LTD MH-53 Review

manufacturer: ESP date: 08/31/2015 category: Electric Guitars
ESP LTD MH-53 guitar, basswood body, bolt-on maple neck, maple fretboard, 24 frets, pickups: esp LH-150 humbucker and 2 LH-120 single coils, electronics: volume, tone, 5-way switch, FR-style bridge.
 Sound: 7.7
 Overall Impression: 8.5
 Reliability & Durability: 8
 Action, Fit & Finish: 8.3
 Features: 8.3
 Overall rating:
 Reviewer rating:
 Users rating:
reviews (6) pictures (3) 36 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 9.2
LTD MH-53 Reviewed by: wasted-years, on november 15, 2012
6 of 6 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 250

Purchased from: The Guitar Repair Center

Features: This guitar is the 2008 model with 24 frets on a maple fretboard. It is an amazing guitar for 250 I bought it about 3 monthes with the intentions of using it as a back up to my mh-100qm, I also wanted to try a maple neck and the hum-sin-sin pickup configuration didn't Hurt. I am also a sucker for 80s looking guitars and a simple black with crome hardware is right up my ally. Now it's my main the ESP locking trem is great if you don't use the arm you wouldn't even need to lock the strings down. the pickups are a down side you can really see how ESP can offer a guitar with so much for just 250 through a good amp they arnt as bad but when I play it using my creat that I have had for years it comes up short. but for about an extra few hundred bucks this guitar will kick ass. // 9

Sound: For metal of any thing remotly heavy this is the best buy for a musician on a budget. I am curently using it with an old Marshall valvestate head going through a 1960 lead cab with just a chorus and noise suppresor. And for a simple setup like mine this guitar is so versitle. Like I said perfect for any thing heavy but the single coils give you a great clean tone and for you maiden fans like my self if you use andy of the two last setting on the 5 way selector you can match dave murrys lead tone almost flazlessly the neck single pickup has a great old school lead tone with a little dirt. But I am looking to upgrad the pick ups I'm thinking of leaving the mid pickup but changing the hum at the bridge and the single at the neck. this is just my opinion some might love the tone you get right out of the box because it's not bad by any means. // 8

Action, Fit & Finish: From the box all that I really had to do was get it set up for 10s as opposed to the 9s that came on it. And in the 3 months only one problem came up it had a wee bit of buzz on the 6th fret after about a mounth but I hadn't bought a case for it at the time and I belive the studio it spent a day at with me was insainly too cold the guy loved his air condioning but since then I haven't played another guitar and it hasn't faltered a bit. // 10

Reliability & Durability: I have used this thing in the studio, live, practice, jaming with radom friends, practicing at the house for the last 3 mounths it has mad me forget about all my other guitars I would say every thing on it is going to last. The strap buttons are a pluse I usally buy strap locks when I buy any guitar and this time didn't plaining to do it in time and have played shows since and to be honest they don't need them as long as you have a good strap. I use a Dunlop it has really stiff leather // 10

Overall Impression: In my 10 years of playing I have owned or still own about every brand of guitar and esp/ltd know ther stuff this is the cheapest guitar I have ever bought new and even after 3 monthes I'm stunned mabee I'm just one of those guys that prefer maple fretboards but the pickup configuration, fast neck and cheap price tag I don't think you can go wrong. If you are like me you don't have all the money in the world and have to work with what you can but you will not have to "Live with" anything. I have done the shopping around for you and in this price rang nothing is better. I have chosen this thing over jacksons Fender and other more pricy ltds yes I am plaining to up grad the pick ups but that's just me you might like the ones that come in it. If any thing ever happens to this guitar I would have to get another if I had a extra 2000 dollars I would probly get the mII with a maple neck but I will most likly not. // 9

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overall: 9.2
LTD MH-53 Reviewed by: kaizerkhan13, on november 15, 2012
2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 269.99

Purchased from: C+M Music

Features: I'm pretty sure this guitar was made in China in 2008. it's got 24 jumbo frets on a smooth as silk maple neck and fingerboard. It's got a basswood body with a glossy black finish. The Floyd Rose on it is great, I abuse this thing and I've never dropped out of tune. it's got stock ESP pickups (HSS), and it came on it's own. For this price, I defnitely feel like I got my money's worth. // 9

Sound: I play death metal, hardcore and I write some clean stuff. I'm using a Johnson Reptone 15w amp (new one soon) and no effects. The bridge pickup sounds amazing distorted, and the neck p/u is beautiful on clean. But try to have the neck p/u distorted and you'll ge a real muddy sound. Other than this problem, it sounds great. I can play blues, clean ambient stuff or just straight up metal, anything I want. // 8

Action, Fit & Finish: The action and set-up wa sperfect. After having it adjusted to play in C Standard (I'd never had a Floyd before, didn't know how easy it was) it felt even beter. The finish is way durable, the guys at the store dropped it and where there should be a chip is a dimple, with the paint intact. Good stuff. // 10

