Purchased from: Zoo Music
Sound — 10
I play almost exclusivly metal and this guitar is perfect for it. Metallica is my favorite band, which is why I'm so obsessed with the shape, and this guitar is more than up to taking the heat of their work. I usually run it through my Marshall MGHDFX100 head and MG412 cab and occasionally through my Peavy (can't remember the model) with a Metal Muff pedal and it sounds brilliant. The pickups get everything and always sound great. As with all active pickups, if your batteries start running a little low you might get a little distortion on your clean channel but otherwise clean is pretty good. It is always in-tune. it works really well even when tuned down. I tune to Drop C sometimes and the guitar still stays perfectly tuned.
Overall Impression — 10
I play metal and this guitar is perfect for anyone who plays metal or hard rock. I'm absolutely in love with this thing. I've owned it for about 8 months now and I still play it like I bought it this morning. I played a Dean Michael Schenker Standard until I got this, I still love the Dean but this is definatly my favorite. I recommend this to anyone who plays metal. Or just likes how it looks. Oh, be careful around it though. I punctured my wall with the headstock when I turned around standing too close to the wall. it's sharp and dangerous.
Reliability & Durability — 10
This guitar has withstood everything I've thrown at it (not litteraly thrown). I accidentally was standing under a fan at home and I lifted the guitar over my head to get the strap off and the fan smashed into the headstock and there's one little scratch right below the tuning peg and that's it! The fan now has a dent and the guitar is fine! I had it sitting in my chair one night and it fell onto my hardwood floor and nothing hapened. No scratches, dings, nothin. This is an insanely durable guitar, everything's solid, I always use this as my main guitar and it never lets me down.
Action, Fit & Finish — 10
For me, it's got the perfect action. it's not high, and it's not so low that there's fret buzzing. I don't think there are any frets that buzz. There was one itty-bitty spot where the fingerboard and the egde of the pickup slot meet that wasn't covered but that's not a problem or anything. You have to look really hard to find it. Other than that one ity bity thing there's nothing else wrong.
Features — 9
When I went to go buy one of these at the shop they didn't have them instock so they had to order it directly from the factory. they had it made and shipped fairly quickly and came out of the box perfect. I bought a Standard black one because I think it just looks amazing. It's ESP's modified Explorer shape, which is more pointed than the Gibson version. It's a little hard to play the 22nd and occasionally the 21st fret for long but if it's just a short use then it's fine. It's got a TOM bridge which really helps keep it in-tune. it comes stock with Active EMGs, 60 on the bridge and 81 on the neck. 1 vol, 1 tone, 3-way pickup select and grover tuners. Didn't come with a case but the store had an extra ESP case custom fit for the EX or FX series that they were willing to sell for a small price.