LTD TE-212 review by ESP

logo Ultimate Guitar
  • Features: 9
  • Sound: 7
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 9
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 8.8 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.4 (5 votes)

Price paid: C$ 349

Purchased from: Music City Instruments

Features — 9
This guitar is made in Vietnam, but it says it was inspected in the USA. It has 22XJ frets, 25.5 inch scale length, it is a bold on neck with a maple neck and fingerboard. The body is alder and it has a candy red finish which almost sparkles in light (super good looking), there is a almost cream binding around the body and it looks to have a 3ply pick guard. This guitar is telecaster shaped but the neck is simply amazing, satin finish and a thin U neck contour, it feels great and it very fast. The bridge is a traditional flat-mount one with 6 individual saddles; its pickups are not amazing but for the price you can just change them. Layout is a volume, tone, then a 3 way switch. The neck humber is very warm and a lot quieter then the single coil in the bridge which is low output. I am going to change them to some Bareknuckles to get some punch. It has these LTD tuners which are good, they hold so no complaints. There is a belly cut on the body which is perfect.

Sound — 7
The sound right now even though the pickups aren't great is still really good. I play metal, blues, jazz, rock, and sometimes even worship music and this guitar suits it all. Some bands that I cover using this guitar are: Pantera, Alexisonfire, Thrice, Manchester Orchestra, Atreyu, Being As An Ocean, Circa Survive, Dustin Kensrue etc... this guitar handles it all. I was tired of my Gibson Les Pauls sound so I figured that some single coils would do the trick. I'm going into a Orange CR120H and a Marshall MX212 2x12 with this guitar and once you tweak the amp to compensate for the pickups it is a monster. This guitar is very versatile and with the right pickups you can honestly play any style with it. The single coil can be noisy at times but hey it is a single coil. The neck does suffer bit of volume loss but when you play clean with reverb it is heavenly.

Action, Fit & Finish — 10
The guitar was very well setup from the factory with a low action, I haven't changed it at all yet, but I did put on DR Dimebag 11s on it. The pickups sound fine in the position they are in, but I would recommend changing them. I am tuned to drop C right now and there is absolutely no fret buzz or dead frets. There is really no flaws on this guitar other then the fact that there is a tiny space where the neck pocket is, but it isn't very noticeable. So I'm going to give the action, fit & finish a 10.

Reliability & Durability — 9
This guitar is reliable, even though I have not gigged with it yet I plan to soon. The hardware is great so I believe it I going to last, and I haven't found a need to install strap locks yet because the buttons hold. I would play this guitar without a backup just because it is well build and has the sound that I am after. The finish has no flaws so far even though I dropped it once or twice. The only thing that I am bit worried about is the binding right where the neck pocket is, but this guitar isn't for starring at.

Overall Impression — 9
I bought this guitar because Andy Hull from Manchester Orchestra has a Fender in the same colour, and so does the guitarist from Don Broco. I have been playing for about 5 years and I own a Gibson Les Paul Studio 2006 in black, a Simon and Patrick acoustic, and a crappy Epiphone SGJ from like 2005 (good first guitar for students). This guitar does what I need it to do and I would recommend it to anybody who loves the telecaster look but not the neck or feel. If it were stolen I probably would go buy another one right away. I do love this guitar and I am very happy I bough it, this is 200 times better than any Squire with their gloss necks. If you are a metalhead, blues or country rocker I would go for this guitar; honestly just put your favourite pickups in it and you will be fine. If ESP reads this put some better electronics in this guitar and it will be a winner that will compete with Fenders.

2 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Got one myself last year.very nice would recommend one for any one looking for a telecaster.only paid £220 brand new in candy apple red.the cream binding really makes it look beautiful.
    Bought new old stock (red) with the vintage tint neck - no belly contour, last week for $225. Got my brother to stick a gold Gibby Classic 57 in the neck, a Seymour Duncan Hotrail in bridge, and swap out tone pot to 500k, push pull splitter wired to the SD. Sounds rich and can get reasonable tele tone out of split SD. Jazz tones abound clean. ONLY ISSUE (big one) is that I removed the neck to check out the pocket to see if a tele neck would fit (it should) and discovered half the neck pocket was comprised of a nasty-looking black knot. Meh, bought the guitar 500kms from here so I decided to hang unto it, despite the shoddy QC... neck feels solid in knotty pocket and plays great...looks really nice with the binding too.