LTD MH-417

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 EMG 81-7 pickup swaggers with formidable power and a razor-sharp response that cuts through any mix."

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.

Sounds

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.

MusicRadar Rating

4 / 5 stars
Pros

Looks; playability; not just a one-trick pony…

Cons

…but could be even more versatile.

Verdict

The fact that it looks and sounds so damn cool makes the MH-417 almost unbeatable.

Available Controls

3-way Pickup Selector Master Tone Master Volume

Available Finish

Black Satin

Fingerboard Material

Rosewood

Guitar Body Material

Mahogany

Hardware

Black nickel

Left Handed Model Available

No

Neck Material

Mahogany

No. of Frets

24

Scale Length (Inches)

25.5

Pickup Type

EMG 81-7 humbucker (bridge), EMG 707 humbucker (neck)

Review Policy
All MusicRadar's reviews are by independent product specialists, who are not aligned to any gear manufacturer or retailer. Our experts also write for renowned magazines such as Guitarist, Total Guitar, Computer Music, Future Music and Rhythm. All are part of Future PLC, the biggest publisher of music making magazines in the world.

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