LTD JH-600 Review

manufacturer: ESP date: 09/08/2015 category: Electric Guitars
There is nothing more I wish this thing had, except maybe a "made in usa" stamp to shut up the elitist.
 Features: 9.8
 Sound: 9.3
 Action, Fit & Finish: 9.2
 Reliability & Durability: 9.7
 Overall Impression: 9.7
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reviews (6) pictures (1) 32 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 9.6
LTD JH-600 Reviewed by: Guerrilla235, on december 22, 2014
3 of 3 people found this review helpful

Purchased from: Zzounds

Features: Neck-Through Construction. Alder body with 24 fret ebony/maple neck. It has standard strap buttons, which I switched to a clip-lock strap. Grover tuners, and a first for me was an awesome Hybrid Kahler bridge that I really tried to make go out of tune. In my opinion, your can really crush on the Kahler as opposed to the Floyd Rose. Normal Volume/Tone/Toggle switch. I Keep the Kahler locked most times for lack of use in my recent band, but it is an incredible unit for a capable whammy lover. // 10

Sound: Comes with the active EMG 81-85, thick tone, and I think it could be very versatile, but for the style I play hardcore/metal, it's my absolute favorite sound. Almost all my other guitars are loaded with the 81-85 setup, but this guitar allows me to control the tone of the bridge 81 (that I use the most) better than any other guitar I've used. Great sustain, and even better for me when I switched to a 10 gauge string. Usually I use 11-52, but I found it was very difficult to string on the fly. The Kahler bridge does not like a heavy gauge low string. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: It came with a lot higher action than I like, but that is more personal preference, and was very easy to set up. The thinner frets took a little getting used to, I really like a jumbo fret, but no big deal, they definitely helped to speed up my chord work, and didn't effect any of my solo work. Looks pretty basic, but cool. My favorite kind of body style, I believe It was modeled after Jeff Hanneman's favorite Jackson Soloist. I don't like a lot of flash, so it's perfect for me. Comes in the solid black finish. // 9

Reliability & Durability: I've played 2-3 shows with it, and 4 Festivals so far this year. No complaints at all, and so far very dependable. Not too heavy for long sets. I can't see, or hear any reason why it won't last. I will be on European tour in February, and it will get put through the ringer for sure. I will add to this review after I get a few more miles on it. I've never broke a string live, but I've noticed when changing them out, the Kahler bridge locks to fixed, and really makes string changes lightning fast. // 10

Overall Impression: I bought the JH-600 on a heavy recommendation from a great friend & guitarist. I bought it solely to be used as a backup guitar, but it is now my main guitar, and the others just sit around. Amazing. Only reason the Overall impression rating is a 9, is an 11 gauge string is very difficult when changing strings. I switched to a 10 because of this. This guitar was ordered through Zzounds, and did not come with a case, little bit of a bummer, but getting a case with any guitar these days seems rare. // 9

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overall: 9.2
LTD JH-600 Reviewed by: Dethonator, on november 15, 2012
2 of 9 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 600

Purchased from: Guitar Center

Features: 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. // 10

Sound: 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. // 8

Action, Fit & Finish: 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. // 9

Reliability & Durability: 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. // 9

Overall Impression: 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! // 10

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overall: 9.2
LTD JH-600 Reviewed by: BoolsJuh, on november 15, 2012
2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Price paid: C$ 800

Purchased from: Friend

Features: This is a 2004 model, the best model... With rare S & Key Inlays. Original Floyd Rose. Korea made, you would be foolish to judge this guitar negatively because of that. It's made of maple with a neck-thru design, VERY well put together. Ebony fret board, 24 frets, white bindings, 25.5 scale. This model came with an active set of EMG 81's. // 10

Sound: If you play metal or hard rock, this is a mean ax to say the least, built to take on some crazy tremolo work, and some mean shredding. Honestly, this thing can make basically whatever sound you need it to, the quality of design and wood gives you a hard pounding tones through beautiful clean melodic rich sound. // 9

Action, Fit & Finish: I purchased used, action is great, pickups were and are perfect. My Floyd Rose was a little off kilter, no longer a problem. The input for the patch cord needs to be tighted once in a while. Other than a very small blemish at the headstock, it's mint. // 8

