LTD FX-360SM review by ESP

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  • Sound: 9
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reliability & Durability: 8
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 9
  • Features: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 9 Superb
  • Users' score: 7.6 (14 votes)
ESP: LTD FX-360SM
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Price paid: $ 550

Purchased from: Music-Go-Round

Sound — 9
Well, I mostly play metal, but this guy can go back to Hard Rock, but I wouldn't push it as far back as the Beatles. It can imitate that LP sound, and that's about it. If you can play it on a Les Paul, you can play it on here. The various amps I've played it through give you different sounds, but the one most noticeable in all of them was the crunch and the high-powered screaming leads. Also, the tone really kicked my ass as well as the sustain, I would say it matches Dean's easily. I normally use a Kirk Hammet crybaby (awesome, awesome pedal), and a custom Mastonian pedal. They really make it scream, and have a nice crunch without going as too far as Metalcore or... Whatever these new wave hardcore bands play... It keeps it at the Mastodon/Melvins level, and it can even push it to Pantera/Electric Wizard. You can't always get that rich sound out of EMG's, but it does have quite a presence and it will reward you with just sustain and high output. I personally think that the Raven 100w amp I use is the perfect match for this, just pure Metal and nothing else. Although, I delve into Pentatonic blues, and it really just screams it, makes it come alive. But the MAIN feature is that Spalted Maple top. It just makes the guitar breathe and the sound jump out. It can almost be played acoustically without any abandon. I cannot stress how powerful it makes the guitar sound. On any custom guitar I will EVER order, I will ask for spalted maple.

Overall Impression — 9
I mostly play Mastodon and my originals, but I also do Rush covers. The guitar can't really deliver the latter to a tee, but I love the crunch. I've been playing for almost 5 years, and I've been around the block with notable guitar brands, I also own a Fender Tele with some Metal modifications, but this guitar is my main now. It outplays and outperforms the Ibanez, B.C. Rich, Jacksons, and Shecters that have the same body style.It is faster, and feels just better with that satin and Spalted Maple. I would even put this one up against an Explorer itself. I hate nothing asides the semi-limited sounds, but who wants to play country or Chuck Berry on this? It is a well crafted guitar, and easily a great standalone. I would buy this guitar again if it was stolen, I would even go ahead and buy the ESP model.If I could, I would go hunt the person that stole it and take it back. But this Ltd delivers without ifs, ands, or buts. I still wish it had that 4 knob control, though. I would say it would be perfect with that.

Reliability & Durability — 8
Having this guitar for nearly 7 months, I would say it is quite durable. The finish is still well there, the wood (surprisingly) is aging, just like an acoustic. The hardware is going to last, no objections, but I would replace it for higher end if you want to make the guitar REALLY worth it. The strap buttons are starting to get a little iffy, but that was because I haven't screwed them in that well. I replaced them with Black Schaller strap locks with the buttons, so no more worrying there. You can depend on this guitar, hands down. There is nothing to worry about, it's as solid as an ox. You just have to worry about the finish, since it is satin. I would gig with this guitar without a backup any old day, it holds up quite nicely when I do. Just make sure the electronics are all good, and you have it set to go.

Action, Fit & Finish — 9
I have played it at Guitar Center, new, so I can say the factory set it up quite well, ESP quality, as they say. Nothing was wrong asides the bridge and saddle adjustment, they were off a little, low enough to make a rattling sound on the fretboard. It needed to be adjusted up, but nothing major. The pickups were in place, Tuners screwed in tight, no rattling, the finish was quite impeccable and it played with pleasant feelings to my hands, the neck is satin, so it plays a lot faster than your regular gloss. The guitar I own has everything the same, asides for a few nicks worth on the jagged edges of the tips, and some minor pick marks across where a pick guard would be. (I placed a clear classical Acoustic pick guard on that was adhesive and cut that down to where it fit the body.)

Features — 10
Well, since this is a 360 model, I would be guessing that it is made in 2009. Where it was made, I'm not sure, it was used. I was told it was Korean-Made. FAST rosewood fingerboard, 22 XJ frets, the neck is a nice 5-piece mahogany-maple with either acrylic or abalone Dot inlays, I'm just going to go ahead and say acrylic (It's an LTD). Of course, it's solid top Spalted Maple glory. The body itself is Mahogany. It has a natural satin finish, and it lets the top breathe very well. It's a juiced up Explorer-style body, with a tune-o-matic bridge and tailpiece. It has active electronics, Bridge is EMG 85 and the neck is a 60, gives you that screaming hot EMG tone, though it can be a tad muddy at some times... The guitar has a volume, tone, and a pickup selector, very down to earth and basic, 3 way selector(though I would prefer a set of 4 with coil tap, just my personal opinion). The tuners are ESP stock, chrome hardware, very durable. I replaced the tuners with locking Gotohs, but you can survive with the stock. There is/was no accessories, so you would would have to buy the ESP case or a case for an Explorer.

