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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-28-2008, 10:23 PM Thread Starter
MFB
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
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ESP Project

So, for a while now I've been an ESP fan. I've always liked the look of them, the sound, and many of the people I listen to are endorsed by them. So, with all this and the know how of guitars and whatnot, I've decided to undertake a bit of an experiment.

People say that anything under the 400 model number is made to a lesser quality and is pretty much a beginner guitar. Well, due to this project I will need something along those lines and I'll hopefully disprove this whole rumor/theory (at least in my own eyes).

I hope to use this thread to get some feedback on the aforementioned lower model numer ESPs.

What's so "lesser" about them?

Are the neck's the same as those of the higher models?

Is the sound noticeably affected by basswood versus say mahogany? (I've never owned a mahogany body and am unsure if I've ever even played a mahogany body guitar before)

Any input is appreciated
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-28-2008, 10:27 PM
 
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Re: ESP Project

I don't think any wood is necessarily an inferior wood, Just higher end guitars have cuts from the better parts of the tree with less knots and such. Wood types basically just comes down to tone preference. Basswood produces a darker tone compared to mahogany, which is a little brighter.

I haven't even heard anything good about agathis woods.

Last edited by seckscow; 09-28-2008 at 10:33 PM.
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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-28-2008, 10:28 PM Thread Starter
MFB
 
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Re: ESP Project

Well, that'll actually be good for this since it's gonna be in D
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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-28-2008, 10:37 PM
 
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Re: ESP Project

Quote:
Originally Posted by MFB View Post
So, for a while now I've been an ESP fan. I've always liked the look of them, the sound, and many of the people I listen to are endorsed by them. So, with all this and the know how of guitars and whatnot, I've decided to undertake a bit of an experiment.

People say that anything under the 400 model number is made to a lesser quality and is pretty much a beginner guitar. Well, due to this project I will need something along those lines and I'll hopefully disprove this whole rumor/theory (at least in my own eyes).

I hope to use this thread to get some feedback on the aforementioned lower model numer ESPs.

What's so "lesser" about them?

Are the neck's the same as those of the higher models?

Is the sound noticeably affected by basswood versus say mahogany? (I've never owned a mahogany body and am unsure if I've ever even played a mahogany body guitar before)

Any input is appreciated
Anything 400 series is korean made. Above that until you get to 'real' ESP models is also, korean made.

Anything with a model number lower than 400 is made in indonesia.

Also, the lower models tend to use EMG HZs or other lesser quality pickups, aren't finished to the same standards, use cheaper cuts of wood, and being of lesser quality and more mass production, more mistakes are allowed to slip through the cracks as long as they dont significantly impact playability. This includes things such as shoddy inlay work, overspray, binding problems, and rough fret ends. My Viper 400 for example has plenty of fill around the inlays. The 'Viper 400' inlay at the 12th fret is frankly terrible. THe idea is to have the wood in relief to spell the words, but due to the wood used and processes used, many of the thin sided letters on my particular fretboard were torn completely off. for those letters, they have simply placed the inlay in as normal and then filled the entire letter with black wood fill.

Its also worth noting that they haven't properly radiused the board after this step, as if you run your finger along the words you may well find a sudden ability to read braille. Or you could just find a really awful set of bumps and so on.

Aswell as this, the screws and hardware are quite cheap compared to the high end models. Licensed floyds about on anything under 400, and also, the finishes on their bridges and so on, whether 400 or not, wear off quite quickly. My vipers TOM is now worn through on the edges after only a couple of years.

In short, you're wasting your time trying to 'prove' a cheaper LTD is made to the same standards as the more expensive models. Mine is 400 series and, as is expected with most Korean production, its not fit and finished to the standards required of a great guitar, merely a good one. And, having experienced a lot of other models from the LTD ranges, I'd say the experience holds true. Anything indonesian made is basically firewood from them btw.



OH, and:
What's so "lesser" about them?

I answered this above.



Are the neck's the same as those of the higher models? In theory, yes. In practice, they are very very different in both shape feel and finish. They may or may not use lower quality woods. I'm certain my Vipers is lower quality also.

