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  1. #1
    Good Enough nobozos's Avatar
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    12.17.17 @ 07:24 AM
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    Default Great "Low End" Guitar

    Just picked up what I think could be one of the best cheap guitars I've played. It's a LTD ST-203FR.

    Regardless of how you feel about the fake aging, it's just a good solid guitar. The feel of the neck is amazing. It has a nice smooth worn-in feeling to it. The frets ends are nice and smooth, and they are nice and level. The body is solid Alder, which I've always preferred as a body wood choice. The guitar comes with a Floyd Rose Special trem, which as far as I can tell, is an exact copy of an OFR, but produced somewhere in Asia. The trem looks, feels and performs exactly like any OFR I've ever used. It's set up in a floating configuration on this guitar, and the body is routed so you can pull back quite a ways on it. I usually hate floating trems, and block them as soon as I get a chance so that they only dive, but the trem is so stable on this guitar, that I just don't feel the need to do it.

    The tuning machines are adequate, and really irrelevant on a Floyd equipped guitar anyway, but they do look and perfrom well.

    The only down side to this guitar that I can find, is the electronics. The pickups are about what you would expect from a guitar under $400.00. Pretty much any pickups from Guitar Fetish would be an improvement over stock. If you were looking not to spend alot of money, you could get the GFS VEH bridge pickup, and a couple of their noiseless singles, and set it up well.

    If you were to put a JB, EVH Wolfgang, or EVH Frankenstein pickup in the bridge, and a couple of Fender Hot Noiseless pickups in the neck and middle, you would have a guitar that could easily be a number one gigging guitar.

    I'm going to go so far as to say that I would rather have one of these than one of the Charvel So-Cal guitars. Yeah, the Charvel may come stock with better pickups, and an "Original" Floyd Rose, but I'm willing to bet that if you were to play both guitars blindfolded, and not plugged into an amp, you would choose the LTD. For the price, you could get two of the LTDs for what you would pay for one of the Charvels. It shouldn't even be close.

    Just wanted to give you guys a heads-up about these. For $400, they are a steal. Also a really good platform to experiment with different pickups and stuff.
    "Having an opinion that people disagree with doesn't make you a Douche, arguing with the people who disagree with your opinion and calling them stupid does!" -Me.

  2. #2
    Baluchitherium
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    04.02.15 @ 07:26 AM
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    Quote Originally Posted by nobozos View Post
    Just picked up what I think could be one of the best cheap guitars I've played. It's a LTD ST-203FR.

    Regardless of how you feel about the fake aging, it's just a good solid guitar. The feel of the neck is amazing. It has a nice smooth worn-in feeling to it. The frets ends are nice and smooth, and they are nice and level. The body is solid Alder, which I've always preferred as a body wood choice. The guitar comes with a Floyd Rose Special trem, which as far as I can tell, is an exact copy of an OFR, but produced somewhere in Asia. The trem looks, feels and performs exactly like any OFR I've ever used. It's set up in a floating configuration on this guitar, and the body is routed so you can pull back quite a ways on it. I usually hate floating trems, and block them as soon as I get a chance so that they only dive, but the trem is so stable on this guitar, that I just don't feel the need to do it.

    The tuning machines are adequate, and really irrelevant on a Floyd equipped guitar anyway, but they do look and perfrom well.

    The only down side to this guitar that I can find, is the electronics. The pickups are about what you would expect from a guitar under $400.00. Pretty much any pickups from Guitar Fetish would be an improvement over stock. If you were looking not to spend alot of money, you could get the GFS VEH bridge pickup, and a couple of their noiseless singles, and set it up well.

    If you were to put a JB, EVH Wolfgang, or EVH Frankenstein pickup in the bridge, and a couple of Fender Hot Noiseless pickups in the neck and middle, you would have a guitar that could easily be a number one gigging guitar.

    I'm going to go so far as to say that I would rather have one of these than one of the Charvel So-Cal guitars. Yeah, the Charvel may come stock with better pickups, and an "Original" Floyd Rose, but I'm willing to bet that if you were to play both guitars blindfolded, and not plugged into an amp, you would choose the LTD. For the price, you could get two of the LTDs for what you would pay for one of the Charvels. It shouldn't even be close.

