will withstand gigging. I have not had hardware trouble. The strap buttons are rock solid. It proves as a useful lead or backup guitar. The finish ca scratch, but only with heavy picking.
Action, Fit & Finish — 9
The action fit and the humbuckers were at about a lower setting. The only problem is the truss-rod, which does not fit most allen wrenches. The guitar, I believe, was constructed in Asia, but the electronics were made in North America.
Features — 9
The ESP EC-50 is a great guitar. It features 24 jumbo frets on a maple neck and basswood body. The color I received mine in was Black Satin, even though regular black, white, red, and tobacco burst were available. The bridge is a Tun-O-Matic-like bridge over 2 steamy, ESP humbuckers. The 3 controls available are a tone knob and 2 volume knob, 1 for each humbucker. The non-locking tuners will keep the guitar in tune if tightened. My only complaint is that many of the twisting parts break fairly easily (tuner screws, cap screws, truss-rod, etc.), which I hope to get fixed. But the quality of instrument is amazing.