Honeymoon's over: ESP LTD H-207 Review

Discussion in 'Guitar Reviews' started by robotsatemygma, Mar 2, 2009.

  1. robotsatemygma

    robotsatemygma myspace.com/pygar1

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    Ok I figured I wanted to do a review of my H-207 once the honeymoon period was over. It's been about roughly a month with this guitar, a few shows, and tons of hours spent playing.

    This isn't my only experience with a 7 string guitar, as I have owned a Squier 7 banger years ago, and I've spent countless hours with other 7's in the past. I'm also a very VERY picky guitarist, and stick with what I find is tried and true. I've been playing on and off for the past 8 years or so now on and off, in and out of various bands, and I play a wide selection of music in my current band, ranging from classical to jazz to metal. Nothing like Yngie Malmsteen or Vai, but I like to think I can utilize a fretboard. :lol:

    Features:

    I bought the H-207 used from a music store here in Minnesota and the previous owner installed a EMG 707 in the bridge of this guitar and kept the Duncan Designed in the neck, disconnected.

    Stock, the guitar comes with a pair of Seymour Duncan's "Duncan Designed" humbuckers based of their JB and '59 design. The guitar seems to be a one piece Ash body, 3pc Maple Bolt-on neck, and a 24 fret Rosewood fretboard. The controls are a volume, tone, and 3 position pickup selector, activating the bridge pickup, both pickups, or the neck pickup. It also comes with generic brand tuners and a string through body tune-o-matic.

    I gave the guitar a 4 for features. It's simplistic in features, but it's not at all means cheap. I found the Ash body to be a nice change compared to the other tonewoods available from the competition.

    Sound:

    Like I mentioned above this guitar is modified with an EMG707 in the bridge and the original Duncan Designed in the neck, which is not connected.

    The sound of this guitar is such a huge compliment to the tone I've been looking for. The combination of the Ash body and the EMG707 gives great articulation for quick jazz runs clean and distorted, and gives an awesome amount of girth for those "djent" or "chug" moments. Quick lowend runs can tend to muddy up mainly due to the 707. This combination sounds good through tube amps and solid state amps alike.

    The Ash tonewood is very quirky with a nice balanced lowend and characteristicly twangy highend. It makes great for those Johnny Cash moments you may find yourself in. It's also a great selection for the lead guitarist as it gives you a whole new beast to play with. Ash is a great wood that adds flavor to all styles of music and will be best adapted to any serious guitarist looking for a different voice.

    The EMG707 at times seems a bit sterile on some of the EQ and boomy compared to other nonactive pickups. It's a great "metal" and heavy music pickup and delivers a very pronounced metal tone, but it does lack personality when played in a lean setting. Rolling the volume knob down just a bit takes away some of the bit and clears out the "boominess" of the lowend. Low notes played on the low E string have more presence and body to them then compared to a 6 string pickup. It is evident that the EMG707 is a metal pickup.

    Action, Fit, and Finish:

    The action of this guitar is excellent. The strings are low enough to sound any tapped playing, no matter the strength of your fingers, and best of all... no buzzing! For a bolt on Neck, the fret access is actually really good. Forget about playing the higher frets on the low B and E strings, but your "normal" solo strings are easily accessible to shred away. Sweeping and tapping are very easy to pull off. I'm not too fond of the Tune-o-Matic as I'm more of a Floyd Rose kinda guy.

    This guitar is pretty heavy. I'm talking Gibson Les Paul and Explorer heavy, but the sleek body contours form to your body without a problem. For being a heavy guitar it's relatively easy to play for extended time. There's no neck diving with this beast.

    The finish of this guitar is See Through Aqua, which to me appears to be green. The grain of the Ash body is very unique and very appealing, and the See Through finish only enhances this. But LTD's quality control isn't the best. You can tell the grain was dyed or inked, and it shows through in the natural binding found on the body. It randomly stops in the binding but is only noticeable upon close inspection. It seems to be on par with other LTD models of the same series.

    Reliability:

    I've owned this guitar for only a month or so and have played a few shows with it so far. But I've owned other ESP LTD guitars of comparable quality, and I find them to be workhorses. They can and will take any abuse you throw at them with flying colors.

    I currently own a 1999 LTD MH-300 which has been my main guitar for the past 2 years. I've thrown it, dropped it, and whacked it against pillers, drums, and various other things and it still works like it was new. It adjusts fine with Minnesota's climate, and weather is no problem for it.

    But I've also owned a 2003 MH-100QM, which is a 1 pc Maple bolt-on neck and experienced unsavory results with it. Don't get me wrong, it was a nice guitar, but the neck caused me many problems. The neck eventually warped and became unplayable after a year of owning it.

    I was a little skeptical of buying another LTD with a bolt-on neck, like this H-207... but the neck is of a different construction. This neck is a 3pc and seems to be more solid then the neck on my old MH-100QM. I'm actually not worried at all that this neck will warp.



    Customer Support:

    I have worked with ESP's Customer Support before with other questions on other guitars and they have been very prompt and knowledgeable about their past products.

    Overall/Summery:

    I'm very fond of Ash as a tonewood after exclusively playing Mahogany for so many years. I came across this guitar for a steal of a price and couldn't walk away or put it down when I checked it out. I mainly bought this guitar for it's playability and tone. I'm going to be playing a few different tunings with this guitar for some projects coming up and needed to easy tuning capability the TOM supplies.

    But as an experienced guitarist I'm not to fond of the tuners, tune-o-matic bridge, or the EMG707 on this guitar. The tuners do not keep tune well, it's a horrible issue, but after 20 min or so of heavy playing it'll need to be tuned again. This can be fixed with a new set of tuners, which I knew I would eventually have to get. The Tune-o-Matic seems to be a cheap piece of "pop" metal, IMO. I could be wrong though, but it hasn't cause any problems yet and honestly I don't see it causing one, but I'd rather have a quality bridge in there.

    As for the Pickups I want to try installing the 707 in the neck of the guitar and picking up a 707TW for those single coil tones I've been missing. I love the growl and tone of Duncan's but I haven't given EMG's a full chance.

    Overall, I'm very satisfied with this guitar. It does everything I tell it to do and then some! I can play some grinding death metal, chug away on a breakdown, or play some Chic Corea inspired jazz line with ease. ESP has always produced excellent products and their older products are always those rare precious gems everyone forgets about. I've played Ibanez Jems and Universes, Japanese Jacksons, ESP Standards, PRS Customs, and Gibson Tennessee's and this LTD is a quality product and an excellent bang for the buck for us working man musicians, who dream to own a '57 Gold Top or '63 Strat.
     
  2. Lava Joe

    Lava Joe SS.org Regular

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    Nice review! I wish I went with one of these instead of my SC-207 because I can't STAND riffing and having to pick right where the middle pickup is. I could almost cry, lol.
     

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