LTD Viper-500 review by ESP

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  • Sound: 9
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 10
  • Features: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 9.6 Superb
  • Users' score: 9 (81 votes)
ESP: LTD Viper-500
4

Sound — 9
I play hardcore/metal so this guitar is right up my alley. It's pretty much the sould purpose of this guitar. The EMG 81/85 set up is incredible, they pick up everything. You can feel them, I use to have EMG HZ's on a previous guitar and these are on another level. I play through a 150W Spider II Head on a 4X12 Laney cab, this set up is perfect for the active metal musician playing shows/practicing.

Overall Impression — 10
I am very glad I bought this guitar I was set on the H-1000 but I got a good deal on this so I bought it. Now I think I am going to keep it. The satin black finish is a really nice touch. This guitar is pretty much a top line ESP model with top line hardware. The guitar was designed for the metal enthusiast. My two complaints with the guitar are as follows. They but a skull next to the LTD logo which I think takes this guitar from a serious shredder to sort of illigitamate look. It's very cheesy and dumb looking, but I kind of got over it. The bolt on the front where your strap holds on to is screwed in on the back of the guitar and positions so that the headstock wants to slide down to the ground. I had to buy a padded stap so the guitar would stay up, if you don't you will have back pain. Overall I would reccomend this guitar to anyone Who wants to trash out and play metal or hardcore. Great quality at a good price, the 24.75" scale pushes the frets a little closer which is good if you move around a lot. I couldn't see anyone buying this to play anything but metal as that is what it's set up to do.

Reliability & Durability — 10
The guitar has held up fine, it's still pretty much Brand New. I have owned ESP before and never had any reliability issues. The stain black finish will wear on the back of the neck after time of sweaty hands, I am thinking about treating it with something thats smoother to improve the feel of sliding my hand (even though it's not necessary).

Action, Fit & Finish — 10
This guitar is top quality all the way. The guitar was used so I'm not sure if it was adjusted but it's set up perfectly. The action is the best I have ever felt, I don't think you could get any better. The ebony fret board allows you to slide your fingers with ease. The use Grover tunners which are fine but I wish they would have put some sperzel locking tunners instead. The Earvana compinstating nut is a great feature.

Features — 9
The ESP Ltd. Viper-500 features a mahogany body, set neck construction, EMG active humbucking pickups, 24 fret ebony fingerboard w/ 12th fret model name inlay, black hardware, Grover tuners, Earvana compensated nut and more!

