Guitar of the week #88 - ESP LTD EC-1000QM and EC-1000QMFR Eclipse Deluxe
This one is a feast for the eyes, and fortunately is not just a pretty face.
I can remember a time when LTD was a crap guitar. Well, those days are long over when you see guitars like this one. Two, actually. The EC-1000QM and the EC-1000QMFR. The difference between the two is one is a hardtail and the other has a Floyd-Rose tremolo system. And yes, the FR model does cost more.
This particular LTD has a Gibson scale 24.75" neck with thin U shape, extra jumbo fret wire and 350mm (about 13.78") super flat fingerboard radius. Pickups are EMG 60 in the bridge and EMG 81 in the neck, and yes that means active electronics.
What we have here is a Les Paul that guitar soloists wish Gibson would actually build but won't and never will. The closest competitor to the LTD is the Epiphone Prophecy EX that has almost an identical pickup configuration and almost the same fingerboard radius at 14". But it does not offer a model with FR while the LTD does.
Which is the better guitar? For the soloist, the LTD is the better choice because ultimately it's all about the neck. The LTD has that thin U shape that allows for lightning fast runs up and down the fingerboard, and the extra jumbo frets make fretting and bending notes almost effortless.
Arguably, the LTD also looks better than the Epiphone. The Deluxe model with that quilt is a real eyecatcher. And for a real look-at-me finish, see the EC-1000QM in transparent black cherry. Not only is the finish to die for but there's abalone everywhere. Check it out to see what I mean.
For players seeking out a Les Paul that delivers the things soloists look for that's a true "needs nothing" guitar, your choices are the Epiphone or the LTD. I personally think the LTD is the better choice.