Price paid: $ 400
Purchased from: Ritchie's Music, NJ
Sound — 10
The aghatis body give is a bright sound (compared to a mahogany body guitar). This is not bad and in some cases (clean sounds) it gives is the twangy sound of a Fender Stratocaster. I like it. I should say that I am a fan of Vox's modeling line. I play through a Valvetronix AD30VT and a Tonelab with amazing results for both cleans and distortion with no additional pedal. The pickups were not too likable, the sound was too close to mdern metal which I am not too found of. What I was looking for was an 80's metal sound (think Skin O' My Teeth by Megadeth). So I replaced the pickups with Seymour Duncans JB (bridge) and Jazz (neck) and got what I wanted. I wouldn't sell or trade this guitar for anything. It's got great sound, amazing sustain, and it is very playable.
Overall Impression — 9
I play rock, metal and sometimes blues. I have been playing on and off for more than 10 years. If something happened to this guitar I would definitely look into another ESP. This guitar made me like and appreciate ESP LTD's a lot more. Depending on how much money I would have to buy another guitar I would look into this model or a more expensive one. However I would stick with a non-tremolo guitar cause I am sick of adjusting floating bridges. I did play a lot of other guitars (Fenders, Jacksons, Gibsons, Epiphones, Ibanezs etc) and I really like ESP's. Very solid guitar with an amazing sound and great value overall (neck-thru for $400, that's rare). Favorite features gotta be the sound and the neck, I just love it. Anything you wish it had? I wish it had a twin brother sitting next to it because what can be better than this guitar? A couple of them.
Reliability & Durability — 9
This guitar is made for Live playing. Like I said I did have to install strap locks but other than that I have No Doubt that it would withstand Live playing. Locking tuners is something of a choice. I don't think this guitar needs them because it stays in tune very well. It is also depending on how you string your guitar, with the proper stringing you don't need locking tuners.
Action, Fit & Finish — 10
The guitar came with great setup, everything worked well. It had 10-46 strings on and for a few month I just played it straight out from the box. Then I changed the pickups, moved to 10-52's and adjusted the neck and hight of the bridge. The guitar is a pleasure to set up, very responsive to each little adjustment. There were no flaws in the guitar. I read that this is pretty common in all ESP's, they arrive with great setup from the factory.
Features — 10
I bought this guitar new in December 2006. It is made in 2006 in Indonesia. The guitar has an amazing finish, very comfortable neck (not too thin, not too bulgy). I did add some Dunlop strap locks which I think is a must and the guitar was ready to rock.