Purchased from: Bmusic
Sound — 4
The sound of this guitar was its most dissapointing feature for me due to it's lack of quality tone. It has plenty of sustain and resonance but the notes just didn't seem to sing or ring true like on other guitars I have. I've never been a fan of active pickups and the H-1000 has two EMG 81 active pickups which unfortunatley I think really detract from the overall quality of this instrument. I know active pickups are supposed to have better dynamic repsonse and more "life" than standard passive pickups but to my ears they fell well short of the mark in this case and I think these are the weak link in this guitar. In the neck position the sound was relatively flat and dull with very little dynamics or genuine warmth in it at all. The bridge position was similar with very little noticable difference in the brightness or tone which you would expect from the bridge pickup. I play through a DigiTech GNX4 and use a Marshall poweramp and straight quad for amplification. I really couldn't find a decent tone from this guitar in the neck or bridge position regardless of the amount of "tweaking" I did on the GNX4. Clean or dirty - the tone's just not there! I'm actually in the process of replacing the EMGs with Seymour Duncans Jazz and JB pickups which I have used before in other guitars and found to be incredibly responsive and suited to just about anything.
Overall Impression — 8
My main style of music is pop/rock which will suit this guitar well (once the pickups and selector Switch are changed). Straight out of the box I think this guitar is left wanting a little. It didn't have any "personality" at all and just seemed to be very middle of the road. However having said that, it is a solid, reliable and very playable axe with a decent quality finish - you could do a lot worse for the dollars. My favourite features on this guitar are the high gloss black with abalone binding finish and it's incredibly comfortable and familiar feel. I think with better suited pickups and more flexibility in the pickup switching this will be a great guitar. I would definitely replace this guitar if it were stolen but only if the pickups and Switch configuration were changed. With a little work - a definite keeper!
Reliability & Durability — 8
I don't think this guitar would have any problems being used as a regular work horse for a performing artist. The body's finish looks like it could withstand countless hours of work and handle the odd knock that comes with regular gigging. The hardware in general is top rate allthough I am replacing the factory installed 3-way Switch with a 5 way selector to allow coil tapping with the new Seymour Duncan pickups. I have also replaced the strap locks for Schallers but that is because I insist on them on any guitar I own, but the originals would do fine. Given the ease of string replacement and the robustness of this guitar you could easily play a gig relying soley on this one without a backup.
Action, Fit & Finish — 10
The setup of the guitar itself overall is very good. It had a fairly low action from the factory setup but I had it adjusted professionaly and now it is spot on - super slick and super quick. This is a very nicely balanced guitar and has a very familiar, comfortable feel to it as soon as you pick it up and start to play. The extended access of the neck joint allows for easy reach right up to the 24th fret on the low E. The overall "look" of the guitar is very pleasing and the abalone binding on the body and fretboard inlays are a real standout feature, giving it just that little something extra to make it stand out against other guitars. The sperzel tuners are a new concept to me but seem to keep the guitar in tune incredibly well.
Features — 6
This guitar was actually a prize I won as a result of buying a different guitar from this supplier. I'd never played or owned and ESP/LTD guitar but I knew they had a great reputation, so I thought this was a great chance to get one. Mine is the black version of the LTD Deluxe H-1000 which is the mid-level model of the ESP Horizon. All the specs are available on the ESP web site so I won't bother going into that. Overall this is a very nice guitar but I was a little disspointed with a few of the features, namely the EMG active pickups and the limitations of the 3 way selector Switch. The overall look of the guitar is very appealing visually, with the abalone and white binding really contrasting against the high gloss black finish. The offset abalone inlay fret markers are also a nice variation which distinguishes this guitar from "the pack."