Price paid: $ 300
Purchased from: Ebay auction
Sound — 9
I play a lot of different style and genres, starting from industrial and dark wave and going to thrash and death metal. It's the first time I am using active EMGs (The previous bass had passive EMG-HZs). I am using Boss ODB-3 overdrive pedal and recently started using a MXR D.I.+ direct box plugged in a Hartke HyDrive 115C. The sound is what I was hoping to achieve. It is rich and blows the room. The bass, along with it's own EQ and pick-ups, combined with the effect pedals give a great variety of sound, from little fuzzy to ear-bleeding (understand it in a good kind of way). Everything is now played with this beauty, no matter what the genre is.
Overall Impression — 10
What style of music do you play? Is this a good match?... It's not a good, it's a perfect match. Maybe, for somebody, the sound and looks off the bass might seem too aggressive. Well, I knew what and what for I was buying it. Sounds nice with the gear I have and I have no problems with it's thin neck (my palms are not so big and the fingers are no so long). The guitar is fast, comfortable, aggressive. If it was lost or stolen... That would be a disaster, because I will not be able just to buy the same one. But I would really want to. Strange, why ESP discontinued such good instruments, because both the F-205 and DF-404 are great value for the money. I evolved from B-50 to F-205, to DF-404.. And for now I will stop this marathon. The instrument is ideal for me, and I'll stay with it.
Reliability & Durability — 10
The guitar looks pretty durable to last live shown. In fact, because of it's looks, the guitar has a great WOW factor, when it appears. It's just meant to be on stage. Had no chance to use it on a gig, but since it is made better, then my LTD F-205, the guitar will stand, and I'll depend on it. If the finish made it through almost 8 years, it will last. I do not think, that I will need a backup on a show, but still I tend to carry my other 2 basses. Giving a ten here for the solidness of the instrument and a great look.
Action, Fit & Finish — 8
I do not know, how was it set by the factory, but I guess, that the previous owned treated the bass really good. It was in great condition, and I has surprised, that I was the only bidder. The action has as low as possible, so I didn't need to adjust that, since I'm a fan of the sound of strings hitting the fretboard. Bridge does its job, the tuners keep the tuning really good. The guitar is balanced, so no neck-dives and things like that. Everything was firm and solid. If it's the case with this guitar in general (not because of the owner), that I can only congratulate ESP for their older instruments.
Features — 9
It's a Korean made year 2004 LTD DF-404. The features are the same that were posted on the ESP website back in the days, when the bass was produced: - Construction: Neck-thru-body - Scale: 35" - Body: Mahogany - Neck/Fretboard: 5-pc. maple-walnut/rosewood - Inlays: Tribal graphic - Pickups: EMG 35-DC active pickups - Electronics: Volume, balance, EMG B64 active EQ - Hardware: Cosmo black - Bridge: ESP BB-104 - Binding: None - Frets: 24 XJ - Colors: BLK I prefer this bass over the new ESP/LTDs, because it has NO maple top on the body (I'm really not into that sound). Back in the days it was a top LTD bass, and the parts are what You would like to get, if You bought in new for 1000$.