LTD SA-2 Sambora review by ESP

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  • Sound: 8
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 9
  • Features: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 8.8 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.6 (23 votes)
ESP: LTD SA-2 Sambora
1

Price paid: $ 500

Purchased from: musiciansfriend.com

Sound — 8
It sounds really good. But, the neck pickup was not very satisfying. Way too much feedback on higain settings, and I just didn't like the sound. The bridge pickup was really great sounding. But, because these are so cheap (the pickups) you lose a lot of great tonal varieties. Something weird is, you also can't really get good pinch harmonics unless you get the right pickup height. And even then, you still will need to find a sweet spot. And it's weird because that it kind of a symbol for Richie's playing style.

Overall Impression — 9
I love this guitar. Yes, it has some flaws, but nothing is perfect (except a 62 Strat, and 52 tele, amybe a 59 LP). If it were stolen, I would cry for a week, buy it again, and get the most advanced security technology for my home. My favorite feature, the Floyd, so much you can do with it. I play mostly (only) Bon Jovi so I guess this fit's it pretty well.

Reliability & Durability — 10
I immediately got strap locks for this thing. Schaller to be exact. I was hesitant on using this for my church band gigs, but since I got the pickups replaced and everything fixed, I love using it Live. It's funny because all the guitar junkies hate this guitar, but everyone I play for loves it.

Action, Fit & Finish — 9
The factory setup was pretty good. If it was bad I wouldn't get mad since it does go from Japan, to the place where musiciansfriend.com does all their stuff, then to Dallas. The high E string was touching the first fret, I tried raising the action, still. So I did a trussrod adjustment, and now it's all fixed. The finish is really nice. One thing I absolutely HATED was the pickup selector. It was get stuck between each position. You would have to use force to move it. Sometimes if you didn't hit it hard enough from the neck to bridge position, it would get stuck between middle and bridge, and give you this kind of "airy" sound. Nothing like a Strat like some people tell me. About 3 months of having, it finally started working properly. The Neck volume knob would also just fall off sometimes, didn't bug me though. $5 and its replaced.

Features — 8
Made in 2008, this guitar was a Christmas present. I wanted it mainly because I love Richie is my favorite guitarist. It comes with ESP manual, necessary allen wrenches, that's it. I believe it is basswood. It has a Les Paul electronic setup, two of each control, for each pickup. 22 frets, maple neck, rosewood fretboard, 2 humbuckers, Floyd Rose bridge.

