LTD EC-500 review by ESP

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  • Sound: 8
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reliability & Durability: 8
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 10
  • Features: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 8.8 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.7 (121 votes)
ESP: LTD EC-500
6

Price paid: $ 553

Sound — 8
Great guitar for hardrock or metal. The EMG pickups are pre-amped internally so much less noise in high gain settings. The neck pickup is very bright, as is the bridge but with a little more bite for rythim or artificial harmonics. Not a lot of low-end growl, so I would not recommend it with a Boss Metal Zone or any other really treble heavy stompboxes.

Overall Impression — 9
I have been a longtime fan of the Korean ESP, but a first time owner. Great guitar for the heavy stuff. Very comfortable to play with the body contours and weight distribution. If this guitar was lost or stolen I would have no hesitation to buying another.

Reliability & Durability — 8
So far this guitar is every bit as good as the day it came home. Neck is still straight as an arrow. Nice toggle switch too. Strap buttons are big and quite solid, which is rare these days. I would gig with this with no backup provided I had an extra 9 volt! I'm a little concerned about the finish in the long run, satin finishes tend to show scuffs and oils (from forearm or palm) quite visibly, but really as a workhorse guitar, small concern!

Action, Fit & Finish — 10
This factory setup was quite good. I have played many ESP's where I thought the action was a little too low, but not this one. Intonation was dead on, I raised the pickups a litttle as you can have EMG's very close to the strings without worrying about any magnetic fields killing string vibration. All that stuff is to be expected though (personal preference). Finish, frets, woods, hardware, nut, and everything else were exceptional.

Features — 9
This was made in 2006 and is the replacement to last years anniversary series. Made in Korea, 24 jumbo frets, mahogany body, ebony fretboard, set neck, EMG 81/60 pickups. It has a satin finish, string thru body, Tune-O-Matic bridge, 1 volume 1 tone, and Grover tuners.

