LTD F-104 Review

manufacturer: ESP date: 10/09/2012 category: Bass Guitars
ESP: LTD F-104
ESP's most affordable "F" Series bass, the F104 comes equipped with active ESP ABQ-2 electronics and a pair of ESP DB4 humbuckers for tonal flexibility unheard of in this price range. Additional features include: bolt-on construction; agathis body; maple neck with rosewood fingerboard; 24XJ frets; black hardware. Black finish.
 Sound: 9
 Overall Impression: 9
 Reliability & Durability: 9.2
 Action, Fit & Finish: 9
 Features: 8.4
 Overall rating:
 Reviewer rating:
 Users rating:
reviews (5) pictures (2) 9 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 8.8
LTD F-104 Reviewed by: Talus, on april 10, 2006
4 of 4 people found this review helpful

Features: A fantastic two octave (24fret) bass made in Indonisia. The gothic black finish looks great all over the Bass. The only things I would like to change is the diffinity of the control over the EQ's, you dont get much of a change in sound compared to EQ's on an amp or mixer. Finally the Batterly seems to keep causeing distortion and dieing even though it claims to have huge amounts of playing time. // 8

Sound: This bass can do anything. From soft melodic compersitions to heavy Metallica songs. I think it suits best to he heavy songs, its perfect for the Metallica covers we do. I'm playing it through a Behringer BX1200 Ultrabass amp. Mostly the amp works great with the guitar but there's way to much distortion when the Battery's low and the amps turned up high. My friend, with an Fender american Jazz Bass, has said this guitar is the best Bass hes played and he talked about going out to go buy one and hes been playing for somthing like five years. // 9

Action, Fit & Finish: This guitar arrived tuned and ready to play, it sounds great. Everything is in perfect position to deliver a stunning bass tone. As always I still just have to comment on the low battery life after claims of it lasting ages. // 9

Reliability & Durability: I would always gig with this with no back up bass, however I would gig with many back up Batterys. Everything else seems like its going to last. The strap hasn't come off once and after what my old bass was like this is a big thing. // 9

Overall Impression: All in all this is a brilliant bass, I've been playing for about a year and a half and my old bass seems like the worst guitar ever made in comparrison with this. And before you ask: no my old bass wasn't an Encore. It was a Westfeild B1000 but it just can't match up to the F-104 in any way. If it were stolen/lost I would deffinetly buy the same bass again, the value for money is amazing. Finally (you can probably guess what's coming) I've gotta say the bass really does have to improve its Battery life, it might last for a good amount of time but it doesn't take long before it distorts way to much. // 9

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overall: 8.6
LTD F-104 Reviewed by: DarkBassistXIII, on february 05, 2009
4 of 4 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 300

Purchased from: Musicians Friend

Features: 24 frets, maple neck with rosewood fretboard, thin neck which definitely helps you move up and down the fretboard quickly and accurately, glossy black finish, bright chrome hardware, has a normal body shape but has crazy points and curves, active ESP pickups; volume, bass boost, treble boost, and balance controls. // 9

Sound: Sounds great for metal and hard rock. I only use this bass in drop c and d standard. Sounds amazing with a set of heavy elixir nanoweb strings. Not a lot of buzz. Really good low notes and pretty good high notes. I use this bass on a Crate amp and it sounds really good. I'm sure it would sound even better with a nice Ampeg amp. // 9

Action, Fit & Finish: The bass came in great condition for the most part. I had to tune the truss rod a little bit because it wasn't tuned right when I got it and I had to play with the action a little bit too. The instruction manual tells you how to do this if you're not sure how to. // 7

Reliability & Durability: I would definitely use this bass for Live performances. You won't lose it due to those stupid little strap buttons that come on some guitars, these ones keep the bass put. I was really surprised by how light this bass actually is. I have really bad shoulders so this bass is great for that. I can stand for a few hours at a time and not feel it on my shoulder. // 9

Overall Impression: This bass is great for metal. The only thing that pissed me off was when I had to mess with the truss rod and action. I think ESP should have paid a little more attention to what they were doing but whatever. Besides that though, the bass is great for beginners to really experienced players and especially for the price. // 9

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overall: 9
LTD F-104 Reviewed by: MaidenRules74, on october 21, 2009
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 299

Purchased from: Sam Ash

Features: The gothic-looking body was what got my attention first. After checking it out, and seeing some of the features, like active pickups, etc, I plugged it in at the store. This bass plays nice, has a thin neck, and feels balanced... Not too heavy. You can manipulate the pickups by adjusting the three knobs to get many, many tones, low to high. // 8

Sound: Sound is heavy and full. No tinny sound even on the upper frets. I just run mine straight thru the amp... No effects. As I mentioned earlier, the tone knobs allow a huge range of sounds, but for the most part I keep mine set at the middle detent setting of each for a good balance of tone at both low notes and highs. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: At first I played it as I got it from The Music store. But after a few months, I dared adjusting the truss rod, and since then it is darn near perfect. Action is just a hair higher than the high-dollar basses, but I've adjusted mine to get it where I want it with only occasional buzzing on the first fret (E string only), but that could be attributed to my heavy right-hand technique, too. The finish on mine is flawless, and having owned it for over two years now, it has held up very well. // 9

Reliability & Durability: The hardware (tuning keys, bridge, etc) seem like good quality stuff...nice and solid. I'm between bands, so I don't play it more than an hour at a time, maybe 3-4 nights a week practicing or jamming along with the CD player if I have time. But I can't foresee any problems using this bass for a longer gig. It isn't too heavy, and it's balanced, so it shouldn't Hurt your shoulder at all. I've only had to replace the batteries for the pickups twice in two years (one of those times was because a friend was goofing around with it and left it plugged in), so battery life is not an issue for me. // 9

