LTD EC-401VF review by ESP

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  • Sound: 9
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 8
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 7
  • Features: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 8.4 Superb
  • Users' score: 9.3 (26 votes)

Price paid: £ 550

Purchased from:

Sound — 9
I personally play anything from blues all the way through to metal, so things like anything from Joe Bonamassa to Trivium and because of the pickups which are Seymour Duncans (Jb and a '59) it is able to do all of the tones which I'm looking for as they are incredibly veristile pickups unlike the EMG's which are fixed onto most ESP guitars which I personally don't like. The amp which I am using it with is a Marshall DFX 100, these are probably the weakest type of Marshall amp around and do not reccomend them HOWEVER, it still gets a good to very good tone out of it, so imagine how the ESP would sound in something like a Peavey 6505+, however I'm not too sure how veritile these amps are as I've only played 1 a while ago. The guitar overall gives a rich sound which I'd say if you're not getting the guitar, get the pickups! Its really worth it!

Overall Impression — 10
It matches the style of music which I play, and I can ALMOST gaurentee any other style which is thrown at it because of the Seymour Duncan pick ups (I stress these are VERY versitle pickups) I personally have been playing for 2 and a half years and own a few other guitars, and this is definately the best out of all of them. If it were stolen or lost I wouldn't re-buy it, this is because the one which I have has more sentimental value to me than anything else I own, what I'm trying to say is if you gave me the same guitar and I had to choose out of the brand new one with no scrathes or problems and mine I would choose mine, if it were stolen or lost i'd buy a Fender telecaster. The features which I love about it are almost everything, nice weight, nice tone and lovely finish, my favorite feature of it is definatley the pick ups and its DEFINATLEY worth the buy. Peace!

Reliability & Durability — 8
The guitar can easily withstand a gigging as I have already done so, I just reccomend attaching strap locks to the guitar, theres nothing wrong with the buttons which come with it, I just use it for extra safety as the guitar isn't exactly "cheap". The finish on the guitar looks great and doesn't wear off lots while playing HOWEVER the slightest knock on for example a door frame can cause chips and scratches.

Action, Fit & Finish — 7
Factory settings on the action aren't great as they hit the screws on the pick-up so I reccomend lowering the pickups, this is what I did and now I have no problem with it what so ever! Everything was attached perfectly when I got the guitar (I say everything but I've already explained about the pickups) and as I would happily stand by saying, the flamed top finish is to die for.

Features — 8
The ESP EC-401VF which I have is made in indonesia in 2009 I THINK. It has 22 frets with on them have flag inlays which come Standard with most ESP guitars, the neck scale is 24.75". It has a flame topped Mahogany body and a Mahogany neck too with a rosewood fingerboard. Other features include 42mm Earvana Compensated Nut Thin U Neck Contour 22 XJ Frets Chrome Hardware Grover Tuners TOM Bridge & Tailpiece Seymour Duncan JB (B) / '59 (N) p.u. (which are incredible trust me) The guitar has 2 different choices for finish, which is Tobacco burst and the other is a classic Les Paul sunburst.

5 comments sorted by best / new / date

    I just picked up a used Korean made tobacco sunburst EC 401VF for $420. It is a quality instrument. The guitar is flawless. I also have a Korean made KH-602 which is also flawless. The bridge PUP on the EC is a bit brighter and has more bite than the Gibson PUPs on my 2007 LP Studio. I also like the smaller neck on the EC. Don't get me wrong, the LP is still a great guitar but it is not the best fit for me. Time to sell the LP. For the money the EC 401VF is an unbeatable value.
    I got this guitar for less than 500 dollars (got it on sale). Made in Korea and it plays like a dream! It was built nice and the neck profile is just right for me since Les Pauls are a little too...chunky? I swapped the pick ups with a SH-55 and an Alnico Pro II (for that extra bite). Stock pick ups are decent but at least for me, it was little too muddy? It didn't sound as complete as I would generally like. You definitely can't go wrong with these budget Les Pauls. Quality is greater than what you actually pay for! I would change the Tuners though to locking tuners so that it never gets out of tune. Tuners are decent though. Everything about this is decent but obviously there are samll bits and pieces that one can change to make it an A-Spec guitar!
    best LP guitar at its price much beter sound than the thin Eclipses. COns are that the guitar is so heavy that is tends to drop of you lapp when playing seated. Pros; sound, feel, neck, Xjumbo frets, Seymour duncan pickups, full thickness body
    The only difference between the ESP LTD ec401 & the LTD 1000 is the pain in the ass locking tuners! Except now they started making quite a few made in China; real crap! That is a penny wise and a dollar foolish! The new Korean eclips 401 wit the 57, & 66 Humbuckers that are look alikes of James Hetfield pickups Black Brush. This guitar right away looks like it was made in China even though it said" made in Korea is crap! I first bought an ESP LTD 1000 & the toggle switch had a short in it. and the feel was awful & I hate having my strings clipped so then there is not enough left to drop it a whole step! I called Guitar center and had them look and they said that they just started to make them in China and the Indonesian 1 was better! It was true for this time who knows the next might be crap. Mine was so good that I had James Hetfield Black Brushed pups on mine. had in reset and it sound and plays great.! I own 3 Gibson les pauls and 1 had problems with the paint chipping. I sent picture in to Gibson and they gave me bull about the life time warranty! Telling me that we don't know if it came in contact with anything and all that renege bull! My point is today things are not made with pride and quality but being a penny smart and a Dollar foolish! As the costumer service guy said, "Les Paul don't have a good quality control if any.
    Anything made in China is crap! Just because it said, "made in Korea" does not mean its better. Unless you bought one made in Japan when you could for $1200 that was the good ones. Now ever since they opened up a chinese branch it don't matter! I bought an Indonesian one and I lucked out. I put costume Humbuckers in it. Sweet! Now I own les Paul Gibson made. They have the same problem because they outsource their parts and quality is low. What do you expect when you pay a person just above minimum wage! The *******s the think they are better than the working class that built the country do nothing but figure out ways to pinch pennies. Their minds are so focused on pennies they for got about the Dollar! Penny wise & a dollar foolish! These are the same idiots that bankrupt wall street and then asked for a raise when we lost our homes. They all should have been hung for high treason! They stole the money knowing its backed by the wage slaves and our grandchildren will still. Think they past our dept to what we use to call our enemy! However, they are dangerous and the thieves of wall street have caused all the anarchy in the monetary system so it would cause a chain effect. There is no way we can pay back china because their monetary system is built on nothing except the heads of the peoples labor and they have 10x as many people as ours.The federal reserve is not a federal institution! Woodrow Wilson sold out the country to the foreign banks of Rothschild. So if you wounder why a guitar made in the 50s & 60s is priceless it was made with care.