LTD FX-260 Review

manufacturer: ESP date: 11/15/2012 category: Electric Guitars
ESP: LTD FX-260
The ESP LTD FX-260 features a hard-hitting body style with a spalted maple top for an eye-catching look. The FX-260 gives you loads of sustain with its extremely fast 5-piece maple/mahogany neck and rosewood fingerboard. Other features include EMG-ESP LH-300 humbucker pickups, Tune-O-Matic bridge with stop tailpiece, and 22 extra jumbo frets.
 Sound: 8.8
 Overall Impression: 9.3
 Reliability & Durability: 8.8
 Action, Fit & Finish: 9.3
 Features: 8.8
 Overall rating:
 9 
 Reviewer rating:
 9 
 Users rating:
 8.9 
 Votes:
 121 
reviews (4) pictures (1) 52 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 9
LTD FX-260 Reviewed by: VSOP, on november 15, 2012
5 of 6 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 567

Features: This guitar was made in 2007, and it says "Indonesia" in the back of the headstock. It has 22 XJ frets on a rosewood fretboard, mahogany body with spalted maple top, mahogany 24.75 set-neck, natural satin finish. The body is like the ESP's EX style (like an Explorer but sharper) with an ESP "F" headstock. Tune-O-Matic bridge, Passive EMG-ESP LH-300 pickup set (which I think have replaced the EMG HZ's in the ESP guitars and are a lot alike), 1 volume, 1 tone, ESP Ltd tuners. The guitar normally cost J489 (about 670 USD) but I paid J480 total with a Warwick gigbag. This was my second guitar I bought and demanded set-neck, mahogany body, a little larger frets than normal, "heavy" pickups and balance. This guitar pretty much had it all for my budget. // 9

Sound: I play mostly 2000's metal (Lamb Of God, Children Of Bodom, Trivium, As I Lay Dying etc.) and this baby's got what it takes. The pickups were much more than I expected. Most of the pickups I've "experienced" aren't much without a bigger amp or a distortion pedal. I have just a small 15w amp at home (not sure of the manufacturer) with simple gain-volume-tone controls, which I think is good if I want to hear the sound of the pickups without anything extra modifying the sound. And no other pickup I've tried home has had such a rich and "heavy" sound (not to mention how easy it's creating pinch harmonics), as these ones. The slim set-neck construction gives a long sustain and despite the guitar's simple and few controls, it has a lot different sounds to offer, especially when playing clean. // 8

Action, Fit & Finish: I'm not sure if the guitar was set up in the factory. I ordered the guitar from an instrument store and I'm pretty sure they adjusted it when it arrived there. Anyway, I haven't felt a need touching the guitar with a screwdriver (or any Tool). The strings are low as I want them to be and the pickups (bridge) are close enough to the strings to create the sound I like. The finish is just plain wood, which makes the texture unique in every guitar of this model. I haven't spotted any flaws in the guitar, at least not yet. // 10

Reliability & Durability: Now, I haven't taken the guitar out Live but I've used it in our band's training sessions, and I gotta say, I can't wait to play with it live! I've never had problems with the strap buttons, only with old and worn out straps that have snapped during playing. I haven't got a lot stage experience, but enough to realize that there ain't no guitar I would take onstage without backup if I don't have to. Anything can happen out there, so I'd always take another guitar securing a successfull show. However, if I just could manage to get myself a backup guitar, I would definately rely on this one thinking, that only like a lightning or Inferno would stop it (or a snapped string, but only for a while). // 9

