LTD JH-600 review by ESP

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  • Sound: 8
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 9
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 9
  • Features: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 9.2 Superb
  • Users' score: 7.9 (34 votes)
ESP: LTD JH-600
0

Price paid: $ 600

Purchased from: Guitar Center

Sound — 8
EMGS. People tell me you only hear the pickups, not the guitar. I have no idea what that means, but if that is the case, then I like it. Its quite when it needs to be and loud when it doesn't. I no longer have to go Overdrive on the noise suppressor. EMGs are made for metal, but it certainly doesn't sound like crap in other genres. I won't lie, I listen to a lot of Steve Vai, Paul Gilbert, Joe Satriani, Dream Theater and a lot of other shredders, and one thing they all have in common is that they all use DiMarzios. But hey, Children of Bodom, Judas Priest, Metallica, MAB, Reb Beach, Slayer, Zakk Wylde, Syu and a whole lot of others use EMGs. What does that tell you? Stating one brand of EMGS is better than another is pointless. Personally, I find the favoritism of a particular type of pickup is something acquired. I like the sound of the guitar, since you don't really need a lot of distortion to make it sound heavy. It may only have 3 configurations, but I found each one radically different from the other. In other words, this guitar can be versatile if it wants. Don't believe me? Very well, pick up one and hear for yourself. Oh, I was running it through a few amps. It sounds on anything really, even my 15 watt Behringer V-Tone amp. On Mesa Boogie Dual Rectafier, it sounds clear and heavy.

Overall Impression — 10
Okay, you caught me... I have less than 4 years under my belt. BUT! At my defense, I practice 3-8 hours a day, and I have aspirations to make it BIG! I have played live a few times, but only at school talent shows. I just graduated, and I am in college now, so I'll have more time for my music. I owned a Mexi Fat Strat before this, which is an awesome beginner/intermediate instrument. If this were lost, I will only get something better than this...maybe an Ibanez Prestige or something. Though I would recommend this to anyone looking to play metal or play guitar seriously. There is nothing more I wish this thing had, except maybe a "made in usa" stamp to shut up the elitist. Don't know much about the new JH-600s, but this wone with the OFR and pure black hardware is unbeatable. Search EBAY!

Reliability & Durability — 9
Straps, perhaps small? If you want to do crazy antics like Iron Maiden or Adam D(Killswitch Engage), get straplocks. I'm not one who does crazy antics, but if I ever plan to, I think it is best to get strap locks. Again, this guitar(and other ESPs) are built like tanks. Eagle Inlays! Nazi Germany! Tanks! I think you shouldn't worry about backups. This thing is built to last.

Action, Fit & Finish — 9
I bought it used, and everything was fine. The action is something I rarely notice, but I guess its fine. The guys at Guitar Center Carle Place did a good job fixing it up. Honestly, ESP's upper-range models are known for there good set-ups, but since this guitar is discontinued, I can't say that for sure. For me, It felt new.

Features — 10
This work of ART was forged before the era of JH-600 with Kahlers, before ESP started using black nickel, and before they got rid of the eagle inlays because some people thought it was "too nazi." Basically, this was made during the peak years of the JH-600(pre 2007?) before ESP realized that their LTD line was dominating their original line. This was made in Korea, but honestly, it doesn't matter because the guys in Korea are just as good(possibly better) than their Japanese brethren. Keep in mind, Jackson's "lower end" models are built in Japan, so don't bother me with that "japan is better than _____" bullcrap because "better" is simply subjective. This came with Original Floyd Rose, 24 large frets, ebony fretboard, neck-thru construction, mother of pearl eagle inlays, EMG 81 & 85 pickups, ESP tuners, awesome binding, and pitch black painting. It looks simply beautiful, and the LTD label does not smear it at all. Personally, I like the name "LTD" over "ESP." It sounds more metal and industrial to me. Not that I listen to industrial metal. Compare the looks of this guitar to Jackson SL2H and it is on par. But from what I observed, LTDs are known for superior quality in terms of fretting and binding compared to Jacksons & ESPs. All in all, this guitar looks and feel professional. Very comforatable, a bit heavy, but easy mobility.