    Just wanted to give you guys a heads-up about these. For $400, they are a steal. Also a really good platform to experiment with different pickups and stuff.
    they're great guitars, i've considered picing one up for a while
    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


    "The anal beads may have scarred SNIC for life. That guy is tough as fucking nails!! No normal guy could take anal beads to the head and survive! "...OLO on SNIC's near death experience at TLW

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    Not because I have a great body, it's just an easy way to make sure I have the hotel swimming pool all to myself."...Bullwinkle for quite obvious reasons!

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  3. #3
    Romeo Delight g60racer's Avatar
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    09.25.16 @ 09:10 PM
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    Looks almost identical to an entry level Charvel I got back in the late 80's. Does this one come weathered already?
    Brendan

  4. #4
    Baluchitherium
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    04.02.15 @ 07:26 AM
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    Quote Originally Posted by g60racer View Post
    Looks almost identical to an entry level Charvel I got back in the late 80's. Does this one come weathered already?
    yes it does.
    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


    "The anal beads may have scarred SNIC for life. That guy is tough as fucking nails!! No normal guy could take anal beads to the head and survive! "...OLO on SNIC's near death experience at TLW

    "I'm a 45-year-old man, and I still like to wear a thong or a speedo when I go swimming.
    Not because I have a great body, it's just an easy way to make sure I have the hotel swimming pool all to myself."...Bullwinkle for quite obvious reasons!

    "Dude, the cashier gave me the creepiest sneer when he rang up my unmentionables!"...Sassy Lassy during a Facebook conversation!

  5. #5
    Good Enough nobozos's Avatar
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    12.17.17 @ 07:24 AM
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    It's a really great guitar. It does come relic'd already. I had an opportunity to play one of the new Kramer Pacer series guitars being made. What an absolute piece of crap. The fret ends are horrible, the neck feels cheap, and it comes with a Floyd Rose 2. That's the kind of guitar I would expect to get for under $400. Like I said, this LTD is more on par with something you would expect to find for $800 or more (minus the electronics).
    "Having an opinion that people disagree with doesn't make you a Douche, arguing with the people who disagree with your opinion and calling them stupid does!" -Me.

  6. #6
    Baluchitherium
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    04.02.15 @ 07:26 AM
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    Quote Originally Posted by nobozos View Post
    It's a really great guitar. It does come relic'd already. I had an opportunity to play one of the new Kramer Pacer series guitars being made. What an absolute piece of crap. The fret ends are horrible, the neck feels cheap, and it comes with a Floyd Rose 2. That's the kind of guitar I would expect to get for under $400. Like I said, this LTD is more on par with something you would expect to find for $800 or more (minus the electronics).
    the one i played had a great neck and the fretwork was outstanding, not just for the price but quite simply for any guitar! I can't say if the store had set it up and done a fret job on it, but if they hadn't then it was outstanding.
    i quite liked the stock Humbucker too
    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


    "The anal beads may have scarred SNIC for life. That guy is tough as fucking nails!! No normal guy could take anal beads to the head and survive! "...OLO on SNIC's near death experience at TLW

    "I'm a 45-year-old man, and I still like to wear a thong or a speedo when I go swimming.
    Not because I have a great body, it's just an easy way to make sure I have the hotel swimming pool all to myself."...Bullwinkle for quite obvious reasons!

    "Dude, the cashier gave me the creepiest sneer when he rang up my unmentionables!"...Sassy Lassy during a Facebook conversation!

  7. #7
    Sinner's Swing!
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    11.25.17 @ 09:06 AM
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    Default

    Just played one today on the recommendation of your post.
    Absolutely great axe! It has a great neck, and gobs of sustain. The pickups could be a little fuller...but that's debatable from amp to amp. I tried it out on one of those new Marshall jobs. Overall, I think I'd pick one up... Once I get over my fake relic issue. lol. Seriously though, I can overlook it given the price and feel of this guitar. Good little jammer!

  8. #8
    Eruption
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    04.07.16 @ 01:19 PM
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    Quote Originally Posted by nobozos View Post
    Just picked up what I think could be one of the best cheap guitars I've played. It's a LTD ST-203FR.

    Regardless of how you feel about the fake aging, it's just a good solid guitar. The feel of the neck is amazing. It has a nice smooth worn-in feeling to it. The frets ends are nice and smooth, and they are nice and level. The body is solid Alder, which I've always preferred as a body wood choice. The guitar comes with a Floyd Rose Special trem, which as far as I can tell, is an exact copy of an OFR, but produced somewhere in Asia. The trem looks, feels and performs exactly like any OFR I've ever used. It's set up in a floating configuration on this guitar, and the body is routed so you can pull back quite a ways on it. I usually hate floating trems, and block them as soon as I get a chance so that they only dive, but the trem is so stable on this guitar, that I just don't feel the need to do it.

