Price paid: $ 137
Purchased from: Ebay
Sound — 7
I play any kind of rock, but mostly hard rock and metal (BFMV, A7X, Metallica, BVB, ect.) and this guitar suits that just fine. The frets are very fast and are great for hammers and pulls so it's perfect. The pickups are a little too bright for my taste, but that's mostly due to the basswood body. They are surprisingly very quiet when it comes to feedback, something I didn't expect to hear on stock pickups. They have high output and catch harmonics very well, but at higher volumes and distortion levels they get muddy, especially the bridge pickup. Since it's a lightweight wood, I'm gonna swap out some DragonFire Actives since they have alot of low end for use in light guitars, then it will be a beast, but for now I'll give it a 7.
Overall Impression — 9
Since I mostly play the harder stuff, ESP always seems to make every guitar based around that sound so any guitar from them would suit me, but the F models to most because of their unique sinister looks, I'd just with they'd have more color options like the F bass line, I'd die over a transparent black cherry F-100FM. I've been playing off and on for 8 years now, so I'm no expert at playing, but I feel more confident in my guitar repair work than my playing skill, that's where I excell, and this guitar seems like one of the best guitars I've owned for the money, only beat by a Epiphone SG G-400 and a Michael Kelly Custom I used to own, had to sell both, you know how money is nowadays. If it were stolen right now, I wouldn't mind too much cause I didn't pay much for it and would just buy another brand new instead, but if it was after I install all the new things I wanna add, then I would probably hunt them down cause I feel that this is gonna be one of those guitars I will never let go of. The only things I wish it would have instead stock would be a wider variety of colors and in burst finishes, like the 330FM series, black cherry burst all the way. I think overall I'm gonna give it a 9, cause it's a steal for the price, but it's not perfect. Now the F-400FM, that would get a 10 in my book.
Reliability & Durability — 9
I bought this as a cheap backup drop tuning guitar to use cause my other guitar is currently torn apart getting the Borax Swirl treatment and I won't be able to finish it for another few months, but when I get new electronics in this thing it will become my main guitar until I have enough for an ESP LTD F-400FM, then this will be the backup. The guitar I'm swirling will be my main standard tuning guitar. I haven't had it for long, but I would say that it could take a beating and be trustworthy for live play, of course not with stock strap buttons, I never trust anything but Schaller or similar strap locks for anything like that. I'd say it gets a 9 in durability for me.
Action, Fit & Finish — 8
When I received the guitar, the neck needed adjusted and the action lowered, plus threw some Ernie Ball Skinny Top Heavy Bottoms on it and its great now, the pickups were set fine and the intonation was alright. The finish is Transparent Black (but sometimes looks dark purple in certain lighting) with flamed maple, it's bookmatched really nicely too, much more like something in a $500+ guitar. All the parts including the input jack are very snug and secure. There is a little issue with the pickup selector when switching to the bridge pickup, but I quickly found out it was an improperly shielded wire connection that occasionally came in contact with the body of the switch, but I don't ever trust stock electronics and like installing new electronics myself so I don't mind it at all. For the great finish and snug parts, I'll give it an 8 cause of the selector switch.
Features — 9
I got this guitar off of eBay for a cheap $137 in a bidding war, it was almost new except for a small chip in the finish at the bottom left corner, but that doesn't bother me cause I can fix that right up if I want, but I bought this for a cheap backup. It must be a newer model cause it's made in China and has a basswood body instead of being made in Indonesia with an Agathis body like the ones from a few years ago. It features a Flamed Maple top, but it's a very thin veneer slab so it doesn't effect the sound. It has a bolt-on neck with 24 extra-jumbo frets and a 25.5" scale and ESP modeled tuners, a tune-o-matic styled bridge with a string through body, which gives it sick sustain. The electronics include 2 LTD-150 Humbuckers, 1 Volume and 1 Tone pot, and a 3 way selector switch. For the price, you can't find a guitar with this much great stuff, even the tuners are great, very solid and feel more like Gotoh tuners to me. For such great features at such a low price ($279 brand new) I'll give this a 9.