LTD EC-400 Review

manufacturer: ESP date: 11/15/2012 category: Electric Guitars
ESP: LTD EC-400
This is a set-neck guitar with active EMG-81 humbuckers, plus Grover tuners and the awesome Earvana Compensated Nut for incredible tuning accuracy.
 Sound: 7.5
 Overall Impression: 8.5
 Reliability & Durability: 9.3
 Action, Fit & Finish: 9
 Features: 8.8
 Overall rating:
 8.6 
 Reviewer rating:
 8.6 
 Users rating:
 8.6 
 Votes:
 67 
reviews (4) 26 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 9
LTD EC-400 Reviewed by: Dyuha, on november 15, 2012
9 of 9 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 600

Purchased from: Music123.com

Features: This is a set-neck guitar with active EMG-81 humbuckers, plus Grover tuners and the awesome Earvana Compensated Nut for incredible tuning accuracy. ESP builds this guitar with a mahogany body, a 3-piece mahogany neck, a rosewood fingerboard with 22 XJ frets and a Tune-O-Matic bridge with a stop tailpiece. It's a classic design with all the updates already done for you! - Construction: set neck - Scale: 24.75" - Body: mahogany - Neck/fretboard: 3-piece mahogany/rosewood - Inlays: flags wtih model name at 12th fret - Pickups: EMG-81 active set - Electronics: 2 volume, tone, 3-way toggle - Hardware: black + earvana compensated nut & Grover tuners - Bridge: Tune-O-Matic with stop tailpiece - Frets: 24 XJ. Grover tuners are well known for their precise gear ratio, tuning stability and durability. They make a great complement to the other upscale features of EC-400. // 10

Sound: In the case you play metal and you are not too worried about using clean tone, this is the guitar for you. Its mahogany body and EMG-81 pickups give a nice rich sound -- the guitar actually has decent variety for only having to EMG-81s. EMGs have a broad bandwidth that's better for harmonic pull-offs and chord definition. These pickups bring out the characteristics of your amp way more then any other pickups. You can hear every little tweak of a know, and totally change the sound of your amp, making it sound like things you never thought possible with passive pickups. Great for hard rock/metal music but the clean sound isn't that good. So it's hard to get a decent blues/jazz/soft rock sound on this guitar. // 8

Action, Fit & Finish: The factory set-up of this guitar was very good. Its action was quite low without any buzzing. The pickups were adjusted fine. Furthermore, this is a very fast guitar. The extra jumbo frets are somewhat large but not too big. It's a very easy and smooth playing guitar. // 9

Reliability & Durability: This guitar is very solid. It's very durable, the finish doesn't dent easily, and all the parts are good quality and strong. With all its similarity to Gibson (Epiphone) Les Paul this guitar is much lighter. But it doesnt mean more cheaper and more crappy wood has been used, quite in opposite -- more better and quality wood, as well as more comfortable back and sides. Besides, this ESP model features a "double-action" truss-rod design. Unlike a single truss-rod, this one is adjustable in two different directions. This means that you'll never run into a situation where the neck has "run out of adjustment." Very helpful. // 9

Overall Impression: Overall this guitar is great for any heavy stuff. It has an awesome tone and fast fretboard. Alot lighter then a Les Paul and alot cheaper. This guitar is a very good mix of quality components at a decent price. The only evident disadvantage of this baby is its weak clean sound. You could hardly be disappointed in this guitar, only if you don't like hard rock and metal! // 9

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overall: 9.4
LTD EC-400 Reviewed by: nik_I, on november 15, 2012
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 552.21

Purchased from: Steve's Music Store (Montreal)

Features: My EC-400 was made in 2006 and is slightly different from the 2005 model. It has 24 frets instead of 22 and has an EMG 81 bridge pickup and an EMG 60 neck pickup. The one I bought has a Vintage sunburst finish. One thing that's different about this guitar is the active pickups. But battery life can go up to 3000 hours so I'm not terribly concerned. There are 3 control knobs: 2 for volume (one per pickup) and a master tone control. // 9

Sound: I play music by many different rock bands, but pretty much just rock. I play through a Marshall MG15CDR (only until I can afford a new amp) and I have an M-Audio Black Box FX unit. The black box has a noise gate so I can't really say if this guitar is noisy or not but it doesn't seem like it is. The guitar can make pretty much any sound you can imagine. I feel that it's quite versatile. The clean sound is actually quite good. It's absolutely stunning compared to my old guitar, an Ibanez GRX40. // 9