27 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Jsteele1408
    EpiExplorer wrote: Zeletros wrote: Not to be picky. But when trying to maximize my guitar playing abilities, I'd expect 24 frets and a floyd rose, how come the features get 10/10 when they lack such? Those are like LTD standard features. Not having them is pretty bad.
    Right, because god forbid someone doesn't like trems, and prefers 22 frets...
    agerginov
    Just to say that even if it outperforms Jackson still even the junior series of Jackson have 24 extra jumbo frets with two Jackson noiseless high-gain humbuckers. You can always exchange them for a set of EMG's
    EpiExplorer
    Jsteele1408 wrote: EpiExplorer wrote: Zeletros wrote: Not to be picky. But when trying to maximize my guitar playing abilities, I'd expect 24 frets and a floyd rose, how come the features get 10/10 when they lack such? Those are like LTD standard features. Not having them is pretty bad. Right, because god forbid someone doesn't like trems, and prefers 22 frets...
    Not my fault that they're a minority.
    EpiExplorer
    Zeletros wrote: Not to be picky. But when trying to maximize my guitar playing abilities, I'd expect 24 frets and a floyd rose, how come the features get 10/10 when they lack such?
    Those are like LTD standard features. Not having them is pretty bad.. And by the way, B C Rich? Really? The only thing that comes close to this is the Beast, and thats lighter, surprisingly more comfortable and LIGHTYEARS better looking.
    Zeletros
    Not to be picky. But when trying to maximize my guitar playing abilities, I'd expect 24 frets and a floyd rose, how come the features get 10/10 when they lack such?
    BearCaveEcho
    Oh, and it can now also do some hard blues pretty well through the right amp; the pickups are nice, hot, n' sweet. Gonna enter some local blues-offs with it, might make a great impression to the more... narrow-minded. Try it through an Orange or TUBE Marshall and you won't be disappointed.
    BearCaveEcho
    garret718 wrote: BearCaveEcho wrote: Any other little girls out there want a tellin' ? win.
    And so was the guitar.
    garret718
    BearCaveEcho wrote: Any other little girls out there want a tellin' ?
    win.
    BearCaveEcho
    EpiExplorer wrote: Zeletros wrote: Not to be picky. But when trying to maximize my guitar playing abilities, I'd expect 24 frets and a floyd rose, how come the features get 10/10 when they lack such? Those are like LTD standard features. Not having them is pretty bad.. And by the way, B C Rich? Really? The only thing that comes close to this is the Beast, and thats lighter, surprisingly more comfortable and LIGHTYEARS better looking.
    Well, sir, I'm sorry you lack ears. You have to belt out a 3k for a QUALITY B.C.Rich, and that's going to be tough for most of us out there. Otherwise, I'm not concerned about weight, I think this looks stellar, and when you play live, you stand up, right? Also, have you heard the majority of Beasts? Disgusting, toneless growls. I don't know what type of "core" you play, but it obviously revolves around those traits. Maybe you should drop the "Beast", and pick up a Bich or Mockingbird. Also, I don't think 24 Frets and a FR trem is that necessary, unless you use them frequently. Takes a while to tune, and those last 2 frets are untouched, you'll just use the Floyd to bend up to them. Unless you're Vai or Alexi, which I highly doubt you are, you will never really use those frets. Ever. The Floyd is understandable, but why mar the beauty that is this guitar, eh?
    BearCaveEcho
    Selin wrote: It outplays and outperforms the Ibanez, B.C. Rich, Jacksons, and Shecters that have the same body style. Schecter doesn't make a guitar this shape. That'd be sweet if they did though...
    I'm sorry, but I was comparing it to the majority of Shecters, not ones in an Explorer body style. Shecters aren't my cup of tea, and they are more meant for post-hardcore/ metalcore guys, and I'm not one. The necks are excellent, definitely better than most, but they feel clumsy in comparison to my FX-360. Satin is the main factor, and gloss really can slow you down if you have sweaty palms (what guitarist doesn't?). It's just my opinion, but I'm not going to completely bash Shecter, because they make respectable guitars. They just need to learn the benefits of that satin neck.
    BearCaveEcho
    agerginov wrote: Just to say that even if it outperforms Jackson still even the junior series of Jackson have 24 extra jumbo frets with two Jackson noiseless high-gain humbuckers. You can always exchange them for a set of EMG's
    Why would I need 24 in the first place. I play Sludge Metal, which is think and heavy. Also, I don't like noiseless pickups because you can't get the grit. I don't even like the EMG's that much, either. What I did was I replaced them with some regular Gibson Dirty Finger pickups because they're just as hot and have real nice tone. I'm shooting for a Mastodon sound, but I didn't really approve of the Epi's and Gibsons are way out of my range, so I went with this because it's just a great guitar. Jacksons and Ibanez can't get the same sound because the body can't handle all the tone and sustain that more radical shapes like this one put out. I'm not a shredder, but I do my little fast parts here and there, so this is perfect for the non-neoclassical shredder/new wave metal person. If Brent Hinds can get by on a flying V, I think I can get by on this just fine.
    Jsteele1408
