Few guitar players of the world merit as much respect as Alex Skolnick. Originally gaining fame as the teenage phenomenon holding down guitar duties for Bay Area thrashers Testament, Alex has gone on to tackle multiple musical genres, including sophisticated jazz playing in his Alex Skolnick Trio. With the LTD AS-1, guitarists of all styles will appreciate this amazing single-cutaway design that's surprisingly affordable considering its feature set that was created for professional players. Its contemporary set of tools include a set-neck, U-shaped three-piece maple neck for smooth access all the way up and down the fingerboard to the full thickness Eclipse body made of mahogany with maple cap. It comes with an excellent set of Seymour Duncan '59 (neck) and JB (bridge) pickups. Its flexible controls include individual volume knobs for each pickup, a tone control with push-pull access to split the neck pickup coil, and a pickup selector toggle. Its high-end components include a bone nut, TonePros locking TOM bridge and tailpiece, Dunlop straplok, and Grover tuners. The LTD AS-1 comes in an amazing-looking Lemon Burst translucent finish over its figured flamed maple top.

(U.S. Only)
Flamed Maple
3Pc Mahogany
Pau Ferro
Fingerboard Radius
Nut Width
Nut Type
Neck Contour
22 XJ
Hardware Color
Strap Button
Dunlop Straplok
Tonepros Locking TOM & Tailpiece
Neck PU
Seymour Duncan '59*
Bridge PU
Seymour Duncan JB
Electronics Layout
Vol/Vol/Tone(P/P*)/Toggle Switch
D'Addario XL110 (.010/.013/.017/.026/.036/.046)
Case Included
Prices and specifications subject to change.
Chris M.

How does the "U" neck profile differ from the "Thin U"? I assume its just bigger? More "gibson" like? I love the Thin U, but I also have a PRS with the Wide Fat neck, that is comparable to the thin U, but just feels bigger, which I also like.



Todd B. ESP

Hi Chris, the U shape is a thicker version. About 1-2mm thicker than our Thin U shape. in this case for Alex's guitar, he has a slightly wider neck (43mm) and thickness is 21mm at 1F and 23mm at 12th fret. After paint it could be slightly thicker.

evan north.

Does this guitar have a thick-ish maple top ( a la les paul ) or is it a thinner veneer like the ec 1000?

Is it still manufactured in korea or is it now made in indonesia?

Todd B. ESP

Hi Evan,

This model does have a maple cap, it's 15mm thick. Over the top of the plain maple cap there is a flame maple veneer. So you do get the blend of tone from the mahogany body on the back and the maple cap on top. Currently we produce this model only in Korea, however we make many models in Indonesia now as well and we strive on maintaining our highest quality standard no matter what the country of origin may be.

Daniel J.

Dear ESP:

Received my AS-1 yesterday.

Shipping condition?  Beautiful!  The box was in great shape, the staples cut me up a little but you know what?  That's the sign it was protected well in shipping.

I ordered the guitar and a CECFF case to go with it.  I like that someone took the guitar and put it in the case for safer shipping.  One would think that's instinctive and basic, but you'd be surprised.  Thank you.

The 'shroud of Turin' thing around the case inside the shipping box was a nice touch.  Thank you for keeping the case nice.  And, filling in the voids around the case in the shipping box with extra paper, wadded up tightly in the gaps?  You guys in shipping are awesome.

When I opened the case, I swear I could have heard an angel choir.  My AS-1 is beautiful.  Absolutely beautiful.  The flaming on the top in a lemon burst gave me goose bumps.  I asked that the guys who picked this guitar out take their time and be 'picky' and they were.  Thank you.

The case is terrific too.  Fits the guitar like a glove.  I absolutely love how roomy it is around the neck.  There's room for picks, a tuner, a wiping cloth, all the goofy little extras that come in handy.

One other came out of the box just about in-tune, set up perfectly.  I could have opened it up at a gig and played it on the spot.  I've never EVER seen that in a new guitar before.  Its ready to go.  Strings, intonation, neck adjustment were spot-on.

For these things, I cannot compliment ESP enough.  I'm beyond excited to play this guitar live.

I cannot let this commentary go without a few things, however.

First, I own a previous version of an AS-1, in a honey burst.  As beautiful, and playable, and tonally terrific as my new one is, my 3-year old AS-1 is 'beautiful-er'.  Putting one next to the other is a very striking comparison.

Second, I was expecting my new AS-1 to have an 'Alex Skolnick' signature on the front of the headstock.  There is none.  I have been combing the ESP site, and other dealer sites, looking for AS-1's without the signature on the headstock.  I have not been able to come up with any.  That is disappointing.  There is a tiny signature on the back of the headstock.  That's it.  I was hoping that these two guitars would be more identical that way.

Third, the strap button on the lower bout was stripped and loose.  I prefer the double-design straplocks much more so I took the original ones off.  The mounting screw on the upper bout came out perfectly, and went back in perfectly.  Nice and snug.  The lower bout mounting screw about fell out when I started turning it.  I don't want to send the guitar back, so I got out some glue and glued the new mounting screw in place.  Its not going anywhere.

Finally, the pickups are adjusted quite low.  So low that if you jostle the guitar even a little, the neck pickup bounces around in the pocket and it sounded like there were loose parts in the guitar.  After playing it for awhile I finally adjusted the pickups up a turn or two, which put some pressure on the pickup mounting springs and all was solved, but initially its disquieting to shake your guitar and hear stuff banging around in it.  Incidentally, adjusting the pickups up a little makes the guitar sound fantastic.


So in summary, thank you for a beautiful guitar.  I love it.  Its part of my guitar posse, and I'm going to go be loud and proud with it.  I wish it could have been as perfect as the one I bought that was a little older, but they can't all be that incredible.  As great as ESP QC is, there are some things I think they should have caught before it was shipped, but I've discovered them and corrected them to my liking.  I'd rather do that than send the guitar back and wait for a new one.  Yes, I will definitely consider another LTD guitar.  The Ron Wood stuff definitely is on my radar.  Thanks again!


Daniel E. Jansen

Todd B. ESP

Hi Daniel,

First off, sorry for this reply being so late. And thanks for all your comments and wonderful review of both this product and the packaging! We're happy that you mostly satisfied and we regret that you encountered a few issues. Although they turned out to be somewhat minor, they still were noticeable to you and should have been dialed in better, so we appreciate you pointing them out to us. We will share your issue with our QC team for sure. Regarding the signature, it was something that was moved to the back of headstock on more recent versions of our LTD Signature series. If you ever need assistance with your product feel free to reach out to our customer service team (

Dave M.

Hi,  A little confusion on the neck attachment. The description it states the neck is "set-thru". However the specifications state "set-neck".

Which is it? I really would like to know.




Todd B. ESP

Hi Dave,

Sorry for our late reply to your question and thanks for bringing this to our attention. This model (the AS-1) has a traditional set neck with a heel. The model with the FR does have a set thru heel, so it feels and looks like a neck thru, but the original model with the tune-o-matic bridge is not set thru. We have updated our description.

Dicle d.1990

Hi, is neck made of maple or mahogany?

Todd B. ESP

Hi Dicle, the neck is made of mahogany.

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