LTD H-500 Review

manufacturer: ESP date: 11/15/2012 category: Electric Guitars
ESP: LTD H-500
It was made in 2007 as the first run for the 2008 specs in Korea. It is a 24 fret 25.5" scale maple neck with a thin contour, and rosewood fretboard.
 Sound: 9.5
 Overall Impression: 9
 Reliability & Durability: 7
 Action, Fit & Finish: 9.5
 Features: 9
 Overall rating:
 Reviewer rating:
 Users rating:
reviews (2) pictures (1) 15 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 9.6
LTD H-500 Reviewed by: Thurisaz, on november 15, 2012
2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 430

Purchased from:

Features: It was made in 2007 as the first run for the 2008 specs in Korea. It is a 24 fret 25.5" scale maple neck with a thin contour, and rosewood fretboard. The top is a flame maple top, mahogany body, Earvana nut and Grover tuners. The body style is reminiscent of an Ibanez S series superstrat, but the back doesn't thin out to almost nothing. It's a very lightweight guitar, but feels very solid as well. It has a tune-o-matic bridge, 1 vol, 1 tone, Seymour Duncan SH-14 Custom 5 and SH-2N Jazz pickups, and 5 way super-Switch. Great options for the price, considering they are real Seymour pickups and grover tuners. // 10

Sound: Ah, the sound. Out of the box, it was intonated, and barely out of tune [some notes had went a bit south, but not far]. I play metal, and the Custom 5/Jazz N pickup configuration is great. The 5 way Switch gives lots of great tone options, allowing for lots of creativity/variety, and the vol/tone controls are also quite useful; they clean up great, while the tone knob doesn't get muddy at the lowest setting. I use this guitar with A) Peavey Rockmaster 120w head that I use with a Rocktron Silver Dragon or Zombie, or B) Ashdown Fallen Angel 60 with either a Boss SD-1 or DOD 250 and an ART 400 series 15 band EQ. The sound is heavy and full, but not muddy. Setting it right and you get quite a cutting tone. Adjusting the pickups and polepieces helps out quite a bit, and if you are into it, you could Switch the Alnico 5 in the Custom 5 with an Alnico 8, making it what the SD forums user group call a "Custom 8". I give it a 9 for having to adjust the pickups, but that's to be expected. [mainly I didn't want every category to be 10]. // 9

Action, Fit & Finish: Well, all LTD's are sent out with the lowest action they can get [which is pretty low]. This way, they are slightly buzzy [as this sort of action is expected], but if you adjusted the truss rod, and the bridge, etc., the guitar would probably be buzz-free. The pickups were well adjusted for stock, but I did further tuning of the pickup on a clean channel. Why clean? I figured a nice powerful tone on the clean channel would give me a 'clean slate' [no pun intended] to 'tune' the pickups. Anyways, the bridge, top etc were all properly routed/bookmatched, etc. The guitar was impressive out of the box. I gave a 9 because if you don't like ANY fret buzz, well, you'll have to set it up, but most of LTD's customers probably wouldn't do much adjustment from factory. // 9

Reliability & Durability: This guitar seems well built, but I think I'd save it for the studio, because it sounds great. I wouldn't want it to get destroyed, but with an ESP case, it should be solid. The hardware seems nice, and the strap buttons seem solid. I am thinking about getting DiMarzio straps for all of my guitars, though. I could depend on it and use it without a backup, but again, I wouldn't want to risk it. I'd probably handle the guitar myself. // 10

Overall Impression: I have been playing 7 years and have quite a bit of gear. The past six months, I've gotten a Rocktron Zombie, an LTD FX260SM, this LTD H-500, a Road 4X12" cab, and an Ashdown Fallen Angel 60. Quite a steal for $910 total. If it were stolen or lost, this is definitely something I'd look for in another guitar. Maybe I'd bite the extra $2-300, and buy the H-400, which I think is the new H-500. My favorite feature is that this guitar was made. It's perfect for soloing, and would be insane in a studio. I absolutely love it. I compared it to quite a few other guitars, mainly an MH-250, and obviously it doesn't even compare, at all. I chose this one because everything is much better, and about the same price due to it being on closeout. The only thing I wish it had was a Tone Pros bridge, but this thing intonated perfectly with the earvana, so whatever. // 10

Was this review helpful to you? Yes / No
Post your comment
overall: 8
LTD H-500 Reviewed by: unregistered, on november 15, 2012
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: A$ 1500

Features: BODY: Mahogany w/Flame Maple Top CONSTRUCTION: Set Thru NECK: 3-piece Maple FINGERBOARD: Rosewood FRETS: 24 Extra Jumbo SCALE: 25.5" INLAYS: Abalone Dots BRIDGE: Tune-O-Matic w/String-Thru-Body BINDING: White (Body, Neck & Headstock) TUNERS: Grover HARDWARE: Black Nickel PICKUPS: Seymour Duncan JB (B) & '59 (N) ELECTRONICS: Volume, Tone, 3-way Ultra Switch COLOURS: Amber Cherry Sunburst // 8

Sound: This is my first guitar, I play in a flat or drop b mostly so naturally it's metal I play metalcore/deathmetal though occasionaly I play blues/jazz, has a very deep full bodied sustain and is quite bright and clear even on high gain and low tunings, I play it through a Marshall vs100 valvestate head and Marshall cab, not the best but good for my current ability and I'm quite happy with my setup. This guitar is well suited to most styles of music. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: I bought this new from a shop, and it has played perfect I have had no trouble with it in the slightest, easy to change the strings etc, my only complaint is a slight buzzing noise that kills some of the sound occasionaly this could be because of my head or cab, but the above review suggests it may be the guitar. // 10

Reliability & Durability: This is my first guitar and I honestly have never played a gig before, the finish is very strong and is still as glossy as the day I bought it the strap buttons are solid and feel strong. This guitar seems very well made and quite tough, but seems delicate so I wouldn't take too many risks with it. // 4

Overall Impression: This suits my metal style playing perfectly but has no trouble at playing blues whatsoever it has a great tone, after researching prices I realised that I got ripped off, but I'm not complaining as I'm happy with the guitar so I suppose it doesn't matter how much you pay for it as long as your happy. If this guitar got stolen I would not buy this guitar again, I would probably go a deluxe M-1000 or maybe even a legit ESP Horizon. // 8

Was this review helpful to you? Yes / No
Post your comment
Only "https" links are allowed for pictures,
otherwise they won't appear