LTD F-404 review by ESP

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  • Sound: 10
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reliability & Durability: 9
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 7
  • Features: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 9 Superb
  • Users' score: 9.1 (34 votes)
ESP: LTD F-404

Price paid: € 890

Purchased from: Lead Music (CH)

Sound — 10
This is where it's underestimated. I play anything from contemporary Jazz to Rock to death metal, and I can get an amazing tone for everything. I Play this through a number of amps, but mostly through an Ashdown MAG 300 with a 2x10 or a 4x10 cab. I sometimes use it with an Ashdown Lomenzo Hyperdrive if I'm looking for that extra grind. This thing is VERY loud. I usually have to lay off the volume a notch to avoid the clip on the amp. Always use the -10Db switch on you're amp if you're running this through it. You can get a deep growling sound on the neck pickup, or a passive Jazzy tone on the bridge. This bass is very versatile despite it's looks, especially with the 3 band EQ.

Overall Impression — 9
I've been playing 5 years and this was my first really good bass. I'm planning to get a Japanese Fender Jazz for a bit more high end and Precision. You can still tell this LTD is meant for Heavy music, and deserves to be used in Heavy music. This bass has such good tone and it's such a shame so many people use it ONLY for Metal, because you can't make full use of it. Then again it does the job better than most other basses. If it were stolen I would definatly get an LTD 400 series again, just for the tone, not the image.

Reliability & Durability — 9
This thing is solid as a rock, I've had a few scares with it but it takes a big hit to even get a scratch on it. I'm not 100% sure about the control knobs as said before, and the strap buttons came a bit loose at first, but since I've had strap locks put on, It's never been a problem. I would use this without a backup for a gig, only problem is it looks "mean", so might have to take a Fender along if I'm gonna play in a Jazz lounge. I have to admit I get a lot of comments of how cool it looks, but also a couple of remarks on it's aggressive curves. Lets face it, not the bass to have in a Jazz bar, even though it has the tone.

Action, Fit & Finish — 7
This bass was fairly well set up at first, but needed a couple of adjustments to be perfect (pickup hight, bridge hight). The finish on it is good, but not amazing, some of the controls come a bit loose now and then, but not a big deal. The Jack socket is rock solid and never comes loose as some basses tend to, and the Tuning heads are brilliant. This thing never goes out of tune even if I carry it around in a soft gig-bag all day.

Features — 10
This is the 2009 Made in Korea Model. Same specs as in the previous review, except mine came in normal E-A-D-G tuning.

1 comment sorted by best / new / date

    great bass, had it for nearly two years. sounds and plays great, both live and recording in the studio. the extra inch scale is ideal for drop tuning. great all round guitar and great price. great reviews