Simply amazing in every respect
I wanted to give it a few weeks of playing before I did my review. I didnt want my honeymoon phase with the guitar to give more credit than it was due. I must say though that about a month in the guitar makes me smile every single day. I have had many guitars that cost up to 4 times the price I payed for this. This easily is the best sounding and playing guitar of the hundreds that came before it.
First impressions: The first thing I noticed is how incredibly light the guitar is. Ive played two of them and neither were over 7. 8 pounds. The one I own is 6 pounds 5 ounces. Its an absolute featherweight. The neck is a very comfortable thin yet round shape. It fits the hand nicely without being crampy or like a baseball bat. The guitar is very well balanced. I experienced no neck dive nor was it falling off my leg in the sitting position. Fret access is spectacular with the heel less joint. I love the full binding. Only complaint is the inlays are obviously plastic but you get that on les paul.
Fit and finish: Amazing. Great clear gloss finish that doesnt seem very thick. No drips or orange peel. Fretwork is top notch. The ends are well rounded and filed to perfection. Frets are also mirror polished. Simply amazing for the price
Playability: the guitar is fast and comfortable. Some guitars really feel like you need to strangle them to get them to perform. You dont know what people mean by a guitar that is effortless to play until you play this guitar. It really helps you play beyond your own abilities.
Sound: this is where the EHOR3RDB really shines. The Seymour duncan Custom 5 humbucker is one of the most clearest pickups I have ever experienced. Its full yet defined. Never muddy. It has great note clarity, separation as well as articulation. I have NEVER bought a guitar that i wasnt immediately compelled to replace the pickups with something I was familiar with. The LTD elite horizon will be keeping its pickups. If I replace them it will be to install covered versions of its existing models.
Overall impressions: Its hard to find a fault with the horizon 3. Honestly I find the fit and finish to be on par with all of the standard series I have played. In many cases surpassing them. To get a japan built product made by esp at the substantial savings these give you they are a no brainer. To top it off you get the same great tolex covered wood form fitted case you get with esp's upper end guitars. I surely expected a cheap gig bag at this price if that.
The best way to look at the new Elite series is as a standard series with the LTD badge to save you some money nothing more. If you dont need the ESP name and want some extra dough for a few pedals or maybe a down payment on another elite, then this is for you. I also highly recommend buying this guitar from sweetwater. They are there for you before, during and after the sale and you satisfaction is always their top priority. Just remember sometimes the best price doesnt always mean the best deal.