LTD KH-602
LTD KH-602

KH-602, STC-Shaped Guitar from LTD in the Kirk Hammett series.

Hatsubai 05/27/2011

LTD KH-602 : Hatsubai's user review

« Almost but not quite »

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The ESP LTD KH-602 is the higher model LTD version of the Kirk Hammett signature KH-2 guitar. The KH-2 is one of the most well known signature models that ESP offers, so it's no surprise that they'd offer a budget model for those who can't afford the actual KH-2. The guitar features an alder body with a neck-thru maple neck and rosewood fretboard, the special skull and crossbones inlays with a special 24th fret inlay, 24 extra jumbo frets, a floyd rose 1000 bridge, EMG pickups, two volumes, one tone and a three way switch.


These guitars are generally pretty good. They're not quite up to par with the KH-2, but they don't do a bad job considering how much cheaper they are. The fretwork can be hit or miss, but it's generally pretty good. The biggest thing to watch out for is unleveled frets. The ends are generally nicely beleved and won't cut your hands, but proper fret leveling is an art that takes time, and these guitars don't have the time put into them that the signature ESP guitars do. The floyd rose on this isn't an OFR, but it's still a great floyd rose that seems to stay in tune unlike some certain other bridges out there.


The sound is generally pretty good. The EMG 81 in the bridge delivers a great, aggressive metal tone that works wonderfully for those super tight, staccato riffs. It's one of my favorite EMGs in the bridge thanks to the harmonics and the pure cutting power. The EMG 60 in the neck is a newer edition as he used to run the 81 in the neck for the longest time. The 60 delivers a more single coil-esque style tone, and it's more fitting for clean tones, in my opinion. I prefer the 85 in the bridge, and thanks to the EMG quick disconnects, it's super easy to swap them out.


If you can't afford a KH-2, this is a great guitar to look into. It's nearly on par with the signature series guitar but at a fraction of the cost. The biggest thing to look out for would be the fretwork and making sure the guitar is resonant. I recommend trying to play one of these before you buy it as you can get an idea as to how these guitars sound. Try to play a few and pick the nicest sounding one for the best results.