ESP teles, how do the LTDs compare to the E-II´s?

Discussion in 'Sevenstring Guitars' started by neurosis, Dec 19, 2018.

Is the quality difference between the LTD SC and the ESP TB 7 that big?

Poll closed Feb 19, 2019.
  1. yes, the EII destroys the LTD.

    10 vote(s)
    62.5%
  2. no, these LTD models are higher quality than they used to be.

    6 vote(s)
    37.5%
  1. neurosis

    neurosis SS.org Regular

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    Hey all,

    I was looking to buy one of the baritone E-IIs but they're currently on backorder until January. So in the meantime, as GAS will do... I am looking at the cheaper SC LTD models.

    I have some ESPs and have had them in the past and I also had an LTD AL-600 that was really nice but frankly years away from coming even close to the quality of my SV Standard.

    Since I had the time I started comparing pictures of the black EII with the black version of the SC and the build quality looks soooo close in un retouched photos. I know there must be a difference in quality but are those signature models somehow build to a higher spec than I remember? In comparison, the green sparkle and black LTDs actually look more exciting/polished than the EIIs. So much that I am actually considering going with one of those.

    Does anybody here have both and would like to share their experience with both? I know the price difference is obvious and so must be the quality but it seems like the LTD is punching high enough to be a strong contender, especially with the Fishman set installed from the factory, even though I am totally fine with the EMGs in the EII and actually like the pickup layout on that way better.

    I have seen the LTDs go for really low prices locally so might be worth a try.

    Thanks for the info. Happy holiday's y'all.
     
  2. MaxOfMetal

    MaxOfMetal Likes trem wankery. Super Moderator

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    It's less of a total quality thing, and more about consistency. The E-II will be consistently better than the LTD. So you can definitely get an LTD that can compete with an E-II, but you'll find some that can't.
     
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  3. UltimaWeapon

    UltimaWeapon yolo-swag-3000

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    From my point of view the lower range guitars went much further with the wood quality or with the hardware in the last 10 years. Last guitar i bought was an indonesian made ibanez JemJr because it was so good for the money. And my main guitar i use with my band is a cheap RG321ex with replaced pickups and tuning machines. I still have some expensive stuff at home but mostly i keep them in their cases. :D So you might give a chance to the LTD and save some money.
     
  4. AkiraSpectrum

    AkiraSpectrum SS.org Regular

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    It depends. The quality difference between an LTD-600 or 1000 series and an E-II isn't 'huge'. But you will notice that there is more time and attention to detail in the E-II than an LTD--most notably on the neck.

    With the E-II you're going to notice really nice fretwork (rounded ends, really nicely crowned and rounded); and often better quality fret material. The neck usually feels more 'expensive' (rounded fretboard edges, etc.).

    The high-end LTD's are often really good and feel quite close overall to the E-II's (especially the newer 2018 models), but there are small quality differences that for some people are worth the extra money, but for others the substantial price difference (for most models) isn't worth the workmanship (and small hardware and wood quality) differences.

    From my experience LTD's have had fairly consistent workmanship quality for a long time and the E-II's are at the same quality level as the ESP Standard Series. Based on your experiences with ESP-SS and LTD-600+ series guitars you're likely going to see they have remained fairly consistent from then until now. So if an ESP SS was worth it to you over an LTD then an E-II will likely be worth it to you over the newer LTD's.
     
  5. Andromalia

    Andromalia Pardon my french

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    The main difference between different quality guitars is that the cheaper ones will likely need to be setup more often and will age less well, most notably the hardware.
    Higher end LTDs, that said, are solid guitars worth the purchase. I'm biased owning many ESPs and likely wouldn't buy an LTD nowadays but they beat the crap out of what I played when I was younger and with a student income. The 400-800€ range has made spectacular quality progress in 30 years.

    The price gap has become larger though. Not that long ago an SS ESP was 1500ish new. The EII routinely get above 2K now.
     
  6. neurosis

    neurosis SS.org Regular

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    I agree with @MaxOfMetal that the consistency is where the money difference is going to rear it's head for sure but in my experience, while feeling cheaper in the finish the LTDs I tried and the ones I had were pretty good and I would say the Blacky I sold was definitely a fantastic guitar, which I regret letting go to this day.

    The EII look like the SS in pictures but I don't think the models I am looking at are particularly striking so thought the LTD with the Fishman's might come close. For this particular model I am comparing.



    This looks like the real deal-breaker. The neck on the LTD Alexi I had was slightly beefier than that on the ESP sig I tried and definitely beefier than my SV. But to be honest it was a fantastic guitar.

    I decided to look for the EII but then all these different LTDs have started popping up online for half the price so it looks worth the try?

    Like @UltimaWeapon says the quality of the lower tier guitars seems to have risen considerably in the past years, though. So maybe I should find a shop that carries the new LTD and see if I get lucky there.
     
  7. KnightBrolaire

    KnightBrolaire unofficial sso pickup tester

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    I'll echo what others have said, high end LTDs are great, but EIIs are consistently better when it comes to fretwork. That's the main big difference between those ime.
     
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  8. AkiraSpectrum

    AkiraSpectrum SS.org Regular

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    I would say that as long as the models you're looking at are 600 or 1000 in the LTD range you're likely going to get a good guitar, especially if you can get said LTD's for a good deal.

    Since you seem to have liked LTD's offerings in the past I'm sure you'll be happy with them today, and you will be able to save some cash. Also look around for used E-II's too, as they can sometimes pop up for the price of an LTD 600-1000 series new.
     
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  9. migstopheles

    migstopheles SS.org Regular

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    I upgraded from a TE-407 to an E-II TB-7, absolutely night and day difference. The E-II is a tremendous instrument, as good as my J Custom for fit and finish (but doesn't quite have the unplugged resonance and sustain). Doubt I will ever get rid of it, unless it was to get a custom shop ESP.
     
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  10. neurosis

    neurosis SS.org Regular

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    Going to keep my eyes open for a while. EIIs seem to go for what SS used guitars used to go with people now asking higher prices for the SS. So I think I am going to put a limit on the purchase and then go hunt for either a really good deal on the LTD Carpenter tiles or just wait for a used EII.

    Thanks!
     
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  11. Rotatous

    Rotatous SS.org Regular

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    In my experience the EII line is more akin to the kind of quality found on the ESP standards before the EII rebranding. While the LTD stuff is great, particularly the 1000/600s, on most of the LTD stuff you'll find little things like finish flaws, tooling marks on the fretboard, etc... probably not much that affects the playability, but generally more inconsistent as others have said. There will be more lemons as well as instruments with possibly little to none of these flaws. For what its worth though I will say that in my opinion the EII fretwork has always been a significant step higher than any of the LTD stuff I've owned/played.
     
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