Well if you can't raise it more then you can probably skip the ESP you were looking at, it's a signature LTD model so it's overpriced otherwise it's okay & comes into their 400 series quality price range. The deluxe LTD 1000 series would be worth looking into if you still are looking into LTD's, but i'd save up more and get a ESP Standard over those though.
Originally Posted by aeroash
It would have been better if you tried out some different brands to get an idea of the different neck's but I guess if you are looking into ibby's then you are familiar with those necks.
Suhrs normally start at double your price range, so those are out. Jackson's (the good ones) are priced around the ESP Standard or Custom price range. Schecter's would have been good, the japanese ones, their necks feel very different, don't buy one without trying out. If you can get a Japanese Ibby then get one, it will be built very well. Godin's will probably not come in your budget either.
About bare knuckles pickups, I've tried a guitar that had them, not sure which models it were. They sounded fine but I would rather not buy them. Too expensive & no way of trying them or returning them if they didn't suit the guitar you were putting them into, probably difficult to sell them again too. I'd rather invest that amount into something else like say an amp or a pedal. Pickups are something you get when you already have a proper amp to amplify them or completely bad sounding stock pickups, otherwise you won't know if they work out for you later on.
PRS SE[Soapbar,Semi Hollow], Fender Squier CV Strat, ESP LTD Viper 400, Laney[LH20 head, LC50Mk.II, LX65R], GS412IS(WGS ET65 loaded), Boss TU3, Dunlop ZW45 Wah, Boss GT10, Shure SM57, Sennheiser E614, L6 Pod Studio UX2, Abelton Live 8, Reaper, Seymour Duncan[SP90-1,SP90-2,SH10 bridge,SH4,SH PG1,SH55], DiMarzio[DP100,DP159,DP103]