    EpiExplorer wrote: Jsteele1408 wrote: Right, because god forbid someone doesn't like trems, and prefers 22 frets... Not my fault that they're a minority.
    No it's not, but you can't really call the lack of a trem or extra frets a bad thing. The reason guitars like this are offered are so that the minority aren't completely screwed into buying custom models or Les Pauls all the time. (In my case, I just hate trems. I like having 24 frets, just to be clear.)
    K4boose
    I'm assuming its an LTD from the price? Because from my experience there is a very noticeable difference in how they play and sound (I have 2 LTD's and 1 ESP) so best be clear. And do you mean EMG 81 for the bridge pickup? I've never heard of an 85 being used on anything but the neck, and only ever in conjunction with an 81.
    Selin
    It outplays and outperforms the Ibanez, B.C. Rich, Jacksons, and Shecters that have the same body style. Schecter doesn't make a guitar this shape. That'd be sweet if they did though...
    Destroyer858
    I think it's a nice guitar, don't really like the finish but it looks cool. To me 24 frets and Fixed birge is the way to go.
    Sakke
    Sakke wrote: Jsteele1408 wrote: EpiExplorer wrote: Zeletros wrote: Not to be picky. But when trying to maximize my guitar playing abilities, I'd expect 24 frets and a floyd rose, how come the features get 10/10 when they lack such? Those are like LTD standard features. Not having them is pretty bad. Right, because god forbid someone doesn't like trems, and prefers 22 frets... Like me..All though I like Les Pauls and I don't mind of having 22 frets since I won't most likely to need to go so high as 24 frets . But well,I dislike this guitar of it's shape..
    Though*... Fix'd my own comment. Editing would be a great option
    Sakke
    Jsteele1408 wrote: EpiExplorer wrote: Zeletros wrote: Not to be picky. But when trying to maximize my guitar playing abilities, I'd expect 24 frets and a floyd rose, how come the features get 10/10 when they lack such? Those are like LTD standard features. Not having them is pretty bad. Right, because god forbid someone doesn't like trems, and prefers 22 frets...
    Like me..All though I like Les Pauls and I don't mind of having 22 frets since I won't most likely to need to go so high. But well,I dislike this guitar of it's shape..
    thewickerman512
    I checked this guitar out myself a year ago when I was shopping around. Unfortuneately, the price of gasoline and insurance on a firebird prevented me from buying a new guitar. I would have liked a 25.5 scale as opposed to a 24.75, but that's just personal preferences based on what feels most comfortable to me. Honestly, very few guitar players get much use out of the extra two frets, and in my honest opinion, most people who have a floyd rose on a guitar (myself included) don't know how to use it properly and it just ends up being a pain in the ass. Great guitar though.
    evan-simpson22
    You know just because a guitar doesnt have 24 frets and a floyd rose doesnt make it awful, cause telecasters are nice guitar, that les paul gold top is super freaking nice and like double the cost of this and it has only 22 frets with a standard bridge, only thing you "Improve" your playing with on a guitar with 24 frets and a FR is you get those extra few notes, and the power to do completely wank stuff on your whammy, which would go well with steve Vai, why do you think he uses one huh?
    BearCaveEcho
    K4boose wrote: And do you mean EMG 81 for the bridge pickup? I've never heard of an 85 being used on anything but the neck, and only ever in conjunction with an 81.
    It's actually a 60, I was surprised myself. I checked even the site, and it's a 60.
    Tyler Durden
    Zeletros wrote: Not to be picky. But when trying to maximize my guitar playing abilities, I'd expect 24 frets and a floyd rose, how come the features get 10/10 when they lack such?
    well, you are being picky - I hate F/R's and have no need for 24, im fine with 22 as it has no impact on "maximizing my guitar playing abilities". Are you going to tell me you couldnt play a Les Paul due to no F/R and 24 frets? If so, then thats just a poor excuse.
    newsoundwave
    EpiExplorer wrote: Zeletros wrote: Not to be picky. But when trying to maximize my guitar playing abilities, I'd expect 24 frets and a floyd rose, how come the features get 10/10 when they lack such? Those are like LTD standard features. Not having them is pretty bad.. And by the way, B C Rich? Really? The only thing that comes close to this is the Beast, and thats lighter, surprisingly more comfortable and LIGHTYEARS better looking.
    I have one of these and it's one of the better LTDs out there, and outperforms the Beast quite nicely. And I don't think any B.C. Rich really looks THAT nice...
    SilverSpurs616
    K4boose wrote: I'm assuming its an LTD from the price? Because from my experience there is a very noticeable difference in how they play and sound (I have 2 LTD's and 1 ESP) so best be clear. And do you mean EMG 81 for the bridge pickup? I've never heard of an 85 being used on anything but the neck, and only ever in conjunction with an 81.
    its says LTD in the review, and it has LTD on the headstock
    FuruiShin
    Esp for that price... you sure know where to buy gear . Or this ltd?- It's GEEZ POINT THAT IN REWIEV. For ur info- this is fvcking huge difference between hand made and korean stuff -.-. Aw nvm. Sounds cool, looks cool but they are still missing floyd rose/24 frets(just my personal opinion ).