Price paid: $ 320
Sound — 9
I don't stick to one genre, instead I experiment with music a lot. I play a variety of music ranging from Blues to Rock to Death Metal. Hence I must say that this guitar is very good for you if your budget isn't above 350$. It if perfect for a beginner. I use it with a Roland Cube 20XL and Korg AX5G Modeling Effects Processor. I get the perfect sounds that I need with these. It isn't noisy at all and gives very little feedback. Clean Tones are rich and bright whereas distortion is bang on, full sound and pretty kicka-s. You can get pretty good harmonics and pinches with it with the right patches. It can be your neighbor's envy if in the hands of a right master. A very versatile guitar it sure is.
Overall Impression — 8
For my versatile playing, this guitar is very good. Leaves a good impression on the audience too. I have been playing for 4 years now. I bought an ESP Snakebyte recently. Both these babies of mine are equally dear to me. If it were stolen I would buy another ESP in the same series as I have enough money to buy a better one, but had my budget been the same I would rely on this itself and buy it again. I love the finish and tones of this guitar. It's an awe seeker! Other than the headstock there is nothing else I dislike about it. I wish it would have a pointed headstock.
Reliability & Durability — 8
I have used this guitar live many times during the early days of my band. It stood by me without any problem giving me the sound I needed for making the crowd go crazy. The hardware lasts if taken care of without being mishandled etc. The strap buttons give no problem at all. Do not worry about using it on a gig. You can definitely use it even without backup. The finish is good enough to last for some years. It may not rundown even after excess of playing.
Action, Fit & Finish — 7
The guitar was set-up pretty well at the factory. The cherry red attracted me immediately even though I wanted a black guitar. The moment I saw it's finish, I knew it belonged with me. The humbuckers were adjusted a little low. But on bringing it up it gave a damn good sound. The top and the bridge was perfect. Just the headstock could be given a better finish. The guitar had no flaws whatsoever. It is a bit heavy compared to other ESP's. This gives an advantage to play riffs at ease.
Features — 8
- Bolt-on neck - 25.5" scale - Basswood body - Maple neck - Rosewood fingerboard - 42mm standard nut - Thin U neck contour - 22 XJ frets - Chrome hardware - ESP tuners - Tune-o-matic style bridge with string-thru body - ESP LH-150 humbuckers (bridge and neck) - Volume, tone, 3-way toggle controls