LTD EC-401VF Review

manufacturer: ESP date: 11/15/2012 category: Electric Guitars
ESP: LTD EC-401VF
The guitar features a thick, yet lightweight mahogany body with a flamed maple top, finished in either Tobacco Sunburst or Faded Cherry Sunburst.
 Sound: 9.5
 Overall Impression: 9.8
 Reliability & Durability: 8.8
 Action, Fit & Finish: 8.3
 Features: 9
 Overall rating:
 9.2 
 Reviewer rating:
 9.1 
 Users rating:
 9.3 
 Votes:
 26 
reviews (4) pictures (1) 17 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 9
LTD EC-401VF Reviewed by: LouieTM, on november 15, 2012
3 of 4 people found this review helpful

Price paid: € 719

Purchased from: thomann.de

Features: Made in Indonesia in 2008. LTD's mid-range take on the Les Paul which manages to provide great bang-for-buck, thanks in part to the Seymour Duncan 59/JB pick-ups.. The guitar features a thick, yet lightweight mahogany body with a flamed maple top, finished in either Tobacco Sunburst or Faded Cherry Sunburst. It has a set mahogany neck, rosewood fingerboard, 42mm Earvana compensated nut, thin U neck contour, 22 extra jumbo frets, chrome hardware, Grover tuners, TOM bridge & tail. // 9

Sound: I bought this guitar to fill in the sound gap I had between my Epi Prophecy LP GX with Gibson Dirty Fingers and the LTD Deluxe EC-1000 with EMG 81/60. I prefer my sound coming from the guitar more than from the amp and, since I play different styles ranging from '60s British rock to Zeppelin, GNR, all the way through grunge and metal, I wanted different guitars for different styles. I use this one to play mostly 60's and 70's rock, but it can easily handle metal, with the right amp and effects. The cleans are beautiful too, just flick the pick-up switch and it goes from full-bodied to bright. Crank up the amp and the sustain is endless; the gain doesn't affect clarity and if you use the tone control wisely, you can get a really rich sound. I believe it's thanks to the thick body that provides this guitar with much more resonance compared to my EC-1000. // 9

Action, Fit & Finish: Out of the box, the guitar was set up perfectly, all it needed was a slight tune. Low action without fret buzz, perfect intonation, solid hardware... no complaints here whatsoever. My guitar is finished in Tobacco Sunburst and it is flawless too. The only problem I can foresee in the long run is keeping it clean, as you can see every spec of dust and every single fingerprint on it. // 9

Reliability & Durability: Looks and feels like a solid guitar, however I strongly advise on investing in straplocks and locking tuners to make sure you'll have no surprises during live playing. Would I use it without a back-up? No, but I wouldn't use any guitar (or amp, for that matter) without back-up in a gig. Otherwise, I have confidence this will last a long time. I'll get back to you after I drop it a few times, though. // 9

Overall Impression: While I don't recommend this guitar if you want to play Slipknot (without effects, that is), I think it's versatile enough to provide the sound range usually desired by most amateur/semipro rock guitarists. I didn't have the opportunity to play the guitar anywhere before ordering it online, but after having owned and played my EC-1000VF, I had enough confidence in LTD products. I researched online and when I finally found out it had a thicker body than the EC-1000, I was sold. And if I decide I can't Live without them, I could install Gotoh hardware and have a guitar comparable in sound AND features to the ESP Eclipse-II. Almost. // 9

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overall: 10
LTD EC-401VF Reviewed by: NHECOS, on november 15, 2012
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: € 700

Purchased from: www.musicstore.com

Features: This guitar was built in 2008 and I think it was built in China. This guitar has 22XJ frets a beatiful mahogany body and a rosewood fretboard. The finish I chose is an incredible Tobacco Sunburst. It has a Tune-o-matic bridge with Stop Tailpiece, Grover machine heads, a 3-way Toggle Switch, chrome hardware, Earvana compensated Nut and 2 Volume, 1 Tone Control knobs. Regarding the pickups, it has 2 Seymour Duncan's, it has a SD 59' in the neck position and a SD JB in the bridge position. The guitar came tools for basic setup. // 10

