Esp Ltd Dv8-r Review
Original author: Goliath
Model: Esp Ltd Dv8-r
Now, my one problem with guitar reviews on the internet is that every guitar is the greatest guitar ever made. For this reason, I'm going to try to keep this review as objective as possible. This is not the greatest guitar ever made, but it is an excellent players guitar, unquestionably. I'll put up pictures when I can figure out where I left my digital camera.
I went to Sam Ash yesterday to play a Dean V Inferno, if it was as good as it looked, I was going to buy it. I was played by it, I was less than impressed. I played a couple other guitars, ESP Eclipse II, Ltd EC-1000, viper-1000, Alexi-600 and the Dean V Inferno.
EDIT: Was going to snap my own pics but this is it, if you want other areas of the guitar photographed, feel free to request em and I'll snap em when I get home.
Mine has the Live Wires tho.
24 jumbo frets
Seymour Duncan Dave Mustaine Live Wire Active Pick Ups
String Thru Body
Neck Thru Construction
3 Piece Mahogony Neck with Rosewood Fingerboard
Jim Dunlop Flush Mounted Strap locks
Bound neck and headstock
2 vols, 1 tone
Sperzel Locking Tuners
Action, playability, fit and Finish
The quality is what you'd expect. The only flaw I found with it is there is an unpainted area between the binding on the neck and the body of the guitar. The action is a bit higher than I would care for on any of my other guitars, but this guitar has "jumbo frets" but they are not as wide as my Ibanez, but are a touch taller. The effect ends up being a very accurate without sacrificing speed. The neck profile is slightly thicker than a Wizard II neck but is very elegantly shaped. The balance of the guitar when played while standing is fantastic, you can position it at any angle and it will hang there without any additional effort. The effect is an extremely playable guitar while standing. Playing seated with the elongated V requires a bit more effort but is definitely doable, and comfortable if you're accustomed to playing w/ odd shaped guitars. The pots sit a bit off of the pick guard, which you can't really tell looking at the guitar head on but when you're playing standing up looking down, you can see it. The neck is not overly lacquered so you can move your hand effortlessly over the neck. First fret has an 8-ball inlay that looks sharp. Headstock and both pickups bear Dave Mustaine's signature. Truss rod plate says DV8-R. Made in Korea. My model is black with a black pick guard.
The Seymour Duncan actives are incredible. They have more warmth than the other EMG actives I tried and sound MUCH better clean, especially the neck pick up when played clean. You can achieve an almost bell like tone playing leads through the neck on the cleans. When playing distorted, you have a mean crushing tone that is very responsive and extremely clear. The bridge screams just as you would expect an active to when you go for the harmonics. The neck thru/string thru mahogany body creates incredible sustain, not for simply a V, but for a guitar, period. No other guitar I've owned comes close to it. All bolt on necks I've picked up fall way short, the LP body guitars edge it out, but it's certainly in the same realm. The low end on this guitar is extremely robust. For thrash chording, this guitar is a metal machine, but playing some of the other less aggressive riffs, it lends itself very well also. It truly is very versatile, as cliche as that may sound, but you could really play anything you want with this machine. The Live Wires blow away my Evos in my S, the IBZs in my 550, and the "Duncan Designs" in my Schecter.
Did not come with a case (this guitar is LONG, 25.5 scale with 2 "long" fins from the offset V. The only case they had that it would fit in is a bass coffin case, and even still it only has about an inch of space. Case was $120.
I paid just shy of $700 for this guitar. It has the quality of my japanese built RG (was $900). This guitar is definitely satisfied my thirst for tone and playability. $700 is a sensational value for this instrument. Apparently Dave Mustaine was with ESP for a year and a half, all of 2005 (those came with a JB and Jazz) pick up and left early in 06 when the Live Wire were dropped in. Should I ever decide to sell this guitar, I have no doubt I can recoup my $700 and then some. I'm thrilled with this instrument.
This is where all of that objectivity I was shooting for stops. These are my impressions and feelings from this point on. Overall, I'm a very big guy, 6'-6" tall and 285 lbs former rugby player. I have an issue playing guitars that are not 25.5 standing and even sitting. I still have difficulty playing this sitting as I do with all guitars, but standing and playing with this guitar is easier than any guitar I have owned, standing or seated. This is my second V, I used to have a Jackson RR3 and it was too small. This guitar feels like it was made for me, it was definitely a bit of serendipity in finding it. I've played a lot of guitars in my quest for a fixed bridge guitar to complement my RG, and I found something that I think will be my new mainstay. I have played a hellraiser, Eclipse, viper, plenty of jacksons, and this guitar trumps them in spades as far as sound and playability. I highly recommend these pickups to anyone considering actives. I dont know if I'll be able to buy another guitar that's not neck through. I don't know if I'll ever need another guitar, unless I end up picking up one of the Dave Mustaine signatures with Dean now.
Hear what she sounds like HERE
I <3 my Lucy