Price paid: $ 600
Purchased from: Music123.com
Sound — 8
In the case you play metal and you are not too worried about using clean tone, this is the guitar for you. Its mahogany body and EMG-81 pickups give a nice rich sound -- the guitar actually has decent variety for only having to EMG-81s. EMGs have a broad bandwidth that's better for harmonic pull-offs and chord definition. These pickups bring out the characteristics of your amp way more then any other pickups. You can hear every little tweak of a know, and totally change the sound of your amp, making it sound like things you never thought possible with passive pickups. Great for hard rock/metal music but the clean sound isn't that good. So it's hard to get a decent blues/jazz/soft rock sound on this guitar.
Overall Impression — 9
Overall this guitar is great for any heavy stuff. It has an awesome tone and fast fretboard. Alot lighter then a Les Paul and alot cheaper. This guitar is a very good mix of quality components at a decent price. The only evident disadvantage of this baby is its weak clean sound. You could hardly be disappointed in this guitar, only if you don't like hard rock and metal!
Reliability & Durability — 9
This guitar is very solid. It's very durable, the finish doesn't dent easily, and all the parts are good quality and strong. With all its similarity to Gibson (Epiphone) Les Paul this guitar is much lighter. But it doesnt mean more cheaper and more crappy wood has been used, quite in opposite -- more better and quality wood, as well as more comfortable back and sides. Besides, this ESP model features a "double-action" truss-rod design. Unlike a single truss-rod, this one is adjustable in two different directions. This means that you'll never run into a situation where the neck has "run out of adjustment." Very helpful.
Action, Fit & Finish — 9
The factory set-up of this guitar was very good. Its action was quite low without any buzzing. The pickups were adjusted fine. Furthermore, this is a very fast guitar. The extra jumbo frets are somewhat large but not too big. It's a very easy and smooth playing guitar.
Features — 10
This is a set-neck guitar with active EMG-81 humbuckers, plus Grover tuners and the awesome Earvana Compensated Nut for incredible tuning accuracy. ESP builds this guitar with a mahogany body, a 3-piece mahogany neck, a rosewood fingerboard with 22 XJ frets and a Tune-O-Matic bridge with a stop tailpiece. It's a classic design with all the updates already done for you! - Construction: set neck - Scale: 24.75" - Body: mahogany - Neck/fretboard: 3-piece mahogany/rosewood - Inlays: flags wtih model name at 12th fret - Pickups: EMG-81 active set - Electronics: 2 volume, tone, 3-way toggle - Hardware: black + earvana compensated nut & Grover tuners - Bridge: Tune-O-Matic with stop tailpiece - Frets: 24 XJ. Grover tuners are well known for their precise gear ratio, tuning stability and durability. They make a great complement to the other upscale features of EC-400.