Sound: This guitar sounds amazing... better than most Gibson's I've tried. It's body is shaped like a Les Paul, but the sound is much more richer and warm than most Gibson's. I would say that you would have to buy a 3000$+ Gibson to match this ESP beauty. This guitar really suits me and the kind of music I like to play. I dislike the sharp tone of Fender Strat like guitars, so I tried out this axe and I was blown away. The pickups on this baby are amazing. I specialy like the Seymour Dunca JB pickup for the heavier stuff, because I often use lots of distortion and chorus+delay combined. I don't use amps very often... I play it through a Boss ME-70 multi-effects pedal board directly connected to a PA or headphones when practicing. The neck pickup (Seymour Duncan 59') is screaming "BLUES"... it has a warm but clean sound that is perfect to play straight to an amp or PA without effects, having a sound that is full with no dead spots. With a little tweeking with the knobs of an amp or in my case with the knobs of my Boss ME-70 COSM amp simulator, I can get almost all the sounds I can think of... PERFECT. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: I suspect his guitar had some prior setup in factory before it landed on my hands. I didn't had to change anything. The pickups height was just perfect for my taste and the distance between the strings and the neck is just good enough for me not to make mistakes with slight touches in adjacents strings other tahn the one I sould be hitting. The action on this guitar was great right out of the box... I just had to tune the guitar and let it rip. The finish in this baby is FLAWLESS. // 10

Reliability & Durability: I used this guitar on two gigbs now and the only time I had to used my Ibanez was because it was tuned in Drop D, and it was was needed for that pecific couple of songs. The strap buttons are solid and firmly attached to the body. The finish looks that it is going to last through the ages. Another positive aspect is the Grover tuners... I tune my guitar in the begining of the rehersal and never again until the next session. Electronics are looking preety solid and noiseless until now. // 10

Overall Impression: When practicing I usualy try to pull off some Adam Jones (Tool) stuff and I usually get pretty close to his tone using the SD JB in the bridge position. When playing with my band, we play our originals wich are more of a mainstream kind of sound, for that I use the 59' pickup. I've been playing now for 8 years, and to this date this is the best guitar I own... and belive me people... if this axe was stolen or lost, I would definetly go out and buy another one. My favorite thing in this guitar is the warm tone it gives out, and I would have to say that the thing I love less is a consequense of that fat low and warm sound... thw WEIGHT. My shoulder hurts for a couple of hours after a gig or a rehersal (but belive me... it is worth it). I compared this guitar with the LTD EC 400 VF, the Schecter Deamon II and with a couple of Epi's Les Pau and SG's... and I tell you... it was worth the extra euros I paid for it, it is a far more superior instrument. So my advice is: If you are looking for a Les Paul guitar type and you can't afford a Gibson, and the Epi doesn't sound right to you... consider this ESP EC 401 VF, it simply rocks. // 10

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overall: 8.8
LTD EC-401VF Reviewed by: ArtemR, on november 15, 2012
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 1200

Purchased from: www.akustikken.dk

Features: My 401VF was made in Indonesia, I have no idea which year it's from though. It's my first electric guitar, and I've had it for a couple of months now - it's really an amazing guitar, especially considering the price. I find the neck more comfortable than Gibson/Epiphone Les Paul necks, it has another, more asymmetrical, smooth feel to it, which I prefer. It has two volume controls and one tone, instead of the usual Gibson-ish 2 of both - which doesn't really bother me. It has two Seymour Duncan pickups - a '59 in the neck position and a JB in the bridge. I won't bother going through other facts, the other reviews have already covered them. // 9

Sound: This guitar is completely perfect for my music style - I mostly play stuff like Guns N' Roses, Pink Floyd, Aerosmith, Led Zeppelin - you get the idea. The guitar is great for such music, if you add some gain, switch to the neck pickup and turn the tone off, you'll get a great GN'R lead tone, really similar to Slash's tone from November Rain or Knockin' on Heavens Door. If you switch to the bridge pickup and turn the tone on, you'll have a really nice, aggressive lead tone. The neck pickup has really great clean tones also. So, all in all, this is a really versatile guitar, you can play anything from blues to heavy metal. I don't quite think that it's suited for death metal and really heavy stuff like that though. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: It was all good, except for the pickup selector, it goes kind of loose sometimes. Also, I had some fret buzz on some open strings, which is fixed now. Other than that, it's all fine, the action isn't super low, not too high either - it's just fine. The finish is a Tobacco Sunburst, and it's my favourite = awesome. // 7