Reliability & Durability: Will easily withstand gigging... Hardware is solid, quality. Strap buttons are perfect, for the most part, the guitar feels new. Finish will stand the test of time. It's a gorgeous geet. // 9

Overall Impression: I like all forms of music, but my Hanny is for metal. I have it tuned to D, (not drop) and it sounds so nice. IF I ever lost it, I would freak because finding another one of this model would be damn hard. There is nothing to dislike about it, if you're looking for a perfect guitar for metal or hard rock, this is second to none. If I had to say that I WISH it had a feature that it doesn't.. All I have to say is if this thing was a 7 string... I'd prolly hire a bodyguard to watch over it. Lol // 10

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overall: 9.6
LTD JH-600 Reviewed by: Dethonator, on november 15, 2012
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 600

Purchased from: Guitar Center - used

Features: This is a "redo" of an old, rather emotional, review. This is guitar is basically an M-model, and has the characteristics of what you would expect froma super-strat; thin neck, 24 extra jumbo frets, ebony fretboard, mother of pearl inlays, white bounds, an original Floyd Rose(made by Schaller) and some screaming pickups(EMG 81 & 85, to be exact). There are two knobs, volume and tone. I would like to note that the neck is not thinner than a wizard neck, but the neck-thru construction is one of the best I have ever seen. These qualities are what you would expect from a USA Jackson. A lot of these features would make this guitar work thousands, especially if it were made in the 80s or even 90s. Still, itis 2010, but the features still kick ass. // 9

Sound: The body wood is alder, which is more louder than other woods, ideal for metal. Since this guitar is made by ESP, and the signature model of Jeff Hanneman from Slayer, it is a no brainer for most buyer. I have never had a problem with sustain at all, and I did occassionally managed some Spinal Tap-esque squeels and sustains here and there. With a Floyd Rose, you may have some problems when you are doing some long dive-bombs, but that is probably because of the setup of your tremolo. I ran it through several amps, but I mostly use it for my amp simulator software(amplitube 3 and guitar rig 4). I onced used it on a friend's JCM 2000 and I had no idea that the guitar had such a monstrous sound. If you play around with the settings, you can get a tone to rival some Steve Vai-esque tones. Can't say much about cleans though; this is a metal guitar. Though, my teacher was impressed by the sound it produced when I played some blues through his Fender Reverb. // 9

Action, Fit & Finish: I am going to state a contraversial clame: USA-made means nothing. This guitar is a testament to that. This guitar may have been made in Korea, but its construction, fret leveling, intonation, and finish far exceeded my expectations. Even Jacksons can't touch the Koreans. I don't know much about the lower level ltds, but the upper level ltds are untouchable. As I said previously, the neck just fits so perfectly with the body, as if they are just one piece. The action was perfect, as well, and I had o idea that I was depriving myself of such ease when I first picked this guitar up. At the same time, my skills did not become rusty with other guitars for some reason. Then again, I did have a Fatstrat to practice with, so I would suggest you Switch between guitars, just incase you are one of those players that just gets used to playing one type of guitar. // 10

Reliability & Durability: I once held this guitar up high, without noticing that it was about to hit the ceiling fan. The fan stopped, a chip of the fan fell and my guitar was unscratched. I heard some guy killed his friend with one of these, and I believe. It may be too soon to say this, but when I put on this guitar, I know for a fact that my fate will not be the same as the Great Dimebag at his final concert. Jeff Hanneman has a fascination with old Nazi Germany and you can really see that here, considering this guitar is engineered like a panzer in WWII. // 10

Overall Impression: If you play any type of metal and enjoy leads, this is it. Been playing for about 4 years, and consider myself skilled. If this guitar was twice the price, I would buy it. If someone slapped an "ESP" or "Jackson" and tripled the price...I'd wait for myself to make the money. I am considering to swap for a Ibanez Prestige 2550E, but that is mostly for other reasons and personal preferances. This card kills the KH-602, Hellraiser and has a leg up on the M and MH 1000s. I bought it for $600. I was lucky. Buy it on ebay while you can. // 10

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overall: 9.8
LTD JH-600 Reviewed by: unregistered, on november 15, 2012
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 579.99