Action, Fit & Finish: The guitar's setup is great. It was built in Korea but it was tuned and inspected in the US. Even the sticker on the back saying this is hand marked to prove this. There is no fret buzzing, unless you hit the strings so hard that they're about to break off. They seem a bit high up but that's probably just because my Ibanez was set way too low, it always buzzed. I haven't seen any flaws in the hardware or in the neck. The only thing I noticed was a slight chip in the paint on the back edge of the guitar, but it's very small and I may have done this myself. // 9

Reliability & Durability: This guitar would survive Live playing without a doubt. I've done some small shows (~200 people) with a crappy Ibanez guitar, so this one could surely survive Live playing. The hardware seems very well built and installed, as do the strap buttons. I could depend on this guitar without a doubt. I would use it Live without a backup, although I may on occasion bring another guitar just to eliminate the time lost to re-tuning if a song requires a different tuning. The finish seems well applied and I'm not expecting it to come off anytime soon. // 10

Overall Impression: I don't really have one style of music, although I am a huge U2 fan, but my band likes to choose a wide variety of covers to do sometimes and this guitar so far has adapted to each song perfectly. I've only been playing guitar for 1.5 years but I take it very seriously and I practice almost every day. (when there's no school I practice every free moment I have). I can't think of anything I could have asked before I bought this. Now if it were stolen or lost, well I can't imagine how someone could steal a guitar, but I don't know for sure if I would buy the same one. Not because it's not good, but I always like to try different things. But then again when I bought it, I compared it to the Epiphone les paul's and this one was better. So if I was limited to this price range, I probably would buy it again. // 10

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overall: 8.2
LTD EC-400 Reviewed by: dementiacaptain, on november 15, 2012
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 200

Purchased from: guitar center

Features: Here are some specs from ESP ltd Set-Neck Construction 24.75" Scale Mahogany Body Mahogany Neck Rosewood Fingerboard 42mm Earvana Compensated Nut Thin U Neck Contour 24 XJ Frets Black Nickel Hardware Grover Tuners TOM Bridge & Tailpiece EMG 81 (B) / 60 (N) Active p.u. It was made in korea, with a 3way selector Switch sweet black gloss finish all the around the body and neck, white binding on the neck and headstock, three aside tuner setup, two volume and one tone control. I bought it used so there were no accessories included. // 9

Sound: I play alot of thrash metal influenced metalcore, as well as some death metal and the occasional alt rock, as well as some jazz and some old Acoustic 60s rock, and a little bit of country. This guitar was obviously oriented towards a metal player, but you can coax some sweet jazz tones out of it if you back off the tone and volume controls. Not very much for any of the other styles listed, but does metal and jazz very well. I play it through a valvestate vs100 combined with an mg100(don't even start with me I've probly been playing longer than you, I appreciate its handling of effects, I use it for leads with an rp250, good arch enemy solo tone) through a mc412A cab. As I said I use an RP 250 on the mg and a ds distortion on the valvestate for more sustain on leads, and I connect all this with a Ibanez tc7 chorus. The 60 provides a really bright sound for an emg, but it still maintains fullness, though one note leads have a very round sound. The 81 in the neck is very full and good for an yngwie style solo sound, very thick chords, this is also the pickup I use for jazz tones. All in all, not extremely versatile, but very full sounds. // 7

Action, Fit & Finish: I can't comment on the setup from the factory, but this guitar is very easy to get a good setup from it. Anytime I need to make an adjustment, its easy to get just what I want. The pickups really make the same tones no matter where they sit, they just lose or gain sustain. I'm assuming that the guitar didn't come with any flaws, as there is all originial parts on it and the finish was good until I got it ( I placed a considerable chip in it recently). Aside from a small amount of fret buzz on the 1st and 2nd frets, which I fixed with a simple raise in action, this guitar was top knotch when I got it. // 8

Reliability & Durability: This thing can take a real whack. I've dropped it several times and there have been barely even any dings to speak of. The hardware is good and sturdy, as the strap buttons are, didn't even feel the need to replace them. I have and will gig with it without a backup. I always carry spare batteries for the pickups and extra strings, so I'm covered. The finish is is excellent, as it is on most ESP ltds. // 9

