Build and features
The ESP line contains the only production signature eight-string that we’re aware of, Steph Carpenter’s STEF-B8, and although there is a version available in the cheaper LTD range too, this FM, which bears the body of an M Series guitar alongside the headstock of an F Series, is a standalone mainstream eighter.
Manufactured in Indonesia, the FM offers the shortest scale of the three (660mm/26-inches), which, in theory at least, will give the floppiest string tension, and a 55mm-wide graphite nut adorns the nicely proportioned headstock. The neck is fatter than that of the Ibanez and is factory strung to pitch with a set of 0.010-0.068 wires.
Again, pickups comprise an EMG-808 set, which are controlled by master volume and tone controls, plus a standard three-way toggle selector, and the LTD is one of two protagonists here to feature a Hipshot 8 bridge.
If we were to split hairs, we’d bemoan the lack of the ultra-metal ESP pointed headstock, but this is a nicely made eight-stringer that’s very comfortable to play.