Overall Impression: I think this guitar is excellent if you prefer heavier stuff, beats the hell out of the Explorers made by Epiphone, Hamer etc. I've been playing for about 3 years now and I don't own any effects or pedals. If the guitar was stolen, I don't know, I'd most likely buy this one again or something with same kind of specs. I love the guitar's looks. I love the shape, which isn't quite the most traditional model of the Explorer and I love the finish revealing the beauty of the wood at it's best. I love the pickups which I never thought I could get on a guitar this cheap. I just love it! I can't really say there's anything in it that I hate. All I can say, which is pretty childish I think, is that I'd prefer the fretboard without inlays. To me the most favorite feature is, after all, the light wood material. I just hate playing while standing when the guitar weights a ton, and after a two-hour practice my shoulder and back are killing me. With a guitar this light, I feel like I can do anything! At first I was actually going to buy a gothic Les Paul Studio, by Epiphone (it had most of the features this guitar had), but after the dude at the store convinced me that I'm making the biggest mistake in my life (well not exactly but he sure didn't recommend it), I started looking around for a guitar the same price. I tried also Epiphone's Gothic Explorer but I realized it looks better made than it actually is. I just couldn't find anything that I would've been excited enough to have the guts to buy it. Then, I saw it: the most beautiful thing I've seen (beauty and beast you could say) with such a great prize! I actually never got to try it out before buying it because no store had it, but I tried out the FX400, which is 200 more expensive than the 260 but so much alike, only with different pickups, tuners and nut. And here I am: Me try, me like, me buy. For you readers I'd like to say that if you want a unique design axe with not just the looks but awesome action & HW also, seriously try out this one! // 9

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overall: 9.8
LTD FX-260 Reviewed by: Johnny Lingo, on november 15, 2012
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: C$ 475

Purchased from: Mint Used 4 months - Axe Music

Features: Made in Indonesia 2009, inspected in the U.S. ESP Explorer shape. Came with custom ESP case, which is a $155 CAD value. * Set-Neck * 24.75 Scale * Mahogany Body * Spalted Maple Top * 5 Pc Mahogany-Maple Neck * Rosewood Fingerboard * 42mm Standard Nut * Thin U Neck Contour * 22 XJ Frets * Black Nickel Hardware * ESP Tuners * TOM Bridge & Tail * ESP LH-301 (B&N) p.u. w/ Push-Pull Coil Tap on Tone Control * Finish: Natural Stain // 9

Sound: It is a big chunk of mahogany, with a mahogany-maple neck. It has sustain from another galaxy, and tone! Strung it with Ernie Ball Beefy Slinkies and almost fell over with the first chord! The pickups are supposed to be ESP versions of EMG HZ4's, and do sound like it, as I have another guitar with said pickups. Full, bright sound, great clean and driven at any level. It has split pickup capability, so the damn pickups better sound clean and bright when you have it that way, and wow, do they! Mahogany is an amazing wood, isn't it? No noise problems at all, and all pots are nice and responsive. You actually get a huge tonal range on the pot, again essential because of the split coil feature. I used to have a Stratocaster in HSS configuration and the variety of sound compared is not even close. Note I said "used to have"... Strat was sold a week later! I use this through my main amp, a Peavey Vypyr, and just it's onboard effects. Variety without sacrifice is my goal, and I get it. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: It was 4 months old, and played by the previous owner, but lightly and I don't know if he set it up or the store did, but it was fine with minor tweeking. Intonation was very good, so I'm not sure if he fiddled with it, or just knew his stuff. Guitar workmanship was excellent, and I really do mean it! I have seen Strats and Gibsons off the wall of The Music store that made you shake your head. Given the natural spalted maple top, a poor job would ruin this guitar, but it is 100%, very impressive. All hardware was the same, across the board. American factories should take notice. Near custom shop work done in an Indonesian factory, short the higher end hardware. // 10

Reliability & Durability: It is a fair chunk of mahogany, with good quality if not top end hardware. It would be fine on stage as long as you were relatively sane, and it would look amazing for a long time, and I can't wait to see what it looks like as it wears in! I would depend on it for a whole show if I had to, but I have it strung heavy, and I need another guitar with lighter gauge, my Dean Custom 450 or Ibanez RG HardTail. And if you gig with one guitar you are unprofessional. Period. // 10

