Submitted October 25, 2017 by Brandon W in Syracuse, NY
"Japanese built ESP can't be beat!"
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This guitar is amazing. Firstly I will state that you will need to be prepared for a setup out of the box. That should be expected considering this guitar comes from Japan and then to zZounds and THEN finally makes it to your house. All of that moving around and being in different temperatures, a setup should be expected. Now onto this beast of a guitar. I usually don't do reviews but I was inclined to do one since I saw no reviews on zZounds for this guitar, and with as much joy as this thing brought me I feel obligated to write one. This guitar comes with a BEAUTIFUL quilted maple top that almost looks 3D looking. The bone nut was perfectly cut, binding spot on, inlays are nicely done, and the high gloss finish is outstanding with no bubbles from over spray or anything of the sort. The ebony fretboard on this thing is stunning. ESP puts some kind of finish on it so it is super smooth and buttery to play on, and the fretboard will actually STAY black from the finish unlIke some other brands out there that I won't mention that dyes their ebony to make it look darker than what it really is, but than once you play it the dye starts to rub off onto your fingers. That won't happen with this guitar, you can tell ESP saves the best ebony and other wood for their Japanese built guitars. The frets are nicely crowned, not one flat fret and bends are almost TOO easy to pull off on them so be careful not to overbend lol. ESP takes their time crowning their frets and they make sure they're silky smooth. The 12" radius is a nice compromise between too flat or too round of a radius. 12" suits my style perfectly as shred runs and arpeggios are nice and easy as well as chording anywhere you want to on the neck. Before getting this guitar I was strictly a 16" radius guy but now owning my first 12" radius guitar I think I have made the switch to 12" from now on with all of my future guitars if I can help it. Now onto the pickups...WOW, these things are NOT your run of the mill EMG pickups. They are suitable for any genre from blues all the way to saturated, searing metal and they have character, are organic, and warm. They respond like passive pickups with subtle nuances, and the dynamics really show when you play lightly or wail on a chord. The perfect mix of passive and active. The high frets are super easy to get to with the neck through construction and because of the string through body combined with the 3pc neck through this guitar SUSTAINS FOR DAYS! I can play a note and go grab a bite to eat and come back (Spinal Tap reference lol). The Gotoh bridge is comfortable and locked down nice and tight. No rubbing off on the black paint on the Gotoh either which is surprising because every bridge I've played the paint has rubbed off from sweat. The 3pc maple neck is sturdy and doesn't move, so once you set the neck with the right amount of relief the neck stays put. The Gotoh locking tuners are great, I literally only have to tune up maybe once every 5 or 6 sessions....this things got amazing tuning stability. The only other thing i would recommend is to buy a better case. The case that it comes with is by no means bad, but you will want a better quality case for a $2,000 guitar. What else can I say? The ESP luthiers in Japan know what they are doing and they've made an ESP consumer for life. The guitar is a little on the pricey side but is worth every penny if you are serious about your craft and passion for playing. I have no reason to NOT give this guitar 5 stars. As I said before the only thing I would say is to expect getting a setup, but once the setup is complete you will have an amazing ESP in your hands.
Jam at home, record, and write original music.
Metal, rock, classic rock, blues, jazz, and progressive.
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