Price paid: $ 550
Purchased from: Sam Ash
Sound — 8
This guitar suits my musical style very well. I like to play thrash metal, death metal, and heavy metal such as Machine Head, Slayer, Mettalica, CoB, and Zeppelin etc. But I also am very into playing psychedelic rock and stoner/doom stuff such as Fu Manchu or Dead Meadow. The 81 provides that nice heavy tone for metal riffs and somewhat sounds like Adrian Smith's Fender from Iron Maiden but if you add too much distortion it sounds like a shitty grindcore song and the 85 provides a nice crunch and is able to mimic many sounds such as Machine Head or Amon Amarth but sounds a bit thin on the top three strings. I am using a Roland Cube 40 XL amp with a DigiTech Metal Master pedal, a Vox V845 classic wah, and a Electro-Harmonix Big Muff fuzz pedal. The pickups are very quiet and don't make any noise when you remove your hand from the guitar. It has a nice thick sound and it is very dark. You can make a wide variety of stoner and metal riffs but for psychedelic rock, since you cannot change the volume of the note on your pick, it is not very suitable for psychedelic rock. It has a very nice clean sound coming out of my Roland and with the right tweaking you can make it sound somewhat like an LP on clean.
Overall Impression — 9
I play thrash, death metal, heavy metal, stoner, doom and psychedelic rock and this guitar is a very good match for these genres for me. I have played for about three years and I own a Jackson KVXMG and a Jackson Demmelition signature. I also own an 120 watt Acoustic Head and a 4x12 Acoustic Cabinet which is being shipped from Guitar Center. If this guitar was stolen I would go Liam Neeson Taken and find it. I would definitely buy this if I lost it. I love everything about this guitar except the Floyd. My favorite feature is how fast the neck plays and how beautiful the guitar is. I compared this guitar to others in the MH series and this guitar had the most bang for the buck. The only thing I wish this guitar has was an EMG 60 instead of an 85 and a Floyd Original instead of a Special.
Reliability & Durability — 9
This guitar seems very reliable to me and I would feel comfortable playing this live without a backup, but of course backups are a must live. I am a but worried about the Floyd Special crapping out on me as my friend has a ESP LTD M-300FM and it has gave him nothing but problems but as for me, nothing yet. My only concern is when I used my Floyd alot, the strings popped out but that is a problem concerning my shitty stringing skills. The finish on the guitar is very hard to scratch and I would believe this finish will last me a very long time.
Action, Fit & Finish — 10
The guitar was setup very well at Sam Ash and the action was somewhat lower then medium however, if you tried to lower the action you would experience fret buzz though it is not too much of a problem. The bridge pickup was setup very well but the neck pickup was almost recessed into the body but after some screwing it was good to go. All the electronics were properly soldered and the guitar contained NO flaws. It was perfect and the people at LTD did a fantastic job.
Features — 8
What year was it made? Where was is made? - It was made in Indonesia but I am not sure what year this model is. How many frets? Neck/Scale - This guitar came with 24 extra-jumbo frets and the fretboard is rosewood while the neck is made of maple. It has white bindings and it has a thin u-neck contour. Solid-Top? Laminated top? - It has a quilted maple top. Body and neck woods? - The body and neck is made of maple with a rosewood fretboard and a quilted maple top or the body. Finish - The finish is a quilted maple top. Body style - The LTD has a Strat style body. It has many cutouts so playing on the higher frets is very comfortable and accessible. Bridge style - The bridge is a Floyd Rose Special with ESP locking tuners. Active or Passive electronics? - Active. Which controls are given - The controls are a 3-way pickup selector, a volume knob and a tone knob. Pickup configuration? Make and model of pickups? - EMG 81/85. Extra Accessories - There were no accessories added which is quite normal among guitars of this price.