I've been looking at getting Tribute series Gibson SG or some other $500 - $800 mahogany+p90 equipped guitar, but just spotted the Viper 256P. Are LTD's good guitars? I can't lie - I'm a Fender Strat man through and through, but for recording it'd be damn handy to have something Gibson-ish for darker tonal interplay.

In a previous life I was a bottom-of-the-food-chain producer and saw a lot of guys bring in LTDs for session work, but never really gave one a good look over as I generally stereotype them as a metalhead's guitar - the Viper 256P is kinda exactly what i'm after though.

I'm not expecting flawless perfection for $400, but how would it compare to an Epiphone SG or lower end Gibson equivalent?
just get an Epi G400
Great bang for the buck build quality-wise.
they pretty much have to have a pickup swap done.

so if you pick up a goth series (if you don't mind the flat black) and throw your choice of p/ups in it, you have a better rig for around 375-400$
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my experience with LTD is that above 400 series are great guitars made in korea .. but the cheaper 50 , 260 and the entry level are made in indeonesia and not really wonderful . of course theres a huge price difference the higher you go .

So my bet about Viper ... the 1000 ( deluxe series ) is probably a great guitar .. the 300 must be decent .. the 256 and 50 are entry level .. pickup fabrication etc.. will be very average , made in indenosia .

but you can give it a try .. but dont judge the whole LTD line by the 256 .. just when it get into the deluxe or 400 and above .. the guitar are very great for their price . top notch construction , pick up etc..

my reference : owned a ex-50 , played in store a ex-250 ( back in the day if i remebr well ) .. and owned a ex-400 .

the difference between the ex-50 and ex-400 was night and day ,, apart from the shape .. you could rate both guita rin the same serie . playability , sound , finish , weight .. everything was better .

so are LTD good .. yes for the price i guess .. but above 400 ... theyre very good , mad ein korea with great wood , etc.. and are great guitars .

but dont go grab a cheap viper-50 planning to switch the pickup .. it will never be as good as the viper 1000 even with the same pickup .
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Last edited by Skysc at Jan 9, 2012,
Quote by Wisthekiller
You want something Gibson-ish and darker, so you pick the lightest and thinnest Gibson plus single coils (I know they're P90s, but that's still single coil)?

When I say I want something Gibson-ish I just mean something non-Fendery. Having owned a genuine and an imitation Les Paul i'm striking them off the wish list - I play this kinda stuff, and LP's just don't suit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4y6QNtZ_9M0&feature=related

I had a faded Flying V I put P90s in and that was perfect, but we got flooded a while back and the V spent a few days underwater - it swelled up, warped a little and was basically ruined. I'm thinking maybe i'll go an SG with P90s this time, but I definitely think the Viper 256P looks way cooler. First thing i'll do is switch out for better pickups, but if the general construction of the 256P is below par i'll cross it off the list.
hey, i was looking for a SG style guitar with P90s in it, and the important thing is that i need a low price. $450 is my fixed max price. for that price, does anyone have any better suggestions then this Viper 256p?
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LTD Vipers are dirt cheap. For $500, you could easily get a used Viper 1000, and then get some P90 sized humbuckers from GFS to put into it.

I wouldn't recommend the 256P with a budget as high as yours.

If you're interested, there's a blog on my profile about the numbering system and quality of ESP guitars. You can check it out too, Skysc, since you're a little off. Right for the most part though

The biggest issue to be addressed with the numbering is the dismissal of the 300 series - they're just as good, and in some case better than the 400's.
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No, it's imperative that I have P90 sized slots in my guitar because I have a set of very special P90s that my uncle handmade for me. Unless there is some sort of mini P90 mounting ring to put inside a humbucker ring?
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Considering a P-90 is longer than a humbucker is, no, you can't adapter a humbucker route to fit a P-90. This is why humbucker-sized P-90s exist.

You might want to check out what kind of covers and baseplate your P-90s have. Gibson-styles (as well as any used in American PRS guitars) have more rounded corners than the ones commonly used by other brands. You can't fit one style inside the other's route. So for example, if you have Gibson style, very rounded P-90s, they won't fit in the LTD. Similar if you have the more square P-90s then those won't fit in any Gibso or American PRS route (not that that is an issue with the LTD in question).

As for the Viper 256P, I can't say I've tried that one but I've given the EC version a shot. It's alright. Crap hardware and the stock P-90s were awful, but that's no issue if you're going to change them anyway. Seemed to be made solidly enough and I don't recall any problems with the construction, at least no more than you'd expect from any <£400 MIC guitar. With the Viper you'll have the usual problem of neck dive, but that's to be expected with any SG-style guitar.
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If you are buying an LTD go above the 400 series.
The 401 is a great guitar (I should know, I have one)

Bellow the 400 series you will get bored with it very fast.
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The 300 series is also good; they're basically the 400 series with different pickups and colours (there's more than that, but that's basically it)
I've played one quite a few times in my local music shop.

Even though I can never truly bond with an SG, The neck felt great. The fretwork appeared to be good and the action was right where i like it with no buzz.

The Pickups had quite a bit of bite to them (Trying through a Marshall JVM205), But a bit muddy in the low end.

The hardware appeared sturdy and the tuning stability was decent.
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I've got one that I modded a little and it rocks. I read a review at musiciansfriend that suggested reversing the taped pickup wires with the red wires attached to the switch and it works perfectly. I also added a .022 cap. and raised the pole pieces on the pickups. The pickups came alive with more high end and a more defined and punchy low end with no more muddy sound. The guitar sounds as good as other guitars I have with various Duncan pickups. I'm playing through an Avid Eleven Rack so just about everything sounds good but the mods to the Epi made a huge difference. Hope this helps any Viper 256P owners.