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Metallica always has been one of my favorite bands since I was a teenager, and their music inspired me to learn a lot of the Metallica songs on guitar.
In the year Metallica released the Black album, I met with Rene who also was playing guitar and a Metallica fan.
So we hooked up almost every weekend, to sit down a learn to play those amazing riffs.
I believe this was also the same year that Kirk Hammett started to play the ESP guitars, what later became his signature models, and if I am right this “les Paul” shaped ESP was his first. (correct me if I am wrong)

I never really had to chance to play any of those ESP/LTD guitars, maybe because

I got more into the Ibanez Guitar in that time.
But somewhere in the year 2015, I was given a chance to play one and I was surprised by how it played..the neck was really not that far from what I was used to play.
We made a deal and there it was,…my first Metallica Guitar.

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LTD Maple rosewood fingerboard
Spiders and skull crossbones inlay
Basswood Les Paul Shape Black
Jumbo frets 
3 way
Floyd Rose
Lock Nut

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LTD KH-203 Photo Hardware2

When I got the guitar, it was set up in a Dropped C open down tuning, and the Tremolo didn’t function how it had to be, and since I don’t really use this kind of set up….., I took the time rewire everything into its original setup.
For this, I needed to dismount the Floyd Rose and take it all apart so I could clean and polish it up, and exchange the damaged screws and rings.

The tremolo arm was reshaped or bent for some reason, so to put that back into its original shape….I had to heat it up above a fire and step by step I could bent it back into its place how it supposed to be.
All there was to it, was setting up the back springs….and the guitar was ready to go again.

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LTD KH-203 Photo Neck

Two of the things that stands out is the headstock and inlay.
When you take a look at the head shape, you see it long/straight and narrow shaped.
Second the inlay, I really love it when the inlay isn’t that standard, just like the “tree of life” and Pyramids on the Jem guitars, and I believe EPS/LTD is one of those brands that keeps the theme of the guitar, back into its inlay.

The inlay starts with the Spiders and from the 12th fret it goes to the skulls, and at the 24th you will find the Type/name plate.
The neck is an 3 piece bold on neck, with a Rosewood fret board and jumbo frets.
The thickness was something I had to get used to at first, since it’s a little bit thicker compared to my other guitars, but it challenged me to play different and that worked really well.

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LTD KH-203 Photo body

At first I wanted to change the pickups for an original KH-EMG set, but since the pickups sound all ready cool how they are not, I leave them for the moment.
The Pickups are a passive EMG-HZ H4 humbucker combination, with a shared tone know and individual volume know for each pickup.
The tone is really bright and clear, clean but heavy.
The wiring is simple Bridge–Both-Neck, and you’ll get different tones in the middle position when you give each pickup it’s on adjusted volume.
My favorite clean combination on this is: switch on the middle position, Neck pickup 3/4 volume, bridge full volume and tone 2/4.
For the heavy riff/solo sound, I put everything full blown open, at the neck or bridge position.
The guitar as really nice low sound, and has opened some new doors for me.

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LTD KH-203 Photo body2

This LTD is a basswood Les Paul shaped body in a black finish with the Spider-skull decal attached to it.
The fact there are no comfort cuts at the back or front is not really a missed thing, the only thing I am struggling with is the rounded edge at the bottom is slightly different compared the guitars I am used to play and that makes me feel I am playing a short scale guitar, that has always been my problem with “les Paul” shaped guitars.
I guess this is still something I have to get used to, but the nice tone and sustain of this guitar, compensates that little issue.

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I believe that this guitar is truly amazing and a great asset to my collection.
The strings are ErnieBall Super Slinky .009, .011, .016, .024, .032 and .42
The strap is like most of my guitars a Black Dimarzio strap.

To make it all complete, I have a set of Dunlop Kirk Hammett plectrums and the amazing “too much horror business” book by Kirk Hammett.
I can really recommend every item you have read about on this page, and you don’t have to be a Metallica fan to understand this great gear.
The only thing that is missing from this whole set up is the Dunlop Kirk Hammett Signature wah-wah,..but that will only be a matter of time.

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