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ESP LTD ST203M Maple Electric Guitar

 
The ESP LTD ST203M Maple Electric Guitar has a distressed look that gives it a vintage feel. The first time you pick it up it will already look like an antique road ravaged guitar with that comfortable feeling you get from a long played guitar. Featuring an alder body with maple neck, maple fingerboard and solid LS-120 single coil pickups, this affordable electric guit... - ESP LTD ST203M Features: - - Alder Body with Maple Neck - 22 XJ Frets - Nickel Hardware and ESP Tuners - Three ESP LS-120 Single Coil Pickups - Vintage Bridge


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Great "old/new" guitar for just about any style.

Sound Most of what I play are Splawn and Jet City amplifiers, and mostly with a good amount of overdrive and right-hand energy. There are some songs where the clarity and staccato nature of single-coil pickups brought out the extreme punctuation in the songs but made the songs cleaner and brought out more of the characteristics that make the song great. The ST203M is the perfect guitar to get this particular job done. Of course, everything is upgradeable and the ST203M is so well-put-together that any upgrades are unbelievably easy and bring out the best qualities of the guitar.


Action, Fit, & Finish This is a Made in Vietnam strat that has a great "broken in" feel even though the distressed finish is actually underneath the final finish. Either way, the guitar looks awesome up close and from afar. The ST203M has an aged maple neck with distressed maple fret board--it plays like a well-broken-in guitar that's been around for years, on and off the stage (possibly even dropped from the stage a few times), in and out of the studio, had beer spilled all over it, and just overall a true player instead of a case queen. The stock single coils are punchy and have a mid spike that allows it to bridge the gap between single-coil and humbucker-equipped guitars. It embodies many of the great sonic qualities associated with Stratocasters yet takes it up a notch with a little more punch and cut.
The ESP LTD ST203M is a 22-fret guitar and access to the upper frets is achieved easily enough. The neck is a familiar C-shape with slightly more substance to it than similar guitars which makes it slightly easier and more comfortable to play. Part of the "distressed" finish includes cut-aways and parts of the guitar shaved or worn-down that actually make it easier and/or more comfortable to play. The guitar is well-balanced, not too heavy and not too light. The tuning keys are stable, not flimsy, and hold the tune and stability rather well.


Reliability & Durability New guitar but feels solid and handles upgrades well.


Customer Support Never had to deal with them--no problems.


Liked about it Great-looking factory-distressed finish.
Chunky C-shape neck
Plays like an old friend.


Didn't like Distressed finish is underneath clear--not "truly" distressed.


Overall satisfaction:
 
4.5

By racerevlon
Oct 22, 2012
 
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ESP has put custom shop-looking guitars within everyone's reach!

Sound Most of what I play are Splawn and Jet City amplifiers, and mostly with a good amount of overdrive and right-hand energy. There are some songs where the clarity and staccato nature of single-coil pickups brought out the extreme punctuation in the songs but made the songs cleaner and brought out more of the characteristics that make the song great. The ST203M is the perfect guitar to get this particular job done. Of course, everything is upgradeable and the ST203M is so well-put-together that any upgrades are unbelievably easy and bring out the best qualities of the guitar.


Action, Fit, & Finish As an entry-level guitar this is really the class of the field that I've found. This particular guitar required a minor truss rod adjustment to take some buzz out of the lower frets but I wouldn't dismiss this or any other guitar for that reason. For a relatively small amount of money you can get into a guitar that looks, plays, and sounds great for anything just short of full-force screaming metal, and this can be achieved easily enough with a simple pickup replacement. With the addition of a couple of minor upgrades this is a top-notch guitar that I would play on any stage.


Reliability & Durability Too new to comment.


Customer Support Never had to deal with them.


Liked about it Great custom-shop look and feel.
Excellent price-to-value ratio.
Easy to upgrade and work on.


Didn't like QC was a little off--required a truss rod adjustment--no big deal.


Overall satisfaction:
 
4.5

By racerevlon
Oct 27, 2012
 
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