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Review: ESP's LTD Arrow-1000 is one of the most enticing V-style models on the market

(Image credit: ESP)

With its beveled edges, sweeping curves in just the right places and asymmetrical shape with a dramatically extended bass bout, the ESP Arrow Series model is one of the coolest interpretations of the timeless V-style solidbody electric guitar ever conceived.

While the list prices of ESP's Original Series Arrow models exceed $4,000, ESP also offers LTD brand versions of the awesome Arrow at much more affordable prices. The LTD Arrow-1000 shares a lot in common with the ESP Arrow model, including similar stunning finish options, but at a lower cost that makes it an ideal choice for players who love the Arrow’s style.

Features

We reviewed the LTD Arrow-1000 with a Violet Andromeda finish that is similar to the iridescent Andromeda II finish on the ESP Arrow model. The LTD Arrow-1000 is also available with a Snow White finish for about $150 less. 

Like the ESP Arrow, the Arrow-1000 features neck-thru-body construction, but the body is mahogany instead of alder. The three-piece maple neck has a 25 ½-inch scale, Macassar ebony fretboard, contrasting pearloid arrow inlays, a Thin U profile and 24 extra jumbo frets. Thanks to the body’s V shape and curved cutaway scoop at the high E string, access to all 24 frets is completely unrestricted.

The hardware has a black finish and consists of Grover tuners, a Floyd Rose 1000SE vibrato bridge with stainless steel screws and a locking nut (a premium inclusion for durability), master volume knob and three-way pickup selector toggle switch. Pickups are the classic combination of an EMG 85 neck and EMG 81 bridge active humbuckers.

Performance

Thanks to the extended bass bout of the Arrow’s asymmetrical body shape, the guitar remains perfectly balanced when played in a standing position. The extended bass bout also enhances the body’s bass response, providing an aggressive low end thump similar to an Explorer-style guitar. 

ESP guitars are highly praised for the outstanding speed and playability of their necks, and the LTD Arrow-1000 is no exception, particularly for players who like to use every note over its entire four-octave range.

Although the LTD Arrow-1000 costs about one quarter of the price of its ESP counterpart, the construction boasts a very similar attention to detail and refinement. The fretwork is stunning, and all of the hardware is perfectly and solidly installed. The dazzling Violet Andromeda finish is the crowning touch, changing to various shades of blue and purple under stage lights. 

The Arrow-1000’s stunning looks and playability make it a perfect confidence builder for players who strive to always deliver peak performance.

STREET PRICE: $1,099 ($949 with Snow White finish)
MANUFACTURER: ESP Guitars, espguitars.com

• Hardware and electronics include a Floyd Rose 1000SE locking vibrato with stainless steel screws and a locking nut, and EMG 85 and 81 active humbucking pickups.

• The mahogany body is seamlessly attached to the three-piece maple neck via neck-thru-body construction that enhances tone and playability.

THE BOTTOM LINE: If you love V-shaped solidbody electric guitars, the LTD Arrow-1000 is one of the most enticing versions available, with looks, sound and playability ideal for the hardest styles of metal and rock.