Published 6 years ago on February 14, 2018

By Guitar Interactive Magazine

Always wanted to try a seven string? A fan of the Deftones' Steven Carpenter? If so then ESP may have the very thing for you with this very affordable signature model. Tom Quayle checks it out.

Most people associate signature guitars with expensive price tags worn by out of reach instruments made only for rich collectors. These days, however, there's a growing trend for more affordable signature instruments that are not just cut down versions of a more expensive model, but high quality guitars with professional components in their own right. ESP is a leader in this market and has teamed up with Stephen Carpenter from the Deftones to produce a signature 7-string model - the ESP LTD SCT-607B. Fitting with the Deftones style, this is a baritone scale length, 7-string model but, unlike the existing SC models, the SCT features a more traditional 'Tele' shape brought right up to date with modern appointments.

The SCT-607B is a Korean made instrument featuring a very heavy alder body, maple 27" baritone scale neck with an ebony fret board. The neck is ESP's thin U-shape with 24 XJ (extra jumbo) frets and a 48mm non-locking nut. A thru-neck design has been chosen to aid sustain and tone and hardware is high end in the form of EMG-81-7 active pickups,  TonePros Locking TOM bridge and LTD locking tuners, all finished in black for an appropriately moody look! The design is completed by a three-way switch and volume/tone controls, topped off with a pearloid pickguard for touch of class. This is a great looking guitar that balances the modern and traditional elements very well and feels great in the hands, despite its considerable weight.

The construction on our sample was up to the usual very high standards of ESP's Korean made guitars. The build quality was superb and gave the guitar that expensive feel and look that we all crave. Carrying on the good news, fretwork and finishing were flawless with no rogue fret ends or poorly sanded edges and all the hardware elements felt solid and responsive. This isn't exactly a cheap guitar of course but you can rest assured that at this mid-level price point you're getting a professional quality instrument for your money.

The ESP's playability was equally high level with one of the most comfortable and approachable 7-string necks I've tried. The extra length provided by the baritone scale feels great and adds a lot more resonance and grunt to the low B string. Fret access is good thanks to the neck-thru design and tuning stability is rock solid with quality locking tuners and bridge.

Played acoustically the SCT-607B has bags of sustain across its range with an impressive and even tone. This bodes well for its electric performance and it doesn't disappoint. The position of the two EMG81-7 pickups is unusual in that the neck pickup is positioned where a middle position pickup would normally go. This makes sense in that the Deftones' style, low-tuned riff playing doesn't really require a neck pickup and having the pickup positioned nearer to the bridge gives a more useful range. Regardless, the tones on offer are impressive with crystalline clean sounds available from all three positions that, whilst exhibiting classic high output, active characteristics, remain dynamic and responsive throughout.

For classic clean Rock and Metal this guitar is a fantastic performer and will even give you more subtle colours if they're dialled in carefully. Plugged into a high gain amp, the SCT-607B reveals its beastly nature, producing tones that would make even the most doom-seeking guitar player crack a smile. The baritone scale and EMGs, combined with the neck-thru and fixed bridge give a devastating delivery if required that is super-tight and responsive for low-tuned riffs and upper range soloing. Lower gain sounds, whilst lacking some of the character of a passive pickup, sound good too and thanks to the lack of a neck pickup, things never become wooly or undefined. Personally, I would miss the neck pickup tones you get on some other guitars but I can see how many players would be fine without it.

There is very little, if anything negative to say about this guitar. It looks and sounds great with a design that should appeal to a much wider audience than the average metal guitar. Obviously, active pickups will preclude a certain sector of the market but any guitar player looking for a pro-level, affordable 7-string that retains some traditional visual elements, has an approachable neck and sounds great would do well to check the ESP LTD SCT-607B out. I really liked this one and have no hesitation in awarding it top marks.

Issue 17




Mud, Rain, and Rock 'n' Roll — Guitar Interactive at The Download Festival 2024 | Feature

Tom Morello on new single with his son "Soldier in the Army of Love," the last time he saw Chris Cornell & beating Simon Cowell in the charts | Interview

Marcus King on 'Mood Swings,' Collaborating with Rick Rubin and Exploring New Musical Directions | Interview

Gibson Theodore Standard | Review

Aria Pro II 714-GTR Fullerton | Review

Music Man 2024 Axis Super Sport | Review

Danelectro Fifty Niner Guitar - Gold Top | Review

Taylor Guitars 50th Anniversary GS mini Rosewood SB | Review

Music Man 2024 Axis | Review

Jackson Soloist SLA 3 | Review

PRS 2024 SE CE 24 Satin | Review

JET Guitars JT600 | Review

Third Man Hardware x Donner Triple Threat Pedal | Review

Boss Katana-Air EX Wireless Guitar Amp | Review

Cort Abstract Delta Masterpiece Series | Review

Sterling by Music Man St. Vincent Goldie | Review

Mooer Tender Octave X2 | Review

Gibson Falcon 20 1x12 Combo | Review

Godin Session T-Pro | Review

Fishman Fluence 6-String Mick Thomson Signature Pickups | Review

Glenn Hughes on Black Country Communion 'V' & Why Joe Bonamassa is "The Greatest Rock Blues Player Alive Today" | Interview

D'Addario XS Coated Electric Guitar Strings | Review

21 Bands Not to Miss at This Year's Download Festival | Feature

Nothing More's Mark Vollelunga on Embracing the "Raw" and "Real" with 'Carnal' | Interview

Eddie 9V Delivers an Electrifying and Soulful Performance at The Grace, London — May 13th 2024 | Live Review

Top magnifiercross linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram