ESP LTD Mirage Deluxe '87 Review & Prices

ESP LTD Mirage Deluxe '87 Review
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  • From ESP LTD's 2020 '87 Series Guitars series
  • Made in Indonesia
  • 6 strings
  • 25.5"'' scale
  • 13.78" Fretboard Radius
  • Alder body
  • 3pc Maple neck
  • Macassar Ebony fretboard
  • Bridge pickup: Seymour Duncan Distortion SH-6 (Humbucker/Passive)
  • Neck pickup: Seymour Duncan Hot Rails Strat SHR-1B (Humbucker/Passive)
  • 1 volume and 1 tone Dome knobs
  • 3-way Switch
  • Floyd Rose 1000 bridge
  • Extra Thin U Bolt-On neck
  • 22 XL Jumbo frets
  • LTD tuners
  • Compare Specs >

Our Scores and Tone Evaluation

Playability 73
Sound 82
Build quality 62
Value for money 72
Overall Score 72
Tone Evaluation
  • Heavy Metal
  • Hard Rock
  • Jazz
  • Blues
  • Funk
  • Country
Strengths & Weaknesses
ESP LTD Mirage Deluxe '87
  • Expensive Wood
  • Locking Nut
  • Top Brand Pickups
  • Coil Split Pickups
  • Tremolo
  • Retainer Bar
  • Cheap Fret Wire (NS)
  • No Locking Tuners
  • Made in Indonesia
  • No Neck-Through Build
  • No Weight Relief
  • No Luminescent Inlay
  • 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 Mirage Deluxe '87 costs around 20% more than the competition. It might be due to it having additional features, but know that you can find cheaper similar alternatives. This takes into account all instruments of the same category in our database with 6 strings and Double Locking bridge that are made in Indonesia.

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Videos

Fender HM Strat Vs. ESP LTD Mirage Deluxe 87 shootout
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ESP Guitars: LTD Mirage Deluxe '87 Demo by Jamie Hunt
ESP LTD Mirage Deluxe '87
ESP Guitars: LTD Mirage Deluxe '87 Demo by Pat Heath
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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!

Weight

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Tuning stability

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Neck speed (thickness)

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Neck access to high frets

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Neck profile shape

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Fret edges

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Is it Easy to Play?

The ESP LTD Mirage Deluxe '87 meets 4 out of our 8 criteria items for beginner friendliness, which means that it's not bad for beginners, but it could be better. 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 Mirage Deluxe '87
  • Comfortable shape
  • Tall frets
  • Narrow nut
  • Comfortable neck
  • Comfortable fretboard
  • Short scale
  • Locking tuners
  • Easy-to-use bridge

Hand Size Comfortability

After taking into account the neck profile, scale size, fretboard radius, and nut width, we can conclude that the ESP LTD Mirage Deluxe '87's construction favors people with relatively small 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 Mirage Deluxe '87's 25.5" scale length compared to other common sizes:

ESP LTD Mirage Deluxe '87 Scale Length Comparison
ESP LTD Mirage Deluxe '87's scale length (at the top) compared to other popular sizes

This is the same scale length used in Stratocaster guitars, and it's one of the main reasons they have such a bright sound. It's considered a long scale when compared to most non-baritone guitars.

Since the distance between bridge and nut is relatively long, you'll need to give the strings more tension to get them in tune. This higher tension will allow for a couple of things. First, you can get a lower action (get the strings closer to the fretboard) because the strings won't 'wiggle' too much when pluck and won't cause fret buzz. This can allow you to use lower tunings without increasing your string gauge, and it will make it easier to press down the strings fast.

However, the frets will also have a wider separation between each other, which can make it harder to play, especially if you got small hands. The higher tension will also make the strings feel stiffer, so bending will require more strength.

More with the same scale length:

Neck Profile

ESP LTD Mirage Deluxe '87 Neck Profile
ESP LTD Mirage Deluxe '87'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 Mirage Deluxe '87'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 Mirage Deluxe '87 has a 13.78" fingerboard radius.

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

ESP LTD Mirage Deluxe '87 Fretboard Radius Comparison with Fender Stratocaster and Gibson Les Paul
ESP LTD Mirage Deluxe '87's fretboard radius compared to others

This makes it more similar to Gibson guitars (12'') than Fender (9.5''). It's slightly flatter than most modern Gibson fretboards though, which makes it more comfortable for single notes, bendings and vibratos, but less comfortable for chords.

Compound radius fingerboards give the best of both worlds. Unfortunately, the ESP LTD Mirage Deluxe '87 has the same radius across the board.

More with the same fretboard radius:

Playability compared to main competitors

25.5'' Scale Length
U Neck Profile
1.654'' Nut Width
13.78'' Fretboard Radius
25.5'' Scale Length
C Neck Profile
1.625'' Nut Width
Compound Fretboard Radius
25.5'' Scale Length
U Neck Profile
1.654'' Nut Width
Compound Fretboard Radius
Multiscale Scale Length
U Neck Profile
1.654'' Nut Width
13.78'' Fretboard Radius
25.5'' Scale Length
C Neck Profile
1.654'' Nut Width
12'' Fretboard Radius

Nut Width

ESP LTD Mirage Deluxe '87 Nut Width
ESP LTD Mirage Deluxe '87 Nut Width

The ESP LTD Mirage Deluxe '87 has a nut width of 42mm (1.654''). This is considered a narrow width for a 6-string guitar. This means that this guitar will have a narrower string separation at the nut, which will affect your fretting hand.

