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ESP XAC 10E guitar (don't)

Richard Bridge 18 Jul 11 - 06:18 PM
GUEST,Bugsy 19 Jul 11 - 01:44 AM
Richard Bridge 19 Jul 11 - 03:10 AM
Richard Bridge 18 Aug 11 - 02:03 PM
Richard Bridge 18 Aug 11 - 03:42 PM
Mooh 18 Aug 11 - 04:04 PM
Leadfingers 18 Aug 11 - 07:19 PM
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Subject: ESP XAC 10E guitar (don't)
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 18 Jul 11 - 06:18 PM

Well I just bought an ESP XAC 10E guitar (black). I wanted a cheap pluggable camper. I gather these are made (in China, but "handcrafted") for ESP in California to sell in the USA at about the $300 to S350 mark which usually translates in the UK to about the same numerically in Pounds Sterling. I paid £80,sight unseen - on the offchance.

It has all the toys - treble control and bass control (and volume control) and chromatic tuner on board and nice computer cut mother of pearl. Lovely finish. Pretty good Schaller copy machine heads.

Grand Concert size - cutaway.

It sounds like shit plugged or unplugged. Nasal, no roundness, splashy treble, no thud.

Don't go there. But it wasn't a lot to find out and I can probably resell it for what I paid. But guitar - no!

Incidentally, while laying that game I've had every 6 string acoustic in the house plugged in to test, and while the acoustic order of preference is different, the plugged order goes

Sigma DM4 - with Schaller powerbridge and Fishman Prefix

Mugen THE 78 with Headway Snake series 1

Morris W4 - can't remember the pickup - Korean pre-amp

The two good Hagstrom J-45s (top of the class acoustically) one with I-Beam and the other with B-Band.

Martin OM1 - Headway Snake series 2 (also top of the class acoustically)

Yamaha FG 360 - B-band (also lovely acoustically)

Also - rans


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Subject: RE: ESP XAC 10E guitar (don't)
From: GUEST,Bugsy
Date: 19 Jul 11 - 01:44 AM

Thanks for the heads up Richard. I wonder though, with these Chinese built guitars, is it a bad "one off" or are all ESP's like that? I've played some other Chinese brands and some of them are quite good. The top end "Californian" being one. There's also another one with the name of a local company in Australia (can't remember the name) but made in China, that I tried which was also pretty good.

Hope you can offload it without any loss.

Cheers

Bugsy


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Subject: RE: ESP XAC 10E guitar (don't)
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 19 Jul 11 - 03:10 AM

I gather however that ESP are respected in the world of planks for heavy metal, so it's odd that they have no "ears". There again most Fender acoustics are dogshit too.


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Subject: RE: ESP XAC 10E guitar (don't)
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 18 Aug 11 - 02:03 PM

Well well, I decided I might as well have it properly set up and some decent strings on it so Brian Rodgers kindly organised the neck relief and any high spots on the frets and sorted the excessive nut height and the saddle height to my usual and popped a set of D'Addario 12-53s on while he was doing that, for his usual modest fees, and the thing is transformed, absolutely transformed. It now plays really really nicely (for such a narrow electric-style neck) and there is a balance to the sound, and a volume and body to the sound that was not there before.

There is still a slight coarseness to the sound but if it is (as I think) a solid top if I bash it about a bit that may mellow.

For a total cost of guitar setup and strings of £137 I think it's now a keeper.


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Subject: RE: ESP XAC 10E guitar (don't)
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 18 Aug 11 - 03:42 PM

Well I've been plunking away at it plugged and it seems after a bit of tweaking the desk EQ to be OK at that too. No real THUD as such but with some boost I can get a dark brown grumble underneath and some shimmer without too much honk.


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Subject: RE: ESP XAC 10E guitar (don't)
From: Mooh
Date: 18 Aug 11 - 04:04 PM

I find that with less expensive and budget guitars, the pickup installation drastically affects tone, as will saddle and nut material and fit, general set-up (including relief), assembly (loose machine heads, neck fit, etc), and string quality. Other things like fret dressing and intonation make anything more playable. Why these things aren't a matter of quality control at the factory is likely a function of price. Besides that, vendors can't be trusted to address the issue either.

Be that as it may, those strident, shrill, grating trebles I hear in the cheap guitars just about drive me insane. It seems they either have that quality or the treble is almost nonexistent. For the purpose of listening to students at lessons, I prefer the latter to the former.

ESP does market some nice electric stuff (though not generally old school enough for me), but I don't know how much of their catalogue they actually manufacture or whether much of it is contracted out.

Peace, Mooh.


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Subject: RE: ESP XAC 10E guitar (don't)
From: Leadfingers
Date: 18 Aug 11 - 07:19 PM

IF a Pacific Fim guitar is REAL wood , NOT Ply or Compo , a decent set up can make a world of difference , and it WILL 'Play In' in most cases .


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