Price paid: € 279
Purchased from: Professional Equipment
Sound — 9
I play many styles of music, everything from ska to punkrock to thrash metal. I also own a Yamaha RGX 220 DZ which is tuned to dropped c, so my new ESP LTD is my main guitar when it comes to playing Metallica and stuff. I'm usually playing through a Boss Metal Zone, Boss Phase Shifter, DigiTech Multi Voice Chorus and a Boss Equalizer and a 70 watts Fender Roc Pro 700 amp. The LH-150 pickups are really good in this price range, certainly better than the ones in my Yamaha which costs about 60 more. I like the sound the bridge pickup creates with the overdrive channel of my amp - very useful for punkrock like Bad Religion, NOFX and so on. It also delivers a great tone for Metallica when accompanied by the Metal Zone. In the neck position I would prefer another pickup, as I think it is a bit trebly, but you can use this position for a decent ska-rhythm sound. Combined they give a nice balanced sound, nothing to complain about here. The volume knob really helps to get a smooth bluesy sound, especially with the neck pickup and my amp-overdrive (which is tube-driven, the roc pro is a hybrid amp).
Overall Impression — 9
As I've already said, I play a lot of difference styles of music and this guitar is able to cope with almost every of them quite well. Even though it is certainly best for metal and hardrock, it also fits any music with overdrive/distortion-guitars. The clean sound is not perfect, but also okay if you don't have too high expectations. and you shouldn't have them cause it's less than 300. If it was stolen I'd probably buy it again, 'cause in this price range there's no guitar that can stand a fight with this axe. Well at least that's my opinion. It even beated out the living hell out of a Jackson Explorer-rip-off which was twice the price and which I've played in my local store. I also prefer it's tone over my Yamaha. Plus you shouldn't forget the shear beauty of a dark red quilted maple top... This baby totally convinced me of ESP and if I will ever save enough money (probably after my civil service) I will buy a more expensive ESP, but until then, this is a really nice guitar and I'm totally in love with it.
Reliability & Durability — 10
I'm sure this guitar will withstand any trouble I will put it through. Haven't gigged with it yet, but it has done well in every band practice until now. The hardware seems to be durable, the strap buttons are solid, I don't miss strap locks at all. Of course I wouldn't gig without a backup, because there is always the danger of breaking a string (and I've made some bad experiences with my Yamaha... it has a locking tremolo). But the guitar itself is pretty solid. I've have owned it for about 2 and a half months and I don't see why it should ever let me down.
Action, Fit & Finish — 8
The overall action was well done, low, but not too low, pickups were adjusted properly. The guitar was put together very well, the quilted maple top itself is flawless. My only complaint is that there are two litlle flaws in the finish. Two little spots on the top are not coloured, but they are really small, so I'm not to angry about that. There is also a minimal scratch in the fretbaord in the 3rd fret, but it doesn't afecct my playing, so who cares? Wiring seems to be perfect, no noise when turning the knobs or using the selector switch.
Features — 9
Well, the first thing to say is that I rate every section in relation to the price of this instrument and if I give a 10, it doesn't mean it couldn't be better in any way, but it's just great for the price paid... Back to the topic: Like every ltd it was produced in asia, I'm not sure if Malaysia or Korea. It is a mh-100qm nt (2008 model), which means it has no tremolo-bridge, but a nice string-thru-body construction. The color is see-thru-black-cherry on a beautiful quilted maple top. Body is made of basswood, it has a maple neck with a rosewood fretboard. 24 jumbo frets, 2 ESP LH-150 humbuckers, 3-way-selector, 1 tone-, 1 volume-knob. Non-locking tuners by ESP, no bonus accessories came with it, but I bought them at my local store when I bought this guitar, so I got a strap, a gigbag and strings + this guitar for only 300.