Overall Impression: I play metal, so this bass certainly looks the part, and more importantly sounds the part as well. In the store I tried about a dozen different basses in this price range. Some were absolute junk, others were OK. But some of the other decent basses I tried were either too heavy, had no active pickups, boring/uninspiring/ugly shape, bad finish, clunky or loose tuners, etc. This bass was the best one for the money, in my opinion. I've been playing guitar for 30 yrs, and decided to learn the bass just a few years ago, so I don't have a lot of experience with basses, but I do have enough experience to tell a quality instrument when I see one. If something were to happen to mine, I'd probably upgrade to a more expensive P- or J-bass, but if forced to stay at the same budget, I wouldn't have to think twice about getting another F104. // 9

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overall: 9.2
LTD F-104 Reviewed by: Nagash02, on january 08, 2010
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: € 300

Purchased from: Musique Point Com

Features: LTD Standard Series F 104 Bass, Made in 2008 in China. No included accessories Standard features, this bass is not a pro instrument, but for beginners. And its features for such kind of bass are excellent. // 8

Sound: I play mostly metal, all kinds of metal, and it fits perfectly. I play it through either a Behringer amp (not recommended) or a Roland Cube 100 Bass and it delivers any sound I want, it's not noisy at all. I can get a smooth tone, a raw sound, warm bright sound, anything that comes into my mind. What I use most is overdriven sound with boosted lows, for metal or rock this is perfect. As it's an ESP bass, you won't play blues or jazz or whatever with this, it's a metal bass. But for rock it's good as well. // 9

Action, Fit & Finish: It was set up perfectly when I got it, no flaws, no nothing, action just as I needed it, as I said it was perfect. I've played it for one year or so, no oxidation, it's still like it was when I got it. The hardware is of excellent quality. No problems with the bridge, nor with the tuners or the truss rod. The electronics too are in perfect shape, no rusted knobs or anything. // 10

Reliability & Durability: It's a very solid bass, I like to use it while rehearsing (we don't play live YET), and it seems it's going to last quite a long time. Strap buttons are solid, but anyway straplocks would be cheap if you're somehow paranoid. Finish is excellent and like the rest, it's still in perfect shape. As I'm quite paranoid myself, I will get myself a backup bass as soon as we will start to perform live, but I'm sure I won't need it very often. As I said many times before, this bass is killer and solid. // 10

Overall Impression: To recap: Beginner metal bass with really good features and solid construction, showing no traces of getting tired of being used after one year of intense playing. If it were stolen or lost, either I would get myself the same one again, or I would get the real ESP Forest Bass (depending on if we sign up until then). What do I love about it? The original shape, the versatile sound, the thin neck (oh yeah I didn't say that before, the bass is NOT neck heavy)... What do I hate about it? Nothing. I would have preferred a neck-through bass but I didn't have the cash to get myself the LTD F-400 series bass. But as I don't really need the last frets and the super sustain of neck-through construction, I'm not missing anything with the 104. I compared it to a lot of Ibanez basses, but this one is definitely better because it's perfectly balanced and cheap. 300 bucks for such a monster is the best deal I've ever made with an instrument. Highly Recommended! // 9

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overall: 9
LTD F-104 Reviewed by: unregistered, on october 09, 2012
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: £ 300

Purchased from: Guitarguitar

Features: This bass is a 24 fret bolt on. The body is basswood, the neck is maple with a rosewood fingerboard. I'm not totally sure of where and when it was made. I have it in glossy black which is just lovely. The pickups require batteries which I was a little sceptical about at first, but it's very rare that they need replaced. Every 6 months or so if you take care of it properly. It has 4 chrome dome controls dials, for volume, balance, bass and treble. It came with ESP's own soapbar pickups. Nothing special came included. // 9

Sound: I play mostly metal/rock and it's really built for it. It's a pretty versatile thing and can be adjusted to suit most styles of playing. Not brilliant for slapping, but it gets the job done. I use it through a Line 6 15W amp, nothing too special, but it sounds pretty amazing. It purrs beautifully regardless of what settings are played around with and is pretty loud if it wants to be. // 8

Action, Fit & Finish: The set-up when I got it was pretty great. The action was perfect, the pickups were/are firmly in place, really everything was the way it should be. I can't says I noticed any kind of flaws at all. No buzz, no marks or scraps. All was how it should be. The stock strings themselves are surprisingly good! // 10

Reliability & Durability: It'll certainly withstand live playing! Everything on it is built to last, which is pretty awesome for one of the cheaper models from ESP. I may replace the strap buttons, simply because I'm paranoid about damaging it, but they've never let me down so far. The finish is handling pretty well as I have bumped it a few times, both on the body and headstock, and there's nothing to show for it, which is pretty awesome! // 9

Overall Impression: As said, it works wonderfully for metal. Some pretty big metal icons use the better versions of this bass, including Tom Araya from Slayer and Orion from Behemoth. It really looks the part too. I've been playing for near enough two years now and it's the best bass I've had so far. The previous ones including models from Schecter and B.C. Rich. What do I love about it? How ridiculously light it is! Compared to my older basses, this thing is a god send! It sounds great, looks great and I can hold it on my shoulder for hours without it feeling heavy and the neck is really slim and agile, meaning quick playing is a lot easier. If it were to be stolen, I'd certainly get a similar model. Maybe an upgraded version, now that I'm confident in ESP's products. I think I'll stick mainly to them from now on. Overall, I highly recommend it! // 9

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