Sound — 8
This guitar doesn't suit me perfectly, but it was my first guitar and I didn't really know what I wanted. I bought this two years ago. It has a fairly versatile sound, but I myself would like a single coil or coil tap. Although this could be easily fitted, I don't have enough money to get one professionally fitted, and I am not skilled enough to fit one myself. This guitar does not, however, follow ESP's heavy metal reputation. While this guitar sounds great playing metal, it sounds equally good in a clean tone, although as I said, I would prefer single coils for a bluesy/jazzy sound. The pickups are what you'd expect from a beginner guitar.
Overall Impression — 8
This was a great start to guitar for me. It feels really nice, it's easy to play, and it looks cool. However, if you play many different types of music, I would not recommend it. Buy a Squire (or even Fender MIM) Superstrat. They are a similar price, and the two single coils will increase your options to no end. I have recently brought a new guitar (A PRS Swamp Ash Special, which I have also reviewed) and while I will not be using this guitar much more, it will always be special to me. It has been resigned to my backup now, but this is a good start for players with a rock and metal based repertoire.
Reliability & Durability — 9
I have done some small gigs with this guitar. It has good solid strap buttons, but I would recommend straplocks anyway. After four years, the finish is fine (although I don't tend to sweat on stage) and, although there are a few chips in the wood, that is to be expected from a beginner, and I have not put any in it for at least two years now.
Action, Fit & Finish — 7
This guitar is minimally finished. The factory setup is ok, but the action was a little high for me, so I got it lowered and set up at my local guitar shop (for free first time). The only problem I have had with this guitar is: Jack Socket Continually Comes Loose (although this is easy for even a beginner to fix)
Features — 8
This is a good starter guitar. It is made in Korea, with 22 frets, an alder body, a maple neck with a rosewood fretboard, two ESP LTD Himbuckers, and has 1 tone knob, 1 volume knob, and a 3 way Switch. A good, basic starter guitar.