Price paid: $ 540
Purchased from: SamAsh
Sound — 6
The guitar handles distortion phenomonously. The Emgs seem to handle amounts of gain provided instead of creating a hot signal, they aren't as hot as many people say instead they react to the amount of gain already available without limiting the signal. The tones from this guitar are warm and deep, solo's are full and the treble rolls off gently. It is not a bright guitar, as you may want to spend a little more for the 1000 with the maple top if you want a brighter solo tone. I recommend this guitar for heavier rock and jazz as the clean tones are very jazzy and smooth. The later adaptation of this model were Seymour Duncan pickups which would be more suitable for different styles and not as much for heavier rock.
Overall Impression — 7
This guitar was my dream guitar in highschool and suited the first couple of metal bands that I was in perfectly. I have been playing around 11 years and have had about 11 guitars. I also own some fenders and Alvarez guitars but this has constantly been my pride and joy. The only real drawbacks of this guitar is that the Grover tuners are crap, it never stays in tune. Replace them with Schaller locking ASAP! I wish it was a 22 fret neck instead of 24 because it screws up the position of the neck pickup. I can't get a good sound out of the EMG 60. I would have preferred Dimarzio's instead of Emg's. The cutaway doesn't provide easy access to the highest frets at all and the neck joint is bulky and not friendly. I also had to replace the strap buttons as they came right out of the wood the first day I got it. This was my dream guitar but not the perfect guitar. I also tried 3 Vipers and 2 Eclipses of the same model in different color and found that my sunburst Eclipse wasn't screwed up setup wise, so be careful when you pick one up that it isn't a dud!
Reliability & Durability — 9
There is only one dent in the side of my guitar and that's because I dropped it on a marble floor. This guitar is very durable and I've put 6 years of torture and sweat into it. The Emg's are encased with epoxy and covered pretty seriously so they will last longer than passive uncovered counterparts. They aren't as pretty or cool looking anymore and the EMG has kind of faded off of the covers but they sound the same as long as you change the 9 Volt annually. My Earvana nut had to be reglued a few times and the knobs wobble, need to be adjusted and tightened but it doesn't affect the sound.
Action, Fit & Finish — 10
The finish was beautiful, the action was low+ perfect and the neck plays like butter. There were no flaws or any problems until a few years of hard play got at the guitar. The weight of my guitar is surprisingly light for an all mahogany guitar under or about 8 lbs. Every thing seemed to be in order, best playing guitar I've ever had or played.
Features — 7
2004 Esp/Ltd Ec-400 Vintage Sunburst Made in Korea. 24 XJ Frets, Mahogany body with 3 piece mahogany set-neck and rosewood fingerboard with mother of pearl flag inlays. Neck and Headstock binding. Non-locking Grover tuners. Active Ceramic EMG 81 and 60 pickups. Tune-o-matic style bridge and Earvana Compensated nut. Lacquer finish. 2 Volume, 1 Tone, 3 way toggle Switch on upper bout. Beveled body with belly cut and cutaway bevel to provide access to the 24th fret. The controls have allen wrench locks that can be a pain, especially since none were supplied with the guitar.