LTD KH-3 review by ESP

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  • Sound: 10
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 9
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 9
  • Features: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 9.6 Superb
  • Users' score: 6.7 (3 votes)

Price paid: $ 1700

Purchased from: Sam Ash

Sound — 10
This guitar definitely suits my style of music, which is metal. I like to play alot of thrash metal, along the lines of Metallica, Anthrax, Slayer, and Megadeth. The pickup configuration in my opinion is one of the best configurations you could possibly have for playing metal. The EMG 81 provides massive amounts of distortion and volume without being too noisy and the EMG 60 provides an excellent lead solo tone when playing solos. As I said before, the pickups are not very noisy even when my amp (Peavy Vypyr 15) is turned up pretty loud. This guitar delivers an ideal metal sound but it can also be used for other genres of music. I play some Porcupine Tree, Die Toten Hosen, Misfits, and Dead Kennedys stuff on this and it suits those styles jut fine. However, this guitar was primarily intended to play metal, which is what I use it for primarily. Even if you are not a metalhead, this guitar can certainly be used for other genres of music, it is very versatile.

Overall Impression — 10
Being a metalhead, this guitar suits my style very much. I've been playing guitar for about three years and have currently owned this guitar for about five months now. In comparison to my other gear, this guitar blows all of them out of the water in terms of playing metal (Gibson Les Paul Studio, Jem 8 Ball, Dean Razorback Db, Rodriguez C1 Classical, Ibanez SA160, Epiphone Les Paul SPecia). If this guitar were lost of stolen, I certainly would buy it again, if I could even find it, it was difficult enough to locate this particular one. I would definitely say that this is my favorite guitar out of all of the ones which I own. I love the tuning stability of the original Floyd Rose, the EMG 81/60 combo is a must-have for all metalheads and is certainly one of my favorite features, and I also love the Spider to Skull and Crossbones inlays. When purchasing this, I compared it to an ESP M-II Standard and they were both very good quality guitars. However, I chose the KH-3 due to it's tuning stability, the M-II would simply go out of tune if the Tremolo bar was depressed all the way, I also chose the KH-3 because of it's rarity, considering there aren't many of these floating around. Overall, I was extremely impressed with the quality and sound of this guitar and I would definitely recommend it to anyone who loves to play metal!

Reliability & Durability — 9
This guitar is very solid, I have bumped it into my desk and walls in my tiny room multiple times and the finish isn't getting dinged at all. The hardware is definitely excellent quality hardware and certainly was built to last. Now, I must say that even though the strap buttons are fairly solid, my strap has slipped off of it multiple times. I can't afford to have that happen at a gig. I would definitely recommend straplocks for an expensive guitar of this sort because it it falls; you're done for. This guitar will definitely withstand live playing but, I would not gig with it without a backup simply because of the floyd rose. The finish on mine shows ALOT of fingerprints, after all the guitar is black and everyone knows that black finishes show everything. It cleans easily though with some guitar polish which is a plus.

Action, Fit & Finish — 9
From the factory, this guitar was set up to my liking. The action was very low which was just right for me. The pickups were adjusted properly and the Floyd Rose was properly routed. However, this guitar does contain a minor flaw in the finish, there were some minor scratches when I bought it which are not very noticeable. The hardware was not rusted, the frets were filed properly, the wood is excellent, the tuning pegs were tight, the nut was cut properly, the pickup selector isn't noisy, and the controls are secure as well.

Features — 10
My ESP KH-3 Was built in 2007 in Japan. This guitar has an Alder Eclipse-style body, a maple neck with a rosewood fingerboard, 24.75 scale, the neck is outfitted with twenty four extra jumbo frets, the Bridge is an original Floyd Rose tremolo, this guitar contains active humbuckers (EMG 81and EMG 60), this guitar has one master volume knob and one knob for each pickup, the tuners are Gotoh, and this guitar came with an ESP hardshell case. An ESP owners manual, a certificate of authenticity, allen wrenches, ESP stickers, and a tremolo bar for the floyd rose.

3 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Grevling123 wrote: love the spider design, but the headstock sucks..
    Yeah dude the spider design rules...The headstock is slightly different on the one I own. The one pictured is the neck-thru variation, I've got the one with the bolt-on neck and that one has a better looking headstock in my opinion..