LTD V-500
LTD V-500

V-500, V/XPL/FB Shaped Guitar from LTD in the Standard V series.

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tjon901 08/17/2011

LTD V-500 : tjon901's user review

« Mustaine model after he left »

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This is what they did with the Dave Mustaine signature model after Dave left for Dean. The guitar was really good so they kept it around for a few years without him. It is basically ESP's version of the old Jackson King V. The guitar has a mahogany body with "set-thru" construction. This means it is just a set neck with the neck set in slightly deeper than normal. The neck is mahogany with a 24 fret rosewood fretboard. The tuners are standard Grover and it has an Earvana compensated nut. The bridge is a standard tune-o-matic design with a string through stop tail. The pickups are a set of active EMG 81 pickups front and rear. The controls are a volume for each pickup and a master tone all with a 3 way toggle.


Because of the broad shape of the V on this guitar the highest frets are kind of hard to reach. The body joins the neck at about the 18th fret so beyond that you will have to reach around some wood. Because of the deep set in neck there is not much of a heel to worry about which is nice. The Earvana compensated nut means intonation is slightly better all the way up the neck. You will notice this if you play a lot of chords high up on the neck. The strings will be in better tune with each other and your chords will ring out truer.


The EMG pickups are a great addition for a guitar at this price. The set they chose to use on this guitar is one that is not used very often. The pickups this ugitar has is a dual set of EMG 81 pickups. I guess when Mustaine left they did not want to keep putting his Seymour Duncan Livewire pickups in a guitar that didnt have his name on it so they decided to find some EMG's with a similar sound. There is nothing unusual with the 81 in the bridge. If it wasnt for guitars like this it would be considered a bridge only pickup. It has a super sharp sound with a lot of high end. This high end grinding tone keeps your riffs super clear. It helps prevent them from becoming muddy and sounding bad. This sharp high end tone is not what you want in a neck pickup. This guitar has an 81 in the neck position. Its high end tone is not that smooth and does not work well in the neck position. The mahogany neck and body help smooth it out a bit but overall it is too bright and harsh for the neck position.


This guitar is good if you are a fan of the old King V design but do not want to pay a ton of money for a USA made Jackson. The top quality hardware in this guitar means this guitar sounds better than some double its price. These guitars are discontinued like most other good guitars so you will have to try and find one used. If you can find one for less than 500 bucks you are getting a good deal.