LTD AX-400 review by ESP

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  • Sound: 10
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 9
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 9
  • Features: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 9.6 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.4 (109 votes)
ESP: LTD AX-400
10

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.

30 comments sorted by best / new / date

    semiazas
    good going man... i love tho whole esp range. i am sick of the standart strat body styles that every one has, nowdays everyone playsa gibson or an epiphone, so i am going out to buy this awesome guitar as well, but i can only get a 250, it wont be ****ed up if i change the pickups to 81's or 85's... will it?
    maltese_falcon
    i got the ax 50 nd its pretty sweet,love the shape nd dont see many ppl with em in aus so im lucky, used for metal only
    Chaos_AD
    Looks like this guitar has been discontinued! They only make the 401, 2E, 250 and 50 modal's now. Non of witch come with that custom inlay or the set neck. Well done if you managed to get one of these bad boys!!!!
    mistshika
    i bought this guitar a couple of months ago, at sam ash, for only $599. i absolutly love the way it sounds, and the neck feel isnt too bad either
    Aditya_ram
    how does this guitar compare to say a Jackson KING V, a dean Dimebag Razorback, a Schecter and a BC Rich ? also which are the good Schecters and BS Rich's which cost roundabout 1000$
    Chaos_AD
    i bought this guitar in October last year and its the best guitar i've ever had, better then my Jackson, Dean and Gibson all put together. Nothing comes close when shredding out some beefy ass metal riffs. It could possibly be the best guitar ever made!!!!!
    Ezz_zombie
    XDeathBloomsX wrote: Im might buy this guitar and it says it comes in "See Thru Red" and "See Thru Black"...is it really see thru? Because in the pictures it doesn't look see thru at all.
    The one in the picture is the AX-400 while the one you wanna get is the AX-400FM one.. it's the see-thru one with the flamed maple finish
    XDeathBloomsX
    Im might buy this guitar and it says it comes in "See Thru Red" and "See Thru Black"...is it really see thru? Because in the pictures it doesn't look see thru at all.
    Carrot
    crossrunner wrote: how good is an ltds quality towards an cort
    tbh mate the LTD's are a lot better than the cort
    Eldawgs
    maltese_falcon wrote: i got the ax 50 nd its pretty sweet,love the shape nd dont see many ppl with em in aus so im lucky, used for metal only
    same here maltese, its a sweet beginners guitar. ima gonna upgrade to the 400 after i get some more dollar bills workin 4 the man. ☻☺☻☺☻☺☻ \m/
    Bigg Erkk
    what color of finish does it have? black or like stripy black? and is the neck the same as the ax260? neck through?
    Viciousxp
    Umm, the 250 is great, i personally would save up the extra just cause i dont like bolt on construction, which i beleive the 250 is. I believe the 250 has passive pickups and im not sure of the implications of replcaing passive pick up with active pickups. But great choice on choosing ESP!
    themtalisgood
    If You Can Buy An ESP And This AX Is A Great One To Pick This Thing Is Screaming Out METAL USE ONLY
    frankiedj
    judging by the shape, its a guitar for metal which rarely uses the whammy bar- usually just bending strings so the lack of one is understandable
    axe_man
    from what it looks like its a great guitar im looking about and might get one, but considering its tone quality that ive read about its a bit of a shame it doesnt have an awsome floyd rose whammy bar, i would nt mind paying a bit more for one i dont think anyone would
    tehpwnzer
    i am thinking about buying this guitar, but i have never played one and i dont know how the neck feels. right now i am playing an ibanez rg 450 and it has the wizard II neck which is extremely thin and fast. so can anyone tell me how this one feels?
    gussy
    Ive had my Ax-400 for a year now and absolutely love the smooth warmth tone i can get out of it. I mainly play black metal though and strugle to find the right sound aswell as the right amp to accompany it. Does anyone have any suggestions as to what amp i should pair with it? I currently have a MG series Marshall 100W.
    frankiedj
    i was thinking about getting a syn schecter(from avenged sevenfold) but once i saw this guitar, i was blown away. the only negatives i have is that it doesnt have a whammy bar and it gets dented easily. and its a nusaince with all of the fingerprints everywhere. but even my mom (shes an accomplished guitar player, fender strat and gibson les paul were her main choice) found this guitar to be great. i highly reccomend this and ANY other ESP. oh and i got this for graduation in June 07 for $760
    Scorpserpent
    AxErOn wrote: hey, i am about to buy a new guitar, and i am seriously considering this guitar. the shape is awesome, and its sound is great from wot i hear. m problem is that i usually play punk rock, i don't mind playing the heavy stuff, but usually i play lighter. so, considering that, do you think i should still go on with buying this guitar, or not? if not, do you suggest any alternatives?
    ok since this guitar costs like...a grand... a guitar at this price range which suits punkrock is the epiphone les paul...i dun think u can get a gibson les paul for a grand...bt sure hell...they are nice guitars
    AxErOn
    hey, i am about to buy a new guitar, and i am seriously considering this guitar. the shape is awesome, and its sound is great from wot i hear. m problem is that i usually play punk rock, i don't mind playing the heavy stuff, but usually i play lighter. so, considering that, do you think i should still go on with buying this guitar, or not? if not, do you suggest any alternatives?
    Scorpserpent
    actually...the 50 is a good entry level guitar...the sound is superb if u change the pickups...seymours and EMGs are recommended...the stock pick ups...as u knw...can be crappy...so yeah...this is a short reply to hw the 50 is like
    Battery.
    ive been saving up for this guitar in a while and picked it out when i was just new guitarist so its good to hear a good review about this guitar. i havent seen one of these in my hometown of perth though i have seen teh 250 and 50 in one show. very helpful review.
    f.sardis
    i got one myself. awesome guitar. good sound, excellent sustain, very solid construction. im too shy to touch it for everyday practice so im on the market for a cheap practice guitar. only pain is changing the battery. they should have made it easier.
    RockitHard
    I just bought one of these a couple od days ago and can't wait till it gets here. I went the cheap route and bought the AX-50 instead of the more expensive ones. Throught online research and ongoing emails with ESP,, the AX-50 is almost identical in every way to the AX-350/ 400 series. One of the differences is the pups and electronics in it. Some models have the tribal inlays and other 'lil goodies. The manufacture is identical in every way. With the cheap route taken, I can upgrade my AX to how I want it and make off hundreds of $$$ cheaper. I agree with viciousxp on the fact that it does NOT resemble a BC Rich. ESP has been on top of the market for way too many years and their quality is beyond words. This is actually my 1st ESP, but I've played my friends and I fell in love with it right away. The action blows my old Kramer outta the water and my action is unbelievable. I'm now saving my cash up for an ESP Ltd KH-602, like my friends. My cousin has always had ESPs in his collection and he swears by them, as do many Metal Gods. When I'm done upgrading my AX-50, I'll post my upgrades, steps taken, links and pics. I wish it came in some of the colors the pricier AXs came in...