Overall Impression: I play a lot of older heavy metal, Priest, Maiden, Scorpions, and this guitar would make K.K. Downing or Rudy Schenker smile. Otherwise it goes from classic rock, country rock, grunge and stuff, Alice in Chains, Soundgarden, list goes on. Light or heavy, fingers or pick, clean or dirty, versatility with big warm tone and a thin neck unlike Gibsons or Strats, but with the sound of both. I do love this guitar and would not trade the pickups with the upscale versions EMG's. I may through in PAF's one day... I think I have mentioned the mahogany body a few times, and that is what I truly love about it. My favorite feature is the split coil capability. I hate that I had not been introduced to this guitar sooner! If there was one thing I wish it had would be string through for even more sustain. If it were stolen or lost, I honestly think I would by the upscale 401 but drop the pickups for PAF's or Seymour Duncan 59's. Then I would have a guitar to rival many I've heard or played live or studio, plus look better than most, which is really cool live. // 10

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overall: 8.8
LTD FX-260 Reviewed by: El-Senor, on november 15, 2012
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: £ 360

Purchased from: The Academy of Sound

Features: I wont go into the specs of the guitar in detail as they're readily available on ESP's website. Essentially: Indonesia built Mahogany Explorer based body with spalted maple top and natural finish EMG-ESP LH-300 passive pickups 22 XJ frets (rosewood fingerboard with pearl Dot inlays) TOM bridge Coil tap Overall for the features; not too bad. I think the finish of the guitar is very nice, and each one is completely unique which gives quite a custom feel. Of course 24 frets would be nice, and EMGs active pickups wouldn't go a miss, but that's what the FX-400 is for, and you will pay the extra for them and grover tuners. Besides that, the guitars are identical. Whammy on a guitar like this is uncommon, and in my opinion not necessary. // 8

Sound: Playing through a Carlsborough Kickstart 25 originally. It is severly limited by the amp. don't buy a midrange guitar and not have a semi decent amp to play it through is the conclusion I came to. Now playing through a Peavey Valveking 212 - I play a little bit of everything really from Metallica, to Dokken or the Dire Straits. For what is a very metal based guitar, I'm impressed with the sound of this guitar. The passive pickups, though described as muddy by some people can produce a nice thick tone for metal through both the bridge or neck positions, and the addition of the coil tap can give you a much more twangy single coil sound, which is nice for more country sounding licks. The sound is rich, and the passive pickups deliver quite nicely. It's more useable for a variety of genres than I was initially expecting. There is very very little noise coming from the pickups, and the mahogany body really feels resonant. It's a pleasure to play, and a pleasure to listen to in my opinion. If you're a big audiophile, chances are the FX400 will be more suited to you, due to the active pickups - you probably would never have considered the 260 in the first place in that case. For an amateur musician, it's spot on. // 9

Action, Fit & Finish: Out of the box, very nice action. It's quite low, which is nice, and the neck feels very fast to play on. The bridge pick up was very close to the strings, which is sometimes a little bit problematic for fingerpicking, but it was nothing major at all. 20 seconds is all it took to lower it by 1mm or so. There is a tiny amount of fret buzz on the low E string, but not a problematic amount that alters the sound. The build of the guitar feels very professional and there is very little I can fault here. The workmanship is admirable for a guitar of this price. It is lightweight, but feels very robust. Just a note though; I ordered one in, and fortunately got a very nicely made one. The shop got a couple more in for stock, and gave me the option of having one of them when I picked it up - both of them had dark fingerprints in the laquer that had dried, so you cant polish it off. I'd advise seeing the guitar first before committing to buying it. Overall, very impressed for the money I paid. // 9

Reliability & Durability: Not being a gigging musician, I cant really play. I play routinely with a few friends and it has never given me any problems whatsoever. It most likely would withstand playing live, but I think it would be reckless to play without a backup anyway. The strap buttons are just Standard ones, which, if youre playing standing up alot, should probably be replaced with strap locks. The shape of the guitar and the way it hangs makes it feel as though the could fail, though this hasnt happened to me. I would advocate sticking some straplocks on for good measure. As for the finish: its like a dark chrome for the bridge, saddles, tuners and dials. The finish is nice, but I have my doubts about the durability of it, but this seems to be a recurrent thing for me: the finish on the bridge has quite quickly worn away where I rest my hand, exposing the copper beneath. Now personally, I dont mind this at all, and I actually think it looks quite unique, but be aware of this. It very much seems that this is a problem is you have excessively acidic sweat, cause this has happened on my other guitars too, but my friends have no such problems. Beyond that, the finish of the actual guitar is very nice and feels good quality, which is in my opinion more than enough to bring it up to a 9 overall. // 9