Reliability & Durability: I'm a bedroom rocker, but I throw my guitar around and headbang like I'm in an arena. Anyway, this thing stands up to that perfectly. I can hold this thign up by the tremolo arm alone and I still haven't fallen out of tune. I would defnitely use this without a backup guitar at a gig. This finish is built to take a beating. // 10

Overall Impression: I love everything about this guitar. I bought it to follow in the steps of John K, from The Black Dahlia Murder... two days before he left The Black Dahlia Murder. =[ Anyway, I play their songs and less heavy stuff, like August Burns Red and such. No matter what, this thing feels and sounds great. I've never felt better about spending my money. I only wish I'd had more exp. with the Floyd bridge, but it's easy to learn. If it were stolen, I'd find the dude and use my Starcaster to beat HIM senseless. If I lost it, I'd buy another one or go for a more upsclae model. I compared it to Ibanez's in the same price range and up to $500 (I already knew I wanted an Ibanez or an ESP) and I've gotta say I'm only buying ESP's from now on. Metal beginners, buy this. // 9

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overall: 6
LTD MH-53 Reviewed by: irtiqaevox, on november 15, 2012
2 of 6 people found this review helpful

Price paid: C$ 280

Purchased from: LA MUSIC

Features: I will rate this guitar relative to a guitar bought at around 300 and how I feel if its worth it or not. Though I will try and be objective as well. Alright first off I've only been playing guitar for a year and this is my first guitar and this is my first review. Ok soo onto the guitar specs. Its a low end ESP LTD and made in China in 2008 Bolt-On 25.5 Scale Basswood Body Maple Top Maple Neck Maple Fingerboard Locking Nut 42mm Neck Width Thin U Neck Contour 24 XJ Frets Chrome Hardware ESP Tuners Floyd Rose Special Bridge. pick-ups: ESP LH-150 (Bridge) / LS-120 (N&M) p.u. ALL PASSIVE. 5-way selector 1 volume and 1 tone knob. Finish: Black body and i guess the neck is just what the wood's color is lol. I got a bag with it for $20, not a hard one, just a regular bag. Ok soo they say FR Special Bridge, they just mean its licensed design, its built by ESP itself. The body color is a really nice dark black along with chrome hardware, though the bridge has a slightly darker color than the knobs. When I polish it up it especially looks great together. Though the finish tends to have almost EVERY single finger print on it to be visible all the time which sucks because it makes me need to wipe them off it EVERYTIME or else it looks retarded. The top though looks like cheap paint I don't know why... It just doesn't look like the top was finished with the same shade of black and this was for all the ones I saw at the store. // 7

Sound: I really like the sound of the guitar through my amp, which is a Peavey Vypyr 15. The pickups only buzz when you select the single coils but that's just the way it is with them and distortion, the dual humbucker has no buzz when your not playing. It has a very bright sound when I play it clean and set it to the neck pick up, very impressed by that. Now for distortion I gotta say that the lows tends to get muddy for anything below Drop D and I wish the highs were alot more squeely, but so far its competant for the tunings I've tried. But I'm not sure if its the amp or guitar at fault mostly though. The floyd is good and versatile, I don't use it too often so I guess its competant. It stays in tune for a while b4 it starts to slip so that's a big plus. Because of the lack of diversity in the music I play, I can't say much for it, but it emulates the Alexisonfire and dir en grey sound well so it does what I want it to do. Try having a listen to waterwings by AOF and kodou dir en grey its got those tones. // 6

Action, Fit & Finish: The actual hardware itself. Its decent, pickups are alright the sound isn't the best, from what I can describe it sounds very trebly and "harsh" I guess. Pinch harmonics sound awesome on this thing. The action was fine too. It came in a good state from the factory I assume since at the store it was alright and I could play it comfortably. // 7

Reliability & Durability: Its alright. A few dings n bumps haven't taken the finish off of it. Some parts are scratched up but since its black its very hard to tell. It seems like it has a life span of 3-5 years from what I can tell. It should be able to hold up to alot of falls but it might give the Floyd Rose a massive knocking around. So I'd say best be careful not to drop it too much. // 4

Overall Impression: Overall its a very good cheap guitar. I'm using it to learn how to play guitar, the actiom being high has made it a bit harder, but in a way it helps increase ur finger strength sort of. The tones are decent for the price and quite possibly the best for its price. If it were stolen I wouldn't really get this one again, I'd probably save up for a better model like the MH 200 or 250 instead. I compared this one to alot of other guitars, but the features on this one are plentiful. Its a good cheap way of learning and getting to know how a guitar works. // 6

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overall: 7.8
LTD MH-53 Reviewed by: GunLeatherGuy, on august 31, 2015
2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 100

Purchased from: used

Features: 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. // 8

Sound: 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. // 7

Action, Fit & Finish: 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! // 8

Reliability & Durability: 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. // 8

