LTD Viper-200 FM review by ESP

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  • Sound: 9
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reliability & Durability: 8
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 8
  • Features: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 8.4 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.1 (63 votes)
ESP: LTD Viper-200 FM
0

Price paid: $ 378

Purchased from: Soitin Laine

Sound — 9
I play mostly thrash/speed/death metal like Mokoma, Testament, Anthrax and Death and it suits my needs perfectly. At home I play through a Electro-Harmonix Metal Muff and a Roland MicroCube and I can can get an awesome tone with them. I use the clean Black Panel channel on the Cube and take the distortion from the Muff. At band practice I play it through the Muff and Peavey Valveking head and a Hugness & Ketner 4X12 cabinet. The saund is absolutely crushing and perfect for the music I play. The viper has also a very nice rich and full clean saund when you throw a bit reverb in to the mix. I'm very satisfied with the tone and the variety on HZ-4's, so I give it a 9 for sound.

Overall Impression — 9
As I said earlier it suits my style perfecly. I've been playing for about 1 years now and this is my second guitar, my first guitar was a Epiphone SG Special which was also very good value for your money. The other gear I own are Electro-Harmonix Metal Muff and a Roland MicroCube and I use Planet Wawes cables. If it was lost I would propably buy a 400 series Viper. I just love the overall look and sound of this guitar it fits me like a charm and the favourite feature is propably the eye catching finish. I have thougth about chanhing the pickups for a pair of Seymour Duncans but we'll see what happens. The next target for me is to save money for a Randall RH150G3 head and a nice 2X12 or 4X12 cabinet with Celestions. But I think that this guitar will stick with me for the rest of my life!

Reliability & Durability — 8
I've had this for 5 months now and there hasn't occured any problems so far. I haven't had the chance to use it Live but I'm very positive that Live playing won't be a problem. All the hardware seems very solid so I think it will last without problems, and you can always replace the hardware if some problems come up with it. I use straplocks that I've made myself and they work perfectly. I would totally rely on this guitar Live, but no matter what you should always have a backup axe with you, just incase. Finish is very solid and it should last for years. I give it a 8 on reliability and durability.

Action, Fit & Finish — 8
Cos' I bought this used I can't obviously say much about the factory set-up. I have adjusted everything on the guitar by myself from the trust rod to the pickup height. I also had make saddle holes bigger becouse the heavy gauge strings I use. And I bought it used it had a few scratches here and there, but they don't bother me at all. The finish is very solid and the craftmanship quality is even so I believe this guitar will last for many years to come. I give it a 8 for finish.

Features — 8
Cos' there's no review on this specific model I decide to write about my Viper. I bought this piece of art used from a local guitar shop in September 2007. It was made in 2004 in Indonesia. The body shape is a modern version of the classic SG shape. It features a 24 3/4 scale set-neck, a 24 extra jumbo fret 3-piece painted mahogany neck with a rosewood fingerboard, the inlays are abalone dots (which look amazing) with the model name on the 12th fret and it also has a aged white binding on the neck and the headstock, the body is made of agathis with a flamed maple top which looks absolutely gorgeus with the see-thru black cherry finish, the bridge is a Standard TOM bridge with a stop tailpiece and the tuners are Standard non-locking ESP-Ltd tuners, all the hardware is black which fits the guitar perfectly, because the guitar was made in 2004 it has better specs than the present guitar that goes by the same name, it has real EMG HZ-4 passive pickups instead of the present EMG-ESP LH-300 pickups, the controls are volume, tone and a 3-way selector for the pickups. The one thing that I demanded from this guitar that it can handle the strings that I use, cos' my picking technigue is kinda rough an the tunings I mostly use are drop-D and Standard D, so I use a little stonger set, 11-70 to be precise. This guitar has no problem with the tension that is caused by the heavy gauge strings. The specs are very good for the price that I paid for this guitar, so I give it an 8 for the features.

