Purchased from: Guitar World VIC
Sound — 9
My style is pure thrash metal and melodic death metal, and this guitar is absolutely perfect for it. I use a Randall RX-15 for this guitar, and the tone is perfect on overdrive, I'm saving for a Randall G2 Combo so I can get the maximum power. I don't use effects. This guitar doesn't get too noisy when you have it in standard. But when you drop it in D, and play an open power chord, you'll get a fair bit of fret buzz. Thankfully, with the raising bridge, you may be able to fix it. This guitar could probably make any sound possible, aside from the ones acheived with a kill-off switch. It's an extremely capable guitar.
Overall Impression — 10
For the metal that I play, this guitar is perfect. I have only been playing for about 10 months, but I love it to bits. If this guitar was stolen, I'd have no regrets about buying another one. It plays great, it sounds great, and, most importantly, looks great. My favourite feature is probably the slick and noiseless action of the pickup switch. It's seamless. I compared this with other guitars in my price range. From the ESP AX-50 to the Squire Strat (I was never going to buy the Strat, I hate them). I chose this guitar because it looked better, played better, and looked heaps more appealing to me than the other models. I wish it had some low-budget EMGs, and maybe a kill-off switch, but aside from that, this guitar is perfect for thrash and heavy metal.
Reliability & Durability — 10
I have used this guitar live once, and it lived up to the challenge easily. It played great, and sounded brilliant. The hardware is built to last, and doesn't seem loose in the slightest. The strap buttons don't feel like they'll budge an inch, ever. They're extremely well built, and I love how this guitar feels while playing standing up. I'd very easily depend on this guitar live. There's no need for a backup when this guitar is built so well. The finish on the EX-50 is so thick and rich, I don't think that it will ever come off. It's almost as if the entire thing is black, even the wood used to make it.
Action, Fit & Finish — 10
The action of this guitar is so perfect, it just feels right whenever you play it. The pickups on this guitar were adjusted brilliantly. It feels extremely slick whenever you play it. I was lucky, there's nothing wrong with my guitar at all. And if there was, it'd probably be something very minor. I think the ESP factory in Indonesia did a great job. This guitar is pretty much perfect.
Features — 10
First of all, let me say that this guitar is ideal for metal. The ESP Standard pickups work an absolute treat, and put out a tone that has to be heard to be believed. My model is a 2007 EX-50, made in Indonesia. It has 22 extra jumbo frets on a rosewood fretboard (mounted on a maple neck), and a scale of 24.75". It has a bolt-on neck, which is perfect more my playing style. The body is made of agathis, which provides me with the perfect amount of sustain. My particular model has a jet black finish, which works great with the dark rosewood and the gorgeous black nickel hardware. I know some people say that the Explorer body style will go out of style in the next 10 years or so, but I will continue to cherish it. This is the first guitar I have truly fallen in love with, and everything from the body to the extra sharp tip of the headstock is perfect. The bridge on this model is a Tune-O-Matic with a stop tailpiece, and the ESP Standard tuners rarely let the guitar go out of tune. There is only one tone control on the EX-50, but it still does the job. There's also a volume control and a 3-way toggle pickup switch. I didn't get any included accessories, aside from the box and the tools provided. Overall, great features for the price.