ESP LTD M-7BHT Baritone Arctic Metal Review & Prices

ESP LTD M-7BHT Baritone Arctic Metal Review
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  • From ESP LTD's 2021 Arctic Metal series
  • Made in Indonesia
  • 7 strings
  • 27"'' scale
  • 15.75" Fretboard Radius
  • Alder body
  • 3pc Maple neck
  • Macassar Ebony fretboard
  • Bridge pickup: EMG 81-7H TW (Humbucker/Active)
  • 1 volume and 0 tone Dome knobs
  • Hipshot w/ String Thru bridge
  • Extra Thin U Neck-Through neck
  • 24 XL Jumbo Stainless Steel frets
  • LTD Locking tuners
  • Compare Specs >

Our Scores and Tone Evaluation

Playability 78
Sound 73
Build quality 75
Value for money 75
Overall Score 75
Tone Evaluation
  • Heavy Metal
  • Hard Rock
  • Jazz
  • Blues
  • Funk
  • Country
Strengths & Weaknesses
ESP LTD M-7BHT Baritone Arctic Metal
  • Stainless Steel Frets
  • Locking Tuners
  • Expensive Wood
  • Top Brand Pickups
  • Neck-Through Build
  • Coil Split Pickups
  • Luminescent Inlay
  • Made in Indonesia
  • No High-Quality Nut
  • No Weight Relief
  • No Tremolo
  • No Compound Radius Fretboard
  • No 21:1 Tuner Ratio
  • No Strap Lock

Price Overview

Its average competitor's price is $1000, which means that the ESP LTD M-7BHT Baritone Arctic Metal is within the average price asked for this kind of guitar. This takes into account all instruments of the same category in our database with 7 strings and Fixed bridge that are made in Indonesia.

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Your feedback

Not all instruments are created equally. That's why it's important to have different opinions. Here's what our users who have played this instrument say. If you've played it before, help others by voting below!

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Is it Easy to Play?

The ESP LTD M-7BHT Baritone Arctic Metal meets 5 out of our 8 criteria items for beginner friendliness, which means that it's a good guitar to start with as a complete beginner. This takes into account the type of frets, scale length, nut width, bridge type, fretboard radius, and neck profile to determine the easiest combination for new players to get used to.

New Player Friendliness

ESP LTD M-7BHT Baritone Arctic Metal
  • Comfortable shape
  • Easy-to-use bridge
  • Locking tuners
  • Tall frets
  • Comfortable neck
  • Comfortable fretboard
  • Narrow nut
  • Short scale

Hand Size Comfortability

After taking into account the neck profile, scale size, fretboard radius, and nut width, we can conclude that the ESP LTD M-7BHT Baritone Arctic Metal's construction favors people with relatively big hands.

Nevertheless, this comes down in the end to personal preference. Make sure you test this guitar—or another one with similar characteristics—before buying.

Big Hands
Small Hands

Scale Length

Scale length is the distance the strings will span between the bridge and the nut. It can tell you a lot about the overall playability and tone of the instrument. A longer scale length means longer distance between frets, brighter tone and more string tension—which means lower action, but more difficult bending of the strings.

Here's the ESP LTD M-7BHT Baritone Arctic Metal's 27" scale length compared to other common sizes:

ESP LTD M-7BHT Baritone Arctic Metal Scale Length Comparison
ESP LTD M-7BHT Baritone Arctic Metal's scale length (at the top) compared to other popular sizes

This is a scale used for baritones and guitars with more than 6 strings. Since the scale is so long, the tension of the strings will be high. This means that bending will require a lot more strength than with a shorter scale. However, it also allows you to use really low tunings without causing fret buzz and without needing to increase your string gauge too much.

More with the same scale length:

Neck Profile

ESP LTD M-7BHT Baritone Arctic Metal Neck Profile
ESP LTD M-7BHT Baritone Arctic Metal's neck profile

The neck profile tells you the thickness (neck depth) and shape in cross section. Every difference will completely change the feeling and comfortability of the neck. This is a highly subjective thing, but most players indeed prefer certain types of necks (like Cs and Ds) because they feel nice in most hands.

The ESP LTD M-7BHT Baritone Arctic Metal's neck thickness is approximately 0.748'' (19mm) at the first fret, and 0.827'' (21mm) at the twelfth.

These measurements were taken either from the official ESP LTD website, or, in case this information wasn't provided, by researching multiple online marketplaces and forums where owners of this model have posted their measurements.

It has a U type neck. This shape usually has more 'shoulders' than a C neck. It's great for guitarists who love the feel of a vintage neck. Most of them are thick, which makes it better for people with big hands. However, some of them can be thin like a C neck but with more mass to the sides for a better grip.

More for different hand sizes

Fretboard Radius

When it comes to fingerboard radius, personal preference will dictate which one is better for you. However, most people seem to agree that a more curved (lower) radius will make it easier to play chords while a less curved (higher) radius is better for soloing and bending.