If you are a player with big hands, you might find it difficult to play chords without muting strings. However, this is good for players who have smaller hands, as it will allow them to reach each string more easily at the nut.

Frets

The ESP LTD Mirage Deluxe '87 has 22 frets. Even though 24 frets has become really popular, there's still a good reason to get fewer frets; the pickup at the neck position will be further away from the bridge. This makes the neck pickup achieve a warmer tone. You might want this if you're playing Jazz or similar genres.

However, if you don't care about the warmer neck pickup, more frets will always be better. It's always nice to have the option to play higher notes if you want to.

It comes with nickel silver frets, so they won't last as long as stainless steel frets. If you use your instrument a lot, you might need to replace the frets after a few years. But this is unlikely as most people change instruments before this happens.

More with the same amount of frets:

Fret Size

ESP LTD Mirage Deluxe '87 Fret Size Comparison
ESP LTD Mirage Deluxe '87'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 Mirage Deluxe '87'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 80
Chord Playability 70
Solo Playability 70
Playability 73

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: Seymour Duncan. So you can expect well built pickups with great sound that shouldn't need an upgrade anytime soon.

These are passive pickups, so you can expect a rounder sound and a moderade level of output.

The ESP LTD Mirage Deluxe '87's configuration is HH. With this pickup combination, you'll get warmer tones and more output than using single coils. Humbucker pickups cancel the noise that single-coil suffer from, which also results in a warmer tone. This pickup combination isn't only for high-gain music like Hard Rock or Heavy Metal. Their warmness is also popular for Jazz, Indie, R&B, Blues and more.

More with the same pickups

22 Frets
Floyd Rose Bridge
Seymour Duncan Distortion SH-6 Bridge Pickup
Seymour Duncan Hot Rails Strat SHR-1B Neck Pickup
22 Frets
Fixed Bridge
Seymour Duncan Distortion SH-6 Bridge Pickup
Seymour Duncan Distortion SH-6 Neck Pickup
22 Frets
Fixed Bridge
Seymour Duncan Distortion SH-6 Bridge Pickup
Neck Pickup
24 Frets
Floyd Rose Bridge
Seymour Duncan Distortion SH-6 Bridge Pickup
Neck Pickup
22 Frets
Fixed Bridge
Seymour Duncan Distortion SH-6 Bridge Pickup
Seymour Duncan Distortion SH-6 Neck Pickup

Versatility

It comes with the popular 3-way switch that is present in most guitars. For more versatility, players tend to prefer a 5-way switch, although it all depends on what you want to use your guitar for.

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.

Diagram

ESP LTD Mirage Deluxe '87 pickups switch and push knobs diagram
ESP LTD Mirage Deluxe '87's switch options

What music genre is it good for?

As a 6 strings, Solid Body guitar with HH configuration and Passive pickups, we'd recommend it for genres like Hard Rock 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 90
Sustain 80
Versatility 74
Tuning Stability 85
Sound 82

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 Mirage Deluxe '87 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

Floyd Rose 1000: With this type of tremolo bridge, you'll be able to perform dive bombs and pinch harmonics without getting out of tune. This type of bridge gives you the best versatility, but it also makes it harder to set up your guitar correctly, especially when changing your strings.

More with the same type of bridge:

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 Mirage Deluxe '87 has a Locking nut. Instead of the typical nut, this nut locks the strings in place and will make them stay in tune even after heavy tremolo use. This type of nut provides the best tune stability, but they also make the guitar more expensive.

It also comes with a retainer bar for the locking nut, which is a helpful addition. Without it, the strings would change pitch once you lock down the nut, so you'd have to make more micro-adjustments at the bridge to tune it correctly.

More with the same nut material:

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 Bolt-On neck joint. Even though this type of neck was looked down upon for a long time, nowadays bolt-on necks are well built and provide just as much sustain as any other join method. First of all, it's cheap to make because it consists of simply 4 bolts that attach the neck to the body. And you can travel with the guitar more easily, swap out the neck if you damage it, or upgrade to a more comfortable neck later on.

More with the same build:

Build Quality Score

Quality of materials 41
Features 70
Quality Control 75
Build Quality 62

All Specs

ESP LTD Mirage Deluxe '87
General
Brand: ESP LTD
Year: 2020
Configuration: HH
Strings: 6
Made in: Indonesia
Series: '87 Series Guitars
Colors: Green, Pink
Left-Handed Version: No
Body
Type: Solid Body
Body Material: Alder
Bridge: Floyd Rose 1000
Neck
Neck Joint: Bolt-On
Tuners: LTD
Fretboard: Macassar Ebony
Neck Material: 3pc Maple
Decoration: Offset Small Blocks
Scale Size: 25.5"
Shape: Extra Thin U
Thickness: 1st Fret: 0.748'' (19mm) - 12th Fret: 0.827'' (21mm)
Frets: 22 XL Jumbo
Fretboard Radius: 13.78"
Nut: Locking
Nut Width: 42mm (1.654'')
Electronics
Switch: 3 Way
Knobs: Dome
Pickup Mods: Coil Split
Volume Controls: 1
Tone Controls: 1
Bridge Pickup: Seymour Duncan Distortion SH-6 (Humbucker / Passive)
Neck Pickup: Seymour Duncan Hot Rails Strat SHR-1B (Humbucker / Passive)

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