    The tuning machines are adequate, and really irrelevant on a Floyd equipped guitar anyway, but they do look and perfrom well.

    The only down side to this guitar that I can find, is the electronics. The pickups are about what you would expect from a guitar under $400.00. Pretty much any pickups from Guitar Fetish would be an improvement over stock. If you were looking not to spend alot of money, you could get the GFS VEH bridge pickup, and a couple of their noiseless singles, and set it up well.

    If you were to put a JB, EVH Wolfgang, or EVH Frankenstein pickup in the bridge, and a couple of Fender Hot Noiseless pickups in the neck and middle, you would have a guitar that could easily be a number one gigging guitar.

    I'm going to go so far as to say that I would rather have one of these than one of the Charvel So-Cal guitars. Yeah, the Charvel may come stock with better pickups, and an "Original" Floyd Rose, but I'm willing to bet that if you were to play both guitars blindfolded, and not plugged into an amp, you would choose the LTD. For the price, you could get two of the LTDs for what you would pay for one of the Charvels. It shouldn't even be close.

    Just wanted to give you guys a heads-up about these. For $400, they are a steal. Also a really good platform to experiment with different pickups and stuff.
    I tell you guys what-
    I went to pick my Wolfgang up at the local guitar shop in Pittsburgh. I mentioned to John, the local worker there, that I really dug this guitar, too bad they didn't have one. John goes, "Oh, one just came in used, wanna try it?" It was SO good, I walked outta the shop with it tonight. $299 score! I plan to eventually change some parts up, but hey, outta the box, its a hellva guitar! Anyone curious, its money well spent!
    Eddie must think I'm a BOZO to want to drop THAT much on one of his new Charvel Guitars!

  9. #9
    Good Enough nobozos's Avatar
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    12.17.17 @ 07:24 AM
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    Congrats on the score Red. You're gonna love this thing. It's funny, other LTD guitars I've played don't do anything for me. they don't seem to be as playable as this one. A good example is the Kirk Hammett LTD KH-602 guitar. I wanted to get one when they started putting real EMGs in them, but just didn't like the way it felt or played. Seemed cheap. The only other LTD guitar that I really liked was the GL-256. Same deal as with the one we just got. It feels and plays great. I had mine just long enough to put a Dimarzio Super Distortion in the bridge position (which was a perfect match for that guitar btw). I had to bundle it for a trade for some acoustic equipment. That was one of those guitars I wish I had back.

    Seems to me with the LTD stuff, whatever they do during the relicing process makes them play better than their standard line.
    "Having an opinion that people disagree with doesn't make you a Douche, arguing with the people who disagree with your opinion and calling them stupid does!" -Me.

  10. #10
    Eruption
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    Quote Originally Posted by nobozos View Post
    Congrats on the score Red. You're gonna love this thing. It's funny, other LTD guitars I've played don't do anything for me. they don't seem to be as playable as this one. A good example is the Kirk Hammett LTD KH-602 guitar. I wanted to get one when they started putting real EMGs in them, but just didn't like the way it felt or played. Seemed cheap. The only other LTD guitar that I really liked was the GL-256. Same deal as with the one we just got. It feels and plays great. I had mine just long enough to put a Dimarzio Super Distortion in the bridge position (which was a perfect match for that guitar btw). I had to bundle it for a trade for some acoustic equipment. That was one of those guitars I wish I had back.

    Seems to me with the LTD stuff, whatever they do during the relicing process makes them play better than their standard line.
    BTW, Boz...
    I'll be back in Illinois in a week! Be seein ya!
    Eddie must think I'm a BOZO to want to drop THAT much on one of his new Charvel Guitars!

  11. #11
    Good Enough nobozos's Avatar
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    12.17.17 @ 07:24 AM
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    Oh shit! I'll hide the sheep.
    "Having an opinion that people disagree with doesn't make you a Douche, arguing with the people who disagree with your opinion and calling them stupid does!" -Me.

