Viper Standard review by ESP

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  • Sound: 10
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 9
  • Features: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 9.4 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.8 (33 votes)
ESP: Viper Standard
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Purchased from: Private seller

Sound — 10
I play metal/hardcore so this guitar is pretty perfect for that. The active pickups deliver the high gain I need. I play through an Orange Thunderveb 200 head and it is a great combination for a punchy 'chugging' metal sound. The EMG 60 in the neck offers a great lead tone, creamier and darker voiced than the EMG 85. The active EMGs make it virtually noiseless even with very high gain settings. Seems to be a very mid, bassy voiced guitar with the solid mahogany body. This guitar isn't amazingly versatile but it wasn't built for that. It can handle anything from rock/hard rock/punk/hardcore/metal but is obviously not a jazz or softer rock guitar with the active EMG pickups.

Overall Impression — 9
If it was stolen I would buy another one if I could get it for the same price. They seem overpriced when buying Brand New, but most gear is in Australia. I own 8 guitars (at the moment) and have probably played thousands. It is one of the best guitars I've ever played and fits the style of music I play perfectly in sound, feel and looks. The only thing I could say I am not extremely happy with is the camo finish since not everyone likes that kind of think. I do believe it is available in black though. Overall it is a great, reliable, well built guitar. I would recommend it to anyone.

Reliability & Durability — 10
This guitar was built for gigging. It is very solid yet light and well balanced. The strap buttons seemed alright but I replaced them with Schaller straplocks as with all my guitars. The hardware is all top quality. The locking tuners give amazing tuning stability and the bridge gives great sustain. I can't see anything on this guitar breaking ever without some major unneccesary abuse. As with everyone who answers this question I would never gig without a backup but in worst case scenario Iwould feel confident playing it without a backup. The only thing I can forsee happening is a string breakage which could be really quickly fixed with the locking tuners. The finish is thick and robust and I can't see it wearing from normal playing.

Action, Fit & Finish — 9
I bought this guitar second hand so I can't really comment about the factory setup. I can tell you my high E string keeps breaking and the nut needs a little filing to fit the gauge strings I use. Apart from that the guitar is flawless. The action is super low without buzz and easily adjusted anyway.

Features — 9
Made in Japan. Solid mahogany body, mahogany set neck with ebony fretboard and 24 frets. 24.75 scale length. Bone nut, Sperzel locking tuners, Tune-O-Matic bridge with stop tailpiece. Active EMG 81/60 humbucking pickups. 1 vol, 1 tone and a 3-way toggle. Jungle camouflage finish with black hardware.

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