In this world where more is always better the seven string guitar is rapidly becoming a must have instrument. The additional string gives you an extended range which drives the low driving rhythms synonymous with modern metal music. However, if you are tempted to try out an extra string but don’t want to blow the bank then a budget seven string guitar is a good option. The ESP LTD M-17 is a seven string guitar that certainly is at the budget end of the market but is it any good?
ESP has an enviable reputation having made guitars for some of the biggest names in rock and metal. Kirk Hammett, James Hetfield, the late great Jeff Hanneman and Ozzy Osborne’s new guitarist Gus G all play ESP guitars so they have a strong endorsement. Therefore the ESP LTD M-17 comes with a rich pedigree so it should be good.
As you would expect from a budget model the ESP LTD M-17 is constructed from cheaper raw materials. The body is cut from basswood a typical hardwood used in budget guitars. The body shaping and contouring is minimal allowing for cost effective mass manufacturing however this does not impact on the overall look and feel of the guitar. The 22 fret maple neck has a rosewood fretboard and has comfortable slim line feel which makes it a great neck to play especially when you are stretching to play that seventh string.
In terms of hardware the ESP LTD M-17 has a tune-o-matic bridge and ESP LTD tuners. The pick-ups come in the shape of two ESP LH107 humbuckers in the bridge and neck position. The pick-ups can be accessed through a three way selector switch and there are master tone and volume controls.
Plugging the ESP LTD M-17 into an amp and we have to admit that we were impressed by the sound. As this is a budget model don’t expect a sonic treat but for the money the tone and responsiveness of the ESP LH107 humbuckers is good. The clean tone is sparkling and the distorted tone is fine if a little peaky when you turn up the volume. If you know what you are doing you could choose to replace the pick-ups and if you did you would have a great guitar.
Essentially this is a very good budget guitar. As with any budget guitar there are limitations but if you accept that fact then the ESP LTD M-17 could be the ideal guitar if you are looking to experiment with that additional seventh string.
|ESP LTD M-17 Seven String Guitar|
|Neck||Bolt on Maple|
|Frets||22 XJ frets|
|Nut width||48 mm standard nut|
|Neck style||Thin U Neck|
|Scale length||648 mm / 25.5"|
|Bridge pickup||ESP LH-107 Humbucker|
|Neck pickup||ESP LH-107 Humbucker|
|Pickup switching||3 way toggle switch|
|Controls||1 master volume and 1 tone control|
|Hardware||ESP LTD Tuners (Chrome)|
|Recommended retail price||£225|
|If you love this guitar||Find the best deal on the ESP LTD M-17 seven string guitar|