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Rating and Reviews: James Hetfield Snakebyte

Designed by Papa Het himself, this maghogany-bodied ESP axe sports a set neck for serious sustain, and custom EMG active humbuckers based on the EMG 81/60.

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"Good work Papa Het & ESP, good work indeed!" submitted May 16, 2011

By a customer from yahoo.com
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Musical Background: Active Musician
Music Style: Metal Metal Metal
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Sound: I love the sound this guitar produces. the EMG active 81/60's are amazing. As a fan of James Hetfield, I cannot be happier about this setup. Feature: Fantastic, my only complaint is that there is only 1 screw in the trus rod cover. But otherwise, this thing is perfect, it was straight and the action was great right out of the box. Ease of Use: Oh man the neck is frigging fast. However, if it wasn't for my finger ease string lunricant, i would not be able to move around the neck. Man it was like the paint was still not quite dry.... Quality: As stated above, the paint felt "sticky" almost it was hard to slide around without any finger ease. Otherwise this thing will definately be one reliable guitar. I can definately see it lasting as long as my Gibson Explorer Value: Ok, here we go...For the price. This is 100% worth it. Many people claim that the difference between ESP and LTD is the quality of the qood/craftsmanship/laquer. Well, here is what I see...Both ESP and LTD use Mohogany wood for the body/neck, so maybe its a higher quality wood in ESP...meh...All ESP guitars are hand made, while LTD goes through a prduction line. A human person still touches each guitar.so not a huge difference. And the paint? Ok, well its not as fantastic as on an ESP< however, those minute differences for a 2G price difference? Yeah the LTD is worth the price allright. Manufacturer Support: I dealt with ESP guitars on one occasion because no one could tell me if this guitar came with a case. So by going through them, I was able to get my questions answered in a timely manner. Great customer support. As far as Zzounds.com, they were extremely profesional. When I came to them about the case, they were extremely speedy about getting the answers I was seeking. The Wow Factor: The headstock is so mean looking. The lower horn really gives it a kick over the typical explorer. The cutout on the bottom half of the rear isn't really needed, but I understand James wanted a radical new design, and this does it. I think if the back stayed the same, it would still kick some serious tail.... Overall: I am extremely satisfied with this guitar, the only change I am going to make is pulling out the 81/60's and replace them with the brand new "Het set" pickups once they become available around 20 May 2011. Then I will throw the 81/60's in my Gibson Explorer.
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"Poppa Het knows how to design a guitar" submitted April 21, 2013

By Shane Johnson in South bend , IN
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Musical Background: I have been playing guitar for twenty two years gigs and home studio hero
Music Style: Anything that rocks and gets ya motivated
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Overall: I have had the guitar now for a few months did my set up. Out about 7 guitars, this is by far my favorite! I didn't know what to expect since I had never actually seen the guitar in person. I opened the case and was just blown away! I was offset by the thinness of the body and headstock. BUT this would be an unbelievably heavy if not. Thanks James for keeping the sound and reducing the weight! Anybody who has ever played shows know how heavy it can be! The playability of this guitar is silky smooth wants you get it set up (no it is not set up to play the way it was supposed to out of box) the resonation of this body is 2nd to none. The pure beauty of this guitar is 2nd to none. The pickups? Again Mr Het sho knows his stuff! Wow!! Best sounding pickups ever! From clean to soak ya distortion they have a very detailed range while clean hooked up to your lead channel they run HOT!! All this with a hard shell case? Unbelievable kudos ESP if you have explorer style bodies this will be your favorite get it! You won't be disappointed!! Of course I have to mention the greatest music store in the business!! Zzounds!!! My second guitar from them. These guys are the greatest love their payment plans, customer service is 2nd to none!!! You know they are musicians and understand our needs and limitation. My girlfriend might get jealous but u have to say it! I love love you Zzounds
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"Great buy!" submitted December 22, 2013

By Jim C in Hampton bays, NY
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Musical Background: 20yrs. Hobbiest
Music Style: From Memphis to San Francisco
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Sound: This is my first set of actives so I was impressed. Turned up my Marshall DSL 40 and started to gallop away! I love it! Feature: Definitely the locking tuners, EMG Het Set pickups, and Ebony fingerboard Ease of Use: Its never easy....... Quality: Very impressed with the quality. Better than I expected. No flaws at all. Value: Compared to an Explore it is a great value. More bang for your buck. Manufacturer Support: Zzounds outdid themselves this time. I ordered Friday at 10:30pm. Saturday my 12pay gets approved. So I figure on a Tuesday delivery. Monday afternoon I get an email that my order shipped but no tracking numbers. I thought no big deal I will check again later. I get home from work at 3:10 and low and behold there is a white box labeled ESP on my front porch! That's service! The Wow Factor: I love the black on white color scheme, the comfortable neck, and the Explorer shape with a twist. The cutout makes it comfortable to play sitting down. Overall: I already owning a LP Traditional and a Tele, I was looking to round out my collection with a "metal" guitar. The Snakebyte turned out to be a no brainer. I kept jumping back and forth between an Explorer and the SB. The price was comparable at the time I bought it. But the features of the SB surpassed the Explorer. Locking tuners, Ebony fingerboard, and EMG Het Set pickups. If those options were available in an Explorer I may have bought one. The setup was fine. The white finish is perfect. The neck is comfortable. No pointy frets. Nice and smooth. And the black hardware and ebony fingerboard on a white finish is very cool.
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"hetfield rules" submitted July 18, 2014

