Price paid: $ 700
Purchased from: musicians friend
Sound — 9
I play this guitar through a Black Heart Handsome Devil head with a Black Heart 1x12 cab with an Eminence Swamp Thang speaker. I use Hardwire reverb and delay pedals and a Cmatmod Signa Drive overdrive pedal. This guitar can achieve a variety of sounds from jazz to blues to rock. The bridge pick up can attain great rock tones and the neck produces great tones from thick overdriven blues to warm jazz tones without getting muddy.
Overall Impression — 9
This guitar is great for Jazz to blues to rock. If you are looking for a pure metal guitar, than you would probably look elsewehre, but if you need a versitile guitar that can do many genres and do them well, you should check this out. This is the first guitar I have owned that has a Bigsby and I really didn't know what a pain in the butt it is to string it, so I would say that I wished I had asked about that. What I love about this guitar is the neck. It so comfortable to play. It's not too fat and it's not too thin and I have no problems moving up and down it smoothly and accessing all of the frets. I also like the fact that it does not have the model name at the 12 fret, I really don't like how ESP does that. I realy don't hate anything about this guitar. If I had to change one thing, I would change the block inlays to no inlays. I just prefer a blank fret board. I have owned it for over a year and I play it all the time. I am as happy with it today as I was the day I got it. I really don't understand why ESP doesn't push this guitar more or why it is not more popular than it is. Go out and try it and you'll see that I am not an ESP fanboy, the guitar is just that nice.
Reliability & Durability — 9
I think this guitar would do just fine playing live. It is buit solidly and with, in my opinion, quality materials. The strap buttons are very nice, I use a Levi leather strap and it has not even come close to coming off since I put it on. The finsih is clear coat and it seems like it would take a lot of abuse before it starts coming off. The guitar has quality components, not generic no name copies, so I think the reliablity of it is good. I would think that you would be able to gig without a back up. It is certainly not going to fall apart on its own. I have had for over a year and it's as solid as the day I got it.
Action, Fit & Finish — 9
The set up right out of the box was fantastic and I honestly didn't have to touch a thing. Zero fret buzz, action not too low or too high and the pickups were in the perfect positions. I have owned it for over a year and I still haven't had to adjust or change anything except the strings. Every aspect of this guitar screams quality. The brown sunburst maple top looks fantastic. The body has multi ply cream and black binding on the top and back, cream binding on the neck and the multi ply around the headstock. The f-hole has cream binding like the neck. The binding is flawless and is much cooler looking that the guady sparkly binding found on other ESP guitars. The fret work is fantastic, no buzz, no sharp edges and the block inlays contain no flaws what so ever. The rosewood fretboard has nice color and grain and there were no imperfections. The bigsby, output jack, tuners, and pick guard were all buttoned up nice and tight. I was and still am incredibly impressed with the quality to price ratio of this guitar.
Features — 9
I got this guitar in December of 2009. It was made in Korea, but I am unsure of the year. It has a set neck, mahogany semi hollow body with flame maple top, maple neck with a rosewood finger board, abalone block inlays, 22 frets, extra jumbo, earvana compensated nut, grover tuners, TOM roller bridge with bigsby vibrato and seymour duncun Alnico pro II bridge and neck pickup. It has a three way pick up selector with two volume and two tone controls.