LTD KH-SE Review

manufacturer: ESP date: 11/15/2012 category: Electric Guitars
I'm fully aware Kirk Hammett isn't the greatest guitarist but he does have some cool guitars which are perfect for playing metal and hard rock. Overall the action, fit and finish are great, the neck is really nice to play, nice and thin and I love satin timber finish.
 Sound: 7
 Overall Impression: 8
 Reliability & Durability: 8
 Action, Fit & Finish: 8
 Features: 7
 Overall rating:
 Reviewer rating:
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review (1) pictures (2) 82 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 7.6
LTD KH-SE Reviewed by: fajnut, on november 15, 2012
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Price paid: A$ 1189

Purchased from: Bmusic

Features: Strat style body based on Kirk Hammetts signature series, this is the latest model, ESP version is limited to 100 worldwide and this LTD version is limited to 300 worldwide. ESP website specs: - Bolt-On Construction - 25.5" Scale - Basswood Body - Maple Neck - Rosewood Fingerboard - 42mm Locking Nut - Extra Thin Flat Neck Contour - 24 XJ Frets - Black Nickel Hardware (came as more chrome finish) - ESP Tuners - Floyd Rose Special Bridge - ESP LH-301 (B & N) p.u. - Finish: GB (Greenburst) - 3-Way Switch Neck Volume Bridge Volume Master Tone Also for those that were wondering only the ESP version has scalloped frets (17-24) which doesn't bother me at all lol. // 7

Sound: I mainly play metal and rock style music, obviously Metallica is a fav band (only reason I got this guitar really) - other bands I enjoy are Megadeth, RATM, ACDC, Van Halen, The Living End, BFMV, Led Zep, Muse, Pantera, Foo Fighters etc. you get the jist. I play through a Boss GT-10 multieffects unit into just a Roland Cube 30 (actually a fairly good amp). I wasn't expecting massive things in terms of sound from this guitar, having the stock ESP LH-301 pickups its only going to offer so much. The Bridge has good crunch and the neck is very bluesy probably a bit too bass heavy. The sound isn't as "strat" sounding as say my Ibanez RG which is good for the more fat crunch I seek (rather than that bluesy twang). In terms of versatility the sound range is reasonable, it will cover most things but compared to my Ibanez RG it doesn't offer as much. With the Boss GT-10 I can get endless sounds, so the versatility of the pickups themselves doesn't impact too much in the end - they have reasonable sustain, nothing special and simply get the job done. // 7

Action, Fit & Finish: Always a concern when you purchase a guitar that you haven't been able to play before buying it, but the action out of the box is good enough. I like low action and this guitar is nearly spot on. Only flaws out of the box are a bit of fret buzz, but I'm sure these small issues can be tweaked. Guitar is in perfect nick as expected, pickups are the right height, no marks at all. Dissapointing they couldn't get the black hardware rather than more chrome finish - not sure of the full story but the sales person I was dealing with said that was the reason for the delay in terms of delivery, either way it still looks nice. Obviously alot of the hardware could be upgraded - pickups upto EMGs, ESP tuners to (black) Gotoh locking ones or something and even a Floyd Rose original Bridge (black of course), those changes could make this guitar really awesome. The finish I think is the guitars best feature, the green burst looks sweet, really unique and definitely much better in the flesh - full marks there (its green burst on the front and back which is also great). The guitar is actually quite light which makes it comfortable to play standing up (again a comparison to my RG, the Ibanez is definitely heavier). Overall the action, fit and finish are great, the neck is really nice to play, nice and thin and I love satin timber finish (none of this gloss painted sh-t!). // 8

Reliability & Durability: Personally I don't play live, I'm just more of a casual player, its just a hobby for me. I'm sure this guitar would stand up to live playing, I've abused the Floyd Rose a bit and it seems to hold its tune well. The guitar came with a leather strap which is fairly solid on the strap buttons. If I played live I don't think I would use this guitar mainly for the reason it's a limited edition guitar, and keeping it good nick may pay off in the future. The green burst finish looks like it will last forever too. // 8

Overall Impression: Overall one thing I can say is that I'm fully aware Kirk Hammett isn't the greatest guitarist (I'd take Marty Friedman's chops any day) but he does have some cool guitars which are perfect for playing metal and hard rock. The real reason I bought this guitar is the fact its limited to 300 worldwide and has a unique green burst finish. With those things in mind it will be one of few ESP LTD models that could retain its value over years to come. I ordered this guitar in Feb and it finally came in June, it's been worth the hassle and anyone who is thinking of dealing with bmusic, they're great at what they do. I'm very happy to be one of the few owners of this signature guitar and if stolen... Well I probably wouldn't be able to buy another haha. I compare this guitar to my Ibanez RG a lot (another Strat style, thin neck shredding machine) - it isn't as good to play, I think Ibanez make amazing guitars. In all if this guitar has a few specs upgraded it could really be amazing, with the action tweaked aswell. If anyone else is getting this guitar or is thinking about it, it probably won't blow you away in terms of sound or playability, but in terms of finish, a cool "story" behind it and its limited edition it definitely will (my first review btw). // 8

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