LTD SC-607 review by ESP

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  • Sound: 9
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reliability & Durability: 9
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 8
  • Features: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 8.8 Superb
  • Users' score: 9.6 (7 votes)
ESP: LTD SC-607
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Price paid: A$ 1650

Purchased from: Manny's Music, Melbourne

Sound — 9
If you don't like metal, you wouldn't by this guitar. My taste is more diverse than just metal, but that is definitely my favorite genre. So I'll focus on that. I play nearly all the sub-genre's of metal there are, except really black metal. This guitar does them all brilliantly. It impresses me when I play anything from Slayer to Deftones to Tool to Suicide Silence to Behemoth to Fear Factory to Napalm Death to... well you get the picture. I play this guitar through two different amps, when people are awake or not home, I play it through my Bugera 6262 head and Celestion V30 loaded 2 X 12" sealed back, Orange cab. And I just can't describe it, so much tone, so heavy, so much gain, un-yet it's not muddy and each note retains it's definition. With the gain on about 5-6 and both pick ups going, you'll be in Deftones heaven, so much body, it just blows me away, crank it up and it real feels like a wall of crisp tone-full sound is smacking you around, I understand why Carpenter uses two 4 X 12" cabs and two subs as well, it must sound unbelievable live. Crank the gain up higher go to the bridge pick up and you can go as heavy as you want, that suicide silence modern death metal/ core guitar tone really starts to come through. Then add a touch of delay, flick to the middle pick up, roll back the treble a touch, and you can get a brilliant smooth tone rich lead sound that will cut through the heaviest of mixes, If you can sweep pick or use legato phrasing, this sound will bring a tear to your eye, and you'll probably become a recluse as you can't stop playing your guitar. hen volume is a concern, I run it through my Line 6 Flextone II which is solid state 1 X 12" (celestion custom loaded) combo, and I still love it, again you can get a good deftones sound, or great Slayer and metallica-esque tones. But it doesn't quite have enough gain to satisfy my death metal thirst, but that is the amp NOT the guitar. This guitar through an all valve high gain amp, is brutal and beautiful at the same time, if you are using a solid state combo, it does still sound good, but know that you are not really getting everything you can out of your instrument, in terms of 'heaviness' and tone. And if you are looking for suicide silence, thy ART is murder style tone and gain levels you won't quite get it with out tubes. It also does brilliant warm cleans, if you are familiar with Deftones latest release Diamond eyes, think about the cleans Carpenter gets on tracks like sex tape and beauty school, even through my tube-less line six, that quality of clean sound is in reach. The only kind of sounds I feel it struggles to produce are twangy / crunchy blues tones, and super clean effect free jazz tones. But you wouldn't buy this guitar if that's the sounds you wanted. I think I will experiment with a EMG 707 in one of the slots at some stage, but this is only because I'm a tinkerer, not because I'm not satisfied with the sound. If you feel that 81-7's are too dull (it's probably because your amp isn't up to it) consider putting a 707 in, as they are a touch brighter than a 81-7.

Overall Impression — 9
This guitar is great, it's perfect for all kinds of metal from progressive, to new, to melodic, to death, to grind, to whatever you want, this guitar will meet your needs, especially if you have a good amp. If you are not a fan of Deftones, that doesn't mean you this isn't the guitar for you. Take into consideration that Carpenter, the guitars designer, grew up on Thrash metal (and hip hop!),and his all time Favourite album is Meshuggah's Chaosphere,and it shows when you play a any of his LTD or ESP signature models. This guitar can produce that level of heavy, and great leads even though they don't feature in Deftones's music, If you are looking at any Schecter's or similar Ibanez's, don't buy one until you've played this LTD, it really is far far far better than an entry level Ibanez RG series seven string (crap neck and feel, stock passive pick ups sound like mud with any sort of hi gain amp settings and overpriced), and feels more professinal and more hi quality than the Schecter, it's worth the extra few hundred you may have to pay, so be patient, what that extra month or two to get the coin and buy a guitar that is good enough to go where ever music takes you in life, instead of getting something that will leave you wanting an upgrade in a year. I'm so glad I don't settle for the schecter. Not because its was no good, it is a good guitar, but the 607B is a LOT better for not a lot more money. ( I was keen on the Blackjack with Seymour Duncan active black outs until i played the LTD ) If it was stolen, I would definitely buy it again and kill who ever stole it very slowly and painfully, or at least think about doing it or write a death metal song about doing it (guitar thief to a chainsaw etc) :) The only guitar I would buy instead would be the new SC608-B or a full blown ESP STEF series if I could afford it. Thank you to Stephen Carpenter for not only getting me into metal as youngin`, but helping ESP in designing what is pretty much the perfect axe for me, I don't know if I'll ever buy an electric that's not an ESP after this. \m/ ESP \m/

