Sound — 9
Great for chuggers, very full bass and the thin neck suits my metalcore/emocore style, but a little tinny in the highs, I never use the single coils, the humbucker does everything I need it to. I do not use effect pedals, I only use a Line 6 Spider III 15 watt, I normally go for a scooped out sound on the insane channel with distortion boost on and full channel volume for even more dirt, I then use a small amount of reverb to lighten the sound a little. I get a tiny bit of feedback if I'm being stupid with it but it never troubles me, the lows are incredibly full and perfect for anyone who plays a lot of heavy breakdown riffs. This guitar pulls off even the craziest sounds, from the solo to "Invincible" by Muse to any Children Of Bodom and Bullet For My Valentine.
Overall Impression — 9
I play a lot of post hardcore and metal, this guitar does everything I need and more. I have been playing for 5 years and I currently use nothing more than my M-53, my Spider 3 and UG. If it was stolen, I'd replace it with an MH-50, I just simply can't resist a HH archtop. I love the way it says ESP on this guitar more than 10 times, but the satin finish chips away too easily and collects a lot of finger prints. Compared to similar priced guitars, this beats each and every one of them time and time again in terms of veratility and extremity. I would only change the appearance, give it an archtop in metallic black with white binding, black neck finish, ebony fretboard, red star inlays.
Reliability & Durability — 9
With a guitar like this, you need a good strap, the first time I played this guitar, my strap came off and my studded belt scratched the paint job, it's taken a beating, but it can take one. The hardware has lasted until now without deteriorating so I cannot imagine why they wouldn't last a very long time. This is the only guitar you need for a gig, it does everything for me. The finish should last, provided you don't kick the crap out of your guitar every other Tuesday.
Action, Fit & Finish — 7
The action was just about ok, not as low as I like it but better than a lot of guitars I've tried. The pickups were bang on centred, but that is excusable seeing as they are good enough that I have not needed to adjust them. Everything on the guitar was set up for Standard tuning. Too bad I play in drop C. The only flaw worth pointing out is that one of the tuning keys was slightly looser than the rest.
Features — 7
-Made in Indonesia -22 XJ frets on a 25.5" scale -Solid top -Maple neck and fretboard, basswood body -Satin black -Strat style -Vintage tremolo bridge -Passive electronics -1 volume, 1 tone, 5 way selector switch -2 ESP LS-150S in the neck and Bridge and an ESP LH-150 in the bridge -ESP tuners -Included all required alan keys, extra Bridge spring, tremolo bar, and the store provided a free bag.