Price paid: $ 320
Purchased from: Ottawa Music - Kansas
Sound — 9
The sound generated by the pickups are nothing that would turn heads under normal circumstances. I usually have to turn on a chorus or crank up the bass on the amp to get any real warmth out of the humbuckers. Metal distortion is where this guitar really shines, you can pick out every riff played. It's crisp, resonating and pleasing to my ears. Currently I am playing is through a Marshall MG-10 amp and a Boss ME-20 multi-fx pedal, but when I do run it through my baby (Spider II HD 150 w/ Peavey Bass Cabs) this guitar can really tread any ground. When I play clean, I usually defer to the neck pickup. For any metal, I use the bridge setup. I am going through a phase where I play alot of fuzzrock, and the neck is good for that.
Overall Impression — 10
Overall, this guitar has grown on me. It was my first real axe and shall continue to guide me on the path to rock-dom. Even when I bump up to something different, I don't really think I could ever banish this guitar in any sense. It's durability has showed me that it can go the distance. This is a struggling musicians guitar. The quality put into this guitar is an assured footnote to ESP when I continue to throw money into the bottomless pit that is my hobby.
Reliability & Durability — 9
I've played extended jam sessions with various people and this guitar handles alot. I've tuned it down to drop B, and while we practice I regularly switch between standard and Drop D tunings. The straps are bolted ten feet deep, they never budged, and with my locking strap I can really put my mind at ease. The finish holds up very well, other than the chips at the sides, and at the top of the curvy headstock.
Action, Fit & Finish — 9
Since I was an entry level guitar player when I bought this, I didn't have alot of reference when it came to how a real guitar should feel. There was a period where I really struggled with the setup of this guitar. A few lessons of guitar care and I was able to fix that and now it plays just as I want it to. This thing is pretty durable, as well. As I've said it's survived a few dings and the input jack even came loose one time. Other than that there isn't a thing I could complain about.
Features — 9
Not sure what year it was made, but it was manufactured in Indonesia. Has 24 frets that are evenly placed along the fretboard, not too hard to navigate. The neck is silky smooth to the touch and really stands apart from the friction-y feel of some of the other necks. The finish is what drew me to it, and the shape. Mine almost looks green under any kind of light, which gives it certain character. The bridge is perfect for setting intonation, if you know what you are doing. This guitar was my first real baby, and I bought it second hand, not bad at all for the price. Stays perfectly in tune if you've got the right set of strings (I normally use D'Addarios). It was a little dinged up when I got it and has suffered a few battlescars under my watch, mostly due to the absence of any case.