The ESP LTD Iron Cross James Hetfield Signature guitar is a beautifully designed and crafted instrument that is perfect for metalheads and hard rockers alike. This guitar has all the features that players need to shred on stage or in the studio, including an alder body, maple neck, rosewood fingerboard with 24 XJ frets, EMG 81 (bridge) / 60 (neck) pickups, Floyd Rose bridge, and black hardware. The Iron Cross also comes with a few signature touches from James himself, including his logo on the headstock and an “X” inlay at the 12th fret.
I had a chance to check out this guitar myself when I was lucky enough to attend a recent press event held by ESP Guitars. The guitar played well and the EMG pickups produced a nice, full tone. Only a few of these guitars have been released in the US, so it’s possible that you won’t find one at your local guitar store. You can buy them directly from ESP or from Guitar Center . Of course, music stores may get more in stock later this year.
Is the Iron Cross right for you? In my opinion if you want something more suited to hard rock or metal, then definitely give this guitar a try! It has everything metalheads need from tearing riffs on down-tuned strings to high-pitched squeals during solos. I also like that the model comes in black; it has a more evil look than other color options.
As with all LTD guitars, you get ESP’s 24-hour continuous customer support and their limited warranty (5 years on electrical parts). You can even extend your service plan for 5 or 7 years after registration with LTD. The no questions asked policy makes this guitar perfect for beginners who still want to be taken seriously by experienced musicians. If you decide to trade up to another ESP guitar in the future, you’ll also get at least 50% of your money back toward an upgrade.
I originally wasn’t too sure about the Iron Cross signature, but I’ve come around to liking it more and more since getting my hands on one for this review. It’s a great metal guitar with a look that stands out from the crowd. Even if you don’t play metal, it can make for a nice addition to your guitar collection as it is perfect for everything from hard rock to shredding solos.