46 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Josem01
    oh man don't say that! Viper shape ius awsome and yes, its bado for starting, but it is used by PROS like Travis Miguel of Atreyu, and he does use it in concerts ptt! haha! I think its the greatest guitar evur! I wish I had one...
    Godsm4ck
    filthylittleboy wrote: ugliest body shape ever! (in my opinion) gibson sg's are ugly to start with, and ESP/LTD's look like they got melted and lopsided. so would you laugh at angus young one of the GREATEST guitarists of al time I would probably laugh at you if i saw this onstage. what's really funny is the low tension scale length! haha because these guitars generally get played by hardcore kids who play in drop C or lower. man, you must have a very metal image right now [/quote] so would you laugh at angus young one of the greatest guitarists of all time he uses an sg
    CapnKickass
    filthylittleboy wrote: ugliest body shape ever! (in my opinion) gibson sg's are ugly to start with, and ESP/LTD's look like they got melted and lopsided. I would probably laugh at you if i saw this onstage. what's really funny is the low tension scale length! haha because these guitars generally get played by hardcore kids who play in drop C or lower. man, you must have a very metal image right now
    ??? you're silly... I kind of agree with you on SG's being shaped sort of ugly, though I wouldn't say they are horrible, but I'd take a superstrat over one of those any day. But since when is a scale length a basis to laugh at someone?
    3 days grace14
    Honestly I have played this in the shop thought it was alright but went and played the 400 and it got its ass blown away my advice is to get that little but more ching and go for the 400 ESP/LTDS aren't expensive so go a step Higher
    J.J.G.
    turbonegro111 wrote: Number_7 wrote: EWww Esp's are gross, all of them.i dont care what band uses them(Metallica, Children of Bodom, Atreyu) they have too thick necks tro start, they are neck heavy and they all sound the same. Jackson RR24 is the way to go. Or Dean from Hell ML! what?!?! esp necks are too thick!??! either u have baby's hands or ur just stupid, if u try an alexi signature or sumthing similar i'm sure u'd change ur mind
    lol baby hands... but yeah esp necks are made for fast playing and also have a great action!
    SL!!!
    filthylittleboy wrote: led,rainsong wrote: the body is kinda ugly but i like ESPs but i would try the guitar out because i dont like the idea of a 24"+ scale instead of 25.5" scale especially for a 24 fret guitar thank you!
    I have an ESP and the neck is definitely a bit different in that sense, but they play wonderfully. I guess i'm just used to it. The necks are definitely not thick, they're a standard slim; not as thin as the wizard, but this also means they are a bit shorter horizontally. The only problem i think someone may run into is the very top-most frets may seem a bit crowded, most likely if you were doing any sweeps up past the 19th fret. I have large hands, or long fingers really i guess, my hands are rather slim, so i don't find it to be a problem. Hopefully that settles any debate over the neck. Basically, go try one out and see for yourself what you think.
    dheinle2010
    Vrstone87 wrote: I'd rather go for a top of the line Ecplise....
    a.k.a. a Les Paul, don't let ESP rip you off of the original experience...
    CFHguitar
    Td_Nights wrote: Josem01 wrote: oh man don't say that! Viper shape ius awsome and yes, its bado for starting, but it is used by PROS like Travis Miguel of Atreyu, and he does use it in concerts ptt! haha! I think its the greatest guitar evur! I wish I had one... So...when did bands like Atreyu become 'pros'? My guess is that there's hundreds of unsigned people on this site that could play better than them. Don't make a statement without thinking.
    you sir are silly maybe you should think before insulting another person like that. besides dan jacobs shreds quite well with his quick and clean arpeggios and miguel travis can move across the neck far better than you or i. so once again think before you talk. and the Viper is sweet at a better model with the 81/85s.
    Scum-bag Carrol
    Dude, your way too cocky and I disagree. I think the viper with a few tweeks are great for metal...
    deafening
    Josem01 wrote: oh man don't say that! Viper shape ius awsome and yes, its bado for starting, but it is used by PROS like Travis Miguel of Atreyu, and he does use it in concerts ptt! haha! I think its the greatest guitar evur! I wish I had one...
    u fail
    TheSoother
    since when is angus young one of the greatest guitarists of all time?
    yea dude angus young is one of the best out there. hes an amazing guitarist.
    SG_Player93
    filthylittleboy wrote: ugliest body shape ever! (in my opinion) gibson sg's are ugly to start with, and ESP/LTD's look like they got melted and lopsided. I would probably laugh at you if i saw this onstage. what's really funny is the low tension scale length! haha because these guitars generally get played by hardcore kids who play in drop C or lower. man, you must have a very metal image right now
