Sound — 8
The sound is great! It has perfect clean tones and works even better when distorted. But the knockoff ESP Pickups still don't sound the same as the Real EMG's. I have another guitar that has EMG active 81/85 and personally the difference isn't much unless you switch between the two. Although the guitar already sounds fine, I would want to get either the KH-602 or just put in EMG active 81/60s myself. I use this guitar with a 100 Watt Fender DSP and sometimes a 15 watt Line-6 and a 15 watt Randall. It works great with all amps! And for pedals, I Usually use the 2 Channels on the Fender amp, but at band practice I use a Boss DS-1 and a Chorus CH-1 Pedal.
Overall Impression — 10
I mainly play Metallica, but I do sometimes play Pink Floyd, Iron Maiden, and Guns N Roses. This guitar works great for all types! I like how the pickups aren't active because the clean sounds are great for Pink Floyd songs. I've been playing for about 8 years now and If this guitar were stolen I would track the guitar down, Beat him with the guitar and most likely be able to play a gig with it after! Before looking at this guitar, I always wanted the ESP LTD M-100FM but compared to this guitar, It's horrible.
Reliability & Durability — 10
I've bought the guitar about 2 months ago and used it nonstop. I'll always gig with a back up just in case the stings pop. But this guitar is built to last a lifetime. C'mon it's an ESP! The weather changes have messed up the tuning since I do take the guitar to band practice twice a week, but that's normal. ESP guitars are built to take a beating and last!
Action, Fit & Finish — 10
When I bought the guitar, it came in great action because this was the only one guitar center had left, and it was out on the wall so everyone can play it. So when I bought it they had to do a set up for free. Which was great for me. But if you get the guitar new from the box, you should always do a Floyd Rose set up at your local guitar store.
Features — 9
The body is made from Basswood and the neck is Maple. It has a Strat style shape and has a bolt on neck with 24 extra jumbo frets. It comes in a shiny black with black nickel hardware. It has a great double locking Floyd Rose and stays in tune! It has 2 volume knobs and 1 tone knob, and a 3 way selection switch. The pick-ups are ESP's version of EMG pickups, they are passive too, so you can just leave it pluged in and not have to worry about the battery. The tuners are ESP made, And the guitar is made in China. It comes with a bar for the the Floyd Rose and the basic tool kit that comes with every other guitar.