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  1. #1
    5150 A&Z Guitar Repair's Avatar
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    03.24.17 @ 08:25 AM
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    Donor

    Default ESP/LTD Sambora Review

    I had one of these come in this week for setup and pickup swap. Here's a quick rundown.

    1) Initial impression is good. Fit finish is good, no high frets, intonated well, neck is adjustable, and sustain is good.

    2) Electronics. With the majority of Chinese made guitars, the electronics are of the lower quality. This is the case here. All parts were 100% functional, just not of the same quality as the CTS, Dimarzio, etc. Not bad, just not as durable as the above mentioned parts.

    3) Pickups. The ESP pickups are generic in flavor. The customer wanted to switch them out with a Seymour Duncan Jazz in the neck and a Custom in bridge. These did wonders for the guitar. The sustain that was present unplugged, was really evident with the new pickups. I might have chosen a different bridge pickup, but the change really helped the guitar.

    4) Tuners are the no name sealed Gotoh type. No slippage on this guitar. Personally, it never hurts to upgrade, but these are quite usable.

    5) Tremolo. The trem is a Floyd Rose. It doesn't say "original Floyd Rose", just Floyd Rose. I'm assuming it's the Ping variety as it is a Chinese made guitar. Andrew might know more about the pedigree of the trem. As for usage, it works like a Floyd should. No tuning issues and once the claw/spring tension was set, it returned to zero. The trem post are different than on my Floyd equipped guitars, but the trem returned to zero so I didn't feel the need to replace.

    6) Body/Neck. The body is a love or hate type of shape. It's grown on me, but is a bit on the smallish side. It reminds me of a Les Paul/EBMM/Brian May shape. Kinda like if those three got all liquored up and had a 3 way. Regardless, it balances well and the controls are laid out in the Les Paul layout. Bodywood is basswood. The neck is a thin ESP shape. It reminded me of the Kramers of the 80's. Not Ibanez thin, but thinner than some. Adjustment is at the heel and is easily accessed . 4 screw bolt on neck, maple with rosewood fretboard.

    Overall this is a very well made guitar for less than $500.00. Can it be better? Of course, however, you are buying a $500.00 Chinese made guitar so set your sites accordingly. I'd definitely swap the pickups and have it setup. Per ESP, this is a one run only guitar. Once they're sold out, they don't plan on making more. Take it for what it's worth. Other than that, it's not a bad value and could be a great stage guitar as it doesn't say "I'm an EVH clone", "I'm a shredder", "I'm stuck in the 80's", or "This has a sustainer so I've gotta go Shirtless"!

    Be cool. Keep the Faith.
    Last edited by A&Z Guitar Repair; 07.08.08 at 10:33 PM. Reason: adding
    Scott Eivins
    A&Z Guitar Repair

  2. #2
    Top Of The World
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    12.14.09 @ 03:10 PM
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by A&Z Guitar Repair View Post
    I had one of these come in this week for setup and pickup swap. Here's a quick rundown.

    1) Initial impression is good. Fit finish is good, no high frets, intonated well, neck is adjustable, and sustain is good.

    2) Electronics. With the majority of Chinese made guitars, the electronics are of the lower quality. This is the case here. All parts were 100% functional, just not of the same quality as the CTS, Dimarzio, etc. Not bad, just not as durable as the above mentioned parts.

    3) Pickups. The ESP pickups are generic in flavor. The customer wanted to switch them out with a Seymour Duncan Jazz in the neck and a Custom in bridge. These did wonders for the guitar. The sustain that was present unplugged, was really evident with the new pickups. I might have chosen a different bridge pickup, but the change really helped the guitar.

    4) Tuners are the no name sealed Gotoh type. No slippage on this guitar. Personally, it never hurts to upgrade, but these are quite usable.

    5) Tremolo. The trem is a Floyd Rose. It doesn't say "original Floyd Rose", just Floyd Rose. I'm assuming it's the Ping variety as it is a Chinese made guitar. Andrew might know more about the pedigree of the trem. As for usage, it works like a Floyd should. No tuning issues and once the claw/spring tension was set, it returned to zero. The trem post are different than on my Floyd equipped guitars, but the trem returned to zero so I didn't feel the need to replace.

    6) Body/Neck. The body is a love or hate type of shape. It's grown on me, but is a bit on the smallish side. It reminds me of a Les Paul/EBMM/Brian May shape. Kinda like if those three got all liquored up and had a 3 way. Regardless, it balances well and the controls are laid out in the Les Paul layout. Bodywood is basswood. The neck is a thin ESP shape. It reminded me of the Kramers of the 80's. Not Ibanez thin, but thinner than some. Adjustment is at the heel and is easily accessed . 4 screw bolt on neck, maple with rosewood fretboard.

    Overall this is a very well made guitar for less than $500.00. Can it be better? Of course, however, you are buying a $500.00 Chinese made guitar so set your sites accordingly. I'd definitely swap the pickups and have it setup. Per ESP, this is a one run only guitar. Once they're sold out, they don't plan on making more. Take it for what it's worth. Other than that, it's not a bad value and could be a great stage guitar as it doesn't say "I'm an EVH clone", "I'm a shredder", "I'm stuck in the 80's", or "This has a sustainer so I've gotta go Shirtless"!

    Be cool. Keep the Faith.
    I thought ESP's were made in Japan?

    Anyways, cool info!

  3. #3
    Forum Frontman
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    07.04.16 @ 08:03 PM
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    Default

    I really don't want to imagine Les Paul, Ernie Ball, and Brian May having a three-way. That's just all kinds of wrong.

    Otherwise, I'd be curious to see pictures of this guitar, as it sounds like a break away from the typical Strat.

  4. #4
    Romeo Delight
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    07.19.15 @ 05:22 PM
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    Default

    It borders on odd to somewhat ugly IMHO.

    Rs

    Quote Originally Posted by AndrewThomas.net View Post
    I really don't want to imagine Les Paul, Ernie Ball, and Brian May having a three-way. That's just all kinds of wrong.

    Otherwise, I'd be curious to see pictures of this guitar, as it sounds like a break away from the typical Strat.

  5. #5
    Good Enough
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    11.17.15 @ 08:56 PM
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    Default

    I don't think it's a bad looking guitar ... I'd hit it.
    I have to admit I'm a little disappointed that they're being manufactured in China though.

    I would have hoped for better electronics, hardware, and just better quality overall.

    JMO

  6. #6
    Eruption nitefly5150's Avatar
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    05.18.16 @ 10:01 AM
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    Didn't know they were making these... wow, I do not find that attractive.

  7. #7
    Baluchitherium
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    04.02.15 @ 07:26 AM
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    Donor

    Default

    http://www.espguitars.com/guitars_richie.html

    the damn things are so fugly.
    although i have been told by others that they play really well, but i just cant get past the looks....am i being a guitar snob??...who cares!?
    Last edited by tommywho5150; 07.10.08 at 01:06 AM.
    http://www.facebook.com/Tommywho5150

    And with that I'm off to the kitchen to make myself a lesbian omelette...LLFHS in response to one of Graeme's post's


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