« One of the earliest Hetfield signature guitars »Publié le 08/09/11 à 22:11
Its pretty weird that ESP made this and the KH-1 bolt on necks. The guitars Metallica were playing at the time were not bolt on's so I guess they were being cheap with their first signature models. The guitar has jumbo frets on the rosewood fretboard so you can get a nice easy action. It has locking tuners up top which help you stay in tune. The bolt on neck joint is pretty smooth for a bolt on but it still gets in the way a bit. Even with the bolt on construction they finished the back of the neck so it is a bit sticky like the body. Its like they were trying to hide the fact that it is a bolt on. The guitar neck also does not have any binding. This tends to lead to sharp fret ends if the guitar changes temperatures a lot.
Hetfield is a pretty traditional guy. I guess ESP didnt know what he wanted at this point because this is the only Hetfield signature guitar to come with Kirks pickup setup. Its like they made the JH-1 and KH-1 both for Kirk but just put some flames on one and gave it to James. It has dual EMG 81 pickups which is what Kirk uses. I am not a big fan of this setup, well I am not a fan of half of this setup. The 81 in the bridge is very traditional and great. It has a nice top end grind that makes your riffs crazy tight. It has a great distortion sound too as you would expect. In the neck position it is too bright and trebly to be a good neck pickup for me. I like smooth neck pickups. The 81 is not very smooth at all. In the neck I would prefer a 60 or an 85. Every other Hetfield model has a 60 in the neck. This is the only one without it. I guess James learned from his mistake.
These guitars are pretty much collectors items now. I can see why Hetfield doesnt play them anymore. They are not that good guitar wise. They may be a good investment for someone or wall hanger but to play out and gig I wouldnt recommend it. The pickup choice is odd and the bold on neck is just cheap on a guitar of this caliber. If you want to look like Hetfield for your Metallica tribute band get an Explorer.