tjon901 10/23/2011

ESP DV8 : tjon901's user review

« ESP black V thats also a signature »

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Back when everyone was jumping to ESP guitars Dave Mustaine was one of them. ESP was grabbing up all the endorsements along with Krank amps but thats another story. Dave had a signature ESP made that was very similar to the Jacksons he had been playing. This is one of those models. This is the more normal model without the flame top. 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. 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.


This guitar has a custom neck profile for Dave based on his old Jacksons so it feels a bit different to other ESP guitars. It still plays fast its just different. 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. When that happens it can mess up your intonation.


This guitar has good overall tone and is very versatile. The construction of this guitar make it able to play many different types of music not just metal. 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. Dave does not use this pickup set anymore unfortuneately. He has switched to a signature set of active Seymour Duncans Livewires which are some of the earliest active Seymour Duncans.


You do not have to be a Mustaine fan to like this guitar. It does not have that much signature items on it so you can play it without looking like a billboard. This is just a good solid V which a versatile set of electronics. The build quality is good all around and with locking tuners and a locking bridge the stability is solid as well. If you are looking for a hardtail V to play heavy music this would be on my shortlist.