LTD SA-2 Sambora Review

manufacturer: ESP date: 11/15/2012 category: Electric Guitars
ESP: LTD SA-2 Sambora
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.
 Sound: 6.5
 Overall Impression: 9
 Reliability & Durability: 9.5
 Action, Fit & Finish: 9
 Features: 8
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reviews (2) pictures (1) 32 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 8.8
LTD SA-2 Sambora Reviewed by: darondood, on november 15, 2012
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 500

Purchased from:

Features: 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. // 8

Sound: 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. // 8

Action, Fit & Finish: 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 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. // 9

Reliability & Durability: 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. // 10

Overall Impression: 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. // 9

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overall: 8
LTD SA-2 Sambora Reviewed by: MadDOG4780, on november 15, 2012
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: € 412

Purchased from: ProMusicTools

Features: As we probably all know this guitar is a copy of Richie Sambora's original made by his friend, guitar tech and luthier Chris Hofschnider. The body is basswood with a flat top and back (no gut cut). It's a double cutaway which gives a comfortable reach of the dusty end of the fret board. The neck is a bolt on maple with a rosewood board and a rounded heal which adds to fret access and comfort. Now for the tecky stuff.. Made in China, 12" radius fret board with 22 extra jumbo frets. 25.5 inch scale, U-shaped neck - I would say slim not thin (hard to explain but it is very comfortable and won't slow you down), chrome hardware, ESP tuners, Floyd Rose special double locking trem, 3 way selector switch, ESP LH100 humbucker in the neck and an ESP LH100 in the brige, two Volume and two tone (Les Paul style config). Also comes with the Allan keys for adjusting the floyd - but there was no booklet, that doesn't really bother me but it would annoy some people. // 8

Sound: Well I've played it through a Marshall Haze 40, Blackstar HT1-R and a VHT Ultra 6 Special. It's not bad but it's not great. The Bridge pup lacks bite and the neck sounds bit muddy. But you can compensate for that by adjusting your amp settings and tackle a lot of styles from Blues to metal. I just don't think the The ESP LH100 suit this guitar with its heavy basswood body. So because of this I'm giving a 5 out of 10. This is only weak point in my eyes. I'd planned to change the pickups out for DiMarzio PAF when I decided to buy it to match Richie's sound. I had the guitar 2 weeks ago and only got round to installing the DiMarzio PAFs last week. I must say this has dramatically improved the sound and vesatility of the guitar. And with the addition of having push pulls on the tone knobs so I can split the coils. You can play Blues to metal to anything in between. So with DiMarzio's I give a 8.5 out of 10. // 5

Action, Fit & Finish: Overall I find the bulid quality to be pretty good. Frets had been finished properly and there were no imprefections that I can see. The Shop gave it a setup so I don't know what it was like out of the box. It does have a really low action and there's is a hole between the end of the fret board and the bridge pickup so you can get an allen keys in to adjust the truss rod. So no need to remove covers or take off the neck which make life easier. Also the routing for the floyd rose is nice and deep so you can pull up to three semi tones. And something I really like when plugging in a guitar lead you feel it click into place so you know its a solid fit. // 9

Reliability & Durability: I will say Strap locks... Get some, It's heavy. I've had a jam with a couple of others not really used it live but I'm confident it could stand up to live play easy. I always take two guitars with me to Jams or small gigs, I like to mix and match. I do find I favour this over my other guitars. Finish is good and will last. Only pet hate in its a very shiney black gloss so it shows up paw prints really well so I'm constantly cleaning it. // 9

Overall Impression: I've been playing a while. I play a bit of everything from Richie Sambora (solo stuff more than Bon Jovi) to The Darkness and beyond. What ever sounds good and keeps me sharp really. I used to have quite a few guitars but decided to keep the one I really like a sell the rest. If it were lost or stolen I would be piss off cos it's fast becoming my favorite. But... I'd be stuffed cos they're now discontinued. // 9

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