Overall Impression: This guitar does lack some versatility, which is why it only got a 7 in sound, but I guess as it is loaded with emgs, its got a pointy cutaway, 24 frets, and its all black, I could have expected it to do mostly metal, so getting jazz tones was a nice susprise. If it were lost I would most certainly get another. I love that it is just so full sounding, but I do think that if you are a shredder this may be a guitar you want to shy away from. I compared this to the Ibanez les paul bodytypes and there really was no competition, except perhaps in finish. I have been playing for 7 years, and I own an SG faded, a Standard strat, a modded alexi 200(again don't even hound me I prefer bolt on necks, and that is perfectly legitemate seeing as a certain player by the name of vai does too..) a Stagg f35o a Ovation 12 string Acoustic electric, and an Epiphone 6 string acoustic, and this is probably the guitar I rely on most for gigs, practice etc. A very reliable, gigworthy guitar. // 8

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overall: 7.8
LTD EC-400 Reviewed by: unregistered, on november 15, 2012
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 540

Purchased from: SamAsh

Features: 2004 Esp/Ltd Ec-400 Vintage Sunburst Made in Korea. 24 XJ Frets, Mahogany body with 3 piece mahogany set-neck and rosewood fingerboard with mother of pearl flag inlays. Neck and Headstock binding. Non-locking Grover tuners. Active Ceramic EMG 81 and 60 pickups. Tune-o-matic style bridge and Earvana Compensated nut. Lacquer finish. 2 Volume, 1 Tone, 3 way toggle Switch on upper bout. Beveled body with belly cut and cutaway bevel to provide access to the 24th fret. The controls have allen wrench locks that can be a pain, especially since none were supplied with the guitar. // 7

Sound: The guitar handles distortion phenomonously. The Emgs seem to handle amounts of gain provided instead of creating a hot signal, they aren't as hot as many people say instead they react to the amount of gain already available without limiting the signal. The tones from this guitar are warm and deep, solo's are full and the treble rolls off gently. It is not a bright guitar, as you may want to spend a little more for the 1000 with the maple top if you want a brighter solo tone. I recommend this guitar for heavier rock and jazz as the clean tones are very jazzy and smooth. The later adaptation of this model were Seymour Duncan pickups which would be more suitable for different styles and not as much for heavier rock. // 6

Action, Fit & Finish: The finish was beautiful, the action was low+ perfect and the neck plays like butter. There were no flaws or any problems until a few years of hard play got at the guitar. The weight of my guitar is surprisingly light for an all mahogany guitar under or about 8 lbs. Every thing seemed to be in order, best playing guitar I've ever had or played. // 10

Reliability & Durability: There is only one dent in the side of my guitar and that's because I dropped it on a marble floor. This guitar is very durable and I've put 6 years of torture and sweat into it. The Emg's are encased with epoxy and covered pretty seriously so they will last longer than passive uncovered counterparts. They aren't as pretty or cool looking anymore and the EMG has kind of faded off of the covers but they sound the same as long as you change the 9 Volt annually. My Earvana nut had to be reglued a few times and the knobs wobble, need to be adjusted and tightened but it doesn't affect the sound. // 9

Overall Impression: This guitar was my dream guitar in highschool and suited the first couple of metal bands that I was in perfectly. I have been playing around 11 years and have had about 11 guitars. I also own some fenders and Alvarez guitars but this has constantly been my pride and joy. The only real drawbacks of this guitar is that the Grover tuners are crap, it never stays in tune. Replace them with Schaller locking ASAP! I wish it was a 22 fret neck instead of 24 because it screws up the position of the neck pickup. I can't get a good sound out of the EMG 60. I would have preferred Dimarzio's instead of Emg's. The cutaway doesn't provide easy access to the highest frets at all and the neck joint is bulky and not friendly. I also had to replace the strap buttons as they came right out of the wood the first day I got it. This was my dream guitar but not the perfect guitar. I also tried 3 Vipers and 2 Eclipses of the same model in different color and found that my sunburst Eclipse wasn't screwed up setup wise, so be careful when you pick one up that it isn't a dud! // 7

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