    dude u dont know what your talking about. the sg is one the most recogized shape ever. here's just a few of the greatest guitarists ever who have played an sg; Duane Allmond, Frank Zappa, and of course Angus Young (one of the greatest guitarists EVER) i do hate the ESP shape i think it just a rip off of the SG. i love sg's i own one myself and it rocks. my friends think its bad ass and it sounds great. i'm a HUGE ac/dc, and if u knew me, i get so po'd when people insult anything about them.
    speedofthepuma
    i havent played it, but i own a alexi and it plays unbelievebly, emg and esp is a great combo, to diss this is to practicly chop off your own right leg!
    Travlembo
    You just named three guitarists... How about all of the people who use Strats, Superstrats, Les Pauls, even a friggin flying-v... the sg is just not that cool...
    evilbeavil
    Td_Nights wrote: Josem01 wrote: oh man don't say that! Viper shape ius awsome and yes, its bado for starting, but it is used by PROS like Travis Miguel of Atreyu, and he does use it in concerts ptt! haha! I think its the greatest guitar evur! I wish I had one... So...when did bands like Atreyu become 'pros'? My guess is that there's hundreds of unsigned people on this site that could play better than them. Don't make a statement without thinking.
    Pro = Short for professional. Professional = Somebody who undertakes or engages in something as a means of livelihood or gain, such as a professional athlete or musician. Take your own advice and don't make statements without thinking.
    IPlaySchecter
    Its all about personal preference! We all like diffrent things. And dont forget the Godfather of metal guitar Tony Iomm uses an SG. And one of my favorites of all time Pepper Keenan uses a viper! I personally do not like strats or tele's, but i would never criticize or think twice about seeing someone else play one. I wonder how many of the haters are sitting in there room playing Squires, wishing they had one of these?
    Travlembo wrote: You just named three guitarists... How about all of the people who use Strats, Superstrats, Les Pauls, even a friggin flying-v... the sg is just not that cool...
    IPlaySchecter
    Do not forget the godfather of metal guitar plays an SG. And one of my favorites of all time Pepper Keenan plays a VIPER. Its all preference!
    TheFreeBird wrote: Godsm4ck wrote: filthylittleboy wrote: ugliest body shape ever! (in my opinion) gibson sg's are ugly to start with, and ESP/LTD's look like they got melted and lopsided. so would you laugh at angus young one of the GREATEST guitarists of al time I would probably laugh at you if i saw this onstage. what's really funny is the low tension scale length! haha because these guitars generally get played by hardcore kids who play in drop C or lower. man, you must have a very metal image right now so would you laugh at angus young one of the greatest guitarists of all time he uses an sg
    since when is angus young one of the greatest guitarists of all time?[/quote]
    Niht
    Nevermind the pickups having moderate output on the 2008 model; they're actually pretty hot.
    Tordyboi
    Number_7 wrote: they have too thick necks tro start, they are neck heavy and they all sound the same. Jackson RR24 is the way to go. Or Dean from Hell ML!
    HAHAHAH TOO THICK NECKS? HAVE YOU EVER PLAYED AN ESP GUITAR? My ESP SV standard has a very slim neck. Slimmer than most of the guitars ive played. Very playable. Check them out and see if they have thick necks.
    Darthmantys
    I currently use an Ibanez GSA which i have owned for a while, i want to upgrade, however im on a budget. I am very much into metal. Ive looked at the Ibanez SA36fm, but i love the look of this. I doubt any shops near me would sell this, therefore ive come here to ask whether i would feel comfortable with this considering ive come from an Ibanez. The guitar is defo a step up anyways.
    filthylittleboy
    ugliest body shape ever! (in my opinion) gibson sg's are ugly to start with, and ESP/LTD's look like they got melted and lopsided. I would probably laugh at you if i saw this onstage. what's really funny is the low tension scale length! haha because these guitars generally get played by hardcore kids who play in drop C or lower. man, you must have a very metal image right now
    turbonegro111
    Number_7 wrote: EWww Esp's are gross, all of them.i dont care what band uses them(Metallica, Children of Bodom, Atreyu) they have too thick necks tro start, they are neck heavy and they all sound the same. Jackson RR24 is the way to go. Or Dean from Hell ML!
    what?!?! esp necks are too thick!??! either u have baby's hands or ur just stupid, if u try an alexi signature or sumthing similar i'm sure u'd change ur mind
    igor1901
    Hi guys, I own a Viper 301 Ltd with passive EMG Hz's, and it is actually a really cool guitar. Don't know what's with all the haters, but it matches even low-end Gibson's when it comes to rocking out and is much cheaper than those, so yeah, it is a good guitar. Not the best in the world I'd say, but certainly worth the money unlike some guitars I've played.
    malmsteenkid
    filthylittleboy wrote: ugliest body shape ever! (in my opinion) gibson sg's are ugly to start with, and ESP/LTD's look like they got melted and lopsided. I would probably laugh at you if i saw this onstage. what's really funny is the low tension scale length! haha because these guitars generally get played by hardcore kids who play in drop C or lower. man, you must have a very metal image right now
