LTD Xtone PC-2 review by ESP

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  • Features: 8
  • Sound: 9
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 9
  • Reliability & Durability: 9
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 8.8 Superb
  • Users' score: 9.3 (4 votes)
ESP: LTD Xtone PC-2
3

Price paid: $ 499

Purchased from: Musicians Friend

Features — 8
I received the PC-2 Silver edition as a gift, courtesy of an LTD holiday special. It contains mostly the same features as the rest of the PC-2V family, with a sparkling silver paint job on the body and neck. Unlike some of its cousins, it does not feature a tremolo. The body looks like half of an LP, and half of an ES, glued together at the middle. Two Seymour Duncan pickups, with the standard Gibson-style knobs and switches (2 Vol, 2 Tone, 3-way switch) and a TOM bridge/tailpiece. The only feature I would have personally wanted is a coil split on each pickup.

Sound — 9
The tone is a bit of a compromise between an LP and an ES. As far as I can tell, only about 1/3 of the body is truly hollow, so the sound more closely resembles a solid-body than a full hollow-body. I haven't had any feedback issues yet (used with a 40W Marshall tube combo and a 15W Fender solid-state combo). It sounds great clean and overdriven with the amp; I haven't even felt the need to plug in the distortion pedal yet. Adjust the pickup/pole height to your own desires with only a screwdriver. As mentioned above, modding this to feature a coil split would enhance the tonal possibilities.

Action, Fit & Finish — 9
The action out of the box was plenty playable. Like any other guitar, you'll need to have it adjusted to your own preferences. Fortunately, the TOM is easily adjusted at home, and the truss rod is easily accessible. No reason to take it to the shop unless you're unconfident in your own abilities, or you desire some nut adjustments. The pickups are easily adjusted as well, to further customize the tone. The glossy finish seems easy to clean to get rid of fingerprints and spilled beer. Have I mentioned the glittery visual appeal? The pictures online don't do it justice.

Reliability & Durability — 9
Haven't taken it live yet, but I've seen nothing to suggest I'd need a backup. It can be EQ'ed to almost any style of music. All hardware feels solid out of the box. It probably won't come with a case unless the seller specifies otherwise, so factor that into your budget. I was surprised at how solid the strap buttons felt for a semi-hollow, and the tuners feel more solid than my other two guitars. No sign of rattling jacks or wobbly knobs yet. Even the switch cleanly snaps between positions. I have found that the Volume knobs seem to cut out at 1 instead of 0.

Overall Impression — 9
With the proper amp and a little EQ, this guitar can fit just about any style of music, unless you absolutely need that single-coil sound. It looks great, and will dominate the visual appeal of almost any stage group. This is my second LTD guitar, and I would choose to replace it with a similar instrument if stolen. The unamplified volume is not much greater than a solid-body, so don't plan to use it without an amp around the camp fire. It probably fits blues/jazz the best, but can do just about any style. It is a little more glittery than the pictures suggest, so make sure you have a spotlight right on you to highlight that fact. Great piece of gear for the price.

7 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Jyrgen
    Neat guitar and review. I like the fact that it's not just another ES-355 clone, but has it's own looks and personality.
    jgsb2001
    I like the look of this guitar . . . .definitely different from what I normally would desire (good call on the subtly aggressive look, florence). I would probably opt for the black one. Good review - I was curious how much feedback was present so I'm glad you specifically addressed that potential issue by testing with two different amps. Nice job.
    kevinpaul
    I looked for a semi hollow body for over a year played too many to say. I saw this used for $499.00 bought it after 15 minuets. It was not even cleaned up, just came it a few hours before I got there. Mine was made in Korea, that is good my third from there. Dark blue and gold hardware. I never saw blue or only Xtone on the head stock. The year is unknown.