LTD EX-400 Review

manufacturer: ESP date: 11/15/2012 category: Electric Guitars
ESP: LTD EX-400
Here is another one of ESP's unbelievable rockin' guitars. This ax will blow your mind with its mahogany body, EMG-81 active pickup set, and Tune-O-Matic bridge. Take your sound, style, and image to the next level with this amazing guitar.
 Sound: 8.7
 Overall Impression: 8.7
 Reliability & Durability: 9
 Action, Fit & Finish: 7.2
 Features: 8.2
 Overall rating:
 8.5 
 Reviewer rating:
 8.3 
 Users rating:
 8.6 
 Votes:
 202 
reviews (6) 74 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 9.2
LTD EX-400 Reviewed by: spoonfulofshred, on november 15, 2012
13 of 13 people found this review helpful

Features: This is the Explorer-style body. I went with the plain black (not the faux-metal plating) because it has all the same features for $150 less. I couldn't justify spending that much extra for a cosmetic thing. The one drawback is the cutaway isn't big enough and it's tough to play up in the 22nd fret range for too long. But if you're like me and only go up there for the big finish then it's fine. I didn't get any accessories with it. They didn't even have a case for the shape but it fits (albeit awkwardly) in my acoustic guitar gig bag. // 9

Sound: I like me my metal and this guitar is perfect. The active EMG's pick up every thing. I just got a Randall RG100 G3 series and it howls through this thing. The clean tone is even pretty cool too. If you have the volume up high through the 81, it's got a great dirty sound and there's a nice warm sound through the neck 60. Even when it's not plugged in, it makes a decent acoustic, louder than most electrics anyway. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: I'm really just too picky in this department. The action is great on the three high strings but I had to raise the lower strings because they were buzzing too much. The pickups were a little too close to the strings for my liking. There's some cracks in the finish on the back of the guitar but they're on the back so I'm not too choked about it. One odd thing on mine is the tuning peg for the low E is too close to the neck. It rubs when I go from standard to drop-D and has taken a chunk of the finish off. // 7

Reliability & Durability: I've had this guitar for 5 months now and not a single problem. It's got a lot of jagged edges sticking out and I have banged it a few times and it's fine. I'm not the type to go to a gig without a backup but I'm confident that I'll never have to use it. // 10

Overall Impression: I love this guitar. I can't stop playing it. It's a metal-head's dream guitar but it'll play those other genres just as well. I've been playing for about 5 years now. Up until I got this, I was playing an Ibanez RG170. I always thought it was a great guitar until I got my ESP. I tried other similar guitars when I was looking for this one (Jackson Kelly, LTD Viper, etc) but they just didn't stand out like this one has. I'd definately get this guitar again if it was stolen (maybe in a dark blue though). // 10

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overall: 9.8
LTD EX-400 Reviewed by: Johansensan, on november 15, 2012
3 of 3 people found this review helpful

Features: When I went to go buy one of these at the shop they didn't have them instock so they had to order it directly from the factory. they had it made and shipped fairly quickly and came out of the box perfect. I bought a Standard black one because I think it just looks amazing. It's ESP's modified Explorer shape, which is more pointed than the Gibson version. It's a little hard to play the 22nd and occasionally the 21st fret for long but if it's just a short use then it's fine. It's got a TOM bridge which really helps keep it in-tune. it comes stock with Active EMGs, 60 on the bridge and 81 on the neck. 1 vol, 1 tone, 3-way pickup select and grover tuners. Didn't come with a case but the store had an extra ESP case custom fit for the EX or FX series that they were willing to sell for a small price. // 9

Sound: I play almost exclusivly metal and this guitar is perfect for it. Metallica is my favorite band, which is why I'm so obsessed with the shape, and this guitar is more than up to taking the heat of their work. I usually run it through my Marshall MGHDFX100 head and MG412 cab and occasionally through my Peavy (can't remember the model) with a Metal Muff pedal and it sounds brilliant. The pickups get everything and always sound great. As with all active pickups, if your batteries start running a little low you might get a little distortion on your clean channel but otherwise clean is pretty good. It is always in-tune. it works really well even when tuned down. I tune to Drop C sometimes and the guitar still stays perfectly tuned. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: For me, it's got the perfect action. it's not high, and it's not so low that there's fret buzzing. I don't think there are any frets that buzz. There was one itty-bitty spot where the fingerboard and the egde of the pickup slot meet that wasn't covered but that's not a problem or anything. You have to look really hard to find it. Other than that one ity bity thing there's nothing else wrong. // 10

Reliability & Durability: This guitar has withstood everything I've thrown at it (not litteraly thrown). I accidentally was standing under a fan at home and I lifted the guitar over my head to get the strap off and the fan smashed into the headstock and there's one little scratch right below the tuning peg and that's it! The fan now has a dent and the guitar is fine! I had it sitting in my chair one night and it fell onto my hardwood floor and nothing hapened. No scratches, dings, nothin. This is an insanely durable guitar, everything's solid, I always use this as my main guitar and it never lets me down. // 10

