Price paid: $ 465
Purchased from: Music Loft of Wilmington
Sound — 9
This guitar has Killer sound, clean and distorted. I'm playing through a Peavey Vypyr 30. Clean: I'll pause here to explain what the coil tap does. The coil tap is activated by pushing-pulling the tone knob and disables one of the "pickups" in the humbuckers, effectivly turning them into single-coils. This gives the guitar a more authentic clean sound, used with appropriate levels of delay and reverb this guitar produces a very nice clean sound. Distorted: The stock ESP pickups are a passive imitation of the EMG 81/85's. You will probably end up replacing them down the line, but the stock pickups give surprisingly good tone without the initial pricetag. They handle heavy bass and downtuning very well, aswell as picking pinch harmonics up clearly. When used with a good EQ system and high gain, they give a very nice tone. I'm very satisfied with the sound this guitar makes for the price. It handles everything from clean to heavy distortion without a hitch, and the coil tap makes it just that much better.
Overall Impression — 9
Overall impression, excellent guitar for metal, not particulary suited appearance-wise for blues or classical, but it can certainly play it. I've been playing metal for over 9 years now, this gutiar definatly pulls it's weight. I was torn between this and an $800 Ibanez, but the only discernable difference was the neck size. Sure the Ibanez had a thinner neck, but I'll gladly trade a few millimeters off my neck for a few centimeters in my wallet. If it were stolen without chance of return I would probably buy a seven-string, but that is more personal preference than a dislike for this guitar. No regrets at all about this guitar; great tone, great action, great looks, what's not to like? The only thing I wish it had was a seventh string :)
Reliability & Durability — 8
As always, you should never play a gig without a backup guitar, especialy if your mainstay is equipped with a tremolo. This guitar will definatly withstand live playing. I've owned mine for two years and there are absolutly no scratches, finish flaws, dents, dings, stains ect... This guitar has a beautifull finish that is definatly built to last. Unless you drop it (god forbid!) or set it down on the trem bar, this guitar will stay in top condition for a very long time. About the Floyd Rose: (MH-250 only) I could not find much out about the Floyd Rose "Special", but it seems to be the same thing as ESP-LTD's Licensed Floyd. This is the only part of the guitar I am skeptical about lasting. I have nothing bad to say about it at all, it has stayed in tune perfictly, I only need to tune when I change tunings or strings (and that is WITH liberal use of the tremolo). However... a small patch of the trem finish has worn off from where I rest my hand on the bridge, revealing that this is made of copper with a chrome plating. Something to take note of, but nothing to complain about.
Action, Fit & Finish — 9
The action on this guitar is excellent in my opinion. The neck is neither ridiciously thin like some Ibanez guitars, nor too thick to solo effectivly. I purchesed this guitar the day it came out of the box, so what I recieved was factory setup, the store changed nothing. The action was very good; no fret buzz to speak of, nice low strings, and a well setup Floyd. I will mention that the first MH-250 I played had a flawed Floyd Rose tremolo. The trem block was poorly routed, notes could be dropped like normal, but they could be "pulled" about halfway before the trem block hit the wood routing. I'm sure that was an isolated incident though.
Features — 8
First of all I'll mention that I am reviewing the Floyd Rose version. This is the MH-250 with a Floyd Rose Special. Same guitar, but with a tremolo. 24 Frets Solid Top Black Flamed Maple Strat Body, Neck through design Passive ESP Humbuckers Volume, Tone (with coil tap) and 3-way pickup selector Pickup Configuration - Neck and Bridge Bridges: Floyd Rose Special (MH-250) String Through (MH-250NT)