Price paid: $ 230
Purchased from: Music123.com
Sound — 10
I play mostly metal like Metallica, Iron Maiden, Pantera, etc. and this guitar is amazing for everything. The 81 gives me an amazing distorted sound, while the 85 is fat enough to give a gain boost and play blues, but it doesn't muddy up the signal. I'm currently running it through a DigiTech RP300 and a Crate 120 watt amp. The two sound amazing an I can easiy drown out my drummer (and he is the loudest kid you will probably play with).
Overall Impression — 10
I've been playing guitar for about 2 years, and I've seen alot of good guitars. My guitar teacher owns really expensive guitars like a Jackson Soloist from the mid eighties, two Ibanez, two ESPs, and that's not even half of his guitars. He always wants to play my guitar becuase he loves the way it plays. I could have bought an Ibanez, but they were a little bit expensive and I didn't really like their versions of a bolt-on. I could have bought a Jackson but the ESP appealed to me because Kirk Hammet plays one. Is that reason enough? Good guitar, buy it!
Reliability & Durability — 10
I would use this guitar without a backup live, but different tunings means that I have to use two guitars. Some of the paint on the Floyd Rose is coming off, but it's because of palm-muting like crazy and the sweat that is on your hands. To me it gives it a worn, personalized feeling and it makes it my instrument.
Action, Fit & Finish — 10
For me the action was to far from the neck. I fixed it so I can slide a .88 mm pick in between the strings and 12th fret and it will stay. The satin finish neck is easier to play than the set necks that have laquer applied to them. The only problem I've had was one of the springs on the stock pickups popped out and it was sliding around, but I fixed it when I put in the active pickups.
Features — 10
It comes with passive electronics, but I upgraded mine to an active EMG 81/85 set. They sound amazing, better than any Seymour Duncan and that includes the Dimebuckers, Invaders, JBs. The bolt-on neck gives great sustain, but not as much as a set neck or neck through. The floyd rose is amazing, good for crazy Dimebag solos, Metallica solos, or anything you can think of.