    wow, nice input there, didnt know the definition till di
    Td_Nights
    Josem01 wrote: oh man don't say that! Viper shape ius awsome and yes, its bado for starting, but it is used by PROS like Travis Miguel of Atreyu, and he does use it in concerts ptt! haha! I think its the greatest guitar evur! I wish I had one...
    So...when did bands like Atreyu become 'pros'? My guess is that there's hundreds of unsigned people on this site that could play better than them. Don't make a statement without thinking.
    led,rainsong
    the body is kinda ugly but i like ESPs but i would try the guitar out because i dont like the idea of a 24"+ scale instead of 25.5" scale especially for a 24 fret guitar
    Godsm4ck
    filthylittleboy wrote: ugliest body shape ever! (in my opinion) gibson sg's are ugly to start with, and ESP/LTD's look like they got melted and lopsided. so would you laugh at angus young one of the GREATEST guitarists of al time I would probably laugh at you if i saw this onstage. what's really funny is the low tension scale length! haha because these guitars generally get played by hardcore kids who play in drop C or lower. man, you must have a very metal image right now
    TheFreeBird
    Godsm4ck wrote: filthylittleboy wrote: ugliest body shape ever! (in my opinion) gibson sg's are ugly to start with, and ESP/LTD's look like they got melted and lopsided. so would you laugh at angus young one of the GREATEST guitarists of al time I would probably laugh at you if i saw this onstage. what's really funny is the low tension scale length! haha because these guitars generally get played by hardcore kids who play in drop C or lower. man, you must have a very metal image right now
    so would you laugh at angus young one of the greatest guitarists of all time he uses an sg[/quote] since when is angus young one of the greatest guitarists of all time?
    LordThon
    Uh...to be honest, his comments were in the context of the review, and were simply his views on the guitar. Subsequently, "opinions" has one "n". That's ironic.
    SylKain
    Honestly the bashing here is quite inapropriate. I used to own one of these (the 400 series model back when it had EMG HZ pups instead of the active ones they put on it now) and it was quite a good instrument. The fat neck allegation might be true for this model, but not for every line the company does, and in this case it's a good choice since the basic structure of the guitar is more suited to a rhythm player rather than to a lead one. And is it a guitar aimed to hardcore kids? Yes it might actually be given it's price, and probably it's the best choice out there since it also offers a good set of pickups for a beginner. If you don't like the SG shape who cares, don't buy it. Reviews are meant to give an opinion on things that go beyond pictures like built quality and sounds,since personal aesthetics are a whole different deal and therefor I wonder why some SG haters actually bothered reading and commenting. If the still make these guitars like they used to some 5 years ago then the only bad thing about them is that they're neck heavy
    OneRust
    filthylittleboy wrote: what's really funny is the low tension scale length! haha because these guitars generally get played by hardcore kids who play in drop C or lower. man, you must have a very metal image right now
    Shorter scales have more tension.
    6Metal6Maniac6
    not bad!!!!!im a part time guitar palyer but a full time bass player i wouldnt rush out and buy one ill stick to my eclipse.
    filthylittleboy
    Josem01 wrote: oh man don't say that! Viper shape ius awsome and yes, its bado for starting, but it is used by PROS like Travis Miguel of Atreyu, and he does use it in concerts ptt! haha! I think its the greatest guitar evur! I wish I had one...
    didnt i say something about hardcore? aka atreyu LOL The SG body shape is generally aimed at that group now-a-days... and either way, there's a mix up in the comments here. low scale lengths = higher tension = guitars left in D standard or lower, whereas high scale lengths = lower tension = more comfort playing in E standard. This guitar has a 24.75 scale length which is pretty high. that's meant for low tunings aka hardcore kids who play in drop C or lower... and this guy plays in drop D. i laughed because i HATE guitars that have a really tight set up like that. I think that clears it up. I was actually going to say something about AC/DC one of the most overrated bands ever... but I didnt want to attack individual bands like that.
    filthylittleboy
    led,rainsong wrote: the body is kinda ugly but i like ESPs but i would try the guitar out because i dont like the idea of a 24"+ scale instead of 25.5" scale especially for a 24 fret guitar
    thank you!
    filthylittleboy
    6Metal6Maniac6 wrote: not bad!!!!!im a part time guitar palyer but a full time bass player i wouldnt rush out and buy one ill stick to my eclipse.
    There we go Eclipse... SEXY great looking guitar! Id absolutely adore it if I had one
    Number_7
    EWww Esp's are gross, all of them.i dont care what band uses them(Metallica, Children of Bodom, Atreyu) they have too thick necks tro start, they are neck heavy and they all sound the same. Jackson RR24 is the way to go. Or Dean from Hell ML!