Price paid: $ 178
Purchased from: Guitar Connection Singapore
Features — 6
- Basswood body
- 25-1/2" scale
- Bolt-on neck
- Maple neck
- Rosewood fretboard
- Thin-U neck shape
- 24 extra jumbo frets
- Tune-o-matic-style string-thru bridge
- ESP LH-150 neck humbucker and a humbucker that came from a prs. I got mine 2nd hand. I switched the bridge humbucker with a Duncan SH-5
- Toggle pickup selector
- Chrome hardware
- Deff made in China (turned me off at first but boy was I in for a shock later on)
Sound — 8
Honestly, I don't particularly favour basswood body guitars. But I bouggt this on impulse as I really wanted a V. As a HUGE Megadeth fan, I wanted to have the Dave Mustaine look without busting the bank and this was the guitar I could afford. I usually play metal, ranging from Megadeth (of course) to Helloween and stuff from the '80s/'90s. Other times, I woukd play my own music, or slow rock ballads. I played this baby on my Vox Lil Night Train through a 1x10 cab as well and my Marshall Megastack, which is a Dave Mustaine signature amp.
Oh boy, this baby really did suprise me. For what I paid for, this guitar really suited my playing well. Seeing how esp is one of the "big 3" go to brands for metal players, this guitar really lived up to the ESP expectations despite it being an affordable LTD. The stock pickups were surprisingly high output. It responded to heavy riffing and searing leads well. The harmonics were also clear. Add a little reverb from my Mooer Shimverb, distortion from my EHX Metal Muff with Top Boost and my Modtone vintage wah and I was totally in love with this. After switching the bridge pickup, I was immensly sastified.
As for clean tones, it was ok but nothing special. No surprise there, coming from a V but hey, I bought this to play metal. Nuff said. In terms of playability, the neck was really comfortable to play with. I didn't leally find any problems with playing fast in the guitar. The thin you profile is really friendly to the hand. The XJ frets also made playing it comfortable and enjoyable. Overall, the tone is satisfactory, despite being a basswood body guitar. This guitar is deff one to consider for those who want to look like Mustaine w/o busting the bank.
Action, Fit & Finish — 9
The setup done by the store was nice and I didn't have to make any more adjustments to the action. It had barely any scratches, which is rare for a 2nd hand guitar. The rosewood wasn't too dried and still looked moist. The frets still had plenty of life too. The only thing was that the high gloss need to be wiped as fingerprint stains are really obvious, as well as the strap button at the bottom, which was more of a bolt than a proper strap button and hence I had to get a new strap as my strap was a locking strap that requires a proper strap button to lick the strap.
Reliability & Durability — 8
As I don't really play live yet, I can't really say much about playing on gigs with this. But from my experience with guitars, I can see the hardware lasting long without much of a problem. It depends on my own ability to maintain the guitar. The hardware were pretty much solid! But I would deff gig with this if given a chance. But it wouldn't be my onky guitar as I prefer a variaty of guitars on stage, as different songs may require a diff guitar, like a les paul. Really depends on what I would be playing in that gig.
Overall Impression — 9
All in all, this is a metal monster! I own 2 other electric guitars, one a samick greg bennet torino and another, a custom made lespaul, which is still my favourite. But this guitar still scored high points in my books. Therefore, if you wanna be like mustaine but don't have enough to get his signature modles, do look this baby up cos despite it's less than appealing soecs, it sure does well! All in all, you get what you pay for. For a guitar at this price, it does well. But if I had a WAY bigger budget, I would deff get a higher end V.