31 comments sorted by best / new / date

    newsoundwave
    thanks for the whole "korea may be better than japan" thing yes i know i'm misreading it, i don't care. anyways, great looking guitar. Your review does seem a bit... aggressive though.
    seemeel
    Wow, someone's angry. Try to make reviews impartial dude. It sounds like you have a bone to pick with a few people.
    EpiExplorer
    ragingkitty wrote: What's the point of writing a review... when your review tells us very little about the guitar other than its specs?
    Yeah, and I think anyone whos a guitarisy knows that the toggle switch has different sounds at each position..
    Equivalence
    You really don't need to defend yourself for liking this guitar, because you're hardly doing anything else in this review.
    blackbird51
    vferrizz wrote: Anybody got one of these with the Kahler bridges? Are the worth a crap or not? Seems like a nice guitar and much cheaper than the KH-602.
    They are horrible, NEVER get a guitar with a Kahler trem they simply SUCK! ask anyone.
    Sakke
    You should've done the review about the guitar. Not a rant. Anyhow it's an awesome guitar by looks,I've tried my friend's ESP one (he bought it used.) It was awesome.. So that guitar must be good too.
    siverstorm
    ragingkitty wrote: What's the point of writing a review... when your review tells us very little about the guitar other than its specs?
    This lol. You gave us the specs, said you thought LTD > ESP and Korean-made > Japanese-made and gave a little rant about EMGs. (The EMG rant gets points because you mentioned Syu.) Also Iron Maiden? Crazy antics that require straplocks? Are we thinking about the same band? Also ESP isn't known for good set-ups, the shop you buy them from is.
    Skuzzmo
    I wouldn't drink so much coffee before you write a review dude...
    leftyace
    siverstorm wrote: ragingkitty wrote: What's the point of writing a review... when your review tells us very little about the guitar other than its specs? This lol. You gave us the specs, said you thought LTD > Also Iron Maiden? Crazy antics that require straplocks? Are we thinking about the same band?
    You've never seen an Iron Maiden concert have you... go watch Rock in Rio or Flight 666 or something and pay attention to what Janick does with his strat every 15 seconds.
    RetroGunslinger
    siverstorm wrote: ragingkitty wrote: What's the point of writing a review... when your review tells us very little about the guitar other than its specs? This lol. You gave us the specs, said you thought LTD > ESP and Korean-made > Japanese-made and gave a little rant about EMGs. (The EMG rant gets points because you mentioned Syu.) Also Iron Maiden? Crazy antics that require straplocks? Are we thinking about the same band? Also ESP isn't known for good set-ups, the shop you buy them from is.
    You know that bloke who plays guitar for them, Janick I think he's called? He chucks his strats about like a dog with a chew toy.
    siverstorm
    leftyace wrote: You've never seen an Iron Maiden concert have you... go watch Rock in Rio or Flight 666 or something and pay attention to what Janick does with his strat every 15 seconds.
    Yep, and now I'm a retard XD. But when I think crazy antics Malmsteen came to mind before Janick lmfao.
    EdguyRule_22
    ProgJazzMath wrote: I once killed a man with this guitar.
    I love this comment. But yeah, I really didn't get any valuable information about the guitar. Just a rant.
    MR.ParKs
    Looks like you have either a 2005 or a 2004 model. The Jeff Hanneman signature is probably the only ESP artist model I haven't played yet, so I wouldn't know it's good or not but it sure as shit looks sweet.
    ragingkitty
    What's the point of writing a review... when your review tells us very little about the guitar other than its specs?
    shredspillers
    HI 1ST POST HERE. Well after a hard research over a month or more. I couldn't find and bad reviews about this guitar. I wanted a 3rd guitar to add to my USA 83' RR Jackson #0202 and 81' Custom Gibson Les Paul. I got it on ebay for $749.00 all the other retailers were acking $899 and couldn't get one till sometime next month. After getting the guitar and making a few adjustments to the Kahler Hybrid like String spacing, string height, intonation and adjusting the sprin level with the bottom plate on Kahler. I have used Kahler trems since 83 when they first came out. And yes I fought tuning issues more than you can imagine. My 83' RR Jackson I got in 98' it had a Kahler 2300 Pro Series I had issues with that one also. But about 4 months ago I bought a new Kahler 2315 Pro 2315 tells you what metal it has 2315 is brass cam with steel rollers. steel rollers for better sustain and greater harmonics. And I had no more tuning issues with this Kahler. I am a long time guitar tech guy. And after many yrs of hands on and lots of research I now how to set Kahlers up right. If setup right they are awesome. Anyways at first I didn't like the Hrybrid Kahler at all just felt different the thought of it being a Hybrid just didn't sit well with me. But after all the adjustments I finally pluged it in. And when I