Saturday, March 10, 2018

Review: Ltd Truckster (with video sample and comparison)

Hello everyone and welcome to this week's article!
Today we're going to talk about the Ltd Truckster, the signature singlecut guitar of James Hetfield of Metallica!
As you will probably know, Ltd is the low and mid-range price brand of Esp Guitars, a Japanese guitar manufacturer which produces high end instruments, and that has some of the biggest stars in heavy music as endorsers.

The Truckster is one of the various James Hetfield signature models produced by the company, and it is essentially a Les Paul style guitar with a serie of differences from a Gibson LP model, and that places itself in the highest tier of the Ltd roster, mainly due to its top end hardware.

The build quality is very good, the guitar is surprisingly lightweight (due to a body thinner than a Les Paul and a much thinner neck, more similar to an Ibanez one than to a Gibson one), and the painting tries to recreate the effect of several layers of different paint scratched off the area next to the knobs and where the arm stands, so it's a sort of fake relic style, which you may like or not, but for sure it has character.

The hardware is top-notch: there are Sperzel Locking tuners, Tonepros Tune o'Matic Bridge, Extra Jumbo frets, 2 pick up switch (one of which is inactive, but you can route the cables to go there if you prefer that position) and the pick ups are the Emg Het Set, the set made according to the Hetfield specifications.

Tone wise this guitar is extremely loud: as you can hear from the video comparison with an Epiphone Les Paul Prophecy the output is much higher, it's like playing through a booster, but the tone is brighter and more gnarly than a classic Emg 81, and in general, if well tweaked, this guitar provides a huge tone and it's lighter and more comfortable to use than a classic Les Paul.
The price is around 1100 $/€, which makes it one of the most expensive Ltd on the market, but on the other hand it makes sense, it is basically an Ltd Ec-1000 (the top level of Ltd singlecut, which sells for around 800 $) with 250 $ worth of pickups, locking tuners and a special painting, so you can actually see where the money goes, and all in all the price is quite right.

Give it definitely a try if you see one in a store, you might fall in love with it!


- Set-neck construction

- 24-3/4" scale

- Mahogany body

- 3-piece mahogany neck

- 42mm standard nut

- Thin U neck contour

- Rosewood fingerboard

- Flag inlays with LTD at 12th fret

- 22 XJ frets

- EMG Het Set active pickups

- 2 volume and 1 tone control with 2 - 3-way toggles (toggle in upper position is inactive)

- Satin chrome hardware

- Sperzel locking tuners

- TonePros locking Tune-o-matic bridge with stop tailpiece

- White neck binding

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