Jukka Haavisto puts the music first on ”Reflections”

Every now and again along comes an album that really makes you listen up and take notice.

Finnish bassist Jukka Haavisto’s first solo album Reflections is one such record. If you’re into classic Seventies Fusion Jazz, then you should definitely give this album a listen!

Jukka Haavisto – the name’s pronounced a bit like ”Yucca Harvester” – recorded ”Reflections” with his band comprising himself as leader and bassist (obviously), Johannes Granroth on guitar, Vili Itäpelto on keyboards, and Severi Sorjonen on drums.

Haavisto and his band must have had a large sign in the studio reading ”Put the music first, stupid!”, because that’s exactly what they did. Where some Fusion records try to blind you with overtly technical playing and deliberately complicated arrangements, Reflections draws the listener in with its warm, almost ”retro” soundscapes and it’s wonderfully musical approach to the genre.

This isn’t to say that ”Reflections” is a pastiche or a rehash – far from it! Jukka Haavisto and his band have managed to come up with an album of compositions that feed the soul and the mind in equal proportions, taking on board the best of classic Fusion Jazz, but transporting it to our times. The playing is top notch and the album’s sound warm and welcoming.

Jukka Haavisto’s Reflections is too good an album to let it pass unnoticed. It is available both digitally and as a physical record. You should give it a spin – now!

”Breezin'” – Hagström HJ-800 & Green Fat Bob

A cover version of George Benson’s recording of the Bobby Womack composition ”Breezin’”.

Equipment used

• Bass: Rickenbacker 4003 (direct injected)

• Lead guitars: Hagström HJ-800 & Green Fat Bob

• Rhythm guitars: Hagström HJ-800 (left channel) & Green Fat Bob (right channel)

• Guitar amp: Juketone True Blood (Tweed Champ clone)

• Microphone: Röde M5

• Apple Garageband



Review: LTD M-400M & MH-1000NT

ESP’s and LTD’s M-series superstrats have long been one of the main pillars of ESP’s success, and their popularity doesn’t seem to wane. Many of the company’s signature models, too, are based on M-series guitars, such as the George Lynch and Kirk Hammett models.

This review takes a closer look at two mid-priced M-series instruments, which both sport Seymour Duncan pickups.


The LTD M-400M (price in Finland approx. 745 €) is a typical M-series guitar:

It’s a bolt-on neck superstrat with a pair of humbuckers and a genuine Floyd Rose vibrato.

The M-400M has a maple neck that’s topped with a bound rosewood fretboard.

ESP/LTD have recently updated some of the cosmetics in the M-series by doing away with the large name-carrying 12th fret inlays (that I always found a little strange). In any case, the M-400M’s small dot inlays look much more stylish. The fingerboard offers you 24 jumbo fret’s worth of playing surface.

The model designation’s second ”M” points to this guitar’s beautiful two-piece mahogany body, which comes in a silky smooth satin finish.

Back in the 1980s ESP was one of the first companies to add contoured heels to their bolt-on guitars, so it’s no surprise to find one here.

The M-400M comes equipped with all-black hardware:

We find a set of Grover machine heads on the headstock, as well as a Floyd Rose locking nut and a bar adding string pressure behind the nut.

For the LTD M-400M ESP have chosen a pickup set comprising Seymour Duncan’s Jazz model – one of the company’s most popular neck humbuckers – and the relatively hot Custom 5 bridge unit.

The control set-up is very straightforward offering a three-way toggle switch and a master volume control.


The LTD MH-1000NT (892 €) is a gorgeous fixed bridge instrument, designed to work with the whole gamut of modern ultra-low tunings.

The MH-1000NT is constructed using ESP’s proprietary set-through neck joint, which combines the best of both worlds by featuring a set neck that only ends underneath the bridge pickup. The resulting neck joint is sturdier than a traditional set neck, but doesn’t sound as dry as many through-neck guitars do.

