LTD MH-53 review by ESP

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  • Features: 8
  • Sound: 7
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 8
  • Reliability & Durability: 8
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 7.8 Good
  • Users' score: 8.1 (48 votes)

Price paid: $ 100

Purchased from: used

Features — 8
Basswood body, maple neck and fretboard. HSS pups and Floyd Rose special trem. This is the cheapest Floyd guitar that ESP makes. I got it used but flawless for cheap, locally from the classifieds. I love the black body and maple neck.:) Jumbo frets are my preference and so is the maple neck. Excellent fret work for such a reasonably priced guitar. Perfect. All in all Indo made guitars are not usually nice. But if you look around a lot and are patient, you can find great guitars for very little money.

Sound — 7
I play blues to drop tuned metal. For a inexpensive guitar it sounds ok. I play through a spider valve or a 6505 and they make anything sound great. The neck pup is actually pretty good for blues and some rock cleans but most Indo made guitars have such cheap electronics they never sound great anyway. A redo of the pups and electronics would help a lot. The bridge pup is tinny or a tad to bright but for a cheap OEM pup. It's not to bad. The neck pup is pretty much useless as it's just weak across the board. It's only saving grace is it mixes pretty well with the neck pup on position 4.

Action, Fit & Finish — 8
The fit and finish are perfect on it. Amazing for such a cheap guitar. Have no complaints. None. I'm a fret, fret board and neck snob. If they aren't great I won't buy the guitar. Period. This guitar is damn near perfect in that regard. The relief in the neck is a very subtle curve! Frets are so nicely done. The action was ok but every guitar you have should be setup for your style and preferences. I like a lower action, so that's how I set it up. I think UG should scrap the action part of the eval, because what guitar is setup to your style at the time of purchase? Zippo!

Reliability & Durability — 8
So far so good. I will upgrade the pups, pots and such as time allows. I would gig with it but never without a back up. Who would? It's very playable but it's still a guitar. Things break and wear out if they are used. This guitar will get used. I can't complain about anything on this thing. I have an MH103, MH327 and other Indo made ESP guitars and frankly most I've played aren't great. But if you look around and test a bunch of them. You will find little gems like this one and the others I've found, if you just keep looking.

Overall Impression — 8
I have many high end guitars. MIJ Ibanezs, Jacksons, ESP, MusicMan, Carvin, Charvel etc. You get the idea. I bought this on a whim. All of you guys who say this is a great for a cheap "beginner" guitar, are full of shit. This is a hell of a guitar for what it is. The playability is flat out excellent. It's not up there with my ESP M1 Custom Shop but it's not to far off. Coming from a self appointed guitar snob and critique... That says a hell of a lot. Get this guitar. Even to goof off with... You won't regret it.

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