Price paid: $ 1000
Purchased from: Steve's Music Store
Sound — 10
This guitar suits my music style perfectly, I play metal and heavy rock, and it delivers the perfect sound. I play this AX-400 through a Line 6 Spider 2 112 amp (kick ass amp), and as for effects I have a wah pedal and a whammy pedal. I havent had a bad sounds come out the guitar yet, in pretty much every setting I have on my amp and guitar, the sounds are always rich and on clean there always really warm and smooth. The variety of sound this guitar can make is quite suprising, on clean you can play nice slow stuff, and with couple with the Line 6 amp it sounds great, but never the less, this guitar was designed to play heavy stuff, metal, rock, etc, your not gonna get anything impressive out of it if your playing blues or country.
Overall Impression — 10
All I have to say is that, if it where lost, or stolen or broken for some reason, I woudl wait without a guitar another 4-5 months, and dish out the $1000 all over again to get another one. I can't even say there anything about it I don't like, I have had it for 6 months now, and the only thing I hate about this guitar, is the extra care I have to give it not to damage (unlike my Squier which is all dented and chipped and I don't care). The other main products I compared this to when I bought it was a Fender Strat and Ibanez (the noodles guitar I forget the model). As for the Fender, I thought too much of my money was going to the name, and not enough on the product, and for Ibanez I was looking for something of higher quality. As for looks of the guitar, I pretty much looked at every possible guitar shape out there before I finally decided on buying this one, and appart for the AX shape, there wasn't much out there that fit me any better.
Reliability & Durability — 9
I can't emphasize more on the quality of build of this guitar, it's amazing how much time they must of put into building each one of those guitars. The hardware seems solid, never any glitches, never any extra adjusting, it holds its tune perfectly. Basically youll never have to worry about it. I would use this guitar on a gig with no backup for sure, but personally I'd have my Squier there too 'cause I like to mess arround with the killswitch on it and the whammy bar which this guitar doesn't have.
Action, Fit & Finish — 9
Well, all the hardward, in fact everything was perfect, right out of the box, except for a little bit of string buzz on the 5th and 6th strings, took it down to the shop for a set up and it was all good. A little bit disapointing tho none the less for the price that I paid. But appart form that, everything was perfect. My only complaint in the desing of the guitar is the 9 volt battery, I find it a pain to open the back plate just to change the battery, but thats all.
Features — 10
The ESP LTD AX-400 is one of the new models ESP has released for theyre 30th anniversary, the first was shipped out on may 1st I beleive. I think my only complaint is that it took 3 or 4 months between the time I ordered it and the time it arrived. It was 24 xj frets, like its predessesor the AX-350, and looks exactly like it too, all mohagony construction, neck-thru with a glossy black finish and all black hardware. The shape of this guitar is liek nothing I've ever seen before, some say it looks like the BC Rich, which aggravates me cause I hate those guitar. It has a Tune-O-Matic bridge with string-thru, a volume controle, tone controle and a 3 way selector. But the highlight of the hardware are the pickups, EMG-81 active pickups deliver an unbelievably clear sound. It doesn't matter where I'm playing it, it doenst matter which amp or what pedals are in between, or any other interference, it always crystal clear, I sometimes forget to turn off the amp when I'm done playing because there is no static what so ever.