Overall Impression: 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. // 8

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overall: 8.4
LTD MH-53 Reviewed by: Manthony14, on november 15, 2012
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 195

Purchased from: Daves Guitar

Features: This is my first review so please go easy on me. Okay features! The guitar has a basswood body with a black finish, and a bolt on maple neck with a thin U neck contour. The fingerboard is rosewood with 24 XJ frets and locking nuts. It has a Floyd Rose specail bridge which is full floating. It also comes with chrome hardware and ESP tuners. AS for the pickups, it comes with two ESP single coil pickups in the neck and middle position, and an EMG humucker in the bridge position. The stock from ESP does not show it coming with this, but I have heard other people with the same setup. The original humbucker is ESP made. There is also a five way pickup selector and two volume knobs. // 8

Sound: I play a variety of music styles from a bright sound or bluesy sound to full on metal. This does pretty well in all of these things. The two single coils do their job well and make a slightly richer sounding version of the normal single coil sound. The humbucker also adds a great bluesy sound or works fine when you are doing some stuff with metal sounds. The Floyd Rose also is nice in allowing for both dive bombs and higher pitch sounds which i believe is most used in metal. Also the sustain is nice, but i am putting in a temolo stopper for tuning which makes the sustain much better. // 8

Action, Fit & Finish: THe guitar setup on this is very nice. I have found no defects and have had no issues with the parts so far. The pickups are nice even though the humbucker doesn't seem like it was meant for the guitar. The way it sits is unatural in that there is extra cut out of the guitar to make it fit. I know this isnt the best wording but I can't think of any better way to put it. The humbuckers looks though are purely cosmetic and do not alter the sound at all. Also there is some but very little rusting on some of the screws on the pickups. The action on this is nice. I have not changed the stock strings because they perform as well as I could expect. // 8

Reliability & Durability: I think thiss guitar is very sturdy and durable. It is a little heavy and feels thick so I think it will stand up to my damage. I have never played live so I am not sure how things would go then, but I can venture a guess to say it would go over pretty well. I still think I would use a back up because the Floyd Rose is known to break stings. // 9

Overall Impression: Like I said before, I play a lot of different styles and so far this is suiting me well. I have been playing for about nine months now, but I have been researching and looking guitars and different guitar parts for longer yet. I also own a Takamine Jasmine Acoustic which is also a nice guitar and various pedals. It should be noted that you should do your research on Floyd Rose setups before buying this guitar. THis is my first Floyd Rose and I was in for a suprise when I tried to tune this thing with just my old knowledge. I would definitly get this again if it were stolen especially if it were the same price. I was comparing this to Epiphone les pauls and sgs and I was sold by the versatility of the MH-53. If it were me, I would have the Floyd Rose on there because I have no need to have a floating bridge and focus mainly on dive bombs and it is a pain to tune, but a simple 20 dollar tremolo stopper fixes that easily. Overall this is a great guitar and would recommend this to anyone looking for an inexpensive versital guitar. Also please give constuctive criticism to this so I can make a better next review. Thanks. // 9

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overall: 8.4
LTD MH-53 Reviewed by: MitchellJBurges, on november 15, 2012
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: A$ 705

Purchased from: Musos Corner Newcastle

Features: Of what I know this guitar was made in 2007. Made in China, designed no idea where. It has 24 frets. The body is a normal MH shape, the Bridge is a Floyde Rose, there is one volume nob, one tone nob and a 4 way pickup selecter. Pickups are just esp's as defults. Locking nut and normal metal tuners. // 9

Sound: The guitar deffinately suits Metal music, very low action if the tremolo is properly set up. I use a basic DigiTech Multi Effects pedal with it and it sounds awesome. The guitar works very well with most tricks. Tapping, sweeping, pinch harmonics etc the distortion is beautiful running through the guitar, the tone and pickups change the sound very very well. // 9

Action, Fit & Finish: It wasn't set up that well for me, but once I fixed it up it worked very well, the pickups where put on very well, no problems yet. The only flaws I found where after a few years the connection from the volume knob to the input broke, which I took to the guitar shop and they where quickly able to fix it. Also a bit of a loose volume knob. Though it's now fixed. // 7

Reliability & Durability: It deffinately feels very durable, it has lasted me 2 years now and it's very very alike how it was the day I bought it. If not, better. The strap locks are very solid, if they loosen they are easily fixed, I depend on it quite allot, strings don't break often at all. Conidering it has a floyde rose it is expected to have broken strings often so that would mean yes, I would use a backup guitar in a gig. The finish is still very very good. // 7

Overall Impression: I play Metal music, it deffinately very well suits it. I have been playing for 5 years. If it were stolen or lost I wouldn't buy the same guitar as a replacement but only because I can afford guitar more expensive and better quality. I love that it is so versitile and easy to take places, it also is very durable as long as your willing to take it into a guitar shop possibly. I wish it had better pickups though. // 10

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