The ESP LTD M-7BHT Baritone Arctic Metal has a 15.75" fingerboard radius.

Here's an image comparing this fretboard radius to other popular choices:

ESP LTD M-7BHT Baritone Arctic Metal Fretboard Radius Comparison with Fender Stratocaster and Gibson Les Paul
ESP LTD M-7BHT Baritone Arctic Metal's fretboard radius compared to others

It's a radius that makes playing single notes (and bending, vibrato, sliding, etc) easier than on a classic Les Paul guitar. However, it's still more curved than some baritone and 7+ strings guitars.

Compound radius fingerboards give the best of both worlds. Unfortunately, the ESP LTD M-7BHT Baritone Arctic Metal has the same radius across the board.

More with the same fretboard radius:

Playability compared to main competitors

27'' Scale Length
U Neck Profile
1.89'' Nut Width
15.75'' Fretboard Radius
25.5'' Scale Length
C Neck Profile
1.85'' Nut Width
12'' Fretboard Radius
27'' Scale Length
U Neck Profile
1.89'' Nut Width
Compound Fretboard Radius
25.5'' Scale Length
C Neck Profile
1.89'' Nut Width
14'' Fretboard Radius
25.5'' Scale Length
D Neck Profile
1.89'' Nut Width
15.75'' Fretboard Radius

Nut Width

ESP LTD M-7BHT Baritone Arctic Metal Nut Width
ESP LTD M-7BHT Baritone Arctic Metal Nut Width

The ESP LTD M-7BHT Baritone Arctic Metal has a nut width of 48mm (1.89''). This is considered a wide width for a 7-string guitar. It gives your fingers the extra space you need to play without muting accidentally, but this also makes bar chords harder to perform, especially if you have small hands.

Frets

The ESP LTD M-7BHT Baritone Arctic Metal has 24 frets. A lot of people mistakenly believe that having more frets will always be better because it gives you a higher octave. This is certainly an advantage, but there's also a disadvantage to this.

Since the fretboard will be longer, the neck pickup will need to be placed closer to the bridge. And as you may know, the further away the neck pickup is from the bridge, the warmer it sounds. This means you'll have a brighter-sounding neck pickup when using a 24-fret guitar, even if you use the same pickup on a 22-fret guitar.

Finally, these are stainless steel frets. They're the best fretwire available. This means you won't need to change your frets since they should last as long as your guitar. Some people also feel easier bendings after swapping to stainless steel.

More with stainless steel frets:

Fret Size

ESP LTD M-7BHT Baritone Arctic Metal Fret Size Comparison
ESP LTD M-7BHT Baritone Arctic Metal's fret size (in orange) compared to other popular sizes

Finally, let's talk about fret size. Some people prefer tall frets because it's easier to press the strings and perform bends since there's less friction against the fretboard. On the other hand, some people like shorter frets because they like to touch the fretboard when playing, or because they got heavy hands and tend to press too much on the string and alter the of the note pitch accidently.

The ESP LTD M-7BHT Baritone Arctic Metal's frets are XL Jumbo size. These are extra-large frets, which are perfect for people who truly want the least resistance for techniques like vibrato, bending, tapping, and just playing fast in general. You won't be able to feel the fretboard with these frets, so if you press too hard you'll get the notes out of pitch. It might take a while to get used to them because of this.

More with the same type of frets:

Playability Score

Bending & Vibrato Ease 85
Chord Playability 60
Solo Playability 90
Playability 78

Tone Analysis

Wood will have little influence in the final tone of an electric guitar or bass. Instead, the hardware, especially the pickups, will be the most important thing to look at. Bur first, let's see the quality of the wood.

Wood

Alder wood pattern used for guitar building
Alder Body
Maple wood pattern used for guitar building
Maple Neck
Ebony wood pattern used for guitar building
Ebony Fretboard

Alder Body: This is a lightweight type of wood that was popularized by Fender. According to them, it's a wood that offers a balanced tone but that favors the upper midrange slightly.

Maple Neck: This is one of the most popular types of wood used in all kinds of guitars. It's heavy, strong and compact, which makes it great for necks. However, it's also used for fretboards, bodies and tops due to its light color, resistance and beautiful patterns. When it comes to tone, it highlights the mid and high frequencies.

Ebony Fretboard: This is one of the most expensive woods there is, which is why it's mostly used for fretboards. It is dense, heavy, highly resistant and comes in a really dark color that gives any guitar a classy touch. Tone wise, it helps the high side of the spectrum and provides good sustain.

More made with the same wood:

Pickups

This guitar comes with pickups from one of the top brands: EMG. So you can expect well built pickups with great sound that shouldn't need an upgrade anytime soon.

These are active pickups, so you can expect a lot of output with a highly compressed signal that will give your tones more distortion while retaining a clear, defined sound, which is what many Heavy Metal players need. However, they have the disadvantage of sometimes lacking a fully clean sound when playing without distortion.

