Price paid: $ 149.99
Purchased from: Guitar Center
Sound — 10
A lot of people, I assume mostly teens and tone snobs, tend to knock the stock ESP pups which are stock on the LTD models. I personally think that the combination of the LH-100 and LS-100 which are on this guitar, sound absolutely great. I can get a wide variety of sounds ranging from Metal (of course!), to Blues and country. I am also using a Zoom G1N effects processor with this, thru my ever so trusty USA made, Crate GX-65 combo, and I have to say, this is one great sounding guitar for the price. I am blown away by it and am now a confirmed, 52 year old, ESP fanatic. Hell, I think I'm going to see about getting a EC-50 to add to my collection now.
Overall Impression — 10
If you do plan on buying one of these, don't do mail order. Rather, go to either Guitar Center or your nearest ESP dealer and make sure that you get one without fret edges sticking out. That is the only problem with these that I could find. Like I said earlier, these are either hit or miss. If you do find a good one, make sure you have a setup done. Once you do, you will not regret it. I love this guitar and for $149.99 (at Guitar Center only, $199.99 everywhere else,) it's one hell of a bargain!
Reliability & Durability — 10
Once setup properly and providing you take good care of it, I see no reason why this guitar should not last you a lifetime. I could definately use this at a gig without a backup. Everything seems solid on it and my only gripe, is the Black finish which smudges after every use, but nothing a polish cloth can't handle.
Action, Fit & Finish — 7
Here's where I wasn't too happy. When I went to GC to buy this, I originally wanted one in the white finish, but all of them had fret edges sticking out along the side of the neck, so with these guitars, it's either hit or miss. The Chinese just assemble these and shove them right in the box without doing a setup of any kind. The action on mine was very high, so right away, I knew I had my work cut out for me. When I got home, it took me around 90 minutes to give this guitar the setup that it deserved, and once I did that, it was like having a totally new instrument. The thing with lower priced guitars like this is that, a lot of players tend to say that they're shit and the reason behind that is, because when they bet them, they don't take the time to have a setup done on them. I would say around 65-70% of the younger guys out there probably don't even know gow to do a setup and that's a shame because if they did, they would save themselves a lot of money and grief.
Features — 10
This for the ESP LTD M-15, which I just bought yesterday, at Guitar Center for only $149.99. It's made in China and has a Basswood body with a Maple neck and a Rosewood frteboard with ESP Tuners and a Tune-O-matice Bridge with a string thru body. There is one Volume and Tone along with a 3 way pickup switch with a ESP LS 100 Rail single coil in the neck position and a ESP LH 100 Humbucker in the Bridge position. There is also a marker at the 12th fret with the model name of the guitar, which I think is pretty classy. It comes in 2 finishes, Black and White. Mine is the Black finish and I believe was made in 2010.