Customized by Sweetwater, Top Shelf
First off, I must say that this is a 5 star instrument at this price point as-is. LTD's need a bit of setup direct from the factory, but it doesn't take much to get a great instrument out of them, especially if the default specs are right for you. If you're like me, and find yourself on the fence because of the stock config and/or setup, Sweetwater has unmatched capabilities on hand to make it the perfect instrument. This particular guitar nearly fit the bill for me, so I reached out to my sales engineer Andy to see if there was anything they could do at their facility to "up the game" so to speak on this particular guitar. What i did not know, is that Sweetwater has equipment and staff on hand that will literally build the perfect instrument for you, for a very modest fee.
I've been a Sweetwater customer for a very long time, and I know that everything they put their stamp on must be almost obsessively perfect, from every department. So i took a very safe bet and was certainly not let down. In the end, for about double the initial investment, was a top shelf instrument on par with some in my collection costing nearly 6 times as much - this was just with the plek'd fret leveling and bone nut upgrade alone. Completely gutting the electronics, I swapped out the passive Duncans for active Fishman Fluence pickups, adding their USB rechargable battery so there would be no need to route or jam in a 9v battery into the control cavity. The pot configuration i changed to dual volume push/pull pots for individual pickup voicing selection, and replaced the tone pot with a north/south coil tap toggle switch. Normally i do this work myself when i get a new instrument, but Sweetwater took this hassle off my hands for a more than reasonable fee. The install quality was much better than expected as well, rivaling my own which is rare especially for a company this size. But they have a long tradition of always pleasantly surprising me.
I would only add that the Evertune bridge is definitely no gimmick, the idea behind it and engineering are nothing short of revolutionary. It's not for everybody, but the same can be said for every bridge system. If you don't know much about this brilliant product, do yourself a favor and look it up. There's no reason not to have this over any other fixed bridge on the market, unless frequent and rapid tuning changes are one of your requirements. Perhaps for budget reasons. I don't otherwise understand people's resistance to owning an instrument that is always perfectly tuned and intonated every time you pick it up - with VERY minimal extra hassle and no electronics.