LTD EC-401 review by ESP

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  • Sound: 8
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reliability & Durability: 9
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 9
  • Features: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 8.6 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.9 (136 votes)
ESP: LTD EC-401
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Price paid: C$ 650

Purchased from: Axe Music

Sound — 8
I use this guitar for Drop D and D Standard, and play a variety of metal on it from Lamb Of God to Decapitated, which it handles quite well. Run through a Peavey 6505+ 112 combo, the sound is monstrously heavy. The EMG 81 provides a tight attack with little noise, and the 60 gives me those screaming lead parts without a challenge. Outside the realm of metal though, it is apparent the EMG's are indeed one trick ponies, but I use this guitar for metal and that's what they're built for. The guitar itself doesn't feedback much at all, and remains largely noiseless when its idle, but that quickly changes once you start playing. The neck isn't super thin, but its not uncomfortably big either. A few minutes of playing should allow you to adjust to it, though it took me a few minutes to adjust to the smaller scale for sweeps.

Overall Impression — 8
For my metal styles I'm pretty happy with this guitar, though sometimes I do wish for the 25.5' scale. If it were stolen or lost, I can't say I'd buy it again, purely because I'd like to try something different next time. That said it is a great guitar and well worth the price paid, especially if like me you aren't a fan of the horrible binding seen on the 1000 series. don't be put off by the large number of kids using it in their '-core' bands, it is worth your time if your looking for a Les Paul shaped guitar for metal or hard rock applications.

Reliability & Durability — 9
The guitar withstands live playing quite well, but it is a tad on the heavier side, though this is expected of the LP body style anyway. The hardware definitely seems like it will last, and hasn't given me any problems so far, most noticeably the Grover tuners. I wouldn't gig without a backup, solely because you never know what might happen, but I've played whole sets with it without issues.

Action, Fit & Finish — 9
I can't comment on the factory setup or strap buttons, as I had it setup for me in D standard and the buttons replaced for Schaller locking. No flaws I've seen thus far, but it should be noted it finger prints like a bitch. I baby all my guitars though so she gets a polish and wipe down after each use.

Features — 9
Basic Specs: - Indonesian Built - Mahogany Body & 24 fret neck - Set Neck construction - 24.75' Scale - Rosewood fretboard - 42mm standard nut - Thin 'U' neck contour - Grover non locking tuners - TOM bridge and tail piece - EMG 81(B) & 60(N) pickups - 3 way toggle switch - Bridge volume, neck volume, master tone controls - White plastic body & neck binding

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