Price paid: £ 170
Sound — 9
Unlike most people who go for ESP guitars, I have never played a metal song and do not intend to in the near future, if ever. My kind of music is classic rock or modern rock, a bit of Acoustic finger picking stuff but not metal. With the coil tap feature I get all the sounds necessary for my styles of music, and the pickups are actually pretty good. I use it with a Boss ME-20 pedal and an original Marshall Valvestate, comes out with some awesome distortion and also great tone for clean/acoustic. The only time I got any unwanted noise from it was when I was way too close to the amp and was using a dodgy distortion pedal so other than that it's all been pretty good. Most reviews of this guitar/ the pickups on it, have criticised it and said it's poor when it comes to bends and solos. I'd have to disagree, it gives a great sound whenever I bend a string and picks up every note exactly how I want it. I understand that metal heads want the high pitched screams that dogs run away from, but for my music its great.
Overall Impression — 9
For my rock sound this guitar is great, suits pretty much everything if you know when to use the coil tap. After playing for about 3 years (not very long but built up plenty of knowledge and experience) I'd confidently say this is one of my best guitars. Alongside my Jap Les Paul copy, custom Strat and several others this is a very good addition:) I would definately try to replace it if anything happened, but obviously that's quite difficult as they stopped production and aren't many around... I love the fact that the thru-neck is joined so smoothly that you get to the high end of the neck with absolutely no trouble at all, makes it so easy and seamless to play solos. As for what I hate, there's nothing! A slight frustration that the coil tap cuts the pickup output but that's inevitable really. This guitar is brilliant, I haven't played the new version - MH-250 - so I can compare it, but I know that this one is great and I made a very good decision to buy it:)
Reliability & Durability — 9
For a month or two now this has served me very well, playing between 1 or 2 live gigs a week. It always holds its tune nicely and the hardware seems more reliable than some other stuff I've had! The strap buttons are great, the flat side makes the strap much more inclined to stay on, giving me a lot more confidence and freedom as I'm not worried about it falling off the strap. The finish is great, its not too thin and it feels durable enough to stay on for a while. It doesn't look like it'll loose its colour or its Shine in the near future:)
Action, Fit & Finish — 8
As I bought mine from someone else, I can't tell you how it came from factory. But as it is, everything is very well put together and there wasn't any hardware adjustment or woodwork done to the best of my knowledge. Obviously with jumbo frets like on this, the action has to be higher off the fretboard than most guitars would, but it works out ok as the fret height sort of counteracts it. In a way that makes it easier to shred and play the really fast stuff. The intonation was properly set up as well, which in my experience of 9 electric guitars and 2 acoustics is a rare occurance, so obviously I'm happy with that.
Features — 9
I believe the one I got was made in 2004, and the headstock says it's an indonesian one which contrary to popular opinion isn't actually that bad. It comes with 22 jumbo frets on a fairly thick neck, joined to a beautifully finished maple top. The body is mainly made of Agathis wood which is better than Ash (which Fender use) in terms of resonance and sound quality but can be weak in places. The fixed tune-o-matic bridge seems a good choice, makes palm mutes sound pretty cool and keeps it nicely in tune! The pickups are Duncan Designed, H202 or something like that I think, and are matched with master volume and tone pots, the tone pot being a push pull Switch which allows a coil tap. I got a pretty good deal and managed a Peavey hardcase worth about 80 with this on purchase:)