Reliability & Durability: It's definitely a solid guitar, it's fairly heavy like most Les Pauls, which I really like. I'd have no problem gigging with it with no backup. The finish seems a little thin to me, but I've only had it for a couple of months, so I'm not quite sure if it's going to wear off - which I wouldn't have a problem with, anyway. I recently bought some strap locks, as I had a couple of close calls with the strap falling off the strap button, I definitely recommend doing that, especially if you're going to play live. // 8

Overall Impression: I love the sound of this guitar, and pretty much everything else as well. The only thing I dislike is the fact that it's an LTD, if something else was written on the headstock, I wouldn't ever dream of playing any other guitar. I know that it's kind of weird, but that's how I feel, for some reason. All in all, this is a great guitar, especially for good old rock! You get a really lovely blues-rock rhythm sound from the neck pickup, which I adore. I wouldn't buy the guitar again if it was stolen, but that's because I'm quite poor haha. I've been playing for a little less than a year, and I play many hours a day, so this guitar is my workhorse. I recommend this to anyone who isn't rich, but loves the Les Paul shape and the sound of a real Les Paul. // 10

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overall: 8.4
LTD EC-401VF Reviewed by: unregistered, on november 15, 2012
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: £ 550

Purchased from: GAK.com

Features: The ESP EC-401VF which I have is made in indonesia in 2009 I THINK. It has 22 frets with on them have flag inlays which come Standard with most ESP guitars, the neck scale is 24.75". It has a flame topped Mahogany body and a Mahogany neck too with a rosewood fingerboard. Other features include 42mm Earvana Compensated Nut Thin U Neck Contour 22 XJ Frets Chrome Hardware Grover Tuners TOM Bridge & Tailpiece Seymour Duncan JB (B) / '59 (N) p.u. (which are incredible trust me) The guitar has 2 different choices for finish, which is Tobacco burst and the other is a classic Les Paul sunburst. // 8

Sound: I personally play anything from blues all the way through to metal, so things like anything from Joe Bonamassa to Trivium and because of the pickups which are Seymour Duncans (Jb and a '59) it is able to do all of the tones which I'm looking for as they are incredibly veristile pickups unlike the EMG's which are fixed onto most ESP guitars which I personally don't like. The amp which I am using it with is a Marshall DFX 100, these are probably the weakest type of Marshall amp around and do not reccomend them HOWEVER, it still gets a good to very good tone out of it, so imagine how the ESP would sound in something like a Peavey 6505+, however I'm not too sure how veritile these amps are as I've only played 1 a while ago. The guitar overall gives a rich sound which I'd say if you're not getting the guitar, get the pickups! Its really worth it! // 9

Action, Fit & Finish: Factory settings on the action aren't great as they hit the screws on the pick-up so I reccomend lowering the pickups, this is what I did and now I have no problem with it what so ever! Everything was attached perfectly when I got the guitar (I say everything but I've already explained about the pickups) and as I would happily stand by saying, the flamed top finish is to die for. // 7

Reliability & Durability: The guitar can easily withstand a gigging as I have already done so, I just reccomend attaching strap locks to the guitar, theres nothing wrong with the buttons which come with it, I just use it for extra safety as the guitar isn't exactly "cheap". The finish on the guitar looks great and doesn't wear off lots while playing HOWEVER the slightest knock on for example a door frame can cause chips and scratches. // 8

Overall Impression: It matches the style of music which I play, and I can ALMOST gaurentee any other style which is thrown at it because of the Seymour Duncan pick ups (I stress these are VERY versitle pickups) I personally have been playing for 2 and a half years and own a few other guitars, and this is definately the best out of all of them. If it were stolen or lost I wouldn't re-buy it, this is because the one which I have has more sentimental value to me than anything else I own, what I'm trying to say is if you gave me the same guitar and I had to choose out of the brand new one with no scrathes or problems and mine I would choose mine, if it were stolen or lost i'd buy a Fender telecaster. The features which I love about it are almost everything, nice weight, nice tone and lovely finish, my favorite feature of it is definatley the pick ups and its DEFINATLEY worth the buy. Peace! // 10

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