LTD H-1000 Deluxe review by ESP

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  • Sound: 4
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reliability & Durability: 8
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 10
  • Features: 6
  • Reviewer's score: 7.2 Good
  • Users' score: 7.9 (51 votes)
ESP: LTD H-1000 Deluxe
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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."

23 comments sorted by best / new / date

    ptownbob
    i'm sure this guitar kicks ass. 81's in an ESP (ltd, i know)? i'll take two. would i buy? definetly.
    ESP Maniac
    I think ESP have discontinued this model because its not on the ESP website anymore
    40scars
    smk626 has a EC-1000 not a H-1000. Both guitars are availible with Duncan or EMG pickups but the EC is the one that looks like a Les Paul and has a set neck. The H-1000 is more like a strat in body shape except with a arrow head style head stock and has a set thru neck. In the Picture at the top of the page both pickups are Seymour Duncan pickups. The 59 (neck pickup) sometimes comes without the Seymour Duncan name on it other times it does.
    ESP_Shreder
    It really is not that different at all Blanco. The h-1001 is not nearly as good. They got rid of the amazing tuners, the color choices suck and the headstock doesn't fit the body at all. Mine was loaded with Duncans as I said in the review and I still stand by that the Jazz pickup really makes this guitar a lot more versatile than you think. Granted it's nothing like Santana clean, but it works rather well and with a decent amp (btw I think mine sucks now) it can be great for a lot of styles of music.
    Blanco
    the 1001 has the worst headstock, they sorta just sheared the top of it off at random angles. yes this does come with emgs, the black version has emgs and the amber has seymours but there was a red version of this. it had a flame maple and seymours. does anyone know if the h series use the same profiles as the mh series cause i play a mh250nt which looks basically the same as the h series just with a different headstock and pickups. i wondered if its neck profile or body depth were different cause i really like the h headstock (the old ones) and love my mh casue it plays sooo nice
    Ronnie86
    DeathByStereo23 wrote: ESP Maniac wrote: I think ESP have discontinued this model because its not on the ESP website anymore Now ESP has upgraded it to the H-1001....not sure of the differences between the H-1000 and the 1001
    the 1001 has a way uglier headstock i really hope esp will bring back the H-1000 with that "old" headstock
    SchecterC-1+Man
    Are the cleans with EMG's really that bad? Cause I was thinking about getting the H-1001 with emg's...it's either that, a jackson (rr5 pro series) or some kind of ibanez...
    DeathByStereo23
    ESP Maniac wrote: I think ESP have discontinued this model because its not on the ESP website anymore
    Now ESP has upgraded it to the H-1001....not sure of the differences between the H-1000 and the 1001
    ShredIsNotDead.
    WHY WOULD SOMEONE WHO PLAYS POP/ROCK REVIEW THIS GUITAR??? It's such an unhelpful and retarded thing to do... The guitar is designed for playing metal! Why would you want to get a strat sound with emgs anyway? And metallica were definetely thrash pre 1985, but does it really matter? They're metal, I'm sick of all these stupid sub-genres... And yeah, "DeathByStereo23", i agree with you, this guitar sounds insane on the new darkest hour record... well, i think thats enough of my ranting... ...but there are so many stupid mother****ers on this site that argue about genres and sh*t...
    Aziraphale
    Wouldn't be so surprised about this guitar not sounding like hendrix or clapton, since it has active high-output humbuckers. Maybe put an EMG 89 in the neck position if you want strat tones.
    DeathByStereo23
    The H-1000 is one of the best metal guitars out there,just see Darkest Hour or similar,the sound of this gtr is absolutely amazing....:O
    Aj1991
    The second review is better than the first one. Go the second review its better.
    ESP Maniac
    To American Psycho, You are an idiot. There are emg versions of the guitar and the guitar has a string thru body with the tonepros bridge.
    dez_cole
    Konstantine19 you are doing something wrong... you only have to change the battery about every 6 months(give or take a few) you need to unplug the cord from the guitar every time your done playing to preserve battery life.
    Konstantine19
    I got the version with the emg 81 and 85 and holy **** it is sick playing this bad boy through a peavey 6505+ head and a 1960 marshall cab! only thing is tho it is mainly suited for metal and with those active emg pickups u have to put a new battery in everyother week
    Chiefwiddler
    Um, American Psycho. About Metallica, go and buy Kill Em All, I think you will find it IS thrash. New stuff, NO, old stuff pre 1985, YES!
    pepsi_lovr
    ya i got this guitar, amazing!!! very easy access to the upper frets and i just love the neck (some ppl don't though) good sounnd too
    falafel
    i'm interested in the EMG version, anyone who can write a review about it?
    sebbes
    First: There is a version of the H-1000 with EMG's so the image/reviews aren't wrong. Second: The ssecond review is better explained, but depending on what style you play it canbe misleading. ESP's (LTD) are made primarily for metal music. Check their artist roster and you'll see what I mean(e.g. 99% are metal players) And for distortion, especially the heavy kind used in speed/thrash/death/black ... the EMG's are supposed to be really good. Metallica, Slayer, Zakk Wylde(not an ESP endorsee), Shadows Fall, etc. use them. That said I have also heard that the cleans are really sterile compared to other pickups. Third: Metallica practically invented thrash. There were fast bands before them, there were heavy bands before them(Motorhead, Venom), but before Kill 'Em All There was no real thrash metal.
    american-psycho
    um first guy is an idiot firstly you have reviewed an ESP LTD EC-1000 the H-1000 has a string through body, and as you can see on the picture there are 2 seymore duncan pickups and god only knows why 1. you got a strat sound and 2. you think metallica is thrash metal