Overall Impression: I play metal and this guitar is perfect for anyone who plays metal or hard rock. I'm absolutely in love with this thing. I've owned it for about 8 months now and I still play it like I bought it this morning. I played a Dean Michael Schenker Standard until I got this, I still love the Dean but this is definatly my favorite. I recommend this to anyone who plays metal. Or just likes how it looks. Oh, be careful around it though. I punctured my wall with the headstock when I turned around standing too close to the wall. it's sharp and dangerous. // 10

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overall: 8.8
LTD EX-400 Reviewed by: spam-guitar, on november 15, 2012
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 915

Features: Explore body, I bought it in black, the metal plating was cool but I was happy with black plus it was cheaper. Mahogony body and tune o matic bridge. 22 Frets so not 24 but not a great problem. Volume and tone controls as well as 3-way pickup selector. EMG pickups to produce quality sound. Grover tuning pegs. I bought a gator case where you build up the padding to fit your guitar shape so I have a good case for it. // 8

Sound: I love metal so this guitar fits my style perfectly, the emg pickups work like a charm. I only own a Fender frontman amp so it's not getting the amp it should be but I have used it through a PA where it sounded miles better than the rest of the guitars using the PA. No tremelo so it can't do no crazy dive noises but it still is capable of doing amazing pinch and natural harmonics. // 9

Action, Fit & Finish: I had to raise the lower strings because they buzzed, but now it's fine. The pickups were fine for me so I have not altered them. The paintwork is fine and the wood seems alright so far. There was a little scrape where the wood had been scratched at the end of the neck just before the head but it's so small and misable that I'm not that bothered. // 8

Reliability & Durability: I have had it a couple of months and no problems so far. I've not played a gig with it yet but I think it would survive so I wouldn't go with a backup. There are crazy spikes so I will probably chip the ends. The strap buttons seem attached firmly enough and most of the hardware is all working and should last a long time. // 9

Overall Impression: I love this guitar, I have been playing about 8 years using a Squier and an Ibanez RG320 fm which is extremely good, but my ltd puts it to shame. Everytime I see it I have to play it. I wanted this guitar because of the crazy Explorer shape and because all my other guitars are quite Standard shapes, so this is my first crazy guitar. I think it would be cool with a flod rose but I'm glad it doesnt't have one because they are so annoying to re string and keep. // 10

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overall: 9.8
LTD EX-400 Reviewed by: stage4saiyan, on november 15, 2012
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 450

Purchased from: Local seller

Features: As with the other ESP LTD EX-400s, mine comes equipped with an EMG-81 in the bridge and an EMG-60 in the neck. They're active pickups, which means you're going to have to change batteries after a while. The battery compartment is on the back of the guitar, which you need a screwdriver to get into. Takes 9v batteries. I got the black guitar. It's a neck-thru guitar with a 3-way selector switch and two control knobs (volume and tone) that are universal to both pickups. The Explorer body is amazing, and ESP did a great job of making it their own. The finish is mirror-like. Very gorgeous guitar. // 10

Sound: I'm running this through an Electro-Harmonix Metal Muff, which then plugs into a Peavey ValveKing 112. Now, I'm not playing sellout shows in Madison Square Garden, but I do gig a bit and I also like to tweak my tone settings at my house in between shows. I play a pretty broad range of music, but mostly play hard rock and metal. This thing has what I was looking for...that metal "chug" for palm-mutes. Think how the guitar sounded in Metallica's classic "Ride the Lightning" album. I've nailed that tone perfectly. My Slash Les Paul came close, but it was missing that "bite". The EMGs seem to add more distortion. I had my Metal Muff's distortion knob at around 3 o'clock with my LP, but I can have it at noon with this and have the same heavy sound. This guitar is ideal for metal. It's got great cleans too. Nice glassy cleans. Add a chorus pedal (can you tell I like Metallica?), and it sounds beautiful. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: I bought this guitar used, so I've got no idea how it was set up from the factory. The guy I bought it from had it professionally set-up, so it sang from the get go. All I really needed to do was replace the battery for the pickups. The thing is sturdy, and it has that "thick" feel to it. I could bump it against something (chances are you WILL bump the large horn on something) and not worry about it cracking. Something I really appreciate about this guitar is the tuning pegs. They're tough as nails. A bump won't send your guitar out of tune, which is a godsend to me. I'm a clumsy guy, so I needed that extra security. It's the only guitar I've seen that has me covered in that field. // 9

Reliability & Durability: If I could give this field an 11 I would. It's built like an absolute tank. The wood is strong and pretty much every portion of this guitar is like it's made of steel. The strap buttons are pretty tough, too. They don't unscrew and loosen like the all 4 of my other guitars do. Even my "pride and joy" Les Paul has a problem in this aspect, and the ESP doesn't. I've played around 5 shows with this guitar, since I just got it, and I'm surprised how well it's taking the abuse. No paint chips, so scratches... Nothing. It's sturdy, and I'm glad I got it. I plan to tour with it much, much more in the future. // 10

Overall Impression: Being a metal-head, this is the best guitar I've played for that Metallica sound. The EMGs just sing, and make hammer-ons and pull-offs as simple as they can be. Tapping even sounds good with this beast. If this were stolen, would I buy another? Absolutely. I'd even say I'd Rush out to buy one as soon as I got the word it was stolen. It's just an unbelievable deal, and it sounds like guitars that cost over $1000. For the first time in my entire career as a guitar player, I'm satisfied on every level. I should have known ESP would make a guitar that would blow me away when Metallica stayed with them instead of moving on to Gibson. Buy one...or at least try it. You won't be disappointed. You might even be head-banging before long. // 10

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overall: 9.2
LTD EX-400 Reviewed by: mysistermeac, on november 15, 2012
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 700

Purchased from: Used

Features: Think it's made 2007, very cool Explorer shape. Mahogny wood (wich sounds VERY good)and Tune-O-Matic bridge. 22 frets, don't wich it had 24 becuse this guitar can bend like a motherf--ker. 1 Volume control and one Tone control, 3 way Switch. EMG pickups on this are great! EMG 81/60, best combination if you ask me! The EMG 81 shreds riff like nothing and the 60 is very good for clean parts, very Metallica. Grover tuners, holds the tuning very well! No case included soo I had to buy one but it was worth it, this guitar is soo "underpriced" soo I could afford it. // 10

Sound: Suits my music style very well, play deathcore, metalcore, grove etc. I use a Marshall VS100 Head with a J&J cab and it sounds very good through this, got a good punch to it. Not using any effects. It's not that noisy, still I consider to buy a Boss NS-2 becuse you can some feedback (not much). The guitar has pretty much variety, I would maybe not play blues with it but its great for metal! Even metal with clean parts becuse of the EMG 60. Got mine in Olympic White // 9

Action, Fit & Finish: It was not set up right when I got it, but that was easy to fix. I am used to fix the guitars I buy becuse I use a little special stringgauge set up on my guitars becuse I play in drop C. Pickups adjusted well tho, didn't need to change them. The guitar had a little bump on the head, not big tho. But I bought it used soo that was pretty much excpected. Other than that the guitar was like new, feels like it's never been touched. // 7

Reliability & Durability: It will withstand Live playing! I know it will, this guitar is build like a tank and it should be named LTD EX 1000 or something instead, it's not like the other 400 models that LTD has. Hardware will last, very nice with the black color on them too. I changed the strap buttons (always do) becuse I want straplocks soo I don't know much about how solid they are. I can depend on it, this is my main guitar on the tour that I will be playing with my band. I would and will use it on a gig without a backup. The olympic white finish looks great. And as long as I am not throwing it at things the finish will last! // 10

Overall Impression: Have already mentioned my musicstyle and it's a good match! Have been playing for about 7 years now and I have had Gibsons, Ibanez, Jacksons and many more! I traded them all becuse they didn't do it for me, this guitar does tho! If it were stolen I would have bought it again, and I am considering to buy another one in black at the moment too becuse I like them soo much. I hade smooth feeling the neck has, shape, pickups and everything. Don't hate anything about it actually. I compared it too LTD EC 1000, LTD ninja 600 and even ESP's! This guitar won becuse of it's quality and feel. // 10

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overall: 3.2
LTD EX-400 Reviewed by: unregistered, on november 15, 2012
0 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 285

Purchased from: private sale

Features: as above ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ // 3

Sound: poor workmanship, new gibson/epi's/china knockoffs are of better quality and relatively similarily priced Dont get sucked into nostalgia, this isn't anything special Amps: Laney 15/practice Orange/play __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ // 4

Action, Fit & Finish: nice neck so so body cutting edge style comes down to personal preference on this one neck dive bombs uncomfortable sitting and almost unplayable standing up poor positioning of strap buttons __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ // 2

Reliability & Durability: heavy guitar, nice tone.. contrary to popular belief in electric it is not the wood that gives the tone.. at least not primarily. Strings and pickups make it or break it .. again no credit to guitar on this poorly balanced electronics are weak and a known issues in these models pick ups are great but they are not ESP/LTD, they are EMG so no kudo's to the guitar __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ // 5

Overall Impression: play types: Alteranative Metal Blues Wish i would have researched similar new prior to purchasing, again this is a nostalgia buy, not great value. Buy new and get a warranty __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ // 2

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