This LTD’s body consists of a mahogany back and a bound, arched quilted maple top.

The neck is crafted from three long side-by-side strips of maple. The bound fretboard is made of Macassar ebony, which is a bit browner and more lively than what you’d expect of other types of ebony. This model, too, comes with 24 jumbo frets.

A set of locking tuners has been installed on the MH-1000NT.

The top nut uses a self-lubricating graphite-composite material.

The pickups chosen for the LTD MH-1000NT have been picked to suit the demands of Progressive Metal and similar genres.

Seymour Duncan’s Sentient is a neck humbucker, which sits in-between the ’59 and the Jazz in terms of its sound. The Sentient uses an Alnico 5 magnet with a moderate output, but the pickup has a clearer and brighter tone, compared to traditional neck humbuckers.

The Pegasus bridge humbucker for its part combines a wide frequency range and a clear attack with a creamy mid-range. Duncan promise precise transient reproduction and enough clarity for even the lowest tunings and highest distortion settings.

The MH-1000NT comes with a three-way switch and controls for volume and tone. A push/pull-switch inside the tone control lets you split both humbuckers.


LTD’s M-400M is a prime example of a guitar wizard’s favourite instrument.

The neck profile is relatively wide and flat. When combined with the fretboards large radius and the jumbo frets this results in an extremely fast and slinky playing-feel.

The workmanship  on the M-400M is of a high standard, and the review sample’s set-up was great.

Acoustically, this LTD sounds very clear and fresh, which is typical of a well-made Floyd Rose-equipped bolt-on.

This clarity carries over nicely into the amplified tone:

The LTD MH-1000NT is more of a Les Paul-leaning superstrat.

The well-rounded, bigger neck profile is more to my personal liking, but the playing surface is as fast and precise as on the M-400M.

The MH-1000NT is a gorgeous beauty of a guitar. Its workmanship and finish are outstanding, making this model a real winner in the bang-for-buck field.

This LTD has a slightly warmer acoustic tone, which isn’t surprising taking into account the MH-1000NT’s different construction.

Even though this model has been made with Progressive Metal guitarists in mind, the LTD offers a much wider palette of sounds. It this guitar’s style pleases you, there’s really no reason why you couldn’t use it in a covers or Country band.

This tonal breadth is down to this models excellent pickups. Both the Sentient and the Pegasus have been designed for Metal, but their relatively moderate output lets the music breathe.

As you can easily hear in this clip, the MH-1000NT sounds great in clean settings, too (the split pickups come first):

The demo song has been recorded with a Blackstar HT-1R combo. The rhythm guitars are the MH-1000NT (stereo left) and the M-400M (right). The MH-1000NT takes the first solo, with the M-400M going second.


It isn’t hard to see why LTD’s M-series guitars are so popular:

This series offers you ergonomically sound electric guitars for the modern player, who prefers high-gain tones and low tunings. The M-400M and the MH-1000NT are both high-quality mid-priced instruments, who successfully approach the same subject from slightly different angles. These guitars are hard to beat in the value-for-money stakes.


LTD M-400M & MH-1000NT

M-400M – 745 €

MH-1000NT – 892 €

Finnish distributor: Musamaailma


Pros (both models):

+ workmanship

+ fretwork

+ finish

+ soundSave












Testipenkissä: LTD M-400M & MH-1000NT

ESP:n ja LTD:n M-sarjan superstratot ovat aina olleet firman peruspilareita, joiden suosio pysyy muuttumattomana vuodesta toiseen. Monet firman nimikkokitaroista perustuvat juuri M-sarjalaisiin, niin kuin George Lynch- tai Kirk Hammett -mallit.

Tässä testissä esitellään kaksi erilaista keskihintaista mallia, joissa molemmissa on Seymour Duncanin humbuckereita.


LTD M-400M (745 euroa) on tyylipuhdas M-sarjalainen:

Se on pulttikaulainen superstrato kahdella humbuckerilla, sekä aidolla Floyd Rose -vibratolla.