By Aaron C in St . Paul, MN
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Musical Background: play for 10 years jam at home mostly
Music Style: Metal little classic rock and blues
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Overall: I love my snakebyte guitar this thing is bad to the bone anything you wanna play metallica, slayer pantera megadeth whatever you have all the controls in your hand when you have this guitar case and guitar perfect condition zzounds is great real professionals when my guitar was on back order the first week I ordered I kept calling everyday these people never got a attitude or nothing like that on a scale of 1 to 10 I give zzounds a 14 if you buy this snakebyte and find your thumb sticks to the neck take a little finger ease in a can spray on soft disposable rag wipe lightly then wipe it again with a plain towel no chemical or cleaner should be fine
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"Excellent value" submitted February 20, 2014

By a customer from aol.com
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Musical Background: 25 years experience.
Music Style: Rock, metal, progressive, blues, etc.
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Overall: I ordered the "blemished" guitar, but it arrived minus blems! This guitar is a heavy metal weapon, but it's also surprisingly versatile. The case is very nice with black plush lining and white piping details on the ends. The JH pickups are percussive with a mighty growl when pushed, but a pleasant chime on cleaner settings. Playability is top notch-I would put it at or above any Gibson I have played. This guitar WILL NOT disappoint-especially for the hardcore Metallica fan.
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"One mean metal guitar" submitted August 3, 2013

By James Bailes in Apoka, FL
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Musical Background: Just been a bedroom guitarist for about 30+ years
Music Style: With the snakebyte, mostly metal
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Overall: Mine is black w/ the EMG Het Set. Guitar is heavier than I expected. More so than some Les Pauls I've played. Simple set up..one volume knob for each pickup and a toggle switch. Believe me, no tone knob is required on this monster. Both Het pickups are a little warmer with more punch, character, and nuance than standard EMG pups, but still has all the power and saturation that EMGs are known for. Neck is really comfortable all the way to the 22nd fret. Neck is like a half way point between the old Gibson 50s necks and the slimline 60s necks. zZounds pay as you play program is a God send. Will be using zZounds more in the future.
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"Great guitar!" submitted March 16, 2014

By Eric T in Bethel, OH
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Musical Background: 25 years playing
Music Style: Rock, metal, blues, progressive
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Overall: I bought a "blemished" guitar. When it arrived, I was immediately blown away! Virtually perfect in every way. Upon further inspection, I did find hairline finish cracks at the neck joint (this was going to happen sooner or later regardless). Sustain, playability, and tone are all top-notch. Overall a great price on a great guitar!
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"Beautiful" submitted August 29, 2012

By Jason Doyle in Fussa, Tokyo, NA
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Musical Background: Been playing since 1995 very active
Music Style: Metal, Hard rock
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Sound: The sound quality, out of the box is great! Fantastic tone! The clarity isn't all there (typical of EMG) but the sound is still Great! Feature: I really dont like the battery housing. There is no easy access here, needs to have a quick release door.... Ease of Use: Love the cutaway at the neck joint. Makes it so much easier to bend that 22nd fret with ease Quality: Had this guitar for over a year and it has been played alot. Very good quality, only issue is the crack in the paint Value: The guitar could easily gor for 1500-2000. The price is AMAZING! Manufacturer Support: Haven't had to deal with them yet.... The Wow Factor: 10-10 Overall: Wow. I love this thing...One issue...The paint at the neck joint has cracked. I had it professionally checked, the wood is not cracked at all....Other than that this thing is great. I love the EMG 81/60 in it, however, I replaced them with the EMG JH set. The sound has improved so much!
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"Very good!" submitted January 6, 2013

By Mitch L in Winona, MN
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Musical Background: I've been playing guitar for about 7 years now, I love guitars and always will. I am a person who jams at home, I use a CrateAmp
Music Style: Heavy rock/Metal
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Overall: This guitar is a really good guitar, its assembled with high end sperzel lock in tuners, a nice bridge, and very fast neck for heavy/fast metal. The pickups in this guitar are just phenomenal, JH set pickups are the best pickups on the market if you really want that high gain distorted sound. I wanted this guitar because I am a die hard James Hetfield fan, but if it wasnt his signature series, i dont really care for the style of the guitar. If you have a better taste or feel for ESP EC's than I would go for something similar to that, the James Hetfield Truckster, Same quality and features, most importantly his pickups. The guitar is actually pretty heavy in weight, I didnt like that, but for the most part I really enjoy the sound I get out of this guitar. Its an LTD I got what i paid for, LTD makes them in a production, V.S. ESP where they are hand made.
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