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Thread: NGD: ESP LTD JH-600

  1. #1

    Join Date: Oct 2008
    Location: Herndon, VA
    ME: Jackson Soloist
    Rig: Fractal Audio Axe-FX II

    iTrader: 4 (100%)

    NGD: ESP LTD JH-600

    Story after the pics, since that's what you really want to see.

    Here's the back story: A few weeks ago on eBay, I lost out on two 1984 Jackson Soloists with H/H pickups and Kahlers. This JH-600 was for sale at Atomic Music at the same time and was my "back-up plan" if I didn't get either of the Soloists. Well, it was gone when I went back to get it after whiffing on the Soloists. However, the buyer sold it back to Atomic because he couldn't deal with the Kahler. So, I was able to very happily snag it yesterday, just in time for my birthday!

    So, why the fuck do I want a guitar with a Kahler? Well, I've owned a number of guitars with Kahlers over the years, and I've always loved their tone, as well as the soft, springy feel they give to the strings. There's a very distinct "Kahler tone" that has always appealed to me. The downside is their fussiness and tendency not to return to zero pitch.

    Anyhoo, the price on this JH-600 was certainly right. And, guess what, on this four-year-old guitar, the Kahler already does not return to pitch correctly.

    By "return to pitch", I mean all the strings together, not relative to each other. In fact, with a Floyd nut, the strings on this guitar stay perfectly in relative tune to each other. The trem just doesn't return to the proper zero starting point. Mostly it's a problem with pulling up on the bar, which I rarely do. If I only dive the bar, it returns to the right place (Floyds with dull knife edges do the same thing).

    As such, it's usable, but I'm definitely going to want to fix it properly. Otherwise, this Kahler Hybrid seems to function just as well as a Kahler Pro. If there's any functional difference, I can't see it. I need to check whether the cam bearings are clean and lubricated, and also whether the screws for the springs are fully tightened. If all seems well, I'll probably replace the springs. I'm also going to WD-40 the saddles to make them roll 100% freely (already had to do this to the low E).

    Apart from the Kahler, I am pleased with the quality of this guitar. Some of you know what a picky freak I am about fretwork, and the frets on this guitar are much better dressed than other LTDs I've played. No sharp ends or fret-outs etc. I've been very critical of LTDs in the past because every single one I play seems to have an issue with the fretwork unless you have the action set very high. Even with the action nearly on the deck, I don't have major problems on this guitar, even though there are some buzzes here and there. Kudos to ESP for finally finding someone to do proper fretwork on an LTD.

    The LTD version of the Hanneman is all-maple, so it has a more "vintage ESP" tone like my '80s Mirage. I replaced the EMGs with Duncan Blackout neck versions, and it absolutely crushes now. Fuck the Slayer stuff--this thing kills for avant-shred in the Vernon Reid mold. You can absolutely go nuts on this guitar.

    Which, of course, means that I'm going to have to get around to getting a proper Soloist w/Kahler.

    BTW, that Fender trem bar is the only one I had available for it, and it looks so incredibly ghey on this guitar that I had to include it in the photos.

  2. #2

    Join Date: Sep 2008
    Location: Ohio
    ME: Schecter Loomis 7
    Rig: Boss GT-8

    iTrader: 0

    You have the coolest/quirkiest tastes on here.
    The only proof he needed for the existance of God was music.
    Kurt Vonnegut Jr.

    Without music, life would be a mistake.
    Friedrich Nietzsche

  3. #3

    Join Date: Sep 2008
    Location: Wynnewood, PA.
    ME: Ibanez Universe
    MA: Suzuki VC Flamenco
    MB: Ibanez SB900
    Rig: Hughes und Kettner

    iTrader: 5 (100%)

    Quote Originally Posted by jacksonplayer View Post

    Which, of course, means that I'm going to have to get around to getting a proper Soloist w/Kahler.
    You and me both, brother.
    When nothing less than second-best will do.


  4. #4

    Join Date: Dec 2009
    Location: Albuquerque, NM
    ME: Sherman Poips
    MA: Martin DXK2
    MB: StringlessRusted Leonbass
    Rig: Mark-V 25 1x12

    iTrader: 10 (100%)

    Those inlays remind me of:

    Not too sure why though.

    Congrats on the guitar!

  5. #5

    Join Date: Oct 2008
    Location: Herndon, VA
    ME: Jackson Soloist
    Rig: Fractal Audio Axe-FX II

    iTrader: 4 (100%)

    Quote Originally Posted by Seanbabs View Post
    Those inlays remind me of:

    I like that! Actually, that's a lot better than the real reason for the inlays, which is Hanneman's bizarre fascination with Nazi paraphernalia. The original custom version had SS "Totenkopf" inlays, which obviously didn't go over very well. Not that the Nazi Eagle symbol is a whole lot better.

    Dots up and down the neck would be the best, really, though I'm partial to Jackson sharkies.

  6. #6

    Join Date: Nov 2008
    Location: Ohio
    ME: Ibanez RocketRoll II
    Rig: Mesa Triple

    iTrader: 0

    I thought they were the tanks from Combat.

  7. #7

    Join Date: Feb 2010
    Location: Laramie, Wyoming
    ME: Jackson AT Pro
    Rig: Rivera K Tre

    iTrader: 15 (100%)

    Happy birthday/guitar day Chris!

    Now a really sick kahlered jackson is gonna pop up on ebay. I guarantee it!

    Also WD-40 is the bomb on trems. I put a rusty jt-590 in a vat of it two weeks ago and just let it sit for like 10 days, looks pretty awesome now.

  8. #8

    Join Date: Jan 2009
    Location: London, Ontario, Canada
    ME: WarmothTele/SE245
    MA: Seagull S12+
    MB: Fender Jazz Bass V
    Rig: Egnater Renegade 65

    iTrader: 2 (100%)

    Now I want a guitar with Space Invaders inlays

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