Price paid: $ 419.3
Purchased from: Woodwind and Brasswind
Sound — 8
I play thrash, death, and progressive metal, so I figured this guitar would be perfect. It is. I run it through a small 15 watt practice amp and a DigiTech Metal Master. The lead tones and the tone out of the treble pickup is amazing. It's great. The lower tones and rhythm pickup lack a lot of chunk and powerful bass that I get out of my other guitar. Palm mutes on the lower strings lack the chug that I'm looking for, but it's useable. Don't let that keep you from this guitar. The clean tone is adequate, but it lacks alot of ring, but it has a great sound nonetheless. I give it an 8 mostly for the lead tone which is, as I said, incredible.
Overall Impression — 9
This guitar is a great match for anyone Who plays metal. It might also be suitable for various types of hardcore and such. I've been playing for 5 years now, and this is only my second guitar. I would not recommend this guitar for beginners. If it were stolen/lost, I would definately buy this guitar again. It has a unique look that can be matched and being an ESP it is of great quality. If you're thinking about buying it, chances are you should.
Reliability & Durability — 10
This thing was built to last. I've already bumped it a few times and the finish stays on without a scratch. The hardware is solid and I don't worry about it. Aside from breaking strings due to vigorous playing, I wouldn't stress over it.
Action, Fit & Finish — 9
When I got the guitar, the action was a little low, but nothing that couldn't be changed. The finish was perfect, and all the hardware was in mint condition. The rhythm pickup is a little tall, so I'm going to see if I can lower that. It's also very close to the bridge, making it impossible to palm mute and play directly over the rhythm pickup at the same time, but this isn't much of a problem. So other than the action and the one pickup perfect.
Features — 9
This Explorer model has an agathis body and a three piece maple fingerboard with a set-neck construction. The fingerboard is made of rosewood and has 22 extra jumbo frets. The inlays are standard pearl dots with the exception of the 12th fret which has the model name. The pickups are two EMG-ESP LH-300s which are located at the neck and bridge. It has a tune-o-matic bridge and no locking tuners. All the hardware on the guitar is black. It looks great with the black finish. It has two knobs, master volume and master tone, as well as a three way toggle. For the price I paid, I wouldn't expect any other features on this guitar. I give it a 9 because I think the pickups could have been nicer and I would have liked locking tuners.