Reliability & Durability — 9
I'm not doing any gigging right now, but I have jammed with this guitar, and its solid, the hardware is solid and good quality, and the body feels solid whilst still managing to only be slightly heavier than a strat, and lighter than a Les Paul. It doesn't need strap lockers unless you are doing live shows and are a Mexican jumping bean on stage, the Standard ones are more heavy duty than what your average six string comes with. I would gig this without a back up,no dramas, the finish is quality it has a thick gloss that doesn't look like it's going anywhere fast. My only concern it that the fretboard will fade, but that can be touched up. the bottom line is that this is a serious instrument, this exact guitar is being used by numerous established metal bands now, and if it's good enough for signed artists, it will be more than good enough for the average amateur musician. I've played Fender USA strats and tele's and this has the same quality feel.It's the feel that your instrument is not letting you down in away, and that it will sound as good as you can play. It's not like when you play an Epiphone LP, and whilst it sounds and plays good, you can tell, its a mid range instrument, The 607B doesn't feel like that at all, I'm happy with it, I don't play it an think oh man I wish I could afford the ESP model, in fact this guitar sounds so good it makes me wonder just how good the ESP STEF-7B must sound!!!

Action, Fit & Finish — 8
Guitar comes set up great, nice low action, for once I didn't feel like my brand new guitar needed the attention of a guitar tech immediately, as with cheaper purchases I've made in the past. Pick ups were ok, cover on the middle pick up was a bit loose, but a screwdriver and two seconds of my time fixed that. The middle pick up is cleverly positioned lower in the body of the guitar, than the bridge one to avoid it interfering with your picking. No other problems except that the little plastic thingy mounted above the nut on the head stock, was off center when I got it, but again it was only because the screw holding it was loose, a two second stress free fix.

Features — 9
I'm now the proud owner of a 2009 LTD SC607B, I've had it for two months and haven't put it down. I feel like my others guitars are missing a string when I play them now! It is a 2009 model, made in Korea, It's different to the 2010 model as it doesn't have a reverse headstock. This guitar has 24 jumbo frets on a thin U-shaped maple neck (this definitely makes the low B easier to get used to, but I am rather tall and have bear claw hands, I can play a 8 string no dramas, so it was never going to be an issue ) with a 27" Baritone scale, compared to the Standard 25.5" scale used on the SC207 model. The fretboard is Rosewood, which I love, it has a nice soft feel on your fingers. Mine has a natrual gloss finish, and it looks better in real life than it does in pictures. I was so happy to find one with a natural finish, as it features a solely mahogany body, unlike the black model, which uses alder wings and mahogany, which whilst usually sounding brighter tends to not sound as full as straight mahogany does. The neck features a vertically orientated silver inlay of Stephen Carpenter's signature (including trade mark smiley face :) ) between the 12th and 15th frets, and also a rectangular horizontally orientated SC607-B inlay in the 24th fret. The body is a double cut away (strat) shape, featuring a subtle yet striking contour around the outer edge of the body, the overall finish on the body is beautiful, it's been two months and it still gives me shivers when I look at it. The natural finish is actually a bit darker in real life than most of the photos I've seen, and I love the gloss finish, just gotta make sure you wipe it down as sweaty right hand syndrome can be an issue. It features a Tone-Pros locking TOM bridge with a string through body layout, which I love, I feel it gives the guitar more sustain than a Floyd Rose does, especially when combined with the Baritone scale, it leaves a lot of string free to ring out. You can play a chord, hold it, go make a coffee, and it will still be ringing when you get back! The guitar comes with one volume and one tone knob, and three way PUP selector. The selector positioning is brilliant, SC is a genius! You can flick the Switch with your pinky, without moving your hand away from the bridge. It's the best position I ever seen a selector placed, for metal at least. This guitar features two active EMG 81-7 pick ups, one in the Middle and one in the bridge position, that's right no neck pup. This isn't just to be different, if you play with both pick-ups on, medium to high gain on your amp, you will see that this pick up config. is what helps give Carpenter his signature full bodied wall of sound, sound. I just love playing the open ringing chords frequently used on the self titled album, it really does sound like deftones. The guitar features ESP locking tuners, which embarrassingly having never owned an axe featuring these, I'm not sure how to use properly. Manny's Music in Melbourne threw in a gig-bag and about 20 picks for free. Which is great as I already got this guitar for over $800 less then it's AUD list price. It's brand new too!

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