LTD H-308 review by ESP

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  • Sound: 8
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 9
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 7
  • Features: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 8.6 Superb
  • Users' score: 7.1 (27 votes)
ESP: LTD H-308

Price paid: $ 1500

Purchased from: Rockshop

Sound — 8
I run this through a Peavey 6505, DigiTech Bad Monkey tube overdrive, Boss Equalizer GE-7 and I run the amps distortion. This only problem with this is that a noise gate is necessary but this is in no way a fault of the pickups. I play a lot of progressive and djent as well as jazz, blues and almost anything else. The pickups are best suited for metal and the front pickup can give a real warm fresh bluesy sound. However the pickups lack the attack to give that real defined Djent sound. However that may also be due to my setup so don't be put off by this. The pickups take the low F# very well and I have had this tuned to a double drop D and it still sounded reasonably good. Good pickups and wood for a good sound and sustain. However there are some other pickups that I would much prefer on this guitar, like 8 string Duncan Blackouts.

Overall Impression — 10
I have been playing for about 5 years now playing anything from Jazz to djent and anything in between and this guitar perfectly suits what I want to do for the price I wanted to pay. The other guitars I own are; An ESP HORIZON, and the neck shapes of these guitars really match so it doesn't take much to get used to playing between them. I also have a Jackson Dinky, an Ibanez AEG8E (electric acoustic). Out of all my guitars I would rate this right up there with my $3000 dollar ESP Horizon just because I love having a guitar with the extra strings that is still so easy to play. If this guitar was stolen or lost, I would die inside, then go straight back to the shop and buy another one. It is such a nice looking guitar and for an 8 string it plays so easily, the neck is my favourite feature by far. I also played an Ibanez RG8, Damien Elite 8 and the LTD SC-208. The stock pickups on the Ibanez RG8 were terrible and had a very muddy unclear tone. The Damien Elite 8 sounded really great but I couldn't stand the neck as the sound the shape hard to play and it had a huge bolt on neck that really got in the way, which I found disappointing as it was more expensive then the LTD 308. The LTD SC208 was a very cheap guitar (about $800 NZD) for that price it sounded good but the wood was cheap (basswood) and the hardware was cheap (the tone and volume knobs would seize up) However if someone was looking for a cheap 8 string I would recommend the LTD SC208. IF ANYONE IS WANTING TO BREAK THE SIX STRING BARRIER OR GO UP TO AN EIGHT FROM A SEVEN I DEFIANTLY RECOMMEND THE LTD H-308, IT IS A TRULY AWESOME GUITAR. Thanks for reading. Feel free to rate and ask questions.

Reliability & Durability — 9
I haven't had this guitar for very long but the hardware seems really solid. The Tuning pegs hold the strings in tune really well and the volume and tone knobs are smooth as. I would gig this guitar very happily as it seems to be a very reliable guitar (as long as you change the battery for the active pickups before the gig) the only thing I would do to this guitar to gig it would be to get strap locks for it. Very reliable.

Action, Fit & Finish — 7
The paint job is Pretty much perfect except for a few hardly noticeable bumps under the paint on the back. The binding looks SUPERB. Reasonably well set up. Could do with a higher gauge of strings, bridge is set up well but the frets buzz in a few places possibly due to some frets needing to be filed more? But that may just be because of the low gauge of strings (I was not told the gauge they came with or the brand). 7/10, well set up but low string gauge and minimal fret buzz an some places.

Features — 9
2012 edition, made in China. I brought this guitar 1 day after it had been brought into the shop. 24 XJ frets 25.5" scale. Set-Thru Construction. Mahogany Body, maple Neck, rosewood Fingerboard. 54mm Standard Nut. ESP Tuners, non locking. Fixed Bridge. EMG 808 active pickups. Neck and bridge. Black Satin Finish, Black Satin Hardware. Master Volume, 3-Way Switch, master Tone, sadly no coil tap Accessibility to battery at the back could be a bit easier as you have to take two screws out on the back to be able to get it out. But I suppose it could be a lot worse (like on some Agile guitars you have to remove the whole back plate to change it, imagine doing that during a gig!) I found this Guitar to be very easy to play. I have only ever played 6 string guitars before and I was worried that I would not be able to get used to the neck of an 8 string. This guitar made that seem very easy as it has a very thin contour you shaped neck. It has a very nice cutaway for access to the higher frets. This is one of the main reasons that I brought it over other brands and models that I played. I played a Schecter Damien Elite 8 and the access to higher frets was terrible due to the bolt on neck, where as this guitar has a very easy to play set through neck I'm giving this an 9/10 because I really like the neck and the beautiful finish of the guitar. The stock pickups are decent but I want to replace them as they don't suit my tone.

2 comments sorted by best / new / date

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    I have this guitar, and it plays fantastically! Even when it still had the factory strings and everything it sounded and played amazingly