The ESP LTD M-7BHT Baritone Arctic Metal's configuration is H. A single humbucking pickup will give you all the space you need for picking, and it might give you a bit more sustain since less magnetic fields are messing with the strings' vibrations. However, you won't have the same versatility as with other guitars with more pickups. It's recommended if you want to use it mainly for high-output riffs.

Versatility

Naturally, the ESP LTD M-7BHT Baritone Arctic Metal doesn't come with a pickup selector because it's a single-pickup guitar. These instruments have less versatility, but they're good for practicing. Besides being cheaper, limiting yourself to a single-pickup guitar can help you improve by learning to control the tone with your technique and playing style. Things like playing further away from the bridge for a warmer tone, or plucking the strings fast for a snappy sound can help you become a better player.

It has a Coil Split option. It allows you to 'split' or turn off pickup coils to get even more tones in combination with the pickup selector. When used with humbucker pickups, it'll reduce the output and increase their clarity, turning them essentially into single-coil pickups.

What music genre is it good for?

As a 7 strings, Solid Body guitar with H configuration and Active pickups, we'd recommend it for genres like Heavy Metal or similar. However, you can use almost any guitar for any genre. This is just the typical type of music for this particular one.

Sound Score

Pickups 85
Sustain 85
Versatility 47
Tuning Stability 75
Sound 73

Build Quality Analysis

Country of Origin

Knowing where the instrument is produced is a good way to know how well it's built. Some manufacturing countries are known for having higher quality standards. For example, most expensive instruments are made in the US or Japan, but there are some exceptionally great countries—like South Korea—that are building a good reputation.

The ESP LTD M-7BHT Baritone Arctic Metal is made in Indonesia. Many people prefer the quality of an Indonesian guitar over a Chinese. Respectable brands like Epiphone, Ibanez and Schecter are building in this country because of the great quality and lower price. Some people like to compare them to the ones built in Japan during the 80s, when Japanese guitar makers made a name for themselves.

Bridge

Hipshot w/ String Thru: The advantage of fixed bridges is that they don't require any kind of set-up. This makes it extremely easy when changing strings because you don't need to adjust anything besides tuning the guitar. Also, the fact that the bridge is directly attached to the body will help to increase sustain. The disadvantage is the lack of versatility since you can't create the same vibrato effects as with tremolo bridges.

More with the same type of bridge:

Tuners

The ESP LTD M-7BHT Baritone Arctic Metal comes with locking tuners, which helps with tuning stability and makes changing strings a lot faster and easier. As long as they're high quality, these are the best tuning machines you can have. The only disadvantage is that they are a bit heavier than normal tuners.

Nut Material

Another important thing to analyze is the nut material, as it's one of the most important aspects that can affect the sound and playability of your guitar. A well-cut nut will make sure it stays in tune and will make it more comfortable to play.

In this case, the ESP LTD M-7BHT Baritone Arctic Metal has a Plastic nut. This is a low-quality nut that you might want to consider upgrading soon. Bone and TUSQ nuts are the best for guitars with a fixed or simple tremolo bridge.

Neck Joint

The neck joint is the part where the neck of the guitar meets the body. There are three main techniques to attach both parts together: Set-In, Bolt-On and Neck-Through. The latter two provide different advantages, although neck-throughs are the most expensive.

This guitar has a Neck-Through neck joint. Many people believe a neck-through build delivers the best sustain because some of the vibrations from the neck aren't lost like with other neck joints. However, no one has been able to prove this. What we know is that a neck-through build is usually the most comfortable when playing the upper frets because there's nothing on your way at the neck-body joint.

More with the same build:

Build Quality Score

Quality of materials 71
Features 80
Quality Control 75
Build Quality 75

All Specs

ESP LTD M-7BHT Baritone Arctic Metal
General
Brand: ESP LTD
Year: 2021
Configuration: H
Strings: 7
Made in: Indonesia
Series: Arctic Metal
Colors: White
Left-Handed Version: No
Body
Type: Solid Body
Body Material: Alder
Bridge: Hipshot w/ String Thru
Neck
Neck Joint: Neck-Through
Tuners: LTD Locking
Fretboard: Macassar Ebony
Neck Material: 3pc Maple
Decoration:
Scale Size: 27"
Shape: Extra Thin U
Thickness: 1st Fret: 0.748'' (19mm) - 12th Fret: 0.827'' (21mm)
Frets: 24 XL Jumbo Stainless Steel
Fretboard Radius: 15.75"
Nut: Plastic
Nut Width: 48mm (1.89'')
Electronics
Switch: 0 Way
Knobs: Dome
Pickup Mods: Coil Split
Volume Controls: 1
Tone Controls: 0
Bridge Pickup: EMG 81-7H TW (Humbucker / Active)

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