M-400M:n kaula on veistetty vaahterasta ja reunalistoitettu otelauta on ruusupuuta.

ESP/LTD on hiljattain päivittänyt M-sarjan kosmetiikkaa poistamalla kitaroiden nimellä varustetun ison otemerkin 12. nauhan kohdalla, joka minusta aina näytti hieman hassulta. M-400M:n pienet pyöreät otemerkit ovat mielestäni paljon tyylikkäämpi ratkaisu. Tämä LTD-soitin tarjoaa 24 jumbo-kokoista nauhaa soittoalukseksi.

Mallitunnuksen jälkimmäinen M-kirjain viittaa tämän kitaran kauniiseen, kaksiosaiseen mahonkirunkoon, joka on saanut ylleen silkinhohtavan mattaviimeistelyn.

ESP oli 1980-luvulla yksi ensimmäisistä valmistajista, jotka varustivat pulttikaulaiset kitaransa sulavammalla liitoskohdalla, ja myös tässä LTD-mallissa on mukavuusviiste otekädelle.

M-400M:een on asennettu mustia metalliosia:

Lavalta löytyy satsi Grover-virittimiä, sekä Floyd Rose Special -systeemin lukkosatula ja kieltenohjain.

LTD M-400M:n mikrofonikattaus koostuu Seymour Duncanin Jazz-mallista, joka on yksi firman suosituimmista kaulahumbuckereista, sekä suhteellisen kuumasta Custom 5 -tallamikistä.

Kitaran hot rod -meiniki jatkuu myös soittimen elektroniikassa, joka koostuu kolmiasentoisesta vipukytkimestä ja master volumesta.


LTD MH-1000NT (892 euroa) on erittäin näyttävä kiinteällä tallalla varustettu malli, joka on suunniteltu toimimaan nimenomaan myös nykyaikaisten matalien virityksien kanssa.

MH-1000NT:ssä käytetään ESP:n kehittämää set-through-kaulaliitosta, jossa kaula jatkuu yhtenäisenä rungon kannen alla ihan tallamikrofonin saakka. Tämä liitos on lujempi kuin perinteinen liimaliitos, mutta kitaran soitossa on yhä aimo annos liimaliitoksen lämpöä.

Tämän LTD:n runko koostuu mahonkipohjasta ja kaarevasta loimuvaahterakannesta.

Kaula taas on veistetty kolmesta vierekkäisestä vaahterapalasta. Reunalistoitettu otelauta on macassar-eebenpuusta, joka on muita eebenpuulajeja selvästi ruskeampi ja eloisampi. Myös tässä on tarjolla jumbo-kokoisia nauhoja kahden oktaavin verran.

MH-1000NT on varustettu laadukkailla lukkovirittimillä.

Yläsatula on valmistettu grafiittipitoisesta, itsevoitelevasta muoviseoksesta.

LTD MH-1000NT:n mikrofonit on valikoitu vaativaa työskentelyä progressiivisen metallin parissa varten.

Seymour Duncan Sentient on kaulamikrofoni, joka istuu soundiltaan ’59- ja Jazz-mallien välissä. Sentient on Alnico 5 -pohjainen mikki, jolla on maltillinen lähtötaso, mutta joka on soundiltaan selkeämpi ja kirkkaampi kuin perinnehumbucker. Tämän ansiosta se tarjoaa sekä laajan dynamiikka-alueen puhtaita soundeja varten että riittävästi tarmoa high gain -menolle.

Pegasus-tallahumbuckerissa taas yhdistyy alavireisen metallin vaatima tarkkuus ja selkeys kermaiseen keskialueeseen. Valmistaja lupaa tarkkaa transienttien toistoa ja esimerkillistä selkeyttä myös todella matalissa virityksissä ja korkeissa gain-asetuksissa.