Overall Impression: For metal, it will provide. For other genres from blues and soul to country, it does a pretty damn good job. I've been playing for about a year more recently, and 3 or 4 years quite a while back, and I do enjoy playing this guitar. If it were to be stolen, god forbid, I would almost definitely buy it again - or at least an EX/FX from ESP-LTD. I love the finish of this guitar, and reccommend it strongly. I may fork out the little extra for the 400, be it an EX or an FX, but the 260 is no letdown. I love the finish and the way it plays, I hate that they didn't include straplocks for it because it really does need them - as for favourite feature - just about all of them. I compared it with an LTD KH-202, EX-50/260, an Epiphone LP Custom; the KH202 is a very nice playing guitar, but the inlays and somewhat 'boring' finish made me look elsewhere. I think if you get this guitar, and are looking for a versatile Explorer shaped guitar, you wont be disappointed. // 9

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overall: 8.2
LTD FX-260 Reviewed by: weekendlobotomy, on november 15, 2012
0 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 400

Purchased from: Sam Ash

Features: I got my guitar in summer of 08, I don't know what year it was made, but it was made in indonesia. It's got a mahogany body and neck, the body having a spalted maple finish (kickass) and being in the ESP "sharpened Explorer" style. The neck is 3 piece "u contour" set neck. It has 22 frets on a rosewood fingerboard with Dot inlays on the board and on the side of the neck. A couple nice features are the unique pointy headstock, with ESP was generous enough to give the same spalted maple finish as the body. The hardware is black nickel, which I can best describe as "black chrome" and since getting this guitar is my favorite option for hardware. The bridge is a tune-o-matic, which is comfortable but, the finish is thin and beginning to wear off on mine. The pickups are passive "EMG ESP 301s" which are quite good for the price, but not capable of the stupid-high-gain that thier active counterparts are. And lastly the guitar has a 3 way pickup selector, 1 volume and 1 tone with a push-pull coil tap on the tone, which is very handy. No accessories. Only thing I wouldve liked would be locking tuners as it will detune with any sizable change in temperature. // 9

Sound: The sound suit's my style great which is prog rock, prog metal, and any other equally pretensious form of music (excluding jazz). I'm using it with a Vox Valvetronix 15 watt (great amp) and between the two I've been able to get any sound out of it with the sole exception of british invasion era rock. With my amp the extent of the gain apears to be around the level for 80's thrash which is of course considerable, but you would probably need a distortion pedal or different amp for death or black metal. Also with the addition of the coil tap in my arsenal I can get very good clean tones and limited twang (think Strat not Gretsch). The pickups being covered are very quite. // 8

Action, Fit & Finish: The guitar had, I suspect, been adjusted at the sam Ash, and the action was very good with exception of some minor fret buzz on the 1rst fret of the E string, 3 minutes and a screw diver fixed that. The pickups were set up perfect no complaints there, no real flaws on the set up or anything else. // 8

Reliability & Durability: This guitar is extremely durable, that being one of the reasons I got it. As stated it's all mahognay very thick (and admittedly heavy 10 lbs). I'm not at a skill level where I'm playing Live, but I can guarentee that it would last, and I would use it without backup, if it werent for alternate tunings. The strap buttons are decent as long as youve got an ok strap, though I know from experience that you can drop it on almost anything with little or no damage (got some thin scratches on the horn of mine). The finish of the hardware is the only part I'd really be worried about not lasting. // 7

Overall Impression: Overall as guitar freak I can say confidently that this is one of the best guitars out there for the price ( and way better the EX-260, better wood). I stolen I would probably upgade to the FX 400 which has grover tuners and active EMGs (and at the time of my review has had the price at Sam Ash knocked down to being only $30 more than mine was -SOB-) but really it's an awesome guitar with a unique look, get it. // 9

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