Price paid: $ 450
Purchased from: Lyric Music Store Philippines
Features — 8
The model I got was a Chinese made model but it says nothing what year it was made... but yes it is genuine and has the small ESP logo at the back. It has 24 Extra Jumbo frets which are good for lead playing and a Thin U Neck Contour. But one of the main reasons this is the guitar we chose is because of it's beautiful quilted maple top. The body is made of basswood and the neck is made of maple.
The color of the one I got was a little on the green side but more of a aqua light blue which is really nice. No doubt it's a superstrat body, with a curved top and comes with a Floyd Rose Special. Passive LH 150 humbucker bridge and 2 LS 120 single coils on the the neck and middle pickups. Has one tone and volume and a very quiet pickup selector. It came with unreliable tools and rounded one of the Foyd Rose's screws... so I recommend not using the tools for this.
Sound — 8
We were looking for a great metal guitar and a great all a-rounder, but I got to say, this is very versatile when it comes to the sound...the metal tone I get with these are a bit muddy as time goes by but would be great for someone who is still looking for their tone. The best part of the guitar are the single coils. Clean and yes, versatile, again. It has has that good twang for blues and country... clean mellows and bass, with the help of the maple neck. You can make good tones with these pickups but for someone looking for professional tones this will only pass.
Action, Fit & Finish — 7
The factory setup is poor... It came to us buzzing and required a lot of tweaking and attention. We fiddled with it a little with the tools it came with until one of the tools rounded the Floyd Rose's screws... ouch. We had to bring it to a luthier to get it repaired and set up, but it only took a few days to fix so it's fine now. Still a little buzzing but playable. The neck is fast and thin and can withstand my playing, it feels durable and smooth.
Reliability & Durability — 10
As of now, I haven't changed the stock strings and it hasn't breaked, only a few dirt and all that. It is very durable and looks like it could withstand live playing with a good strap. The Floyd Rose's handle got a little stained from some oxidation, but I don't know. Strap buttons are solid and can hold for a somewhat heavy guitar. I would gig without a backup, but with a good set of strings and good tools. The finish hasn't reacted to my sweaty palms and fingers so it will last.
Overall Impression — 9
For a metal guitar... it is beast. Also a good all rounder. We tested Ibanez, Jacksons, Corts and even Epiphones... But this is really the one that stood out. It has great sound, great feel and overall great looks. It looks more pricier than the actual price itself. It has been with me for nearly 4 or 5 months as of now and it's with me here in the room. It is awesome, it would stay for years. Wish it had a H/S/H configuration though. But it is a great guitar.