  12. #12
    Eruption donkost's Avatar
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    12.17.17 @ 12:31 AM
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    You guys are killing me with this thread. I've been "jonesing" for a strat for a little while now but have been looking at mostly USA Fenders until now- the Highway One at $699 all the way up to the American Deluxe at $1499. You've also got the Mexi-strat Road Worn at $899. This LTD looks amazing though at $399, especially with all of the positive comments from people who have played one. I wouldn't mind that relic job but it is kind of odd some of the places where they wore down the finish- like the lower horn of the guitar body. I guess this guitar has a poly finish rather than nitro, and is there a clear coat over top? Also, is the neck unfinished or does it have a satin finish? I also wonder if this thing would take a standard size strat pre-wired 11 hole pick guard. Even with the LTD hard shell case this thing is pretty inexpensive. I'd actually consider letting it sit out on a stand with the kids around.

  13. #13
    Eruption
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    12.16.17 @ 12:06 PM
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    Quote Originally Posted by donkost View Post
    This LTD looks amazing though at $399, especially with all of the positive comments from people who have played one.
    I've never bought from this eBay seller BUT it's listed at $349.95 - NEW in box w/ FREE shipping:

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ESP-ST-203FR-Dis...-/370480341498

  14. #14
    Eruption donkost's Avatar
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    12.17.17 @ 12:31 AM
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    Does anyone who owns this guitar agree with this particular review? I can understand that the pickups are not top of the line at this price. However, pretty much every other review I've found gives this guitar top marks on everything else. Heck, one person even said it compares to the American Standard Strat and that's a $1K guitar.

    (not my review)
    "This thing is an absolute piece of garbage. I own an early '90's LTD Horizon that is just amazing. I played a few EC-1000's and EC-400's recently that were pretty decent, so I decided to put a little faith in esp and order one of these blind cuz I really liked the look of it from the pics online and I figured wth. To say I was disappointed when it arrived is a gross understatement. This is possibly the worst guitar I've ever heard and played that cost more than $150. In every way possible is a complete failure. Okay, the neck is pretty decent but that's it. The pickups are garbage - no articulation at all, just a muddy, dark, ugly sound. The bridge is a FR Special which is just a cheap knockoff really and looks cheesy w/ that fake chrome plating. The "distressed" paint job which looks great in pics is seriously laughable up close - it looks like someone took a marker and drew random squiggles and oblong shapes all over the guitar. [$]? They should be ashamed of themselves for this abomination. STAY AWAY!!"

    http://www.buzzillions.com/reviews/e...bridge-reviews

  15. #15
    Good Enough nobozos's Avatar
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    12.17.17 @ 07:24 AM
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    Quote Originally Posted by donkost View Post
    Does anyone who owns this guitar agree with this particular review? I can understand that the pickups are not top of the line at this price. However, pretty much every other review I've found gives this guitar top marks on everything else. Heck, one person even said it compares to the American Standard Strat and that's a $1K guitar.

    (not my review)
    "This thing is an absolute piece of garbage. I own an early '90's LTD Horizon that is just amazing. I played a few EC-1000's and EC-400's recently that were pretty decent, so I decided to put a little faith in esp and order one of these blind cuz I really liked the look of it from the pics online and I figured wth. To say I was disappointed when it arrived is a gross understatement. This is possibly the worst guitar I've ever heard and played that cost more than $150. In every way possible is a complete failure. Okay, the neck is pretty decent but that's it. The pickups are garbage - no articulation at all, just a muddy, dark, ugly sound. The bridge is a FR Special which is just a cheap knockoff really and looks cheesy w/ that fake chrome plating. The "distressed" paint job which looks great in pics is seriously laughable up close - it looks like someone took a marker and drew random squiggles and oblong shapes all over the guitar. [$]? They should be ashamed of themselves for this abomination. STAY AWAY!!"

    http://www.buzzillions.com/reviews/e...bridge-reviews
    I donno what this guy's problem is. The Floyd Rose Special, to me, is identical to the OFRs I've had, except for the word "Special" on it. The distressed paint job isn't realistic by all relicing standards, but from 10 feet away it looks okay. I would agree that the pickups could be better, but they're not that bad. There are much worse pickups in much more expensive guitars.

    I don't know if he got a bad example of one of these or what, but I can't reconcile his review with my experience. It's a $399 guitar. It far surpasses all expectations of a guitar in that price range.

    The neck feels unfinished, but I'm sure it has some kind of satin finish on it. It's nice and smooth. Looks like a poly clearcoat over the paint and bare wood on the body.
    "Having an opinion that people disagree with doesn't make you a Douche, arguing with the people who disagree with your opinion and calling them stupid does!" -Me.

 

 

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