Submitted October 18, 2020 by Dennis W in Riverside, CA
"To quote Ola Englund, “it chugs.”"
zZounds has verified that this reviewer made a purchase from us.
I’ve always been interested in getting an artist signature guitar and recently saw that this more affordable version of Brian “Head” Welch’s 7 string was now available so I ordered it on a whim. I’ve only had it for a couple days now so I haven’t had a ton of time to dedicate to playing it, but I have a few first impressions. The ceramic, passive pickups sound crisp and the tone has a nice crunch to it when doing palm muted breakdowns. The pickups are super sensitive and they were picking up the signal from my phone when I was using my phone’s tuning app to tune the guitar. The neck is just a tiny bit thicker than I had hoped, but it’s extremely smooth and doesn’t hinder me from shredding. I like that the guitar has a fixed bridge which I prefer when doing heavy palm muting. The color is much darker than the stock photo unless you’re shining a flashlight on the guitar’s body. Otherwise, it almost looks black instead of purple, but the color doesn’t really bother me. The only “problem” I’ve encountered so far is that the tone and volume knobs sit directly below and strings and under the bridge pickup so when you’re playing, it’s fairly easy for your pinky to catch the knobs and accidentally turn down the volume or tone. I feel like they should have switch the positions of the knobs with that of the toggle switch. Otherwise, this is a nearly perfect guitar for anyone who wants to play extremely heavy and brutal music on a budget or is interested in an artist signature guitar that won’t break the bank.
I played this through my Boss Katana 50 watt on the variant brown setting and the tone is absolutely crushing when playing death metal, hardcore, or death core. It certainly can chug with the best of them. I briefly played some chords on the clean channel and it sounds lovely. The pickups did “hiss” when I had my phone nearby as they seemed to be picking up my phone’s signal so they seem to be extremely sensitive. No major complaints or issues.
I love the look of the ceramic pickups and prefer the fact they are passive instead of active. I also prefer the fixed bridge for heavy palm muting and prefer the look and feel of the three way toggle switch instead of the standard pickup selector lever on most guitars. However, the tone/volume knobs and placed right below the strings and near the bridge pickup so it’s easy for your pinky to hit the knobs and turn the volume down by accident. I wish they would’ve moved those elsewhere.
Ease of Use
The high gain, ceramic pickups make it super easy to get a great metal tone for death metal, hardcore, or deathcore. Being the signature model of Brian “Head” Welch, I wouldn’t expect anything less. This guitar is definitely made for metal.
The design is nice and the guitar is put together well. The neck is a little thicker than I had hoped, but it doesn’t hinder my playing ability. Other than the odd placement of the volume and tone knobs, there aren’t any issues I have with the guitar.
This guitar is $1000 less than its more expensive counterpart and that of course comes with this version of the guitar having less expensive pickups and no evertune bridge, but if you don’t feel like breaking the bank, this guitar is perfect and I don’t feel like it warrants spending another $1000 for the higher end model when I can have this one.
I have not had any reason to contact ESP for anything so there isn’t anything I can say on this.
The Wow Factor
I wanted a decent 7 string for the music that I play and I wanted something that was iconic. I was super fortunate to come across an artist signature model that wasn’t just affordable, but was from one of metal’s biggest icons. Definitely glad I picked this up.
Guitarist and vocalist
Metalcore and deathcore
Did you find this review helpful?
Thanks for your opinion!