MH-1000NT tarjoaa kolmiasentoisen kytkimen lisäksi master volume- ja tone-säätimet. Tone-säätimeen upotetulla push/pull-kytkimellä voi puolittaa soittimen mikrofonit.


LTD:n M-400M on loistava esimerkki tyypillisestä kitaravelhon vauhtikepistä – superstratosta siis.

Kitaran kaulaprofiili on melko leveä ja matala, ja yhdistettynä loivaan otelautaradiukseen ja paksuihin nauhoihin soittoalusta on erittäin nopea.

M-400M:n työnjäljestä ja soittimen säädöistä voi puhua vain hyvin positiivisin sävyin. Tässä ei todellakaan löydä mitään moitittavaa.

Tämän LTD:n akustinen sointi on tuore ja selkeä, niin kuin hyvältä ruuvikaulaiselta Floikka-kitaralta sopii odottaa.

Myös vahvistettuna kitaran puhdas soundi on mukavan raikas:

LTD MH-1000NT on enemmän Les Paul -maailmaan kallistuva superstrato.

Tässä kaulaprofiili on selvästi pyöreämpi ja tuhdimpi, mikä vastaa enemmän minun henkilökohtaista makua. Myös tässä tarjotaan erittäin tarkka ja nopea soittoalusta, loivan otelaudan ja korkeiden nauhojen ansiosta.

MH-1000NT on erittäin kaunis ja näyttävä soitin. Työn ja viimeistelyn laatu on pienimpiä yksityiskohtia myöten esimerkillinen. Tässä tarjotaan todellakin huikeata laatua reiluun hintaan.

Soittimen akustinen soundi on tämän LTD:n kohdalla ehkä aavistuksen verran lämpimämpi, mikä ei sinänsä yllätä MH-1000NT:n erilaisen rakenteen vuoksi.

Vaikka tämä kitara on kehitetty nimenomaan progressiivista nykymetallia varten, on tämän LTD:n soundivalikoima todellisuudessa paljon laajempi. Jos vain kitaran muotokieli sopii omaan makuun, saa tästä LTD:stä myös erinomaisen ja monipuolisen yleiskitaran vaikkapa laivaorkesterille tai rockbändille.

Kiitos tästä kuuluu nimenomaan onnistuneelle mikrofonivalinnalle. Sentient ja Pegasus ovat erinomaisia valintoja raskaille musiikkigenreille, mutta ne eivät ole hirmuisella lähtötasolla tai honottavalla keskialueella pilattuja huutajia.

Kuten tästä pätkästä kuulee, tarjoaa MH-1000NT myös kauniita cleansoundeja (puolitetut vaihtoehdot tulevat ensin):

Tässä vielä demobiisi, jota on äänitetty Blackstar HT-1R-kombolla. Komppikitarat ovat MH-1000NT vasemmalta ja M-400M oikealta kanavalta. Ensimmäinen soolo on soitettu MH-1000NT:llä ja toinen M-400M:llä.


Ei ole vaikeaa nähdä, miksi LTD:n M-sarjan soittimet ovat niin suosittuja:

Sarja tarjoaa ergonomisia soittimia nykykitaristin tarpeisiin, jossa arvostetaan korkeaoktaanisia high gain -soundeja ja hyvin matalia virityksiä. Sekä M-400M että MH-1000NT ovat laadukkaita keskihintaisia soittimia, jotka lähestyvät aihepiiriä hieman eri kulmilta, mutta yhtä onnistuneesti. Tällä tarjotaan roimasti vastinetta rahalle.


