LTD Ouija KH-602 review by ESP

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  • Sound: 9
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 9
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 10
  • Features: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 9.6 Superb
  • Users' score: 9.2 (20 votes)
ESP: LTD Ouija KH-602
0

Price paid: $ 1300

Purchased from: Guitar Center

Sound — 9
I play metal. Like just about everyone, I probably play more Metallica songs then anything else and you can definitely get a great crunch out of the guitar. The EMG81 in the bridge is really only suited for rock and doesn't have a large bandwidth for anything else. It's a pure lead/soloing pickup. I rate the P60 in the neck so highly, it balances out the 81 so when the pickup selector is in the middle, both pickups compliment each other for that clean rhythm section. This really does allow the guitar to be more versatile rather than just a metal guitar. When the P60 runs alone, the bright tone that comes out is a surprise and this opens up the playing field. You can play almost anything with this combination of pickups. I'm running this through a Marshall MG250DFX and an DigiTech RP6 board. I rated this a 9 because if you play this side by side with a Les Paul, you can see it doesn't have the same depth of tone and this is most likely a combination of pickups and an alder body.

Overall Impression — 10
Let go of the idea of Metallica, ignore the graphics and listen to the guitar. It's so versatile and you really can play almost anything. The more I play this the more I find a little feature I like, e.g. There's just the right amount of pressure on the trem so you can palm mute and not push the bridge down like on some other floyds. I have Jacksons, Deans and Ibanez guitars as well as other ESP's but this thing kills them all. If you're an avid Metallica fan you will always look at the guitar more like a piece of ART than just a shred machine. For those that wonder what the difference is between this and the ESP custom shop version, it's about $6000. The ESP gets the Ebony fret board, upgraded Floyd Rose and tuners. That's about it. Yes, some of you will say the grade of the Alder is better etc. But Alder is light weight wood and doesn't cost a whole lot between grades. If you can get a hold of one of these buy it. Don't think about it.

Reliability & Durability — 9
If it's good enough for Kirk, it's good enough for you. You need to invest in locking strap nuts if playing live. This guitar will last a lifetime if you take care of it. I'm very protective of it so I leave it in the case at all times and I polish it back after each use. If you play mainly metal then I can't see why you would need another guitar. De-tuning, like all guitars with a Floyd Rose, will be a nightmare. If you play about with tunings a lot, this won't make life easy.

Action, Fit & Finish — 10
Guitar was factory set but as it's built in Korea, it was flown to the states and then I flew it back to the UK. The action went awry on the plane (yes I did loosen the strings) so I spent a bit of time setting it up. When complete, the action is super low with no fret buzz. The finish is of a high quality gloss. Everything was perfectly done, no thin paint areas on the body or the neck. All the hardware was set correctly so I didn't have to do anything. I will say that I'm not sure if the guitar can handle drop tunings past Eb. When the strings were lax, about 1 1/2 steps down, the bridge couldn't handle it, even with a spring taken out and the neck bowed out quickly. The paint job and the fret decals is what you pay the extra for. The paint job is not glow in the dark, it's a silvery kind of colour and it will last a while. The paint might come off over time depending on how much you play. There's no area on this guitar where you won't be resting you hand/arm on the paint job. If you're old school, Korean made has generally equated with rubbish but this one makes you wonder if they'll start competing with the US made equipment similar to what Ibanez and Tokai Japan did post war.

Features — 10
This was made in 2009. Only 550 LTD's were made, all in black. Alder body Neck-thru-body construction 25-1/2" scale Extra thin U-shaped contour maple neck Rosewood fingerboard 24 XJ frets Crescent moon and star inlays 13.77" fretboard radius 1.65" neck width Locking nut Black hardware ESP tuners Floyd Rose 1000 bridge EMG-81 (bridge)/EMG-60 (neck) active pickups Ouija graphics Includes plush case

