Price paid: $ 553
Sound — 8
Great guitar for hardrock or metal. The EMG pickups are pre-amped internally so much less noise in high gain settings. The neck pickup is very bright, as is the bridge but with a little more bite for rythim or artificial harmonics. Not a lot of low-end growl, so I would not recommend it with a Boss Metal Zone or any other really treble heavy stompboxes.
Overall Impression — 9
I have been a longtime fan of the Korean ESP, but a first time owner. Great guitar for the heavy stuff. Very comfortable to play with the body contours and weight distribution. If this guitar was lost or stolen I would have no hesitation to buying another.
Reliability & Durability — 8
So far this guitar is every bit as good as the day it came home. Neck is still straight as an arrow. Nice toggle switch too. Strap buttons are big and quite solid, which is rare these days. I would gig with this with no backup provided I had an extra 9 volt! I'm a little concerned about the finish in the long run, satin finishes tend to show scuffs and oils (from forearm or palm) quite visibly, but really as a workhorse guitar, small concern!
Action, Fit & Finish — 10
This factory setup was quite good. I have played many ESP's where I thought the action was a little too low, but not this one. Intonation was dead on, I raised the pickups a litttle as you can have EMG's very close to the strings without worrying about any magnetic fields killing string vibration. All that stuff is to be expected though (personal preference). Finish, frets, woods, hardware, nut, and everything else were exceptional.
Features — 9
This was made in 2006 and is the replacement to last years anniversary series. Made in Korea, 24 jumbo frets, mahogany body, ebony fretboard, set neck, EMG 81/60 pickups. It has a satin finish, string thru body, Tune-O-Matic bridge, 1 volume 1 tone, and Grover tuners.