Built in Indonesia, the LTD MH-417 is everything a modern guitar should be.
It plays like a dream, comes with some serious firepower in the pickup department, and that black satin finish is the absolute balls. It's like something Lucius Fox put together for Bruce Wayne (if Batman played guitar).
The MH-417 is produced by the budget division of ESP Corporation, the people responsible for the favourite instruments of Metallica's James Hetfield and Kirk Hammett and Deftones' seven-string aficionado StephenCarpenter.
The MH-417 has a mahogany body with deep cutaways and some ribcage contouring on the back, and employs a thru-body construction. This means the neck forms the centre of the body with a 'wing' glued to either side of it to complete the guitar's profile. It features through-body stringing and good quality hardware.
The active EMG pickups here include an 81-7 in the bridge position and a 707 at the neck. It's not just a clever name; the 81-7 is a seven-string version of the classic high output EMG 81 pickup.
Like its slimmer ancestor, the 81-7 is a cracking choice for high-gain lead and rhythm work. It swaggers with formidable power and a razor-sharp response that cuts through any mix. Chugging away moodily on the bottom strings is a blast; the low B unloads some roaring false harmonics when you hit it just right.
Moving along, the neck position 707 is designed to eliminate the muddy response that plagues many humbuckers, especially those pimped to fit on seven-strings. The 707 achieves its objective brilliantly with a warm rounded tone that sounds best on lower gain settings in our experience.
You might think adjusting to the wider fingerboard of a seven-string would be a bit of a pest. Not so. The MH-417 is easy to adjust to with a slim neck profile making the transition even easier.
The LTD MH-417 is a brilliantly designed and executed instrument, worth every digit of its price tag. It proves that an active humbucker-loaded seven-string doesn't have to be pigeon-holed as some brutal metal machine; trust us, there are some great clean and filthy tones lurking in this guitar.