Price paid: $ 450
Purchased from: Music123
Sound — 10
I run this through a Line 6 Spider III and play exactly what it was built for: metal. the body gives a rich sound and has very good sustain. Not your first choice for a clean sound, but if you turn the volume down a bit it does ok. Any one even considering an ESP should be familiar with EMG's and not need an explanation of their sound. However, many people will write off this guitar becuase it uses the passive H4 as opposed to the active 81. Having played both, the passive pickups are not as bad as everyone makes them out to be. The H4 is wired exactly the same as the 81 (minus the battery pack) and you get the same massive sound. Don't forget that Alexi Laiho's guitars all have the H4 pickup. The only difference and detraction of the H4 is its tendency to feedback if you get too close to the amp. So if you like standing right in front of your amp while playing and don't like the feedback you can buy an 81 for about $70. Both H4 and 81's use EMG's quick-connect wiring. That being said, if you buy an F-250 (or any ESP equiped with H4's) made in 2006 or later you will not get EMG-H4 pickups. Instead you will get ESP's attempt at the same pickup called the LH-300. The pickup covers on these guitars will say ESP instead of EMG. I have not played any models with the LH-300's and therefore can give no opinion on their sound.
Overall Impression — 10
The F-250 is a great guitar, but the price is amazing. You could easily expect to pay double for a guitar with the same features as this. There are the "expensive" guitar brands (ESP, Gibson and Fender) Who all have their more "affordable" lines (LTD, Epiphone, Squier). Unlike the other brands, LTD's quality is very close to ESP's. I once played an ESP Eclipse II and an LTD EC-1000 side-by-side and almost couldnt tell the difference. ESP/LTD makes high quality guitars at very reasonable prices. I would definately buy this guitar again. In my opinion ESP is the best guitar company out there.
Reliability & Durability — 10
This guitar is very solidly built, The only plastic parts are the pickup covers and the little piece at the end of the selector Switch. I have had mine for over a year now and it has held up great to everything. I replaced the Standard strap buttons, though they were good, with Schaller locking buttons. The F body style guitars are very comfortable standing for long periods of time. It is perfectly balanced and will not droop down if you let go of it. I use a $5 strap that feels fine for hours and never tires my shoulder. My SG, however, gets tiresome after only a few minutes. And oh yea, likes to dive towards the floor first chance it gets.
Action, Fit & Finish — 9
The inital set up on my guitar was not very good, horrible infact. The neck was warped and the action was rather high. By adjusting the truss rod, bridge springs and screws I was able to get a wonderfully low action that is next to perfect. The extra-jumbo frets make for very easy tapping/hammer-ons/pull-offs. The neck feels great and is just the right size. People complain about the Floyd-Rose being a pain to tune/change strings, but with a little know-how and patience it's really not that bad. It holds it's tune very well and I rarely have to tune this guitar by unlocking the nut screws. Most tuning issues can be resolved with the micro-tuners on the bridge. Oh, and you can do divebombs all day and it will stay tune.
Features — 10
2005 ESP/LTD F-250 in Black, made in Indonesia. Agathis body, maple neck, rosewood fingerboard, 24XJ frets, arrowhead inlays, extra thin you neck shape, locking nut, body through neck construction and a licensed Floyd-Rose bridge. Two EMG-HZ H4 passive pickups, 3-way switch, 1 volume, 1 tone. For the money you can't get any better than ESP/LTD.