Price paid: $ 600
Purchased from: ebay
Sound — 9
I play a little of everything for fun, but I play in a death core band (www.myspace.com/nanniedoss) This guitar is all I want and more for this type of music. These pickups scream and the mahogany gives me a really full sound. I play it through a Peavy 5150 II and a Marshall 1960 A cab and I love the tone I get from this set up. In my eyes, one of the premier death core rigs. I like this guitar because of it's versatility as well. It cleans up extra nice. Nice full sound with distortion and clean. I played it when I first recieved it on a little Fender frontman 15 watt practice amp and I cranked the distortion, then just turned off the gain and the look that I got from my friend and fellow band mate was priceless. He said "Dude, that cleans up really well, imagine what it would sound like on a good amp." I don't use any effects. I will need to invest in a good noise reduction pedal due to the mahogany because while it may be resonant, it gives some unwanted squeels on the louder volumes. That is the only complaint I really have, but I've done some research, and most mahogany body guitars do the same thing.
Overall Impression — 10
My overall impression of this guitar is that it is one of the best seven strings out there, and by out there i mean, of course, on the used market. I have been playing seriously for about 5-6 years and seen my share of lemons, and this is not one. The only thing I would advise you to do if you got a hold of one of these bad boys is to install new pickups. Not many people like the HZs. I don't mind them, but 707s blow them out of the water. Some people like the EMG 81-7 as well, but the most common swap I've seen is the 707s for the HZs. I was going to do the same myself but I found one that already had that done. If it were stolen, I would find the dirty theif, take my guitar from him, beat him to the ground, and step very heavy all over his body with a pair of golf shoes. I love this guitar, I don't own a pair of golf shoes so that would never happen, but I would go to great lengths to get it back or replace it with the same model. I love this guitar mainly because of its tone and playabity. I think it is one of, if not the best, seven string on the market and highly recommend it to anyone who is searching for the seven string, but these are very hard to find, I just got lucky and it's some of the best money I've ever spent.
Reliability & Durability — 9
This guitar seems like a very durable guitar. I haven't used it in a show yet due to a writing break my band is taking, but I expect the reactions I get out of this guitar to be nothing but good ones. Everything about it tells me that I will be playing this guitar for many many years. I would not use this guitar in a gig without a backup. This is because, what happens if a string breaks and I don't have any extras? I will always use a back up, but not due to fear that this ESP won't hold up.
Action, Fit & Finish — 10
I don't know the stock settings, but I know that when I got this guitar, it played awesome. I've played some upper end Ibanez guitars and I think that this ESP is one of the best seven strings out there. It's a shame that ESP discontinued this model. When I recieved it, it had a few dents, as advertised, but nothing that effects the sound or tone of this guitar. It seems that this guitar dents easily though. I set it down and my plastic synheisser wireless pack (which I am looking to sell, again PM me.) hit it and left a small dent. I don't really mind, it doesn't make the guitar unplayable, but some people care about that kind of stuff. Other than that, I love it.
Features — 10
I'm not sure when this guitar was made but I'm almost positive that this model was made in Korea. It's a damn good guitar, very basic. One tone knob, one volume knob, and a three way Switch. It came stock with EMG HZs but the previous owner installed two EMG 707s and new Gotoh locking tuners, which I still have no clue on how to work, so if you know, shoot me a PM. Anyway, It has 24 frets, and has a red laminate flame finish on top of a mahogany body. It has a set neck, rosewood fingerboard, and a tune-o-matic bridge with a stop bar, like you see on Les Pauls. I don't know about stock tuners and pickups because, as I said before, the previous owner swapped them out, but those are the only complaints I have heard of this guitar.