Price paid: $ 237
Purchased from: Steves Music
Sound — 8
The stock sound is average, but distorts very well, but to get a full thick sound you have to use both pu's, not that the bridge is tinny, just not full. On the bright side the pickups are virtually noiseless, I ran it through a 100 watt Marshall and still stayed quiet on the high gain. Definetly a distorted guitar.
Overall Impression — 10
Overall, great intermediate guitar, finally dumped my 6 year old Squier. Plays great through both my amps 20W and 100W and loves the distortion. If it were stolen theres a good chance that I'd consider it for replacement, of course by then hopefully I'll have enough money for an upgrade. Can't complain about ESP's though.
Reliability & Durability — 8
Reliability is hard to judge since it's only about a month old. Seems like it would do fine, would need to baby it. Body feels solid, and the hardware seems fine. You might want to swap out the tuners though since it start to lose tune after maybe 2-3 hours of hard playing, locking ones would be hot. Strap buttons? Well, the horn one is good, but for some reason the bottom keeps slipping. Strap locks for you. I think I could use it without backup, but ideally I'd have my other one just in case. You never know, and the finish seems good. Paint feels thick and I think it'll last.
Action, Fit & Finish — 10
This is where the guitar shines! Everything was impeccable from the factory, couldnt be happier. Frets were beautiful, no burrs, no bumps, no dead spots. Ideal. The action was set very well, but of course thats always a personal preference. It was mid-high, which is perfect for me, I'm no shredder nor will I ever be so it sits right. The guitar came in-tune, not just relative, but spot on. Intonation was even spot on, I was blown away. Pickups were right where they should be and the guitar looked fantastic. No dings, scratches, blems or anything, the metallic blue looked so deep, great paint. Wish I could go over five.
Features — 8
It was made in 2004 I believe in Indonesia, hence the low price. Has a 25.5" scale with 22 extra jumbo frets on the rosewood fingerboard, very nicely done. It has a maple neck and a solid agathis body which makes it nice and light, and a tuno-matic bridge with stoptail all black. Comes with the standard Hum hum with the LH-100's and a 3-way, one volume and one tone pretty standard. Gets a four because the pickups are par, nothing special, already swapped in an invader less than a week in.