Another ESP vs LTD Question

Bordcla

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Finding myself having major GAS for an ESP or LTD Vulture guitar.

Both versions are similarly specced, with the differences being:

- LTD has a 15-in fretboard radius vs 12-inch for the ESP, which I'm assuming makes the ESP marginally easier to chord with and the LTD marginally easier to shred with.

- LTD has 3-piece mahogany neck vs 1-piece for the ESP.

- LTD made on assembly line in Korea and ESP hand made in Japan.

People with such ESPs rave about them. They say they have the best fretwork of any guitar they've ever had at any price, etc.

People with these LTDs also say the guitars are fantastic.

It's hard to know how they compare in feel and playability.

Here's the thing: the ESP is close to $5K in banana republic Canadian dollars, and the LTD is a still expensive $1900.

"Worth" is a subjective thing but given how expensive the LTD is to begin with, is it going to feel as nice (easy to play, viceless fretwork) as one would expect for this much $, or is it worth saving to pay more than twice as much for the big-daddy ESP version?

I've no attachment to the badge. If the LTD really is as nice or basically indistinguishable from the ESP, I'll take the LTD.

What I'm trying to gauge is: what am I giving up for the price difference (other than prestige and pride of ownership of the luxury brand)?
 

MaxOfMetal

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If you haven't experienced the difference, you won't know what you're missing by going with the LTD. Get the LTD.

That said, if you have a bunch of money burning a hole in your pocket, maybe now is a chance to see the difference.
 

Crash Dandicoot

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Max nailed it on the head, however I suggest a third option: if you're more interested in the brand aspect of things over the specific Vulture model go for a used Standard series or E-II - even with our dollar being practically Monopoly money there's some good deals to be had overseas in Japan auctions, even factoring in shipping and such. Obviously it's a risk but in my experience I've yet to be burned in my plethora of ESP purchases from over there.

Having said that, if you're all about that Vulture then ignore said option.
 

Bordcla

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I don't have 5 grand burning a hole in my pocket.

I guess I could sum up my question as: is it worth paying 2 grand for the LTD or would the quality be disappointing for the price?
 

MaxOfMetal

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I don't have 5 grand burning a hole in my pocket.

I guess I could sum up my question as: is it worth paying 2 grand for the LTD or would the quality be disappointing for the price?

Most LTDs are really solid, assuming it's one of the higher tier ones, there's a very good chance that'll be great.
 

oversteve

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I agree with everyone about top end ltd's being solid guitars but it's hard to say if the price of 2k is justified.
You will get a build quality similar to the deluxe ltd's or top end mik schecters, at the same time they seem to be like 1.5x cheaper then Het sig so unless you are sticking strictly to Vulture I'd rather go with some non sig model with similar specs and save some money
 

Bordcla

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I agree with everyone about top end ltd's being solid guitars but it's hard to say if the price of 2k is justified.
You will get a build quality similar to the deluxe ltd's or top end mik schecters, at the same time they seem to be like 1.5x cheaper then Het sig so unless you are sticking strictly to Vulture I'd rather go with some non sig model with similar specs and save some money

My interest in the vulture is that I kind of always liked Vs, was considering a quality thrash and riffing machine and use a Mark V 25 which I figured would sound pretty good with the Het Set EMGs. This particular V, with a satin neck and original shape, seems quite appealing.
 

oversteve

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you can try and check Schecter V-1 - Custom, Apocalypse, Evil Twin, or even Platinum which is particularly good for it's money/features ratio (same locking tuners and tonepros bridge, emg 57/66), all of them are built at the same plant that builds those Het sigs
 

Andromalia

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The top tier Metallica LTDs are good guitars. I'm a bit of a headstock snob for ESP, but that's probably because older people remember when ESPs didn't cost three kidneys.
The issue is, at that budget, since you like Vs, I'd probably just go fishing for a Gibson "authentic" flying V. I love my 2016 natural. It's not as good as a 5K ESP, but then it's 25% of the price, too.
 

Bordcla

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Geez,

I just checked the Schechter V-1 Platinum. It's literally half the price of the LTD Vulture. I prefer the Vulture shape, the 24.75-inch scale and the Hetfield EMGs, but if it's made in the same factory by the same people, it's hard to justify twice the money.

I guess the best remedy for GAS is seeing clearly how the expense makes zero sense!
 
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budda

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Buy the guitar you want, if you have the means.
 

ascl

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I have a MIK LTD, and it is damn near the best sounding guitar I have. I don't know why, I have the same model ESP (standard series), with the same pups, as well as two ESP original series, and yes they feel better and play better, but the LTD is a still a great guitar... and has *something* in the sound that I just love.

I think MaxOfMetal really said all there is to say on the topic. If you don't already know the answer to the question, go for the LTD... assuming it is one of the top tier MIK ones. They are solid.
 

Bordcla

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I have a MIK LTD, and it is damn near the best sounding guitar I have. I don't know why, I have the same model ESP (standard series), with the same pups, as well as two ESP original series, and yes they feel better and play better, but the LTD is a still a great guitar... and has *something* in the sound that I just love.

