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ESP’s Xtone Paramount series is a small range of Korean-made, single- and double-cut electric semis. Like the PRS Custom Semi-Hollow, the PS-2’s body isn’t a normal hollowbody; a solid mahogany treble side is married with a large bass-side chamber.
Our sample is neatly finished in tobacco sunburst over a plain maple-veneered top. The binding around the f-hole is a little rough but, let’s not forget, it’s the least expensive on test. Size-wise it sits somewhere between our other guitars: longer and deeper than the PRS, but not as broad feeling as the Vintage or Ibanez.
It balances more like a solidbody on a strap - but at 3.9kg it’s no lightweight. The thin ‘U’-shape neck is typical ESP, it fills the back of the palm with plenty of wood to still give enough of an oldschool vibe without compromising speed or playability. The 22 huge frets are smartly finished and rounded, and the guitar plays extremely well.
Equipped with two ESP LH-150 humbuckers controlled by a three-way pickup selector switch and a tone and volume for each pickup, it’s very Gibson, including the tune-o-matic bridge and stud tailpiece.