LTD MH-103QM review by ESP

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  • Sound: 3
  • Overall Impression: 4
  • Reliability & Durability: 3
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 4
  • Features: 7
  • Reviewer's score: 4.2 Poor
  • Users' score: 8.5 (15 votes)
ESP: LTD MH-103QM
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Price paid: C$ 300

Purchased from: Private Sale

Sound — 3
I play Djent/Metal and a mix of all other styles. The pick ups sound below average for stock. (Perhaps I am just use to older entry/intermediate level guitars) Playing with a real amp the electronics feel some what inadequate. Upon upgrading pickups I found the stock switch to "color" the sound and output of the pickups, some how trying to enhance their sound by adding gain into the 1 and 5 positions on the switch. If you wish to up grade pickups, up grade ALL of the electronics as well! This will help immensely. I have not resorted to that yet. And for acoustic tone, the guitar is flat, lifeless and sterile. I unbolted the neck and sanded out the built up finish within to get a good wood to wood contact. This brought the instrument to life. So buyer beware!

Overall Impression — 4
I bought this guitar with the idea to up grade and mod it, and use it for a back up. Unfortunately, it would never be worth it, no matter how much I did to it. The body is a 4 peice basswood with Maple veneer. CHEAP CHEAP CHEAP! Acousticly the sound is barely adequate, and the guitar not very responsive. Up graded pickups are a waste in this instrument. Anything else is just an added waste of money. Save your coin, buy a real guitar. Preferably something used, for cheap, from the nineties, MIJ or Korea!

Reliability & Durability — 3
I would NOT play this guitar in any live or jamming/rehearsal settings as the pick-ups and electronics are aweful, by my own standards. Deserve a full up grade. Switches, Pots and pickups. The strap buttons, bridge, tuners, locking machines, input jack and knobs are all of good quality, and I likely wouldn't bother upgrading them, as the cost of a new Floyd Rose alone is worth much more than the entire guitar cost to make.

Action, Fit & Finish — 4
Original owner claimed a professional set up, and new saddles. This was not so. I quickly did a proper set up. Adjusting intonation, bridge height, neck relief, and pickup height. Few dents and swirl surface scratches. Nothing to worry about being it was used. Sever finish cracks on the fretboard and neck. Again, this instrument was used, and probably slightly abused. The finish on the head stock was aweful, spots where the blue dye did not take from obvious finger prints with glue covered hands. Splotchy, uneven, and a bad match to the body. Body finish was satisfactory.

Features — 7
Made in 2008, in China. - 24 frets / 25.5 inch Scale / "Thin C" but more of a FAT C/ XJ Frets - Maple Neck Maple Board - Basswood body/Quilted Maple Veneer - See thru blue finish front and back - Super Strat - ESP Licensed Floyd Rose - Passive electronics (ESP P/Us - HSS) - Volume Tone, 5 way switch - ESP Tuners - non-locking

1 comment sorted by best / new / date

    Narsh
    I just got one a few hours ago and the bang for the buck factor is definitely there. The single coils sound great but the bridge pickup lacks clarity. Again, for the price it's a great deal. I'll be dropping a dimarzio tone zone in the bridge soon, I'm sure that will liven it up. Worst case, EMGs will be going in. Can't go wrong either way.