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ESP LTD KH-V Kirk Hammett Signature Electric Guitar – Red Sparkle
Solidbody Electric Guitar with Korina Body, Maple Neck, Ebony Fingerboard, and 2 Active Humbucking Pickups – Red Sparkle
Enter Kirk Hammett’s Long Overdue Signature V!
The ESP LTD Kirk Hammett KH-V is a long-awaited 21st-century take on a metal classic, infused with metal magic and its namesake’s custom-voiced signature pickups. Diehard fans will find plenty to love, but there’s more to this guitar than sheer fandom. For starters, the KH-V’s korina body honors the “V” shape traditions with resonant mahogany-like tone and sustain. Tone quality is enhanced further with a string-through body for extra sustain. The KH-V’s set-through maple neck comes complete with ESP’s speedy “Extra Thin-U” profile so players can ride the lightning to smashing solos, even when playing close to the neck joint. Speaking of the neck’s upper frets, the access is phenomenal, with a subtle body cutaway inspired by ESP’s V-II body style. And for electronics? The KH-V wouldn’t be complete without Kirk Hammett’s signature pickups: two active EMG Bone Breakers, individually voiced humbuckers with ceramic and alnico magnets. True to their name, these Bone Breakers pack a mean punch and offer a wide dynamic range that lets you dial in the loud, organic cleans that Kirk Hammett regularly conjures up.
Coveted korina tonewood: the sonic harbinger of true “V” tone
Korina (sometimes known as limba wood) is a lightweight tonewood native to West Africa. Resonant with an open, heavy sound that’s a hallmark of classic “V” guitars, korina’s use in guitars dates back to the 1950s. Countless players compare korina to mahogany because it delivers the hard rock necessities — depth, sustain, and a complex low-mid range — but with a snappy, brighter midrange bump that translates into a captivating presence fit for an arena. Korina also generally clocks in at lower weights than mahogany, which makes it the tried-and-true pick for balancing the weight of jutting V-style wings.
Next-gen V-II body shape
Every aspiring metal player needs a good V for the stage presence alone, but some players find such guitars fit like tight jeans: great for the right occasion but not a go-to daily outfit. The KH-V remedies this with cues lifted from ESP’s next-gen V-II shape. The V-II shape features advanced contour edges with an upper contour that doubles as an armrest for improved fret-hand comfort across all 24 frets. As you near the 24th fret, a subtle V-II body cutaway makes its presence known. Many might not notice this discrete touch at first glance. Still, it accommodates players like never before and speaks volumes to the V-II shape’s playability, all while preserving that iconic “V” look. Between that and a low-profile set neck joint, shredders found hitting high notes as solos climax easier than ever with the KH-V!
EMG Bone Breakers — Kirk’s secret weapon
Bone Breaker pickups from EMG are your ticket to dynamic metal tones with serious range. These medium-hot active humbuckers equip you with Kirk Hammett’s signature sounds ranging from clean to downright brutal. Powering tone is a custom preamp tweaked to Kirk’s satisfaction. The ceramic Bone Breaker in the bridge is ready to erupt with searing gain for driving rhythms, while mellow Alnico V magnets in the neck Bone Breaker offer a breath of fresh air when it’s time to churn out soaring stadium leads. Between the two, players never have to trade volume for gain or vice versa. In summary, these are Bone Breakers, not bone crushers, with just the right amount of force to get the job done. Such balance is critical to Kirk Hammett’s style, and the ESP LTD KH-V earns its bona fides with a genuine piece of Metallica’s tone onboard.
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