29 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Linkerman
    WOW. Using a 1300$ guitar loaded with EMGs through a crappy SS amp. That should be considered a deadly sin.
    100%
    This looks sick, I wish i had the money to get one but i recently got a different Esp LTD and i love it.
    evmac
    the reason you can't get a good metal sound isn't because of the pickup, it's because you're playing with a shitty MG that can't do anything properly.
    Shoji001
    TheAbsentOne wrote: This review was fine until I read those damned words. "MG" :facepalm:
    MG's are awesome! i have an MG10w, the old one, and i make it SCREAM! i stand by a statement. crap guitarists need good gear. awesome guitarists can use crap gear
    Familyghost
    I play metal. Like just about everyone, I probably play more Metallica songs..... for me like wtf???!!! I play metal, but I ain't playing any metallica. I know that I'm hypocrit nad maybe even understood wrong, but god damn.....
    Branado
    they made a limited LTD Ouija, but honestly you cant review an active loaded guitar with an SS amp, it will clip and you wont hear any of the overtones
    l0rd0ct0d0rk
    it would be funny if 2 people put their hands on the guitar and the whammy bar moved over letters and started spelling out messages
    jetwash69
    Vaaltam wrote: lmao Kirk doesn't use LTD.
    But Hetfield does... ...when he's going to break it! But Hetfield does... ...when he's going to break it! Not that their upper range guitars are bad. Heck, you could do a lot worse than the cheap KH-202, even. Not that their upper range guitars are bad. Heck, you could do a lot worse than the cheap KH-202, even.
    Vaaltam
    btw where did you find the LTD version of Kirk's Ouija? I've googled it and can only find the ESP version which is $9000.
    SmurfGenocide
    TisPyon wrote: SmurfGenocide wrote: Apparently this guy doesn't know how to set up a floyd rose tremelo. If you know how to do it, you can put the guitar in any tuning you want to and it should play fine. I'm pretty sure what he's trying to say is if you play things in E standard and the other various drop tunings used in metal its a pain in the ass to go back and forth between them.
    Well from what I read it looked like he didn't know how to set up a floyd rose. I remember the first time I got a guitar with a floyd rose on it and it came in standard tuning. I tried to put it in D standard (one step down) and it just didn't work. I then looked up how to adjust the springs in the body of the guitar. I just commented to reassure people reading his review who aren't familiar with floating tremelos that it is possible to put them in different tunings, it just takes a bit longer.
    TisPyon
    SmurfGenocide wrote: Apparently this guy doesn't know how to set up a floyd rose tremelo. If you know how to do it, you can put the guitar in any tuning you want to and it should play fine.
    I'm pretty sure what he's trying to say is if you play things in E standard and the other various drop tunings used in metal its a pain in the ass to go back and forth between them.
    ptdee
    Thanks BlueLabel, spot on, i don't want to mess about for hours every time i want to change tunings. For all the rest, MG amps aren't bad when you run a processing unit through them. On their own, MG amps aren't the greatest i will concede.
    BlueLabel
    What he means is that having special tunings eg. drop D tuning on a floyd rose tremolo equipped guitar is a nightmare. And it really is true for all floating trems! Special tunings are preferably for fixed bridges like Gibson stopbars. It will take you longer time to tune on a floating trem than with a fixed bridge. Cheers!
    SmurfGenocide
    Apparently this guy doesn't know how to set up a floyd rose tremelo. If you know how to do it, you can put the guitar in any tuning you want to and it should play fine.
    MrGuitarGuy01
    Jsteele1408 wrote: FuruiShin wrote: Ltd is not a REAL Esp ;]. Remember that xD, but better ltd models(like this one) still rocks becouse they have same pick ups as Esp's. Perfect for playing metal- Metallica especially . Apparently you love paying more for a different logo, eh? I have an LTD Deluxe, and it has the same components as the comparable ESP model, except for the Ebony fingerboard. There are no production flaws and it's probably the greatest guitar I've ever played. But if you're willing to pay at least twice as much for a logo and an ebony fingerboard... Be my guest.
    Couldn't agree more. I have the EC 1000 Deluxe, and Ive played the ESP model. I prefer my LTD.
    BlueLabel
    Now that's what you call competition! Nowadays, Korean made guitars are regarded as one of the best with regards to craftsmanship, playability and finishes as compared with China, Mexico and Indonesian made guitars. I still prefer Japan made though. Nice review!
    BlueLabel
    Now that's what you call competition! Nowadays, Korean made guitars are regarded as one of the best with regards to craftsmanship, playability and finishes compared with China, Mexico or Indonesian made guitars. I still prefer Japan made though.
    Jsteele1408
    FuruiShin wrote: Ltd is not a REAL Esp ;]. Remember that xD, but better ltd models(like this one) still rocks becouse they have same pick ups as Esp's. Perfect for playing metal- Metallica especially .
    Apparently you love paying more for a different logo, eh? I have an LTD Deluxe, and it has the same components as the comparable ESP model, except for the Ebony fingerboard. There are no production flaws and it's probably the greatest guitar I've ever played. But if you're willing to pay at least twice as much for a logo and an ebony fingerboard... Be my guest.
    FuruiShin
    Ltd is not a REAL Esp ;]. Remember that xD, but better ltd models(like this one) still rocks becouse they have same pick ups as Esp's. Perfect for playing metal- Metallica especially .
    Adam124
    Like I say in so many reviews, you aren't doing that guitar any justice if you're playing it through that amp. Despite that the guitar looks awsome. Great review too.
    boeman1995
    :O I want this x'D But just maybe a version with gold hardware or something :3 And a cable plug not at the bottom but like the Strat has or something like that :3 Awesome guitar though Don't have the money