ESP has been one of the leading manufacturers of guitars for metal players worldwide for almost 20 years. They make guitars in the super entry level price range, all the way up to obnoxiously high end custom shop USA models. Something that has helped ESP gain the popularity that they deserve is the consistent quality to be found on most of their guitar lines. A month ago we took a look at the LTD M-1000 Koa. It’s a great guitar that we’d definitely recommend checking out if you want guitar with some neat/exotic appointments for a fair price.

Today we will be looking at the MH-1001NT. Although the model number is similar to the M-1000, the MH-1001NT is a different beast.

Let’s look at the specs!


– Mahogany Body

– Quilted Maple Top w/ See Thru Black Finish

– Thin “U” 3pc Maple Neck

– Set-Thru Construction

– Rosewood Fingerboard

– 13.77” Fretboard Radius

– 25.5” Scale Length

– 24 Jumbo Frets

– LTD Locking Tuners

– Tonepros TOM Bridge

– EMG 81/85 Pickups

– 1xVol, 1xTone, 3-way PU Selector

First thing to mention to you guys is that the NT in the model number is referring to “No Trem”. There are in fact a few other models of this guitar, one with a Floyd Rose trem, and one with an Evertune.

The MH-1001, to separate it from the M-1000, has a carved top for added comfort and a different neck shape. The MH-1001 has the thin “U”, which is in my opinion a bit more comfortable for rhythm playing than the flatter neck found on the M-1000.

The TOM Bridge found on the MH-1001 is great. It seems to me that TOM-style bridges don’t get enough love in the metal community these days. They are really great sounding bridges that hold tuning well. I will admit that they aren’t as comfortable as a nice Hipshot or ABM bridge (both of which made it on our Top 4 Hardtail Bridges list), but they are still great bridges.

The top looks really great on this guitar and it’s figured nicely for a guitar under $1000. Unfortunately, it’s currently only offered in black. I actually own an older model of this guitar, the MH-1000NT, in blue and I’ll include a picture of it to insight any extra GAS (Gear Acquisition Syndrome) deep in your minds…


Let’s move onto tone!


 This guitar features the ESP signature mahogany body, maple top, and proprietary Set-Thru design. The wood combinations make for a balanced sound that’s a bit warm on the low end.

It’s got a nice fat punch to it and it manages to unleash some crispy highs that cut through very well.

Sometimes, mahogany can bring a bit of flubbiness to the low end of a guitar, but the maple Set-Thru design cleans it up quite well. Not to mention the maple neck makes for a really sturdy build that holds tuning very well.

(We have an in-depth article on tonewoods if you want to read more about that!)

The thick mahogany body paired with the Set Thru construction makes for an insane amount of sustain and a really strong attack. ESP’s signature neck construction design really does take the best of both bolt-on and neck thru constuctions.

The construction appointments on this guitar have been paired with the tried and true EMG 81/85 pickups. Some of love em’, some of us despise them. Either way, they super famous and guitar manufacturers have used them as a go-to option for years.

The sound the pickups deliver are quite aggressive and punchy. They offer a ton of bite and make for a really great thrashy or death metal tone. Sometimes they can lack a bit in the clarity department when playing big chords and they don’t clean up super well. When you use them what they are made for they kick a reasonable amount of butt.

Build Quality:

 I’ve always been pretty happy with LTD guitars. They are fairly consistently well-made and it’s rare to find one with significant problems. I’ve played quite a few MH models and I can say that most of them were executed very well.

The one I played for this review was actually at a local music store and was near flawless. Solid fretwork, a really great finish, and the guitar had a solid setup right out of the box.

On my personal guitar that I showed you earlier, I did have one minor issue. One of the tuning machines were poorly made and I had to replace it almost immediately. I wasn’t too happy about this, but I managed to get a replacement from ESP and it was much better. It’s a cheaper guitar that I use as a live workhorse, but it’s just something to note. To be fair, my guitar was built about 9 years ago and the one I played for this review was brand new for 2016.

Other than that small issue, the guitar is incredible for what I paid for it and I couldn’t recommend one of these more!

Final Verdict:

 If you’re looking for a solid guitar for metal that sits comfortably under $1000 then look no further. The LTD series guitars offer some of the most consistently good guitars at their price point and the MH-1001NT is no exception.

If you are interested in one of these, be sure to check out our shop as we occasionally have some in stock. Or, if you want to order one, check out our custom order option!

Ordering from snags you the Free Guitar Enhancement Package, which ensures a perfect setup and expert quality inspection before you get your guitar!


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This article was written by Zac Buras, our editor located in Louisiana.

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