Is the sound noticeably affected by basswood versus say mahogany? (I've never owned a mahogany body and am unsure if I've ever even played a mahogany body guitar before)

Yes. The body affects the vibration of the string very much. Mahogany will give you a very warm tone with a lot of sustain, whereas a Basswood body will be much lighter and accentuate mid frequencies. there are many other differences, go to warmoth.com for in depth comparisons of most body wood types.

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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-28-2008, 10:38 PM
 
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Re: ESP Project

Quote:
Originally Posted by seckscow View Post
I don't think any wood is necessarily an inferior wood, Just higher end guitars have cuts from the better parts of the tree with less knots and such. Wood types basically just comes down to tone preference. Basswood produces a darker tone compared to mahogany, which is a little brighter.

I haven't even heard anything good about agathis woods.
I think you have those tonal differences backwards man...my Basswood RG is MUCH brighter than my Mahogany S2170 or my Viper.

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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-28-2008, 10:54 PM
 
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Re: ESP Project

what pups are you using? I thought where basswood was softer it had lower resonant frequencies. Oh well, at least I learned something lol

Edit: Yeah, you're right... looked it up and an article I read (thanks jemsite) said the low end is weakened but the highs are smoothed out. That must have been what I was thinking about :P

Last edited by seckscow; 09-28-2008 at 11:08 PM.
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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-28-2008, 11:11 PM Thread Starter
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Re: ESP Project

I don't plan on saying they're "better" I just want to show that they can be polished into fine guitars with a little work. My plan is to do this :

ESP MH-____ (not sure what I'll use yet)
Remove humbuckers (most likely end up being EMG Hz's anyways, could sell em)
Completely repaint
Replace bridge & tuners
New humbuckers
New gloss paint job versus most likely quilted top
Possible new fretboard (Maple most likely)
Killswitch?
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-28-2008, 11:23 PM
 
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Re: ESP Project

That seems like an awful lot of work for a guitar that could be made with a ****ty piece of wood to begin with.
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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-28-2008, 11:31 PM Thread Starter
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Re: ESP Project

It's no more different than what half the people have done here to their RGs, essentially I'm just :

Swapping pups
New paint job
New hardware
New fretboard

Nothing major, but in the end it'll be killer if all goes well
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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-29-2008, 12:09 PM
 
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Re: ESP Project

From where I'm sat it seems to me like you're trying very hard to justify this in the face of an alternate opinion. RG's are great mongrel guitars because everything on them is interchangeable with something else. ESPs...not so much.
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post #11 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-29-2008, 12:15 PM Thread Starter
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Re: ESP Project

I need a guitar that has a stop-tail or string through, and the RG's to me are a bit on the big side and I practically hate the bridge they use on them

As for interchangability, pups fit any guitar due to the face that they have to. In terms of bridge, I'll be using the same style (TOM) just a different brand, and same for the tuners. The body will be the same with a different paint job.

It seems like the only possible problem I could run into would be that I find the body to be too heavy or the neck may be a little too thick, in which I can always sand it down a little.
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post #12 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-29-2008, 12:59 PM
 
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Re: ESP Project

You're missing the point.
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post #13 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-29-2008, 01:15 PM Thread Starter
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Re: ESP Project

That instead of trying to get a piece of **** into a diamond I should just try it with something else due to the differences of ESP?
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post #14 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-29-2008, 01:15 PM
 
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Re: ESP Project

if you're looking for a guitar project, have at it, I'm going to build a guitar here real soon. But, if you want a cheap guitar with quality parts buy a schecter.

The necks on the cheaper models will not be good compared to the higher models. There's a chance you get a decent one. The control quality is a lot lower on cheaper guitars and you can only make them sound and play well to a degree. A guitar is a leaving breathing instrument that requires keen attention when building to have the best playing and sound qualities. Projects are a blast though.
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post #15 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-29-2008, 01:17 PM Thread Starter
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Re: ESP Project

I actually just sold my Omen 6. Neck was too thick, body was heavy, and didn't like it that much. It was my second guitar though
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