LTD TE-202 Maple review by ESP

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  • Sound: 7
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reliability & Durability: 7
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 9
  • Features: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 7.8 Good
  • Users' score: 7.8 (19 votes)
ESP: LTD TE-202 Maple
1

Price paid: C$ 350

Purchased from: Quest Musique

Sound — 7
When I bought this guitar it was sort of out of nowhere. I had tried it before through an Engl at the store once and liked it. I went to the store the other day and decided to just go for it. I've never owned a guitar with a single coil in the bridge and wasn't sure what to expect but I'm pleasantly surprised. I play a lot of metal, mostly progressive stuff, and a little bit of other stuff here and there (i.e. Thrice, Black Keys, Manchester Orchestra) and the guitar seems fairly suited to all of it. That being said, I was using Podfarm and some Yamaha monitors. On my actual amp, a Valveking head with a Maxon OD-808 in the signal chain, the guitar seemed a little lacking as far as high gain stuff (could just be the Valveking) but the cleans were alright and I could get some decent overdriven tones. I may switch out the pickups eventually but they'll do for now. The guitars tone isn't as bright as I was expecting but still has that great Tele sound too it.

Overall Impression — 8
Overall I'm really happy with this guitar. I've been looking for something a little out of the ordinary as far as metal guitars go so this is a nice find. I've been playing for almost ten years now and I've gone through a fair amount of guitars now, this one seems to be a step forward as far as finding the "right" guitar for me. I think the next best thing would be an actual Fender Tele. If I lost the guitar, I would probably replace it with either the same thing or another Tele from another brand.

Reliability & Durability — 7
I haven't had a chance to play this at a show yet but so far it seems pretty solid, the hardware seems pretty good minus the pick switch which I could see breaking off if the guitar gets banged around too much. I probably wouldn't gig with it without a backup but that's mostly because I always take one, regardless of how great my main guitar may be. The finish is pretty nice, I actually think I got somewhat lucky as some of the distressed finishes on these models are a little bit too distressed. It also seems like it could stand up to some bumps and things.

Action, Fit & Finish — 9
The guitar was ready to go as soon as I brought it home. The action is great, the intonation is fine and the pickups needed no adjustments. I may put some thicker strings on it eventually though, which might lead to some tweaking. I haven't noticed an flaws as of yet.

Features — 8
The guitar was made in Vietnam. It has 22 Extra Jumbo frets on a 25.5" scale maple bolt on neck. The fretboard itself is also maple. The body is made of alder and styled after a Telecaster with a distressed black finish. As far as hardware goes it's got a Tele style bridge with an ESP single coil in the bridge position (LTS-120) and an ESP humbucker in the neck position (LH-150). There's one volume, one tone and a three way pickup selector switch. The Tuners are ESP tuners.

9 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Enix165
    Looks nice, but...Vietnam? First Vietnamese guitar I've ever heard of. xD
    simenf92
    bought this guitar some weeks ago, rosewood but same model. Trying to do some videos with it, here's something how it sounds, I really like it. It plays well and it looks cool
    Amroth
    raittarian wrote: Dude buy an original Tele. Should be way better than an ESP model. Gotta get humbucker models from ESP instead of this crap.
    I beg to differ. In terms of action, fit, finish and general quality this guitar is actually on par, if not better, than most USA Standard Tele from Fender that I have put my hands on and, for the price paid; that is quite something. After having tried two of these at the local instrument shop I found them pleasing enough to the touch and the feel was solid and confident. To the capitan: You're on the right track as far as the writing is concerned but, as you may well know, you can never be hard enough on your own guitar in these reviews to please all the readers. Perhaps you should wait a few months to get a proper idea of how it sits in the mix in a live situation, how well it keeps in tune and such. All in all: Good job. Never been much of an ESP/LTD man myself but I've been pleasantly surprised by the quality on a few of the LTD models I've managed to put my hands on lately. As mentioned, though: Perhaps more suited to lower gain than what is desirable for some metal players. Yet another "reasonably factual" and utterly boring wall of text on my part.
    raittarian
    Dude buy an original Tele. Should be way better than an ESP model. Gotta get humbucker models from ESP instead of this crap.
    Capataincrunch
    rockerwannabe wrote: If I lost the guitar, I would probably replace it with either the same thing or another Tele from another brand. Huh? Then just get a Tele.
    Yea that's what I meant. Either G&L or Fender.
    wayneos
    I am about to buy one,I already own an ltd mh1000mh,that was made in Korea,but the finish and the feel to it is really impressive,has a Floyd 1000 and 81 and 85 Emg's,if this guitar is half as good I will be pleased.
    Capataincrunch
    Enix165 wrote: Looks nice, but...Vietnam? First Vietnamese guitar I've ever heard of. xD
    I was surprised too, haha. @Amroth (I'm not quoting you because that would be way too much text lol.) Thanks, I probably should have waited a bit. I think part of that fact I wrote this so soon as that I've been itching to do a review and got a little excited haha.
    mike_bax
    I have just bought one of these (the all black model, with the maple fingerboard) Bagged it for £250 new. You know what, plays like a £500 guitar. Pleasantly surprised, nice finish, no sharp fret ends, action reasonably low, nice sound and tone. Need to look at things in perspective, most guitars in this price range, for starters, have a body of (not particularly good) basswood, this is a fairly solid chunk of Alder (so that gets a tick) Hardware is good, tuning is stable. The only negative, a cheap 3 way switch, but for £10 and some soldering time, a Fender USA Grigsby switch can be installed. For the money.....awesome, I would go as for as saying (as previously mentioned by another poster), that it is as good as a USA spec Telecaster, but I would lay money on it going toe to toe with most Mexican models.
    rockerwannabe
    If I lost the guitar, I would probably replace it with either the same thing or another Tele from another brand.
    Huh? Then just get a Tele.