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Lord Super Awesome
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5,701 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A few weeks late, but better late than never. Anyway, I bought this ESP LTD ST-203FR from Drumcityguitarland & holy shit! Everyone needs to order one of these before ESP realizes what a steal these are!

I love 22-fret maple fretboard superstrats & although my Charvel San Dimas is pretty sick, I have some gigs & upcoming career opportunites where I really needed something more vintage that had middle & neck single coils. The ESP looks & feels like a well-loved 40 yr old vintage strat. This neck is like buttah. Even the stock pups are really nice & totally usable, but I'll be upgrading for my own personal preference. Plus, since the sucker already has that well-loved appearance, I plan to use this a heavy modding platform. New pups, 500K tone pot, possible ridiculous paint job, etc. :lol:
On to specs & pics....

Bolt-On Construction
25.5" Scale
Alder Body
Maple Neck
Maple Fingerboard
42mm Locking Nut
Thin U Neck Contour
22 XJ Frets
Nickel Hardware
ESP Tuners
Floyd Rose Special Bridge
ESP LH-150 (B) / LS-120 (M & N) p.u.
Finish: Distressed BLK
Master Volume
5-Way Switch
Master Tone








PICKUP SUGGESTIONS:
So...
For the bridge, I'm looking for something ala 1978 Van Halen (c'mon, this is a floyd rose equipped, maple fretboard strat afterall). I'm looking for that "Brown Sound," yet with possibility a bit more aggression. I do a lot of whammy shit ala EVH & Dimebag, so I want harmonics to LEAP off the fretboard w/ zero effort.
My top contenders are the following, but I'm completely open to suggestions & your thoughts....
EVH Frankenstein Humbucker
BKP VHII
SD Custom SH-5
SD Custom Custom SH-11
SD '78 Model
Dimarzio Super Distortion, PAF 36th Anniversary, PAF Pro (no individual links)

Now as for single coils, I'm clueless as to models, but I know what I want soundwise. The middle pickup would be used exclusively for 2nd & 4th split poisitons. For the neck, I want that glassy SRV, Hendrix, Trower tone, but with a touch more output to match up with the bridge humbucker. Ah yes, and it has to be humcancelling. Fender only sells Texas Specials in a 3-pack & they sound great, but aren't humcancelling, so I'm fucked there. I wonder if those new Dimarzio Paul Gilbert Injectors would be a good candidate. Anyway, hook a brother up!

And just for the heck of it, here are a few of my kids....
 

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How do you like that alder body compared to say..mahogany or swamp ash or basswood?
 

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Lord Super Awesome
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5,701 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Well, they are all different. Alder & Swamp ash are the strat sound. Most of my guitars are Alder & Basswood bodies, so guess where my preferences lie? :lol:
 

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Uses more gain than you.
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4,377 Posts
I have a Dimarzio AT1, and 2 Virtual Solos in my Charvel Mutt, sounds awesome for most things, from blues to rock to 80's metal, and the singles hold up fine next to the bridge hum.

I know Drew has 2 of the DiM Heavy Blues models in the neck and bridge with the same bridge pickup, in "The Strat". :)
 

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Lord Super Awesome
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5,701 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
^ I was hoping you'd chime in! :)
Per the Dimarzio site:
the AT-1 is the same patented technology as the PAF® 36th Anniversary, but the sound is hotter and the focus is rock.
May be a viable candidate & if the PAF 36th is good enough for Dave Murray.... :yesway:

Do you think the AT-1 & Virtual Solos would be what I'm looking for given the specific sounds/charactaristics I'm after?
 

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Uses more gain than you.
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The virtual solos are a bit more middy and hot than the average single coil. Still really clean and stratty sounding, IMO, but I was never a big strat guy. :lol:

The AT-1 is fucking awesome, I'm still tempted to swap one into my purple Charvel. Its very much like a Breed and a PAF had abasterd kid.
 

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:metal: I have GAS for that same model.. Maple fretboard Floyd. H-S-S. The price seems right and Like you said could always repaint one if I got it :lol:

Any possible clips of it? like Youtube video or something?
 

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Stop calling it an ESP. It's an LTD. :fawk: It's like saying Check out my Fender Squier. :lol:

That said, I loved the Timmons pickups in the Drewster's strat. :wub:
 

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I measure things
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Shannon,

Godd to hear you like your LTD. I saw that model in the AMS catalog, then looked at the price, then had to look again. Thought it had to be a piece of junk for the price they had (can't remember what it was).

Pissed at myself for buying my Strat. Year and a half ago I bought a black Strat for the sole purpose of modding it. NOW I SEE THIS. This is pretty much exactly what I wanted. H-S-S, Floyd Rose, maple board, 22 frets. I'm just shaking my head. If I would only have waited...:rant:

Question for you - is that neck heel slanted/cut/whatever you want to call it? It isn't a fat square heel like a Strat, is it? Jeez, another reason I should kick myself. :scream:

Still insanely jealous of your Universe. Man I love that green with the "zebra-like" pickups!
 

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Lord Super Awesome
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5,701 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
chris said:
Stop calling it an ESP. It's an LTD. It's like saying Check out my Fender Squier.
Semantics. It's an ESP product. No one cries when someone says Schecter instead of Schecter Diamond Series. Clearly, a difference. Shut up, dick. :lol:

Shannon,
Question for you - is that neck heel slanted/cut/whatever you want to call it? It isn't a fat square heel like a Strat, is it? Jeez, another reason I should kick myself. :scream:

Still insanely jealous of your Universe. Man I love that green with the "zebra-like" pickups!
Yes, is has a contoured heel.
Greenie remains my #1 & she's not going anywhere.
 

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...
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I've always thought of the ESP/LTD thing as being more like cheaper Ibanez vs. Prestige Ibanez back when that meant a difference between MIK and MIJ. Same basic company, just difference factories of manufacturing. Squier/Fender or Epiphone/Gibson is kind of a different situation, since neither Squier or Epiphone makes guitars that compete with higher-end LTD (or at least, are not viewed that way).
 

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Mr. Negative Pants, ,
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They're apparently the holy grail of single-coil style pickups. Ask Mike Sherman about them.
 

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I am Groot
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Neck and middle: Strat Bitch
Bridge: Timbre Wolf

This is what I put in my Soloist, which uses similar tonewoods (maple neck, alder body, ebony fretboard), and they absolutely slay. They're a bit pricey, but extremely toneful and diverse pickups. I play it in the coverband, and you can literally them for damn near any style. You were talking about using this for demo videos, and this would fit the bill nicely, since they'll take you from pop and country, straight through blues and rock, all the way up to heavy rock and metal.
 

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Premium Member
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For the bridge, I'm looking for something ala 1978 Van Halen (c'mon, this is a floyd rose equipped, maple fretboard strat afterall). I'm looking for that "Brown Sound," yet with possibility a bit more aggression. I do a lot of whammy shit ala EVH & Dimebag, so I want harmonics to LEAP off the fretboard w/ zero effort.
Genesis Pickups "Mr. Browney". It's fairly obvious what they were aiming for with that name. :lol: It's a medium output pickup though. I'd say it's similar in output to the Air Zone pickup in your PH-600.

Welcome to the world of Genesis Pickups!
 
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