After spending some quality time with my new AW-7, I guess I can do a little review of it so everyone else who's looking at or expecting one knows what to expect when they get it... Specs: Neck-thru Construction 25.5" Scale Mahogany Body Flame Maple Top Maple Neck Ebony Fingerboard 48mm Standard Nut Thin U Neck Contour 24 XJ Frets Black Hardware ESP Locking Tuners 7-string Fixed Bridge DiMarzio D-Activator 7 B & N pickups 3-Way blade-style switch Master Volume Master Tone Finish: Blood Red Sunburst (BRSB) Price paid: $962.99 w/ tax from Guitar Center - Special Ordered Pros: I'm sure a lot of you are probably wondering about the neck on this thing... It has the same feel and contour of all the other ESP 7-strings. A very happy medium between the Ibanez and the Schecter. In fact I find it to be about the same as the M107, H207, SC207 and the EC407 I have. Very comfortable and very easy to play. In all honesty, it feels a little bit narrower (width-wise) than my other ESP 7, but it's actually the same 1 7/8" as the rest of the LTD 7-strings. The body is as thick as a normal M-series body, and weight-wise it's about the same as a normal Gibson Les Paul. Compared to an M107, the body is slightly smaller compared to it, but it's not by a lot and barely notice-able unless you put one on top of the other to compare them like I did. The hardware is solid and sturdy as I've come to expect from ESP. The ESP locking tuners are just as good as the Sperzels and stay in tune just as well also - then again I've never really had any problem with tuning even with the normal ESP tuners either. The bridge is just as solid and sturdy too. I know a lot of folks were hoping for the Hipshot bridge on this, but I will agree with Alex Wade himself and say that the bridge is definitely NOT a deal breaker for this guitar by any means. In fact, it's kinda cool because you can more than likely still use the GraphTech String Saver saddles on this bridge and stil be just as good and comparable to the Hipshot. A HUGE plus that it comes with a hot and aggressive set of DiMarzio pickups (D-Activator 7's...), so other folks may want to swap them out for BKP's or Duncan's if they don't like the DA7's. I have used the DA7's since they were introduced and have had countless positive experiences with them. The frets and fret ends were filed nicely, the ebony fingerboard has a nice color and grain to it. The flame maple top on the body and headstock are just amazingly beautiful, and the color is just as amazing. Seeing this guitar in person is much more gratifying and justifying than seeing pictures of it. Because the color is such a deep Blood Red, it's hard to get really good pics of it. Was glad to see that ESP is still making some of their models in Korea still, which means a much better quality of craftsmanship, materials used and overall quality for the value. The guitar speaks for itself and is far more superior than any picture will ever be or do it. Cons: So far the ONLY con I have found with it is the D-Activators seem to be really dark and overall the guitar has a LOT of low-end response to it. Am having a difficult time trying to get it tweaked and a channel set on my Line 6 Vetta HD head, but I'm sure I'll get it more and more with time and more tweaking. If worse comes to worse, I'll try running an external EQ thru the effects loop for this guitar when I play it. I'm not sure if it's the pickups, or due to the neck-thru combined with the massive slabs of mahogany for the body, but it's by far the darkest guitar tone-wise I've ever owned. The only other thing would be the 3-way switch... Swapping it out for a 5-way would be much more beneficial. I got a DiMarzio multi-pole 5-way for inner coil split on position 2 and outer coil split on position 4, so this will be something new to try for some new and different tones. I'm also going to rewire the tone pot as the neck pickup volume to blend the 2 pickups together volume-wise for those sweet spots on positions 2, 3 and 4. I'll do this during the first string change and breath new life from this monster. By far, the pros exceedingly outweigh the cons, hands down. Final thoughts: I've had more than enough guitars in the nearly 16 years of playing, and have always wanted a Strat 7, but it had to be the right one. After seeing this announced before NAMM and just after taking home my EC407, I couldn't help but jump right on this one and have THE perfect Strat 7. With the only con being really dark and low-endy, it's well worth the money and well worth waiting for if you're looking at one of these. Like any guitar, pickups and stuff can be changed and it be an even better axe. I know some would have preferred passives, but for what it is, I can't argue that fact that this thing is ultimately bad-ass. Like also mentioned, the stability, durability and playabilty are top-notch for the money. And as here all know and can attest to, the LTD stuff is well worth the money and is unlike anything else out there. Yet another rock solid and awesome guitar added to the line-up, and an awesome piece to add to any arsenal, line-up or collection. I've yet to be disappointed with an ESP/LTD, and this one is another testament to what we have all come to know and expect from ESP. Thanks and hope you all enjoy as much as I do!!!