Price paid: € 285
Purchased from: Musikhaus Thomann
Sound — 9
This was my first electric guitar so I have no comparision to other guitars. Unplugged the guitar sounds a bit metallic and thin, but obviously it isn't meant to be played unplugged. So, I mostly play thrash metal/metalcore/hardcore/deathcore. Basicly the hi-gain section. And the guitar plays it pretty well. The guitar sounds very good through my gear. I can't compare the pickups to EMG's and SD's and I don't even want to compare them, because they are good for the price. I play the guitar through a Danelectro Fab Metal Distortion Pedal and a Harley Benton 15 Watt amp with Chorus and Delay effect. Clean the guitar sounds very ringing and with the Chorus effect you can get a warm Nothing Else Matters tone. With a bit of distortion you can get a nice bluesy tone and also Hard Rock isn't impossible. But this guitar is made for Metal and Hi-Gain stuff so turn the gain up high and rock on. The distorted sound is very direct on the neck and bridge pickup, only the middle position sounds not good for my likeing. But the middle position sounds good on clean. This guitar has a large variety but only high-sounds really satisfying.
Overall Impression — 9
Well from the color I wouldn't tell that this is a guitar suited for heavy music, but it is. And it can handle lighter genres such as blues or rock. But highgain is it's home. I have been playing now for 5 years Acoustic guitar and own a Stagg western guitar and a Epiphone SST Studio. I only own the Harley Benton amp and the Danelectro distortion pedal. If it was stolen or lost I would buy another one and then save up for a higher model with EMG's. I love the cutaway, so I can reach the 24 frets without difficulties. I hate most the headstock because the 2010 model looks more metal. My favorite feature is the neck. It is really thin and you can shred. I compared this guitar to a LTD MH-50NT, an Epiphone Explorer Gothic and an Epiphone Les Paul Gothic, but this guitar was just perfect for me because it is very light but has a powerfull sound. I wish they had other finishes perhaps a black or green flamed maple top and block inlays but then I would have to pay more.
Reliability & Durability — 9
This guitar will definetly survive hardcore headbanging and jumping if you put on a good strap. The tuners are very stable and keep in tune. The strap buttons are also very reliable and strong. The finish will last but a few scratches will happen. I would depend on it on stage but would have another guitar as backup because things can always happen. Maybe a fan wants your guitar in the middle of a gig? You never know.
Action, Fit & Finish — 10
My guitar was set-up at the shop and they did a great job. The action is very good. The pickups were good adjusted and the bridge was also good routed. The finish was also great without any flaws or lack of paint or something. The strings were also replaced by the shop.
Features — 9
The guitar is not a H-50 but a H-101 and the only difference is the flamed maple top. It was made in 2009 in China. The scale is 25.5 and the guitar has 24 XJ frets on a rosewood fingerboard. The H-101 has a solid top. The body is made of agathis and the neck is a bolt-on maple. The finish is a flamed maple in the color Aged Sunburst. The body style is a double cutaway like the ESP Horizon. The bridge is a TOM-bridge with String-thru-body. It has no tremolo. The pickups are passive ESP LH-150 humbuckers in neck and bridge position. Beneath the pickups are two controls, one for volume and one for tone, and a 3-way-switch for pickup selection: Upper position for neck, middle for both and down for bridge. The tuners are ESP tuners. Unfortunately there wasn't even gigbag, cable or strap included, only one tool. The only thing I wished, was other color choices of the finish (black, white, blue,...) Please remember that I rate this guitar on the features you get for the price