While the roots of baritone guitar may take you back to the surf/country-rock of the '50s, it would be fair to say that in the modern age, these lower-pitched axes have been well and truly claimed by heavy metal.
Case in point: the LTD MH-401B, which comes tuned to A, and will have you riffing away to your favourite Slipknot and Deftones records in no time at all. Granted, it might take a short while to get used to the heavier string gauges (the extra scale length requires thicker strings to get the tension right at a lower pitch), but once adjusted, you won't even blink an eyelid.
The trusty high-output EMG 85/81 set has almost become the staple for any metal guitar, and with good reason: the pickups are highly responsive, articulate and clear with a magnetic pull that could rival the sun itself.
The near-infinite sustain is aided by the string-through body construction, and while regular guitars can sound convincing when detuned this low, there is just something magical about how chords ring out on this particular baritone.
Each and every note resonates with perfect definition, the 686mm (27-inch) scale length and maple cap giving some much-needed high-end sheen to those earth-shaking, bowel-ripping sub-frequencies.
With its all-black finish and pointy headstock, the LTD MH-401B looks a mean proposition, but its clean tones are better than you'd expect – again, thanks to the active EMG humbuckers which are probably responsible for pushing this instrument above the £550 mark. But in the grand scheme of things, that's a small price to pay for bankable consistency in heaviness.