Purchased from: Guitar Center

Features: My ESP LTD JH-600 was made in 2006. Made In Korea (nationally don't matter to a great guitar) Here are the specifications for it: Body wood is Alder Body(louder then most wood), Scale is 25.5 inches long. Strat shape. Pickups are EMG 85 active in the neck and EMG 81 active in the bridge. Neck wood is Maple(neck is painted). Has Floyd Rose Locking Nuts. ESP tuners. Has A Original Floyd rose(made by Schaller in Germany) Ebony Fingerboard. Iron eagle inlays from 1 fret to 12th(mother of pearl not plastic) Very easy to reach the 24th fret; its built into the body which is very nice. // 10

Sound: It sounds great! I play the genre of death metal and it sounds great. Has a good heavy metal pound to it. Here is the guitar rig: ESP ltd jh-600> DigiTech gnx 4 guitar workstation> to My Crate gt1200 stack (one Crate gt412 slant and Marshall mg412b cabinet) Like I say it has a pounding death metal sound and the right settings it sounds cleaner while monstrous pound which is hard to achieve for a low low tunning (A flat)It also has a bright sound for clean channels. It can go to 80s scary movie themes to clean as a harp to Acoustic sound. I give this a 10 in sound because it was right on the bull eye's and more on what I wanted in sound. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: The action was horrible! Guitar center in California needs to check their employees. I received it in the mail since I live across the country from California. The action was extremely low. So low that the neck binding around the neck (around the emg85) was kinda scrap off by the last three strings (4-6) Other then that my guitar would be in perfect condition. I set the action up to my preferred liking (5mm above 24 fret) and feels great! The finish on the guitar was very good it has a lil slanted at the one corner so your arm rest easier. // 9

Reliability & Durability: I know this guitar will withstand live playing how its built. The hardware looks expensive compare to the guitars I had previous and I think it will last) its 5 years old now and plays new!. I use a Levy strap and not once has slide off. I would gig without a backup with this guitar but I prefer always to have a backup, you seem more professional in my opinion. I been playing this guitar hardcore and I think it will last. // 10

Overall Impression: I play death metal and it sounds what I want to hear \m/ AWESOME! March will make a year I been playing but trust me I do research everyday and know more then the other players in my area that played for 4 -5 years. I should of ask where can I get another one of these?! If it was ever stolen I would be extremely mad because its like my perfect guitar/ dream guitar. I would buy it again if I could find another one which would be challenging since I happen to be lucky to get one when I had the money. I love everything about it. My favorite feature is the quality of the instrument. This is my first review so not the best but I describe everything I know about it. // 10

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overall: 9.8
LTD JH-600 Reviewed by: verve92, on september 08, 2015
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 799

Purchased from: Guitar Center

Features: Missing my late '80s/early '90s Jackson Soloist with OFR I had to sell years ago for rent. I went years without a Superstrat. Went looking and the JH-600 was it. First ever "Signature" series I've owned, but since it had every feature I wanted for the right price and being a huge Slayer fan, there you go. It was new but "blemished" with full warranty. I looked and looked and was checking the neck for bows and noticed there was some inconsistency in the paint on the top of the guitar. Most visible on that angle. Barely noticeable looking straight at it. Other than that, perfect.

The main feature that was the deal breaker was the Kahler bridge with what looks like a FR locking nut. So none of the highly publicized bend note out of tune issue, which I have never experienced in years of playing mainly standard bridge and Kahlers. Floyds too much of a hassle anymore. Neck thru 24 fret Ebony was a must as well. Perfect action out of the box. As far as design and ergonomics it was what you want out of a Super Strat. Easy access to high frets, slender neck. Was actually surprised it was Alder and maple neck. Would have thought mahogany, but sounds unique and has hella tone by way of the EMG's. Not to mention you have much less wood missing with the Kahler. I have read that some think volume knob interferes with playing, but most serious players can adjust. Although I would have perhaps put the knobs (volume and global tone, toggle) further down, it was a non issue. Played great.

