Rob Arnold is the guitar player for a band called Chimaira. ESP has made a signature model of his custom ESP guitar. The LTD RA-600 is the LTD version of his personal custom guitar. Because this is such a simple guitar you can reasonably assume the quality on this guitar is pretty close to the custom model. The guitar is pretty simple. It has an alder body with a neck through maple neck. The maple neck has a 24 fret ebony fretboard with the inlays placed on the side of the fretboard for a clean look. I have seen better piece of ebony on other guitars. The fretboard and neck has white binding and looks really nice. Unlike a lot of neck through guitars the back of the neck does not have the poly finish like the body does. The neck is stripped has has a nice satin finish on it to make it super fast. This piece had a few brown streaks in it but it still feels nice and smooth. There is a single pickup. The pickup is an EMG 81 in the bridge and this pickup just has a volume knob. There is an Floyd Rose tremolo system and locking nut. It has a black finish and a pearloid pickguard.
This guitar is simple and plays great. The neck through design means that the neck is playable all the way up to the 24th fret. The jumbo frets mean you can get a great action and bends wont fret out. The ebony fretboard is great and feel smooth under your fingers. The neck with its satin finish is super fast and smooth. With one knob there is no confusing what the controls do. One pickup means no selector. The signal inside the guitar is super clean and direct. The Floyd Rose locking tremolo when properly setup will give you rock solid tuning stability.
With this pickup setup this guitar is pretty much a one trick guitar. The EMG in the bridge means that this guitar is made for metal. The 81 is a classic metal pickup. It has been used for years in the bridge position and its sound can be heard on many albums from the last nearly 30 years in metal. The 81 in the bridge gives you a nice high end crunch and grind. The alder body and maple neck means this guitar will cut through any sound. So with the heaviest gain or the lowest tunings you will still be able to hear your notes. With EMG's you need a battery to power then because they are active pickups. Since they are active pickups some people feel they sound too compressed and sterile. If you feel your EMG's sound like this you can do the 18v mod to them to get a more natural sound. When you run your EMG's with two 9v batteries instead of one you will get a more organic sound with more headroom.
This is how you do a signature guitar right. There is no large rediculous logo on the body or huge signature on it. It is just a guitar like the one the artist plays. The guitarist has his needs and ESP felt other people would like the same guitar as him so they made it without screwing it up. With just one pickup it loses some tonal versatility but it is not the end of the world. The bridge position is what most metal players use 90 percent of the time so this guitar gives you what you will use most. A smooth neck pickup sound can easily be replicated with an eq pedal or a wah pedal if you really need it. And if you are that caught up on having the neck pickup sound dont buy this guitar to begin with. If you are looking for a nice simple metal guitar that plays very very well you should check out the RA-600.