Price paid: € 545
Purchased from: Thomann
Features — 8
This guitar was made in Indonesia in 2012. It has rosewood fingerboard with offset block inlays, white binding on the maple neck, standard M headstock, mahogany body, quilted maple top, superstrat body, the MH, a mix of the Horizon and Mirage shapes. In electronics, it carries the classic combination of EMG 81/85, and a Floyd Rose Special bridge, with ESP branded tuners. And the standard 3-way selector for two humbuckers, volume and tone. It only included a pair of allen keys and a small ad for an (expired) strings promo.
Sound — 7
Another metal oriented guitar. The EMGs sound as good or bad as other millions of guitars, it's up to your tastes. I'm using it with a Zoom G3X and a Laney LX65R with a 12" Celestion speaker, enough for now, as currently I'm not in a band and I'm dedicated to practice. The EMGs give you silent operation, good for high gain applications, excellent for people looking for their heavy, compressed sound. Of course, it doesn't offer single coil sounds, so you should look elsewhere for that, maybe a guitar with the EMG 89.
Action, Fit & Finish — 8
The guitar arrived with low action, not as extreme as my ESP Horizon, but I had to adjust the neck due to the temperature changes. The strings look good, and I will change them later. As usual at its price tag, the neck binding is the main culprit for flaws, with traces of sloppy cutting, but curiously, better than my LTD M300-FM, and in the case of the body binding, really well executed. The hardware feels solid (except the cheap locking 3-way pickup selector) and I liked its nickel color, combined with the bright red and the simple, non-bling binding.
Reliability & Durability — 8
It think this guitar can last a long time, but the Floyd Rose Special needs attention, and I have my doubts about its durability under heavy use. The output jack is acting weird, you have to push it hard to get a correct connection. Otherwise, this thing looks and feels solid. It's my second guitar with a Floyd Rose Special, and I hope they withstand home or practice use. Using it live? Maybe with strap locks, and occasional use of the Floyd, but right now I have no band. But I bought this guitar just because of how gorgeous it looks!
Overall Impression — 8
I play mostly metal, some hard rock, and I think this guitar suits me well. And I really like the body shape, with the bright red with ivory binding. So far, I'm pleased with the brand's price, fit and finish, and shortly after I bought others, ending with two real ESPs. At this price point, LTDs are very consistent, and maybe that is their main attractive. I tend to compare them to Ibanez Iron Label or similar (I have one Iron Label), and I have to say, the binding on the Ibanez looks amateur compared to this LTD. If only ESP had this same guitar...