Price paid: £ 500
Purchased from: eBay
Sound — 9
The EMG pickups did take a bit of getting used to as I'm used to high output passive pickups but the sound is amazing. Harmonics are extremly loud, it manages to be very beefy and loud but at the same time with nicely rounded treble and is a very dynamic and sensitive pickup, great for recording. A lot of guitars these days have EMGs in them of course but I think the actual guitar itself sounds very nice too.
Overall Impression — 9
I play metal and I think this guitar suits me very well, with it's beefy sound and low action. I've been playing for 3 and a half years now and I play this amp through a peavy Ultra x 112. I think I was told everything I needed to know about this product before I bought it. I wouldn't buy it again since I only got it because it was 150 cheaper than usual due to a crack in the finish and I don't usually like to buy the same gear twice anyway. It is a good guitar though and I might go with something further up the ESP range. I love the look of this guitar, the finish, the way it plays and it's sound. I would have liked to have seen an EMG 85 or a 60 in the neck instead of 2 81s. I might get an 85 and put it in the neck some time, then put the 81 in the bridge of my other guitar at some point or something.
Reliability & Durability — 10
I haven't had it long but everything seems to be solid on it. As I said previously everything feels nice and tight. I think this guitar will last me a long time.
Action, Fit & Finish — 9
I did have a bit of a problem with the neck when I put some heavier strings on it. Turned out it's a dual action truss rod that you turn anti-clockwise to compensate for too much relief. If you're thinking of buying a guitar like this and plan to put heavier strings on it you should make a note of that. I had to set it up myself after that but it seemed well set up when I got it for those Who use Standard gauge strings. There is quite a bit of string buzzing but I think that's more to do with the fact that it's heavy strings in a low tuning and I like to have a very low action. The input and Switch felt very tight when I first got them which is a sign that it won't become flimsy over time. The knobs were very smooth.
Features — 8
Don't know but apparently it's new so that would make it 2008. Trans black (it's darker than the purple you usually see) Smoked hardware, 2xEMG 81 Humbuckers, Grover tuners, 25.5" scale, 24 frets, crazy inlay and a dual action truss rod (this is quite important, I'll explain later).