I think MaxOfMetal really said all there is to say on the topic. If you don't already know the answer to the question, go for the LTD... assuming it is one of the top tier MIK ones. They are solid.

Afraid to ask, since as it was mentioned, part of the way to enjoy the 2nd tier guitar is to not experience the difference (better is the enemy of good afterall), but I'm curious.

What is it about the ESP that plays better? How so?
 

fps

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Get the guitar you want. Remember spending double the price won't necessarily make you a better player, or sound any better, or write any better. A guitar is a tool. LTDs are rocked by so many professionals out on their tours and also in the studio. A good one will be a rock for you. But if you genuinely want the more expensive guitar, then get it, because if you're going to end up getting it anyway you may as well buy once and buy right. Once you get up into the higher price ranges I'm not sure how far thinking about "tiers" is helpful - that's definitely how the companies want you to think about it though, that more expensive = better.
 

Andromalia

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What is it about the ESP that plays better? How so?

It's difficult to put in numbers. As a brand overall, ESP has a kind of "solidity" feel that I don't get from others. Like, if you drop them, they'd win against the concrete (no, don't try it baka)
I currently own an LTD bass (old, probably from 2007, an F404), an old SS ESP, a 2005 CH ESP and a modern Sugi ESP so I have access to all the range, the biggest jump is from the LTD to the ESP, the Sugi model is above everything else but that's comparing Rolls Royces to Bentleys at that point.
 

Bordcla

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Get the guitar you want. Remember spending double the price won't necessarily make you a better player, or sound any better, or write any better. A guitar is a tool. LTDs are rocked by so many professionals out on their tours and also in the studio. A good one will be a rock for you. But if you genuinely want the more expensive guitar, then get it, because if you're going to end up getting it anyway you may as well buy once and buy right. Once you get up into the higher price ranges I'm not sure how far thinking about "tiers" is helpful - that's definitely how the companies want you to think about it though, that more expensive = better.

I would not buy a more expensive guitar under the delusion that it will make me better. If I pay a lot of money (and to me, 2k$ is a lot) for a tool, I expect it to be nice and feel special.

I also don't attach value to the crest on the headstock, and also don't believe when sponsored artists use the 2nd tier brand, that it's not a custom shop special just like their regular one. I'm sure they're not pulling just a regular one off the line for their sponsored artists. It's just a prop for the 2nd tier brand.

Again, I'm trying to see how objectively nice the 2k guitar is and what the objective differences to the 5k guitar are, to see if I'd regret parting with 2k on the cheaper one or not, or in the contrary if I'd feel like I just paid for a more expensive logo.
 

MaxOfMetal

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What is it about the ESP that plays better? How so?

It's sort of hard to put that into words really. We could go on about materials and every so slight touches of care and detail that go into the build, but none of that is really going to translate in a meaningful way.

It's sort of like describing the difference between good pizza and bad pizza. They're both pizza, which is fucking awesome, but one is just better. The ingredients are a bit more fresh, the bake is just right, the toppings aren't too greasy.

Basically a lot of extra care is given to the high end ESP guitars that isn't to the cheaper lines. Fret work is ever so much better, only the best materials are used, and all along the process the utmost care is taken to ensure the finest instrument possible.

I'm going to go out on a limb and say that most players wouldn't notice most of the difference, or really care. We see and feel it because we're enthusiasts, guitar geeks.
 

fps

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I would not buy a more expensive guitar under the delusion that it will make me better. If I pay a lot of money (and to me, 2k$ is a lot) for a tool, I expect it to be nice and feel special.

I also don't attach value to the crest on the headstock, and also don't believe when sponsored artists use the 2nd tier brand, that it's not a custom shop special just like their regular one. I'm sure they're not pulling just a regular one off the line for their sponsored artists. It's just a prop for the 2nd tier brand.

Again, I'm trying to see how objectively nice the 2k guitar is and what the objective differences to the 5k guitar are, to see if I'd regret parting with 2k on the cheaper one or not, or in the contrary if I'd feel like I just paid for a more expensive logo.

We can't tell you how you'd feel dude. Top end ESP is exceptional stuff, everything is just that little bit smoother and easier and you're not quite sure why. Compared with some others they are, from what I've seen trying some in shops, also incredibly consistent.
 

Bordcla

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Back to square one. Unfortunately, even the LTD Vulture is pretty rare and not in stock at a nearby retailer (which are all closed anyway). The ESP is special order only. So no realistic way to compare.
 

MaxOfMetal

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Back to square one. Unfortunately, even the LTD Vulture is pretty rare and not in stock at a nearby retailer (which are all closed anyway). The ESP is special order only. So no realistic way to compare.

Yeah, unless it's in-stock getting gear right now is sort of a shit show. I have a bass on order that seems to be getting pushed back in shipment by the week now. Forget international stuff.

I really think you'll be more than happy with the LTD, heck maybe even that Schecter posted earlier.
 


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