ESP LTD TE-417 Review WiredGuitarist November 2, 2016 Articles, ESP Guitar Reviews, Reviews, Uncategorized ESP/LTD is one of the leading (and one of my personal favorite) guitar manufacturers in the world for rock and metal-styles. Whether you are an old-school or a modern player, they have something for you. ESP is also known for crafting some of the most wonderfully-made, high end metal guitars in a production environment, such as the ESP E-II Horizon FR-II. Today, we’re going to look at one of the more humbly priced guitars by ESP, the LTD TE-417. Let’s go! Features: – Solid Mahogany Body – 3Pc Maple Neck – 25.5″ Scale – Set-Thru Construction – Rosewood Fretboard – 24XJ Frets – Thin ‘U’ Neck – LTD Fixed Bridge w/ String Thru – Vol/Tone/3-Way Switch – Grover Tuners – EMG 81/707 Pickups The LTD TE-417 is a barebones, 7-string guitar, with a simplistic design. When creating this guitar, ESP took the good ol’ classic ‘Tele’ style guitar and gave it a metal makeover. The guitar is covered by a Snow White Satin finish that is smooth to the touch and is bound in black. All of the hardware is satin black, which is a nice touch on this guitar. I like the idea of an all satin guitar. It definitely gives it a unique looks. Ebony would have been nicer on the fretboard to go with the solid white and black aesthetic, but the cut of Rosewood used on the fretboard was particularly dark. So dark that I (almost) thought it was Ebony when I first picked it up. With regards to string tension, a 25.5″ scale length is really on the smaller side for a 7-string guitar. It does mean you have to add quite thick strings to get a comfortable tension in lower tunings. On a positive note, the 25.5″ scale makes it easier for guitarists to transition from 6 to 7 strings. (Don’t forget, we are about to Change Guitar Strings Forever. If you’ve ever had trouble finding the right tension or found your strings to sound dead in lower tunings. Be prepared to change that.) The thin ‘U’ neck found on many ESP guitars are really great if you’re a rhythm player, or just have big hands. It’s not baseball bat thick, it’s just thicker than your average Ibanez or neck. I don’t have very big hands and I really love the thin ‘U’ shape, although my favorite for lead playing is a thin ‘C’. Tone: This guitar has a solid Mahogany body, and a Set-Thru, maple neck. This makes for a very resonant, warm sounding guitar with a deep guttural low-end. The patented Set-Thru neck by ESP makes for a little extra sustain without sacrificing too much attack. The pickups included are the active EMG 81/707 set. We see a lot of EMG 81 pickups on metal guitars, especially from ESP. Some people still have a bad taste in their mouth about these pickups. If you are one of those people, I’d urge you to read our article, Are EMGs Terrible?, where we try to have an unbiased review of these. In this guitar, the EMG set sounds really fat and deep. It does highs exceptionally well and cuts through the mix fairly good. The 81 does super high gain and crustal clean sounds very well. It’s not the best for the stuff in the middle, but that’s really not what this guitar was intended for. It’s definitely a metal player’s instrument. The 707 pickup was a nice addition in the neck as it features an Alnico V magnet and offers a little bit more clarity for complex chords than the 81 in the bridge. If you need to play some really fat, clean chords, the 707 absolutely nails it. It’s great for soloing and lead playing as well as it adds some extra note definition that the 85 (usually paired with the 81) doesn’t quite nail. Overall, this sounds capable by this guitar generally fall into the realm of Death Metal, Progressive Metal, and everything in between. It slays for high gain riffing as well as super clean passages. Build Quality: All of the mid-high level LTD guitars that I’ve played stay fairly consistent. The build quality is pretty solid and ESP does not cut any corners. The finish and binding were pretty much flawless, as well as the hardware for the most part. The tuners felt great (although I would have preferred locking tuners myself). The neck felt good and the guitar plays really well, although the really high fret access is a little questionable, at least for someone with smaller hands. Final Verdict: The LTD TE-417 is (like I said before) a super simplistic, barebones, 7-string rhythm machine. It offers up a killer tone and a really simple, yet classy aesthetic . Coming in around $770, It’s a great choice for the guitarist looking to expand from 6-string guitars to 7s. Or even an experienced 7-string player whose looking for a nice live workhorse. My only complaint about the guitar is the lack of locking tuners. Of course, It’s an easy modification. If you want to learn about doing this to your own guitar, check out our guide: How to Install Locking Tuners. 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