LTD ZH-7 review by ESP

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  • Sound: 10
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 9
  • Features: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 9.8 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.9 (13 votes)

Price paid: A$ 1424

Purchased from: Troy Music

Sound — 10
This guitar being a 7 string is perfect for anything heavy and evil, the neck is perfectly sized for being able to play low crushing riffs, then switching to leads without much fuss. I play all kinds of metal such as power metal, death metal, black metal, heavy metal and all the "core" variations. This guitar fits the bill for those genres. I run this through a Boss NS2 into a Vox Le Tonelab with custom tube. The sound once dialed in sounds incredibly tight and well balanced maintaining a level of thickness in the highs. The guitar isn't overly bright, but a little more distortion is required to get the full bone-crushing effect out of the pickups.

Overall Impression — 10
This is a metal guitar through and through for all things heavy. I've been playing guitar for 4 years and violin for 3 years before that. I own studio equipment and various stompboxes and processors that make this guitar scream in the studio. If it were stolen or lost I would buy it again, already having one I am keen on buying another just because of the smooth playing it brings out in the player as well as the ebony fretboard which is beautiful and tonally exciting. I love the feel of the neck and how it sits with the body allowing a perfectly flat wrist to hand. I am still put off by the lightness but I will be changing that. My favourite feature would be the locking tuners that make string changing so easy, and tidy up the headstock incredibly. I compared this to the Dean Razorback 7, LTD MH-417, LTD EC-407 and various other guitars with this one coming out on top.

Reliability & Durability — 10
This guitar will be great for live playing putting minimal stress on your shoulder while maintaining a great action and feeling to keep you playing at your peak for longer. The hardware is solid and spins quickly and easily allowing easy shut off when required. The strap buttons were wide and firmly set but I replaced them for Dunlop straploks first thing because they add more firmness and security. This guitar is reliable as all hell, set up well and I would be more than confident playing live without a back-up as I already do. The finish is Bullet proof and after many many hours of playing has stayed unchanged.

Action, Fit & Finish — 9
The action was fairly perfect for myself, the strings that come with it are a bit thin if you want to drop tune even to Drop A. So some thicker strings will be required due to the 25.5" scale on a 7 string. The pickups were installed perfectly, at a great height allowing the perfect sound once you have all your settings dialed in. The finish was even more beautiful than pictures could describe and the really simple routing is a plus when making minor adjustments inside the guitar. My two issues with this guitar, one completely to do with me was the weight, when I play fast riffs or anything with heavy picking, the guitar does like to move a fair amount which can prove to be annoying. The only proper issue is that the toggle switch that comes stock cannot take very much abuse for someone who switches quite hard between pickups, so anew one would be required with 6 months, but that is fairly usual among new guitars with toggle switches.

Features — 10
This is a 2012 Korean made 7 string guitar. 24 XJ frets on an amazing smooth ebony fretboard. It has a Mahogany body with a neck thru maple neck and quilted maple top. The finish is a see thru black satin that is far more appetizing than most plain black 7 string finishes. It is a ESP Horizon body with a string-thru body bridge that feels perfect under the palm. It has active EMG pickups, an 81-7 in the bridge and a 707 in the neck. A master volume, master tone and 3 way toggle add a level of simplicity in the control area. Features ESP locking tuners that come with a really good ratio for fine tuning. The body how ever does feel a bit light for someone like myself who is a constant Les Paul player, so I will be putting some weights in it. The block inlays remind me of my Les Paul and make it all the more attractive.

7 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Ordered this guitar before it even came in stock. Love it a lot, always kept in the case after playing for safe keeping. I personally thought it was a pretty hefty guitar weight/size wise.
    This looks like a cool guitar. Personally, i would ratehr have the h 1007 or the h 308
    Of those two I suggest the 1007... I tested a few 8-string guitars a few weeks ago, and they felt really horrible to play...