41 comments sorted by best / new / date

    swifty8083
    I paid $490 for mine used, but I've seen them for $629 online (best deal I could find)
    odb56
    AM I THE ONLY PERSON HERE THAT THINKS SEYMOUR DUNCAN PICKUPS SUCK ASS? YOU KNOW.... I TRIED MANY JACKSONS ,DEANS,WASHBURNS AND THAT KIND OF SHIT WITH JB/59 OR SD DISTORTION/59 SETS ON A ENGL FIREBALL AMP(that amp is f***** stunnin) AND IT SOUNDED JUST WEIRD....AND IF YOU DO SOME HARMONIC TONES YOU HAVE TO LIKE TRY 10 TIMES UNTIL THAT SHIT WORKS..AFTER I GET ANGRY WITH THOSE DAMN PICKUPS I ALWAYS TAKE AN ESP FOR EXAPLE WITH ACTIVE EMGS AND IT JUST SOUNDS GREAT!RICH HARMONICS AND STUFF.....SO CAN ANYONE EXPLAIN TO ME WHY DO SO MANY DUDES PLAY DUNCAN?
    The Demiurge
    i want 1 need a good metal guitar plus me slectors gone need a bit of card in it or the pickups dont connect its fun when going for the whammy bar and i hit the damn thing have to stop what im doing and faff about with it is there any way to fix it dont paticually fancey takin me guitar apart
    Egocentric
    I own the Anniversary edition(the one with 2 dragons on the 12th fret). Its awsome! pickups are super cool. wouldnt settle for anything else!
    -spayed-
    one word.....amazing ****in guitar....alrighte that was three. but the point is, you can simply describe these kinds of things in one word! I LOVE THIS DAMN GUITAR!!
    LakeboDom
    SGMAN911 wrote: this is simply a imitation of a gibson sg, ill be honest, ive played it and i thought it was very nice, but didnt come close to a sg...
    what kinda music were you playing? when playing metal or rock this guitar blows the sg out of the water
    odb56
    LakeboDom wrote: SGMAN911 wrote: this is simply a imitation of a gibson sg, ill be honest, ive played it and i thought it was very nice, but didnt come close to a sg... what kinda music were you playing? when playing metal or rock this guitar blows the sg out of the water
    HELL YEAH it does....
    Bryce-433
    AILD9919, a compensating nut is a part gibson and epiphone put on their guitars to help the truss rod along with the action. That and it bearing some resemblance to the SG in looks only.
    odb56
    Egocentric wrote: I own the Anniversary edition(the one with 2 dragons on the 12th fret). Its awsome! pickups are super cool. wouldnt settle for anything else!
    the only thing that i dont like about that guitar is,that its so to-heavy... for example its really hard to play sweep arpeggios while standing
    confucius
    Heavy stuff keep your figure hot!More exercise mor fit I have a viper 200,though cheaper and not so good as this one,I appreciate it so much.
    VSOP
    I'd like to know about that string-through body construction. What advantages does it give or is it just a looks-thing? Also no XJ or at least Jumbo frets? I have a Viper-50 which was pretty good for a start but after gaining more experience, the frets feel too small and it's ruining my playing.
    AndyGray
    It is neck heavy. This is perfect for throwing it around during some great breakdowns.
    invaderuk
    i have the viper-500s its basically the same but it doesn't have the crappy logo its a super nice guitar , a bit neck heavy but a great guitar in general.
    DNC
    It is just a crooked SG lol. I'm getting this, and I'm keeping my SG Special. I love this kind of shape, this is just a bit more of a metal version of an SG. Or so I think. Love them both. Is their a 7 string version? If so does it cost more than a golden nutsack?
    DNC
    rockstar_jones wrote: i'd prefer that to an epiphone SG easy...
    who wouldnt. but... a REAL GIBSON SG. No way. It is hard though, theyre extremely similar guitars, but what you get out of them is so different. Metal, hardcore, dissonant chords, shredding, go for the viper. Bluesy solos, rock n roll, standard tuned power chords and such, SG every time. The SG clean sound surpasses the viper. The distorted viper sound surpasses the SG though. so... im getting the viper too so i have the best of both. my, my a 7 string would be nice.
    screamokid
    nooo way its more like a stratocaster and an sg but i love esp so im not complaining
    jcphockey7
    i dont really care for the logo on the head, or just the way this looks in general, but thats just me
    SGMAN911
    this is simply a imitation of a gibson sg, ill be honest, ive played it and i thought it was very nice, but didnt come close to a sg...
    lann skenis
    well if you look at it, it looks like a Fender Mustang and a Gibson sg put to gether, like the body, you can tell that it has the same shape of a mustang and a sg. well thats what i see.
    Blackbullet
    The strap button positioning is the same for all SGs (real or otherwise)- they are known for being neck heavy. Some people love that and see it as a great part of the design, but I (same with you reviewer) hate it. Decent review though.
    bustin_beats288
    the only thing i dont seem to like about this guitar, is the logo... as the reviewer said, looks dumb and cheesy.
    ptownbob
    an ebony fretboard on an ltd? i think someone screwed up on the features or it's a deep indian rosewood fretboard. i would swap it 85 for another 81 or a 60. nice guitar otherwise though.
    irloser
    Beats payin for a gibson.
    SGMAN911 wrote: this is simply a imitation of a gibson sg, ill be honest, ive played it and i thought it was very nice, but didnt come close to a sg...