Price paid: $ 400
Purchased from: guitar center (used)
Sound — 10
This guitar suits my style very very well. I like thrash metal adn death metal. I play other various forms of metal, but yet on teh neck pickup I can get a decent humbucker blues sound for stuff like As bold as Love and so on. The best msuic for this beast is that of thrash metal speed metal. My model has the JB and 59' Duncan's in it and they have yet to let me down. The tone can get pretty bright but can also get VERY dull. I like a tinny sound so EMG's would be better, but they can get close to that of an 81 if tuned right and the proper amp and settings on the amp. I play this on very high distortion adn it is very crisp. I can take full advantage of palm mutes. The guitar itself has relatively low noise, although it does not like ebing too close to my mointer for explainable reasons. The guitar has somewhat of a limited variety, but can cover most spectrums if nessesary. The most flexibily comes in the metal spectrum obviously. The sound overall is rich and crisp. I use an Line 6 spider 212 and can get some very good tone from it. The wattage is overkill for a bedroom, but yet it is an amazing amplifier for $400ish. The two are a good combination, in my opinion. Tone really comes down to personally preference once you reach anything above a $50 or 60 pickup, but this is what I want, although a bit better cutoff would be nice, but I think that is the amplifiers fault.
Overall Impression — 10
This guitar is amazing for metal if your looking for anythign beside black. I have been playing for almost 2 years, but yet I practice every day and have studied a lot of music theory and take private lessons. I do not regret my decision buying this guitar. Used, it was a steal and I would most definitely replace this guitar. It is a guitar you can play day to day unlike some radical design. I compared it to amny other guitars. When I picked it up, I was wowed at it's tone and it's neck action. I immediately feel in love with it but could not pay $800 for it, so I got it used for 1/2 of that. I haev compared this to Ibanez rg's, all fo the schecters and some jacksons. Jacksons are not reliable, the RG broke within 2 months (tone knob) and the Schecter's neck was a pain in the ass to play. Those are what I played along with every other damn ESP under $600 or so and this rocked them all.
Reliability & Durability — 9
This guitar is pretty damn reliable as far as I am concerned. The pot's wear out after 3 years or so. Mine are starting to crackle. The hardware seems like it will last. The usual thigns need to be adjusted over time like the input jack. I would use this at a gig without a backup. I'd worry about the strings breaking before the guitar itself. It has bee dropped a few times by the previous owner and nothign happened to it. The finish will knock your socks off! The finish is amazing. It will never flake off and never wear off. There are piant cracks on the pinstriping, and some other paint cracks, but I think taht was due to the previous owners misuse. The cracks are normal for 3 years, but yet anyhting liek taht disturbs me. Note it is the paint and not the gelcoat. It is under the surface, not on the surface.
Action, Fit & Finish — 9
I really cannot say how well it was set up from the factory because I bought it used and I ahd the guitars at guitar center adjust the truss rod and the bridge. The screws came oxidized on mine, but that is due to time, but it's odd to me for Switch screws to oxidize in just a few years as bad as they did. The guitar is beautiful otehrwise and the inlay IS amazing! The pickups need a bit of tuning to your preference. Would have given a 10, but the unusual oxidization bothers me. They will be replaced shortly.
Features — 10
This ESP has a lot of features that any metal fan will absolutely adore! There are 3 model's out there. All of which are identical except the color scheme. My color scheme has gold plated tuners, bridge and knobs with a golden color to it. Others include zebra stripe pickups and gold or black hardware. The guitar is made in Korea, not a good sign, but yet it is nearly identical to the ESP horizon. This guitar has 24 frets on a 25.5 scale. The tone pro's locking bridge has graphite to keep the strings on and a graphite nut. The controls are simplistic, a 3 way Switch, 1 tone and 1 volume knob. The tuners are meant for metal. The locking sperzel tuners keep this thing in amazingly good tone even on dropped tunings. I was particulary picky about what I wanted in a guitar and this had it. The wood rocked, the neck was super slim and fast, adn the ahrdware was grade A.