32 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Necrotise
    Colton165 wrote: MrFlibble wrote: digitalox wrote: never trust anyone whose favorite guitarist is ritchieI dunno man, I liked his work in Rainbow. First person to understand this wins nothing but my worthless respect. um wtf. he means ritchie SAMBORA, not blackmore. f-ing idiot
    That was the joke... idiot.
    xtheclincherx
    darondood wrote: Samobra is a VERY under-rated guitarist. I think he kicks the crap out of Slash. I can't stand Slash.
    agreed. slash has some skills, but not nearly as versatile. check out slash's attempt to improvise the 'beat it' solo with mj in 2001..on youtube. it hurts to listen...
    darondood
    Samobra is a VERY under-rated guitarist. I think he kicks the crap out of Slash. I can't stand Slash.
    Colton165
    MrFlibble wrote: digitalox wrote: never trust anyone whose favorite guitarist is ritchieI dunno man, I liked his work in Rainbow. First person to understand this wins nothing but my worthless respect.
    um wtf. he means ritchie SAMBORA, not blackmore. f-ing idiot
    MrFlibble
    digitalox wrote: never trust anyone whose favorite guitarist is ritchie
    I dunno man, I liked his work in Rainbow. First person to understand this wins nothing but my worthless respect.
    jimmypagejunior
    I have this guitar and the main thing I love about it is the speed. The tremolo system is naturally a nightmare to tune but it stays in tune. Good for any style but I agree that the bridge pickup is much better than the neck. I'm overall pleased with the quality of the guitar.
    avenged7xguy
    i think ESP's have a great sound to them, i own a ltd F-2E, great quality, satisfactory
    MrFlibble
    Just gotten one of these myself, had intended on writing up a review but hey. Really great guitar for the money. The mostly hollow basswood body is a bit weird but it balances out the bright Floyd Rose tone well. Neck pickup definitely needs changing though, stock one feedbacks horribly.
    stephen_rettie
    eetfuk58 wrote: higher end LTD/EDWARDS guitars are probably some of the best buys you can get for the money. Most already come with active pickups, locking tuners, and set necks
    Truer words were never spoken crusader.
    eetfuk58
    higher end LTD/EDWARDS guitars are probably some of the best buys you can get for the money. Most already come with active pickups, locking tuners, and set necks
    Serjem
    i've never played an esp but i've heard good stuff about it... great article.
    MrFlibble
    Colton165 wrote: um wtf. he means ritchie SAMBORA, not blackmore. f-ing idiot
    Wow. Just wow. That was.... wow.
    !SOAD!
    i dont like ltd making a fret inlay with the guitar name on it, it looks hideous
    darondood
    Yes you are right. THe mounting rings are ones like on a Les Paul, only 1 volume/1 tone knob/ the knobs are flathead, speedloader trem, DiMarzio pups, that's all I can really think of.
    jimmypagejunior
    About the guitar...I read that on Richie's real model, he has a Speedloader Tremolo system and different pickups. Can't remember which off the top of my head
    jimmypagejunior
    I think that all of Bon Jovis success is based off Richie and honestly hes the only reason I listen to the band. He extremely versatile and can improv to smooth blues or hair metal or even country like their last album. He isn't as intense (if that can describe it) as slash or guitarists of the like but he is a much more intelligent guitarist than them. I read somewhere that he got lessons from Clapton...maybe that's wy
    darondood
    ^Thank you. B.B. king is one of hte "god's", and he TOLD Richie to play, like what MrFlibble said, nuff said. Oh, and blackmambana, It was mainly just a setup that I did, the pickup selector fixed its seld. The volume knob was not that big of a deal, the only HUGE problem was the pickup.
    MrFlibble
    I think all that needs to be said is that Richie's played with B.B. King, and B.B. King not just let, but told Richie to play lead instead of himself. 'Nuff said.
    Aziraphale
    jean_genie wrote: Woah, woah. Don't go comparing Richie Sambora to Slash, Bo Diddley, and Clapton. Those guys all have a totally different style than Richie. I mean, *I'd* rather have Richie backing me, since the other guys would all outshine me. Doesn't make Bon Jovi suck any less though. Alice Cooper is a smart guy. Not that I think he's egotistical - just that he knows people see his show because of him, and not because of some guitar player upstaging his theatrics. Slash would be a great choice for a music video, but a poor choice for a touring band.
    So if guys like Clapton and Diddley, who according to you are better players than yourself, claim Richie to be a great guitar player (Clapton even guested on Richie's first solo album in '91), wouldn't you say they are better judges than you are? Alice Cooper is a business man who makes money off music, so why would he put together a shitty band to make that music? Richie is a top dog in the music industry and that's a fact, whether you like the 2 Bon Jovi songs you've heard or not.
    blackmambana
    Im sorry but you replaced the pickups, adjusted the truss rod, replaced volume knobs and the pickup selector was dodgy and you gave it a 9/10? Ive never had to do that to my guitars and i wouldnt rate them that well. Useless review.
    pontino
    I played one of these when I was on work experience at a guitar magazine... They had it in for review and both me and the guy reviewing it thought it was INCREDIBLY average. It sounded mediocre, and played mediocre...ly? Regardless of whether that's a word, it was achingly average, but maybe they changed it since then.
    Marshu
    Regarding the ESP guitars comment, they are really worth every cent. Mine was 700 and has set neck, ****ing cool finish, great sounds, FR that really does keep the tune, locking tuners and EMG81/85 classic setup. With the Zoom G9.2tt it gets EVERY sounds I can imagine : They're really worth the money.
    Shinozoku
    He's not comparing Richie to them, he's saying that Richie is HIGHLY REGARDED by said guys, and ALICE COOPER is the one that compared him and Slash.
    jean_genie
    Woah, woah. Don't go comparing Richie Sambora to Slash, Bo Diddley, and Clapton. Those guys all have a totally different style than Richie. I mean, *I'd* rather have Richie backing me, since the other guys would all outshine me. Doesn't make Bon Jovi suck any less though. Alice Cooper is a smart guy. Not that I think he's egotistical - just that he knows people see his show because of him, and not because of some guitar player upstaging his theatrics. Slash would be a great choice for a music video, but a poor choice for a touring band.
    Aziraphale
    digitalox wrote: never trust anyone whose favorite guitarist is ritchie
    My guess is you haven't heard much of him, given that you can't even spell his name. Richie is actually pretty highly regarded by guys like Clapton, Bo Diddley, Alice Cooper etc... he gets a lot of session work because he's got such a good sense of what a song needs. Alice Cooper said, even after working with Slash, that if he could choose one guitarist for his band it'd be Richie. Either way, he did some awesome playing during the early- to mid 90's, a very underrated guitar player.