tjon901 08/09/2011

ESP DV8 : tjon901's user review

« Dave Mustaines shortlived signature ESP »
5

  • Like
  • Tweet
  • Submit
  • Email
A few years ago it seemed like all the famous Jackson players seemed to jump ship and go to ESP guitars. I guess they didnt like the fact that Fender had purchased Jackson. This is Daves first ESP signature guitar. It is pretty much an ESP copy of his old Jackson King V. It features a mahogany body in the familiar shape. It has neck through construction that features a 3 piece mahogany neck. The neck has an ebony fretboard with 24 jumbo frets. The neck and headstock are fully bound. The inlays are dot inlays but on the first fret there is a large 8 ball inlay. Early versions came with passive Seymour Duncans but later ones came with Seymour Duncan Dave Mustaing Signature Livewires. This model I am testing is an earlier one. This model has JB and Jazz pickups installed. The controls are two volume controls and 1 tone control. Up top it has Sperzel locking tuners and a tonepros locking bridge.

UTILIZATION

These guitars have Daves custom neck profile which feels a lot different than most ESP's. I guess coming from Jackson he liked those necks and wanted that on his ESP's. It feels like an old Jackson Charvel which is kinda cool. V's tend to have good upper fret access but this guitar has such a broad shape the upper frets are pretty deep into the body. It does not get in the way much. These guitars also have a Gibson neck scale so the upper frets can get a bit crowded. The locking tuners and locking bridge are great. Even non tremolo guitars should come with locking tuners. The locking bridge on the tune-o-matic is great as well because it keeps your bridge from falling off when you are changing strings.

SOUNDS

With the mahogany body and 24.75 scale this guitar has a very Gibson like tone, and the classic Seymour Duncan set helps amplify this. The Jazz in the neck is a great all around neck pickup for modern neck pickup use. It is like the 59 but with a bit more bite and highend. The 59 is so smooth it can get muddy at times but the Jazz is almost as smooth as the 59 but with more high end to give you more clarity on your shredding leads. The JB in the bridge is like a hot rodded PAf pickup. It is way hotter than an old paf but it retains the openness and tight low end that you want in a bridge pickup. The JB can do anything from classic rock to metal. It is one of the best designs Seymour Duncan has ever put out. I do not know much about the Livewire pickups some later models have. If they are similar to the Duncan Blackouts their other active pickups they will have a ton of low and with a high end grind to them.

OVERALL OPINION

This guitar is a pretty good alternative to a Jackson King V. It is a good signature guitar because it doesnt have Daves name all over the place. It is pretty subtle which is pretty nice when it comes to a signature guitar. I think when Dave left ESP they just made it a normal model which is good because it is a great simple guitar. If you are looking for a Flying V shaped guitar with great ESP quality and Duncan pickups. This is your one stop shopping.