64 comments sorted by best / new / date

    ibanezeric82
    nik_I wrote: what's the difference between this and the EC-400?
    i've got a 400. and the differences are that the 400 has a stop tailpiece instead of a string-thru-body setup. also, it has TWO volume knobs instead of one, and has a gloss finish instead of satin.
    0Berserker
    jesus.... naaaah not jesus...ESP!!! what a guitar i;ll buy one as soon as my paycheck come around
    The_Man_IV
    Insane Esp wrote: FUCK U U BRITISH ASSHOLE NO ONE LIKES U FUCKING "BLOODY BRITISH FUCKS". THIS GUITAR SUCKS GET A LES PAUL IF UR GOING FOR THE BODY. IF NOT, THEN GO WITH THE EXPLORER OR THE LTD THEIR A LOT BETTER THAN THIS PEICE OF SHIT.
    Whoa...go back to bed....
    arowana1027
    I own this guitar and love it!! I'm replacing the CRAPPY emg's with some Rockfield SWV's, to get more of a vintage tone. This guitar plays awesome otherwise.
    serpenttongue
    I own this guitar and it is incredible for the money. Obviously I would prefer a gibson les paul, but I dont have 2000 to spend on a guitar....as of yet But this guitar is still INCREDIBLE, even the clean tone is nice, and my portable amp is PATHETIC, yet it still sounds nice.
    LoveIsHell
    this is a nice guitar, i prefer the ec 1000 but could only afford the 500 at the time. Its good for beginners and for small gigs. But for big live stage gigs id go for the 1000. Overall this is a nice guitar for the price! Dunno why people talk up les pauls on here...they're not that great! Id prefer the ec 1000 to be honest!
    dr_92
    LoveIsHell wrote: this is a nice guitar, i prefer the ec 1000 but could only afford the 500 at the time. Its good for beginners and for small gigs. But for big live stage gigs id go for the 1000. Overall this is a nice guitar for the price! Dunno why people talk up les pauls on here...they're not that great! Id prefer the ec 1000 to be honest!
    how is this good for beginners? the ec-50 is good for beginners, this isnt exactly a cheap guitar, i mean theres a price difference n all between us bur here in australia its $1849. of course the ec 1000 is gonna be better but this is anything but a beginner guitar
    dr_92
    the second reviewer said it has been criticised for its clean sound is that because its clean sound is bad, or because its really clean for an esp?
    dr_92
    ec_andrew wrote: the ec 2005 ltd is better than this!!!!!
    HOW IS IT BETTER ITS EXACTLY THE SAME BESIDES THE MODEL NAME AT 12th FRET!!!!!????
    dr_92
    Metalic Demon wrote: it looks like a les paul to me
    you look like a les paul to me
    j-p500
    I own an LTD ec-500 olympic white(2007 i think)ive tried an ec-1000 before buying it and i didn't feel it was worth paying more for the 1000 since to me wasn't playing that much better than the 500..isn'T the only difference between the 2 of them the loking tuners on the 1000??
    !Schecter!
    gee have you played one dumbass? they play amazing just as good as a gibson, but they don't weigh 50 pounds and aren't 2000 bucks
    ironBLSmaiden wrote: how can you like these guitars, i'de feel digusted playin one because they're all rip off guitars of other brands
    jmf283
    BassWODM wrote: ESP guitars are good but, if your looking for an amazing guitar for very little money go with a Schecter, I'd trust my Schecter Damien FR over any Gibson or Fender
    I'm with you, I have a CSH-1 with a Gibson Dirty Finger PU in the bridge and it screams. I've owned Fenders, Gibsons, and Jacksons...but the Schecter blows 'em all away I totally agree, is
    jmf283
    dr_92 wrote: Metalic Demon wrote: it looks like a les paul to me -hahaha you look like a les paul to me
    Carrot
    arowana1027 wrote: I own this guitar and love it!! I'm replacing the CRAPPY emg's with some Rockfield SWV's, to get more of a vintage tone. This guitar plays awesome otherwise.
    can i hav your EMG's please?
    dupaman
    i like ESP's version of the les paul better then Gibson's cause it looks cooler how its 'sharper' i might get one of these they look really awesome, cheap (from the right websites) and have sick features (pickups, fretboard material, 24 frets etc)
    unknownpunkrock
    j-p500 wrote: I own an LTD ec-500 olympic white(2007 i think)ive tried an ec-1000 before buying it and i didn't feel it was worth paying more for the 1000 since to me wasn't playing that much better than the 500..isn'T the only difference between the 2 of them the loking tuners on the 1000??
    The EC 1000's seems almost like the have almost too much of the pearly stuff on the, around the body, the inlay and the headstock http://www.espguitars.com/guitars_deluxe... l the thing I like about the EC 1000 just by looking at it though, is that it's more white then the EC 500
    bassman213293
    ec_andrew wrote: the ec 2005 ltd is better than this!!!!!
    and how much more expensive is the ec-2005? not all of us have money coming out of our ass.
    Arnthor
    Whats the difference between a EC-500 and a EC-1000? Is the EC-1000 really worth a extra 200 just for the Deluxe logo and Locking tuners (which i could buy for 50 and install myself)
    ec_andrew
    ec_andrew wrote: the ec 2005 ltd is better than this!!!!! and how much more expensive is the ec-2005? not all of us have money coming out of our ass. i got mine for 500 pounds...
    SaintsinneR82
    for my money,Ill take esp's stuff over gibson 9 times outta 10...played a buncha gibson,and tho they sound great and look awesome,they cant beat the value of any esp's ec lines 500 and up...plus nowadays gibson arent that realiable..my friend has a $1400 studio,that he constantly has trouble with and wishes he got the LTD...i loved my viper i wish i never sold it,but my ec500 kills it in every way and im very happy with it
    dark_arts
    Would someone mind telling me where I can find this online? Seems like no one's selling them anymore. I tried all the ebay sites, nothing on them :'-(.
    headbanger84
    hi guys,i'm David from Italy! i need this guitar...is someone selling it? do you know where i can find it? thanks.
    ironBLSmaiden
    how can you like these guitars, i'de feel digusted playin one because they're all rip off guitars of other brands
    Insane Esp
    FUCK U U BRITISH ASSHOLE NO ONE LIKES U FUCKING "BLOODY BRITISH FUCKS". THIS GUITAR SUCKS GET A LES PAUL IF UR GOING FOR THE BODY. IF NOT, THEN GO WITH THE EXPLORER OR THE LTD THEIR A LOT BETTER THAN THIS PEICE OF SHIT.
    BassWODM
    ESP guitars are good but, if your looking for an amazing guitar for very little money go with a Schecter, I'd trust my Schecter Damien FR over any Gibson or Fender
    CaptainInternet
    Insane Esp wrote: FUCK U U BRITISH ASSHOLE NO ONE LIKES U FUCKING "BLOODY BRITISH FUCKS". THIS GUITAR SUCKS GET A LES PAUL IF UR GOING FOR THE BODY. IF NOT, THEN GO WITH THE EXPLORER OR THE LTD THEIR A LOT BETTER THAN THIS PEICE OF SHIT.
    1 word: Wanker. Think about it.
    Mr.Tea
    I wanna get an ESP. I think i'm gunna go with this one it sound awesoem.(but i'd put on a kahler) Also about the ESP and other companies copying the Les paul, thats dumb they are different!
    Shinozoku
    Shib: Because they use batteries to drive the signal before it gets to the amp, so the amp doesn't have to work as hard to distort the sound. Because of this, the notes are also more defined. At least, that's how I understand it. Someone else could probably explain it better, that's just what I've heard.
    DeathByStereo23
    EC-300 is the best you ever owned? Try japanese ESP and you'll notice the differences.....trust me....
    High_o
    dude, he didn;t say the ec300 is the best guitar full stop, he said its the best guitar he's ever owned. and it probably is.
    Xeus
    looks real nice! Doesnt Gibson have a problem with the whole single cut thing though?
    Shinozoku
    Xeus wrote: looks real nice! Doesnt Gibson have a problem with the whole single cut thing though?
    Not really, no. Tons of guitar companies have single-cutaway instruments reminiscent of the Les Pauls. But Jackson has issues with the RR shape...
    DaBlackE
    Xeus wrote: looks real nice! Doesnt Gibson have a problem with the whole single cut thing though?
    I don't think Gibson ever went after ESP over this shape, I think they did on their Explorer type model, that's why they got pointed headstocks instead of the "hockey stick" style you see on earlier ESP/ltds. Gibson did try to sue PRS over their Singlecut model, which resulted in the company to stop making it for 2 or 3 years, but they didn't win and now it's back. Gibson also sued Ibanez back in the late 70s & early 80s for copying the Les Paul style too.
    falafel
    it looks cool 8) 81's are good stuff to my new guitar has got one at the bridge