Price paid: $ 150.99
Purchased from: Guitar Center
Sound — 10
At first, I was getting a lot of hum and muddiness from the stock pups, but that was only because I was using the 3rd position of the 3 way pup switch. Since I started using the middle position, I don't have anymore hum, but I do have a deeper, yet cleaner tone, which suits me, because in my band I play a lot of Classic Rock & Blues and this guitar seems to suit it just right. The lead position on this guitar does produce a lot of sustain for lead solos when needed, but isn't reccomended for rhythmn playing IMO. I'm playing this through my 1997 USA made, Crate GX-65 combo and it sounds f--king great through this amp, and at times, I'll use my Zoom G1N effects processor with it as well. This guitar does work well with pedals. You just have to adjust the pickup heights just right in order to find that sweet spot, but when you do, it's worth it!
Overall Impression — 9
I do Classic Rock, 80's Metal, and Blues, and this baby fits right in with what I play with my band "Shock Therapy!". This one's a keeper and as far as replacing it, I don't know. Maybe I would upgrade to a M-50 if anything ever happened to this one. I'm not sure. The only thing I wish that it had, were more colors to choose from. I would've liked to seen this in a Sunburst.
Reliability & Durability — 9
Once I did a full setup and took care of all the problems I had mentioned in the last column, it was like I had just gotten a totally new guitar, because now, this one is a keeper. I have already used this at a couple of gigs with my band without a backup and had no problems whatsoever!
Action, Fit & Finish — 6
This where I had some trouble. 2 days after I bought it, I had to bring it back and get another one because there were some dead frets on it. When I got my replacement, I went to go and do a string change, only to discover that the nut wasn't even glued on, so I ended up having to Super Glue it on the neck. After I did that, I noticed there were some fret edges sticking out which I ended up filing down, along with having to do a full setup and intonation check and also adjusting the pup height as well. I do realize that this isn't a $1,000.00 Guitar, but that isn't no excuse to have shoddy workmanship on a instrument with the ESP name on it, as far as I'm concerned. I did contact ESP about this and they said they would look into it. There is no excuse for this.
Features — 9
This is my 2nd review for this guitar. I've had this for about a month now and thought I would give another one, now that I've had time to get used to this guitar. Mine is a 2010 model which was made in China and has a Basswood body, with a Maple nack and a Rosewood Fretboard w/ 22 frets and stock ESP Tuners. The pickups are a Twinblade ESP LS-100 in the neck position and a ESP LH-100 Humbucker in the Bridge position w/ a Volume & Tone knob along with a 3 way pup Switch w/ a tune-o-matic Bridge with string through the body. It comes in 2 finishes, Black and Artic White. Mine is the Black finish.