So I recieved my Ben Weinman signature that I ordered after it was announced at NAMM and have had nothing but problems, I will post some pictures when I have an opportunity to upload the pics from my camera:
- When it arrived the custom fitted case is actually a normal xtone case and seems to be slightly too short for the extended scale of this guitar versus the normal xtones which are 24 3/4. The head stock buries itself into the outside edge of the case at least 1/2 inch.
- The guitar came to me with the tape used to fasten the binding in place while the glue dries still hanging loosely in the F-hole.
- One of the chrome plated EMG's had the plastic covering removed however the other one was stuck in place quite firmly. I had to remove the pickup from its mounting ring in order to remove the plastic. My understanding is that this is normal to have protective plastic on pickguards and cavity cover plates but I feel like the pickups should be free of obstructions (in case of bad voodoo getting in the way of all that electromagnetism.) :P
- The truss rod cover had been installed askew and is actually sitting partly on the lee side of the nut (not flush with the headstock.) It is a gap of about 2 millimeters and noticeable enough to be annoying to look at. I attempted to let som pressure of the screw and reseat it but the hole was simply drilled to close to the nut. The fix will probably involve the cover so it sits flat.
- There is a quite a bit of imperfection on the finish of the guitar where the binding meets the flamed maple top. The best description I can give is that it looks as though whatever was used to keep stain off the binding was not fastened properly and the finish has "blown-out" onto the binding.
While most of these issues are cosmetic and easy to overlook due to the fact that these guitars are manufactured in an assembly line, the one problem that makes this guitar a lemon in my books is the Evertune bridge. The guitar shipped to me with a faulty saddle on the low E string. When I put new strings on and tuned to D standard, the low D (in my case) would only tune to just below C# before becoming seized. I used D'addario's string tension chart to ensure that I hadn't done something silly like buy a guitar that couldn't accomodate my preffered string gauge and tuning but I came away assured that I was only trying to put 17.5 lbs of force on a system that should accomodate between 10 - 28 lbs of string tension no problems.
When I contacted Evertune tech support today and they seem to think the saddle module that shipped with the guitar is one of their custom "low-tension" saddles and was installed in my unit by accident.
I have tried contacting ESP's support but it appears that the email portal on the main page is not working. So I am posting this here instead.
Needless to say I'll be contacting the dealer I ordered this through tomorrow when they open.
Did any of these issues ever get resolved? The Ben Weinman signature is, basically, my 'dream guitar' and I'm curious how this all played out...
If you received a replacement, how do you like it after playing for a couple years now?!
A few but not all. The guitar is underwhelming, this coming from someone who also considered this a dream guitar. The dealer had no response for the case, the dealer had no response for the evertune. They don't sell a lot of ESP and this was a special order paid upfront (my mistake.) I contacted Evertune directly and had them ship a replacement bridge which I installed myself because the nearest licensed installer was an 8 hour drive through New York (I am in Canada.) The finish is what it is, can't fix it short of buying another one. I have filed down the truss rod cover so it sits flat.
The guitar sounds great but the playability is lacking. I find the neck profile and upper fret access to be somewhat uncomfortable. I feel like the guitar would play better if the neck angle was different (more like a set neck) but the geometry just feels off.
Thank you for the in-depth details about what you've been through with this guitar (though sorry it's so bitter-sweet).
Sounds like there were a lot of variables at work here, though what's most concerning is the trussrod cover and finish. Sounds like you got something beyond a 'blemished' version..?
Hopefully it's better now, though I have absolutely taken note of what you said regarding playability and fret access.