LTD Truckster
LTD Truckster

Truckster, LP-Shaped Guitar from LTD in the James Hetfield series.

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tjon901 08/07/2011

LTD Truckster : tjon901's user review

« Hetfield signature EC »

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The EC is one of ESP guitars most popular designs. A lot of artists have based their signature guitars off of the EC design. One of the newer James Hetfield signature guitars was like this. The Truckster is what they call it. It is bascially an EC with swapped out pickups and a crazy paint job. The paint job is like they painted multiple layers of paint and then sanded them down. You can feel the different layers in the paint job. It is pretty cool but it is not much of a relic finish because it is so contrived looking. The guitar has a mahogany body and neck with a rosewood fretboard. The frets are 22 xtra jumbo ESP frets. It has dual EMG pickups with an 81 in the bridge and a 60 in the neck Hetfields traditional setup. It has tone pros locking bridge system also. The pickup selector is down by the rest of the controls and takes the place of one of the tone controls. It still has a useless pickup selector up top. I also wonder why this guitar does not have an Earvana compensated nut. James must not like playing in tune or something.


The playability is alright with this guitar. It has more of a Gibson feel than a normal EC does. There is slightly more radius on the fretboard but not too much. It has really big frets so you can really dig in. You can also get a super low action on the guitar. The useless switch up top is annoying if you are use to Les Pauls or some other EC models. Locking tuners and bridge are great. Every company should be putting these on their guitars. The locking tuners keep you in tune and the locking bridge prevents the bridge from falling off when you change strings. Simple stuff that the big companies refuse to use.


This guitar has the typical Hetfield sound. Hetfield has been using the same pickups since the early 90s and so his tone is pretty well known. The 81 and 60 set is well known. Whatever guitar you put them in they will pretty much give you the same tone. EMG pickups are an important part of the Metallica sound. The 81 in the bridge is a classic setup for metal. The 81 gives you great high end crunch and clarity even in the lowest of tunings. With the 81 harmonics pop right out and you get a nice searing high end tone. This high end is what keeps the sound nice and clear. The 60 in the neck is a pretty much neck only pickup. It is not super high output and is best used for clean tones. In the neck position I personally prefer an 85. The 85 has about the same output as the 81 and I think it is better for dirty solos in the neck position than the 60 is. Recently EMG came out with a Hetfield signature set so it will be interesting to see if ESP starts using that in the Hetfield signature guitars. The set is bassically an 81 and a 60 but hot rodded for even more attack. I wouldnt be surprised if ESP just keeps on putting the normal set in his guitars. The difference is not that much but the price difference is pretty big. Plus with the normal set you dont have to use them in just Hetfield signature guitars like you would with the Het Set EMG kit.


This guitar is 1800 dollars cheaper than the full ESP version and you get the same exact features. Same pickups same wood same everything. Just because it is built in a different factory means you can save almost 2000 dollars. Any differences you might notice that effect playability are easily fixed in a basic guitar setup. If you are looking for the black finish Truckster this is a way to get it without paying 2500 dollars. You get pretty much the same thing at a much lower price. ESP does this for a lot of their guitars. I have played both ESP and LTD versions and the difference is not worth as much as they charge. Like I said with a good setup both guitars are pretty much equal.