ESP LTD Andy James Review — Amazing Sustain, Bright Tone

Andy James is a swiftly rising star of world guitar music. In addition to creativity, Andy teaches and inspires guitarists all around the world. AJ’s signature guitars, created by ESP LTD, have already become his “business card”. They are designed under the strict guidance of Andy, resulting in a comfortable and perfectly sounding instrument.

Guitar ESP LTD Andy James – AJ-1’s review

This 25.5-inch scaled instrument is made quite qualitatively, and the guitar itself is pretty beautiful. It was created exactly for metal, the fast solo performances are the best that received from AJ-1. Excellent long sustain, active sound, thanks to the bridge system TonePros and the locks, the guitar stays tuned for a long time.

  • Design: body Mahogany;
  • Neck maple with Thin U profile;
  • Fingerboard: rosewood;
  • Markers: displaced blocks, inlay Andy James on the 12th fret;
  • Radius of overlap: 350 mm;
  • 25.5″ neck of double octave;
  • 24 XJ frets;
  • Bottom width: 42 mm;
  • Bridge: TonePros Tune-O-Matic;
  • Pegs: Locking Tuners;
  • Pickups: EMG 66 (neck), EMG 57 (bridge);
  • Adjustable knobs: volume, 3-position switch.;
  • Strings: 10-46.

The AJ-1 guitar has mahogany body and has a specific maple neck. Mahogany is deservedly considered one of the best for guitars. His timbre is characterized by deep downs and smoothed tops. You receive a buzzing velvet sound.

The neck-through body construction includes maple slab with the neck, which are sandwiched between two parts of mahogany. Well establishing is a design principle and really superb sustain is achieved due to pass-through neck.

The headstock with locking tuners is brilliant. Andy’s signature across the center looks very cool indeed.


Both replaceable pickups look very cool with their perfect steel finish. The toggle switch of three way pickup selector and single master volume control are simple LTD’s electronics solutions.

Saturated cool black satin finish will conquer your heart as well as sound, which will not disappoint you! One can consider the guitar to be resonant instrument. It gives a really bright tone – thanks to maple construction! It is really great because guitars with mahogany body give the dark tone during playing. ESP LTD Andy James sounds fantastic being plugged-in, the pickups ‘works’ properly. Playability is superb.

EMG sensors

These options of AJ-1 do not flash and have a high output and a characteristic recognizable timbre. New ESP picks keep the tuned string more stable, you can replace strings easier.

Bridge System TonePros

It is rather innovative enhancement of the Tune-O-Matic. The bridge and the string holder are completely fixed by means of two small screws at the edges. Strict fixation lets sustain increasing, the sound of the instrument becomes more complete, and the change of strings is more convenient.


The guitar is equipped with EMG 57/66, which in comparison with 81/60 give incredibly clear, clean and warm sound, but it can give you needed punch you expect. So, it can be used as a “universal soldier” – metal, rock, pure guitar. According to many reviews the location of the volume control and toggle switch for this guitar are ideal, all styles sound great.

In terms of playback, this guitar is like a wonderful dream. There is no stop-bar, and due to this the guitar has a tremendous sustain.

Excellent guitar, 24-fret, and design / engineering are easy and simple.

Good for playing at concerts; this guitar is best suited for rock heavy metal. Tt sounds great both on a mini amplifier during rehearsals and on a relatively large amplifier during concerts.

Switching from EMG 57 (B) to 66 (N) also had an audible difference. The creamy, sublime 66ger sound completely convinced me.

You can lubricate fingerboard with a thin layer of lemon oil.

When you play in a standing position, it is soft and pleasant for the body. You always have a good view of frets.

Playing at lower frets requires several days of training, since they are XJ frets. It is also necessary to emphasize that the instrument is intended for a more “hard” movement.  The period of use depends on your attitude. Take the proper care and the guitar will gladly serve you!

What alternatives can offer the market

A new subscription model of electric guitar – AJ-1 was created specifically for Andy James, taking into account all his wishes. Ergonomic body, active electronics EMG and convenient “high-speed” profile of the neck make this guitar an excellent shred machine.

ESP Artist Series LGH200

This Solid-Body Electric Guitar made in black will allow you to feel the style of Gary to allow yourself to enjoy the vibration and powerful sound.

You can consider the LTD Gary Holt Signature GH200 Black as analog. It is completed with Basswood Body, Maple u-shaped thin Neck, the construction of neck is bolt-on, 24.75″ scale and a Rosewood Fingerboard. Gary Holt is known as the “Godfather of thrash metal”.  This guitar is also featuring 22 extra jumbo frets and pickups, ESP-designed. You can find the guitar equipped with a Floyd Rose Special Bridge and Locking Nut. The Controls are managed with a toggle switch. Price starts from 488$.


The price for this Electric Guitar is about 699 $. It has a mahogany body and rosewood fingerboard. It comes equipped with a Tom Bridge & Tailpiece. It has a Set-Neck Construction and a 24.75″ Scale with 24 Extra Jumbo Frets and a Thin-U Neck Contour.

It features versatile, powerful colors, reliable equipment and a neat, attractive appearance. Easy game, excellent resonance and sustain.

The pickups are active EMG 81(b) and EMG 60(n). The guitar completed with Grover Tuners and 3-way toggle switch control system.

ESP Artist Series LAJ7BLKS

This 7-string guitar comes for price of about 880 $, but you can find lower one.

It is solid body musical instrument performed in black satin – prefect look.

  • Mahogany Body with a Maple Neck (Thin-U Neck Contour);
  • Neck-Thru Construction;
  • A Toggle Switch control.
  • Rosewood Fingerboard;
  • 24 Extra Jumbo Frets;
  • TonePros TOM Bridge w/String Thru Body;
  • 25.5″ Scale;

EMG MetalWorks 57-7H(b) and 66-7H(n) – these are pickups.

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