The ESP LTD Deluxe M-1000 MS features
With its angled frets, and well, angled everything the M-1000 MS caught our eye. But picking up and trying the guitar sealed the deal. The multi-scale concept is designed to equalized string tension on all strings, which besides providing a consistent feel across the fretboard, also puts the neck under a uniform level of stress (good for long term neck health). In order for the guitar to intonate properly, it's necessary to angle the frets so that the notes are in the right place given the varying string lengths. Even the Seymour Duncan pickups are a custom set built at an angle to match the scale length.
What this all boils down to is a guitar that is remarkably easy to play. What we noticed more than string tension, was how easily our hand fell into place when playing the angled frets. Playing up the neck - especially Barre chords - feels much more natural than straight frets, which forces the wrist to twist more to align to the frets. The flat fretboard, low overall action, equal tension, and those crazy looking frets add up to a guitar that is truly a breeze to play.
The relatively "metal" look (but it's not matte black) of the M-1000 MS may cause players to jump to tonal conclusions, but it's not a one-trick guitar. The Duncan Sentient neck pickup is a mild 7.8K Alnico 5 pickup designed to deliver clear note articulation that works well for clean tones, and does not devolve into a puddle of mush when gain is applied. You can play blues, pop, wedding band stuff, or tune it down.
The ceramic magnet Nazgul is more on the aggressive side; with the kind of responsive attack and uber-tight bass that is a must-have for high gain tones and chugging riffs. But at 13.6K DC resistance, it's not overly hot or nasal sounding, and there is good frequency balance and ample harmonic content. It's does not have the loose, singing feel of a PAF, but you can lay down some pretty good classic rock with it.
Getting to know the ESP brand has been a real eye opener. While most players know it by it's hard rock and predominantly heavy metal image, there are many facets to the ESP product lineup that address a wide range of player interests. The M-1000 Multi Scale is one of them; blending incredibly good playing ergonomics with the flexibility to handle anything from weekend cover band rock to de-tuned metal.