LTD ST-203 Maple
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LTD ST-203 Maple

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ST-203 Maple, STC-Shaped Guitar from LTD in the Distressed ST series.


2 user reviews
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LTD ST-203 Maple tech. sheet

  • Manufacturer: LTD
  • Model: ST-203 Maple
  • Series: Distressed ST
  • Category: STC-Shaped Guitars
  • Added in our database on: 12/07/2011

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LTD ST-203 Maple user reviews

Average Score:4.5( 4.5/5 based on 2 reviews )
 1 user review50 %
 1 user review50 %
racerevlon10/27/2012

racerevlon's review"ESP has put custom shop-looking guitars within everyone's reach!"

LTD ST-203 Maple
I already have the ST203 in the 3-Tone Sunburst Distressed finish and now have the Black Distressed finish model. This is a Made in Vietnam strat that has a great "broken in" feel and in contrast to the 3-Tone Sunburst finish the distressed finish is actually NOT underneath any clear coat or glossed-over. The Black Distressed model feels just as beat-up as it looks. Like its counterpart the Black Distressed ST203M has an aged maple neck with distressed maple fret board--it plays like a well-broken-in guitar that's been around for years, on and off the stage (possibly even dropped from the stage a few times), in and out of the studio, had beer spilled all over it, and just overall a true player instead of a case queen. The stock single coils are punchy and have are slightly more beefy than the ones in the 3-Tone model I received which leads me to believe there is a slight variance and they’re not just stamping out exact copies. These single-coils have a fatter and rounder sound and again does a great job of bridging the gap between single-coil and humbucker-equipped guitars. It embodies many of the great sonic qualities associated with Stratocasters yet takes it up a notch with a little more punch and cut.

UTILIZATION

The ESP LTD ST203M is a 22-fret guitar and access to the upper frets is achieved easily enough. The neck is a familiar C-shape with slightly more substance to it than similar guitars which makes it slightly easier and more comfortable to play. Part of the "distressed" finish includes cut-aways and parts of the guitar shaved or worn-down that actually make it easier and/or more comfortable to play. The guitar is well-balanced, not too heavy and not too light. The tuning keys are stable, not flimsy, and hold the tune and stability rather well.

SOUNDS

Most of what I play are Splawn and Jet City amplifiers, and mostly with a good amount of overdrive and right-hand energy. There are some songs where the clarity and staccato nature of single-coil pickups brought out the extreme punctuation in the songs but made the songs cleaner and brought out more of the characteristics that make the song great. The ST203M is the perfect guitar to get this particular job done. Of course, everything is upgradeable and the ST203M is so well-put-together that any upgrades are unbelievably easy and bring out the best qualities of the guitar.

OVERALL OPINION

As an entry-level guitar this is really the class of the field that I've found. This particular guitar required a minor truss rod adjustment to take some buzz out of the lower frets but I wouldn't dismiss this or any other guitar for that reason. For a relatively small amount of money you can get into a guitar that looks, plays, and sounds great for anything just short of full-force screaming metal, and this can be achieved easily enough with a simple pickup replacement. With the addition of a couple of minor upgrades this is a top-notch guitar that I would play on any stage.
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racerevlon10/21/2012

racerevlon's review"Great "old/new" guitar for just about any style."

LTD ST-203 Maple
This is a Made in Vietnam strat that has a great "broken in" feel even though the distressed finish is actually underneath the final finish. Either way, the guitar looks awesome up close and from afar. The ST203M has an aged maple neck with distressed maple fret board--it plays like a well-broken-in guitar that's been around for years, on and off the stage (possibly even dropped from the stage a few times), in and out of the studio, had beer spilled all over it, and just overall a true player instead of a case queen. The stock single coils are punchy and have a mid spike that allows it to bridge the gap between single-coil and humbucker-equipped guitars. It embodies many of the great sonic qualities associated with Stratocasters yet takes it up a notch with a little more punch and cut.

UTILIZATION

The ESP LTD ST203M is a 22-fret guitar and access to the upper frets is achieved easily enough. The neck is a familiar C-shape with slightly more substance to it than similar guitars which makes it slightly easier and more comfortable to play. Part of the "distressed" finish includes cut-aways and parts of the guitar shaved or worn-down that actually make it easier and/or more comfortable to play. The guitar is well-balanced, not too heavy and not too light. The tuning keys are stable, not flimsy, and hold the tune and stability rather well.

SOUNDS

Most of what I play are Splawn and Jet City amplifiers, and mostly with a good amount of overdrive and right-hand energy. There are some songs where the clarity and staccato nature of single-coil pickups brought out the extreme punctuation in the songs but made the songs cleaner and brought out more of the characteristics that make the song great. The ST203M is the perfect guitar to get this particular job done. Of course, everything is upgradeable and the ST203M is so well-put-together that any upgrades are unbelievably easy and bring out the best qualities of the guitar. Clean, the guitar sounds sparkling and clear with great mids, and lends itself extremely well to blues and rock tones. The ST203M is a wonderfully versatile guitar and looks like it's got the miles to prove it.

OVERALL OPINION

As an entry-level guitar this is really the class of the field that I've found. For a relatively small amount of money you can get into a guitar that looks, plays, and sounds great for anything just short of full-force screaming metal, and this can be achieved easily enough with a simple pickup replacement. I've put a Dimarzio Fast Track 2 in the bridge of mine and added a Babicz Full Contact Hardware tremolo system and for a small amount in upgrades this is a top-notch guitar that I would play on any stage.
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  • LTD ST-203 Maple
  • LTD ST-203 Maple
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  • LTD ST-203 Maple

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Other names: st203maple, st203 maple, st 203maple

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