played the 1st note on this thing I lovced it. It sounded awesome and played so good. Not as good as the Jackson. But the neck was so nice in my hands. It felt 2 times thinner than the Jackson neck. And after playing it for a few days I have to say I was really loving this guitar. The harmonics just scream every where on this guitar. The tone is awesome. The thing I really liked about this Kahler was the Floyd Rose Locking Nut its so much better than the Kahler String Lock I've been using on my other guitars. And as a result will be replacing the String Lock on the Jackson with a FR Locking Nut. I will have to so some routing on the head stock but the end result is worth it. I've changed alot of things on my Jackson even though it was the 1st batch of RR Jackson's made 1st batch made was in 83' serial# RR0001-RR0294 Mrs. Rhoads has the very 1st RR Jackson MADE IN 82' serial# RR0000 there's some RR Jackson info for all the RR Jackson guys. Ok here comes the bad news about this JH600 before I even played this this I closely inspected the guitar and after looking at the bindings I noticed it was really really ruff on the edges so I'm thinking ok I can use some 3M micro fiber 12,000 grit and it will be fine. Then I see that some of the frets were like coming out on the bottom side of the binding. And some of the fret board was damaged from this fret coming out. I don't know if this happened in the factory or what happened but I will post some pic's on here so you guys can check it out. So then I contacted this guy on ebay and sent him some pic's and he said he agrees that this thing is messed up and that he didn't know anything about it. Because I even asked him is this a B-Stock guitar because it was $150 cheaper than anywhere else. So to fix this thing you have to either press the frets back in if at all even possible, which is highly unlikely. or have it new frets put in. But the wood on the fret board is still not good some spots looks like it had almost chipped off do to the frets coming out. So yes I was really upset about these imperfections to say the least. So I am sending it back to this guy and getting my $$$ back. I hate to see this guitar go. I thought really hard and long about keeping this guitar, but just can't get these visuals out of my head. There's like small holes on fret board its horrible very poor craftsmanship I don't know how this thing could get past the ESP USA Inspectors. It's absolutely insane. look at my pic's and see for yourself. I don't know maybe I've been so spoiled with the qualirty of my USA RR Jackson and my C
    shredspillers
    and my [quote]shredspillers wrote: HI 1ST POST HERE. Well after a hard research over a month or more. I couldn't find and bad reviews about this guitar. I wanted a 3rd guitar to add to my USA 83' RR Jackson #0202 and 81' Custom Gibson Les Paul. I got it on ebay for $749.00 all the other retailers were acking $899 and couldn't get one till sometime next month. After getting the guitar and making a few adjustments to the Kahler Hybrid like String spacing, string height, intonation and adjusting the sprin level with the bottom plate on Kahler. I have used Kahler trems since 83 when they first came out. And yes I fought tuning issues more than you can imagine. My 83' RR Jackson I got in 98' it had a Kahler 2300 Pro Series I had issues with that one also. But about 4 months ago I bought a new Kahler 2315 Pro 2315 tells you what metal it has 2315 is brass cam with steel rollers. steel rollers for better sustain and greater harmonics. And I had no more tuning issues with this Kahler. I am a long time guitar tech guy. And after many yrs of hands on and lots of research I now how to set Kahlers up right. If setup right they are awesome. Anyways at first I didn't like the Hrybrid Kahler at all just felt different the thought of it being a Hybrid just didn't sit well with me. But after all the adjustments I finally pluged it in. And when I played the 1st note on this thing I lovced it. It sounded awesome and played so good. Not as good as the Jackson. But the neck was so nice in my hands. It felt 2 times thinner than the Jackson neck. And after playing it for a few days I have to say I was really loving this guitar. The harmonics just scream every where on this guitar. The tone is awesome. The thing I really liked about this Kahler was the Floyd Rose Locking Nut its so much better than the Kahler String Lock I've been using on my other guitars. And as a result will be replacing the String Lock on the Jackson with a FR Locking Nut. I will have to so some routing on the head stock but the end result is worth it. I've changed alot of things on my Jackson even though it was the 1st batch of RR Jackson's made 1st batch made was in 83' serial# RR0001-RR0294 Mrs. Rhoads has the very 1st RR Jackson MADE IN 82' serial# RR0000 there's some RR Jackson info for all the RR Jackson guys. Ok here comes the bad news about this JH600 before I even played this this I closely inspected the guitar and after looking at the bindings I noticed it was really really ruff on the edges so I'm thinking ok I can use some 3M micro fiber 12,000 grit and it will be fine. Then I see that some of the