NGD: ESP Branding misstep, but great guitar (LTD Elite ST-1)

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Thread: NGD: ESP Branding misstep, but great guitar (LTD Elite ST-1)

  1. #1

    Join Date: Oct 2008
    Location: Manhattan
    ME: Warmoth Warhead
    MA: Blueridge BR-40
    MB: Dingwall ABI, Kubicki
    Rig: Budda SD30

    iTrader: 12 (100%)

    NGD: ESP Branding misstep, but great guitar (LTD Elite ST-1)

    As ESP undoubtedly realized their mistake with calling their new mid-line Made in Japan "ESP-branded" instruments "LTD Elites," they summarily discontinued all of them, then reintroduced the models as "E-II" (and increased the prices about $200 across the board).

    Luckily, there are still a few LTD Elites floating around at heavily discounted prices, and I couldn't say no to this set of specs and that color.

    So, here's my new LTD Elite ST-1.

    Two Duncan STK-S4 stacked "noiseless" singles and a Duncan Custom bridge, five-way selector, volume, tone, Floyd Special. Not sold on the STK-S4s, and may want to try a different Duncan in the bridge (Perpetual Burn, maybe?), but it sounds pretty freaking fantastic as is.

    The quilt top/veneer is pretty shitty, honestly (it gets overwhelmed by the color and doesn't have much chatoyance) but the color is fantastic, and the natural binding (looks like a quilt veneer on top of a 3/8" maple drop top) is very classy.

    24 frets and a spoke wheel truss rod adjuster

    Also an interesting (and pretty comfortable) side output jack setup, which keeps the cable out of the way, seated and standing:

    Ahh, the branding. Such a weird, weird decision by ESP. Love the color and the matching headstock, though. Strangely, the fingerboard itself is finished in gloss, and the neck itself is finished in a very slick satin.

    Swamp ash body, and a lot of contouring around the bolt joint make it pretty comfy to get up there (although I still hit the lower horn somewhat when playing on the highest frets on the lower strings):

    Gotoh tuners and that all-important MIJ sticker:

    As I've been ending up more in Gibson-scale land these days, this was a bit of a departure. But, with a narrow neck that's just deep and round enough to be comfy and a really versatile pickup layout plus Floyd (haven't owned a guitar with a locking trem for years now) means that this is just a blast to play.

    -That color!
    -That neck!
    -Spoke wheel truss rod adjuster
    -Full set of "real" Duncans
    -Good weight
    -Great sound and feel
    -Excellent fretwork
    -Excellent tonewood choice
    -Maple neck
    -Excellent hardware and electronics
    -Good access to the upper frets
    -Quality is VERY good; I paid less than a high-end Korean Schecter, and about as much as an American Strat, and I'm very, very happy with the overall quality, playability, sounds, and looks relative to other guitars in the price range.

    -STK-S4 "single coils" are a little "dead" sounding compared to what I expect in a single-coil
    -Would prefer an alnico bridge pickup, I think
    -Quilt veneer is bleh, but luckily hidden by the awesome coloration
    -Seriously, what was ESP thinking with the branding on these?

    -For some reason, they put a Floyd nut on this (and all the others that I've seen) that is narrow relative to the nut shelf. There's about a millimeter of shelf on each side of the locking nut
    -Wish it had a reverse headstock
    Too much focus leads to tunnel vision
    Too much faith leads to religion
    Too much knowledge leads to confusion
    Too many guitar lessons lead to jazz-fusion

  2. #2

    Join Date: Sep 2008
    Location: Austin, TX
    ME: 90 RG570
    Rig: Digitech GSP2101

    iTrader: 5 (100%)

    Really surprised Shannon didn't pick one of these up on clearance, seems right up his alley.

  3. #3

    Join Date: Sep 2013
    Location: Just outside Boston
    ME: Jackson DXMG
    MA: ibanez
    Rig: Jam Up/Bias

    iTrader: 1 (100%)

    Whoa dude cool guitar tho.
    It's funny you asked about the nut width, I literally just asked the same question about my lynch guitar in my thread which is the same thing.... Weird.
    There is no Dana….Only XUL

  4. #4

    Join Date: Dec 2012
    Location: Ontario / Canada
    ME: ESP Eclipse I
    Rig: 6505

    iTrader: 0

    Maple board and wheel truss rod adjustment. Looks great.

  5. #5

    Join Date: Sep 2008
    Location: London ONT
    ME: PRS Custom 22
    Rig: JCM800

    iTrader: 1 (100%)

    Wirelessly posted

    Dat blue and maple
    Sparrows (Space Punk, LOUD):

  6. #6

    Join Date: Apr 2013
    Location: elizabeth, Colorado
    ME: Robbins custom 7
    MA: ovation celebrity
    MB: Tobias
    Rig: peavey JSX/EVH 5153 4x12

    iTrader: 1 (100%)

    these elites are seriously good quality. my horizon iii kicks all sorts of serious ass

    nice snag there dude, sexy guitar.

  7. #7

    Join Date: Aug 2012
    Location: Chicago, Il
    ME: Strat
    Rig: MKV25, Port City OS Wave

    iTrader: 1 (100%)

    ^ probably sarcasm.

  8. #8

    Join Date: Oct 2008
    Location: Riverside, Ca
    ME: Jackson DKMGT
    MA: Martin GPCPA5K
    Rig: Mindy the Framus Dragon

    iTrader: 1 (100%)

    Yes! This is one of the few ESP/LTDs that I could actually see myself paying for. I love the look of them. Congrats!

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