LTD M-400M & MH-1000NT

M-400M – 745 €

MH-1000NT – 892 €

Maahantuoja: Musamaailma


Plussat (molemmat mallit):

+ työnjälki

+ nauhatyön laatu

+ viimeistely

+ soundiSave





LTD M-400M & MH-1000NT – the Kitarablogi-video

LTD M-400M

• mahogany body

• bolt-on maple neck

• bound rosewood fingerboard

• 24 jumbo frets • Grover machine heads

• Floyd Rose Special vibrato system •

Seymour Duncan Jazz (neck) & Custom 5 (bridge) humbuckers

• master volume


• mahogany body

• bound quilted maple top

• three-strip maple set-through neck

• bound macassar ebony fretboard

• 24 jumbo frets • LTD locking tuning machines

• locking TonePros bridge

• through-body stringing

• Seymour Duncan Sentient (neck) & Pegasus (bridge) humbuckers

• master volume, master tone (with push/pull for coil-split)


Demo track recorded with a Blackstar HT-1R.

Rhythm guitars – MH-1000NT (left) & M-400M (right)

First solo – MH-1000NT

Second solo – M-400M


Finnish distribution: Musamaailma

Buying an electric guitar, part 1 – Make a plan, make a budget

So, you want to buy an electric guitar? Let Kitarablogi.com help you find the guitar that’s ”the right one” for you.

There are a few things you should think through in advance, before setting out to your local guitar shop.

What guitar do I really want/need?

• The way you feel about a guitar’s looks and design can be an important factor in making a buying decision, and the same goes for the guitar your favourite artist plays. There’s nothing ridiculous in choosing an instrument for its looks, as there’s always a psychological component to how you approach a guitar. If you really dig the way an instrument looks, you will want to play it, and play it more often. This goes the other way, too – if you feel your guitar is ugly, playing it won’t be as much fun.

• Nevertheless, the most important criterion for buying your guitar should be the style of music you plan to use it for. Yes, theoretically you can play any guitar in any style – as Ted Nugent proves by playing loud Rock on an all-hollow archtop (a Jazz guitar) – but if you choose the ”right” instrument for a musical style, it will make things much easier.

Here are some examples of musical genres:

++ Modern Metal: As you’re dealing with large amounts of volume and gain, the best choice would be a solidbody guitar, equipped with humbuckers. Some prefer active pickups, while others like traditional passive designs more. Lead guitarists often go for a model equipped with a locking vibrato system, like a Floyd Rose.

LTD AJ-1 – body angle 1

Halla Custom SG – Floyd Rose

As many bands in this genre use lower than standard tunings, you could consider opting for a seven-string model (which offers an additional lower string), or even go full-out for a baritone electric.

++ Jazz: Most Jazz guitarists like to stay in the traditional sonic space offered by all-hollow archtops or semi-solid ES-335-type guitars. The preferred pickup choices are humbuckers and P-90s.


++ Blues: Blues musicians use a wide variety of different guitars, depending on their personal taste. Here the most important thing is that you feel comfortable with your chosen instrument, in order to express your feelings without being hindered by your guitar. Locking vibratos and active pickups are very rarely seen in Blues music.

Tokai ES-138 – body beauty

++ Country: Traditional Country guitarists tend to drift towards guitar models with a lot of chime and bite in their tone. Very often this means Fender-style single coils or a Gretsch guitar. Over the past couple of decades there’s been quite a lot of crossover from Rock into Country music, though, which has lead to more variety in the choice of instruments in this genre.

++ Classic Rock: Traditional 1970s Classic Rock is built upon humbucker-equipped solidbody guitars, which offer enough grit and output for this genre. Think Les Paul, SG or Telecaster Deluxe.

ESP USA Eclipse – body beauty

Tokai SG-75 – body angle

++ If this is going to be your first electric guitar: If you’re a beginner, we would suggest choosing a model that won’t confuse you with a large array of pickup- and switching-options. A non-vibrato bridge would also be a welcome feature, as vibrato bridges are generally harder to set up and keep in tune.




Set yourself a budget and stick to it!

• It is important that you set yourself a budget for your guitar shopping. If you have a good idea of your target price range, you will be able to sift through all the different guitars on offer much more quickly, by leaving out any models that are too expensive (or too cheap). This will make choosing your instrument a bit easier.









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