frets were like coming out on the bottom side of the binding. And some of the fret board was damaged from this fret coming out. I don't know if this happened in the factory or what happened but I will post some pic's on here so you guys can check it out. So then I contacted this guy on ebay and sent him some pic's and he said he agrees that this thing is messed up and that he didn't know anything about it. Because I even asked him is this a B-Stock guitar because it was $150 cheaper than anywhere else. So to fix this thing you have to either press the frets back in if at all even possible, which is highly unlikely. or have it new frets put in. But the wood on the fret board is still not good some spots looks like it had almost chipped off do to the frets coming out. So yes I was really upset about these imperfections to say the least. So I am sending it back to this guy and getting my $$$ back. I hate to see this guitar go. I thought really hard and long about keeping this guitar, but just can't get these visuals out of my head. There's like small holes on fret board its horrible very poor craftsmanship I don't know how this thing could get past the ESP USA Inspectors. It's absolutely insane. look at my pic's and see for yourself. I don't know maybe I've been so spoiled with the qualirty of my USA RR Jackson and my Custom Les Paul which the bindings edge of frets and also the bindings are so smooth. Maybe this is how the ESP LTD line is? I don't know but I'm sad to see it go today and not sure if I will get another one for $899 +tax not sure but I'm seriously thinking about stepping up to ESP line instead not sure though. Well thats my review I need to go play the hell out of this thing for a few hrs then its down the road with it. I play alot of instrumental guitar oriented music and metal I use a Peavey XXX Super 40 amp with a TC Electronics Polytune/Cromatic tuner, Dimbag Wah From Hell, Rockbox-Boiling Point Overdrive & running through the FX's loop is a Boss GT-10. ok there you go shred on!!
    smithmetal
    Lmao, the hell kind of review is this? Ranting certainly isn't the way to do one. I see these questions about Kahler vs Floyd, EMG vs Dimarzio. It's ALL subjective. The best thing you can do is try out guitars yourself and see what you like. Opinions vary, so you will never get an absolute answer. By the way, this guitar looks sweet. Love ESP
    jeffmetalhead
    sebuka wrote: please someone could answer this question? what are the differences between schecter c1 hellraiser fr and this esp ltd jh-600? and which would you recommend me to buy? thanks
    The brand dude
    sebuka
    please someone could answer this question? what are the differences between schecter c1 hellraiser fr and this esp ltd jh-600? and which would you recommend me to buy? thanks
    krvolok
    I'm sorry but it just ain't Herr Hanneman with out the Eagles and daggers.Eagles and Daggers.
    Dethonator
    CTGraphixGuy wrote: It's one thing to say that a guitar doesn't have to be made in the U.S. to be a quality instrument. That I will agree with. But it's another thing entirely to say that the Japanese and/or Korean luthiers are superior to their U.S. colleagues. Now that is complete BS, and it makes it seem obvious that you're overcompensating for the fact that your guitar is not American-made, which really should not be of any concern if you enjoy the instrument, it sounds good to you and is durable and reliable. Who cares where it was manufactured if it meets your needs?
    I did not say that Koreans are superior to USA. READ. Within the context of the review, the higher end LTDs tend to have better setups than current higher-end Jacksons, at least the JH-600 compared to the Soloist. I can't comment on "pre-Fender" jacksons, but I have to state that guitar manufacturing has improved over the years, and that we are being too critical on affordable guitars, because guitars in this price range would be shit unless they are from a japanese company like Ibanez or ESP, 20 years ago.
    Sakke
    Even Jacksons can't touch the Koreans.
    Yeah, maybe the ones manufactured after Fender bought Jackson.. But you don't mention that so you're wrong.
    rob904
    just realized that both articles were written by the same reviewer, thats what happens when you post on forums at 6 in the morn stoned
    vferrizz
    Anybody got one of these with the Kahler bridges? Are the worth a crap or not? Seems like a nice guitar and much cheaper than the KH-602.
    Dethonator
    Looking at this review in retrospct, I, too, found it to be juvenile and quite shitty. Please disregard it...
    CTGraphixGuy
    It's one thing to say that a guitar doesn't have to be made in the U.S. to be a quality instrument. That I will agree with. But it's another thing entirely to say that the Japanese and/or Korean luthiers are superior to their U.S. colleagues. Now that is complete BS, and it makes it seem obvious that you're overcompensating for the fact that your guitar is not American-made, which really should not be of any concern if you enjoy the instrument, it sounds good to you and is durable and reliable. Who cares where it was manufactured if it meets your needs?