In today’s metal guitar market, it’s hard to find a truly unique design. There’s a ton of body styles based not so subtly on models like the Flying V, the Stratocaster, and the Explorer. But, there are few name brands that make genuinely different looking instruments. The ESP LTD F-2E is a distinct exception. In this article, I’ll take a closer look at it to determine whether it has more than looks to attract serious musicians.
Features: The body of the ESP LTD F-2E is made of mahogany wood. This make is known for its deep, rich sound and good quality sustain, which explains its popularity. The body shape is is best described as having a pointed Les Paul look, with a Strat front, complete with sharp edges replacing natural curves. The finish is a dark natural brown with lighter stripes down the middle. The neck is made of a five piece maple/mahogany build, and has a neck through body build. It has an ebony fretboard, twenty four extra jumbo frets, and a pearloid dot inlays. With the length of the neck, the ESP LTD F-2E almost looks like a bass. All of the hardware on the instrument, including the tuning heads and double locking tremolo bridge, is black nickel. Electronically, the ESP LTD F-2E has two ESP brand humbucker pickups, one volume and one tone control knob, and a three way selector switch.
Playability: The mahogany build of the ESP LTD F-2E, though the make is oft-considered heavy, is actually pretty light and comfortable due to its size. Also, the thin neck and fat frets make for easy fretting on the high end. The sheer length of the neck, though, could pose problems for smaller guitarists. All things considered, the ESP LTD F-2E plays as good as it looks. Any metal player would be happy with it.
Sound: This is the only area in which some potential buyers may have a qualm or two. The fact that the pickups are ESP brand instead of active means they won’t scream quite like the EMG’s in other guitars. Many more experienced guitarists would consider the ESP LTD F-2E a great instrument for a potential pickup swap out. Nonetheless, any bedroom or basement jammer will more than likely like the sound of this guitar. Also, it has a great coil tapping feature, allowing for several more tonal options across the board.
Overall: For the intermediate guitarist into hard rock, metal, and anything on the fringe of distortion, the ESP LTD F-2E is a good prospective choice. The unique looks aren’t just a gimmick, as this guitar plays and sounds high quality too. You can find the ESP LTD F-2E in music stores for about $530.