LTD FX-360SM Review

manufacturer: ESP date: 11/15/2012 category: Electric Guitars
It outplays and outperforms the Ibanez, B.C. Rich, Jacksons, and Shecters that have the same body style.
 Sound: 9
 Overall Impression: 9
 Reliability & Durability: 8.5
 Action, Fit & Finish: 9
 Features: 9.5
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reviews (2) pictures (1) 28 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 9
LTD FX-360SM Reviewed by: BearCaveEcho, on november 15, 2012
1 of 2 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 550

Purchased from: Music-Go-Round

Features: 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. // 10

Sound: 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. // 9

Action, Fit & Finish: 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.) // 9

Reliability & Durability: 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. // 8

Overall Impression: 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. // 9

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overall: 9
LTD FX-360SM Reviewed by: timmyeb, on november 15, 2012
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 350

Features: Guitar was made in 2007(?) Made in Korea. 22 Extra Jumbo frets, SUPER thin neck, almost like a Ibanez wizard, rosewood fretboard, spalted maple finish. EMG pickups that fucking BURN. Tune O Matic bridge, 3 way selector, Grover tuners. Really my only complaint is that it doesn't have 24 frets. It's totally a metal guitar and could benefit from a little bit more range. // 9

Sound: Originally I bought the guitar because I played alot of metal, and the design and pickups were what I was looking for. Over the years I've owned the guitar and developed my style of playing I've caught on to this guitars versatility. Although the pickups are super hot EMGs, I've never had much trouble getting the distorted or clean tone I'm looking for. Since the pickups are EMGs it is pretty much impossible to get a really crisp clean tone however. No guitar can do everything I suppose, still damn close! Surprisingly close. // 9

Action, Fit & Finish: I didn't buy the guitar new, I bought it from a friend who had it for about a year beforehand and he played the hell out of it. The guitars action is completely perfect, and has been since I bought it. It's a rock. I've dropped it plenty of times, played plenty of shows with it, the action has always been great. The frets are a tad too high (or too jumbo?) at some points, but not a big deal. The wood still looks gorgeous even with some chips around the horns from my carelessness. Also I'd recommend this guitar to anyone that has a tendency to chip their finish alot, you can't even notice on this guitar!! // 9

Reliability & Durability: This guitar has been through some abuse. I don't have a hardshell case for it, just a shitty "gig-bag" with no padding or anything. I can't believe this thing has stayed in such great playing condition. It's been my main axe for at least 2 years and hasn't shown any signs of giving up. The strap buttons are super solid. The spalted maple finish is exactly the same as it has always been. I've never needed another guitar for "just in case" moments. I rarely even break strings on this thing! // 9

Overall Impression: I'm the type of musician that needs a guitar that can adapt to my changes in style, and this guitar hasn't let me down yet. I had a Epiphone Les Paul Custom before I got my FX, and this guitar is superior by far. If it were lost or stolen I would probably not buy the same guitar again, just because I would probably go for a mexi Strat or possibly a jet king or Agile guitar at this point. If this guitar could somehow have a single coil pickup, 24 frets, a bigsby, and a more retro meets futuristic look it might just be the perfect guitar... maybe its time for some mods!? // 9

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