If there were a gripe, it would be the bar on the Kahler was not low profile enough. It was too high off the guitar at the point the bar was bent. Difficult (for me) to do certain techniques like pull up without having to unmount my hand. I like to pick and use my other 3 fingers to operate the bar - not as easy like with my Strat or a Floyd. There is another lower bar available from Kahler for an almost insulting $30 plus shipping. Much better with lower bar. Small price to pay for not playing sharp anymore and the other issues with FR.

My first guitar with active pups. LOVE 'em for a shredder like this. Of course I left the cord in the guitar and killed the battery quicker, so be conscious of having to unplug it after each use or the battery will drain. These EMG's are designed for HIGH GAIN applications. I have read that active pup's don't do clean sounds well and is less "organic" than a stock Les Paul 'bucker or crazy DiMarzio's. This is subjective, IMO and can hear a difference. Throw on some good delay, verb and chorus and your golden for clean intros and quiet interludes. But then again who buys a JH-600 to play R.E.M. covers or jazz?

The tuners are Grover and quality the Kahler is a Hybrid model and can be set as a standard bridge, but is not quite as good quality as the higher end Kahlers. To me a non issue. Was made in Korea, which TBH rivals any US manufacturer these days. Lots of the US made guitars have had quire a few QC issues in the last 10 years- not to mention names. My Strat is Mexican and plays great. I have never and never will play a guitar from China or Taiwan. Plus FWIW, the JH-600 was inspected in the US as well as Korea and has a sticker on the plastic electronics recess cover. We know they inspect them well because crappy QC would have overlooked the minor finish issue and not saved me $200. // 10

Sound: I have several other guitars, play different genres, but for metal and louder duties, this is my goto guitar. I play through an all tube amp through some great amp modelling - no space for stacks in the studio. I Use a DigiTech RP1000 with amp loop to preserve tube sound of my Fender Deluxe. Very quiet. If your thing is pinch harmonics and crunchy rhythms-well there you go. There is only one volume knob and one tone knob, which is fine with me - keeps things simple. Three way toggle allows the player to change to heavier of brighter sounds for solos. I really like the simplicity as some other guitars like the Ibanez which had a 5-way toggle - too much IMO. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: Out of the box I was floored. Over the years I've played some pretty bad factory set-ups. ESP really nailed it. Low action no buzz solid feel of the Kahler which almost feels like a standard bridge i.e. LP, Explorers, V's etc. So you can mute as heavy as you like with no sharp chugging you get with Floyds. In fact you can even make the Kahler Hybrid act like a fixed bridge by a few turns of the supplied allen wrench. This will not allow the cam to operate and you can take the bar off if suddenly get switched to only rhythm duties. It's not the top of the line Kahler but not a cheapo unit by any means. Interestingly it held a Eb tuning (half step down) by just unlocking the nut and tuning the pegs with no need for a complete set up like a Floyd. If you have no technical knowledge or time to bother, the Kahler makes things simple and diverse in use.

I've restrung it using GHS Boomers and no need for the internet nonsense of having to solder the ends of the strings - no issues. Frets had no issues fit and finish as good as if not better than any USA model. No visible wood in the battery compartment or electronics area. No flaws at all save for the above mentioned paint issue. I recommend "blemished" guitars. Bought a Boss DD5 and new Wah with the money I saved. // 10

Reliability & Durability: This is not a cheapo guitar. Not a $4000 custom either. I don't gig much these days but it would hold up fine. The neck thru construction helps and feels as solid as my old Jackson and Ibanezes, The latter having 4 screw neck joint - not ideal for shredding. The only giigging issue I could forsee is batteries! No 9V no play this guitar. So have some spare batteries in the case which was NOT provided. This was a bummer, but I just got a Gator case for $69, so no biggy. You WILL need a hard case as there are all manner of allen keys and trem bar storage and those extra 9V's. // 10

Overall Impression: This is the ideal guitar for metal. Period. Just see the interviews with the late great Jeff Hanneman. I agree with his need for a super strat shape as the weight distribution is close to perfect. Take both hands off and the guitar stays horizontal. Try that with a Warlock or Explorer. I kinda grew out of the odd-shaped bodies. Too cumbersome and heavy. I also practice sitting down. Body is very comfortable and the unique bevel on the bottom horn for even more comfort and access. Took off point for no case at this price point. $1000 guitar should at least have a gig bag. // 9

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