LTD EX-400 review by ESP

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  • Sound: 10
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 7
  • Features: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 9.2 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.6 (202 votes)
ESP: LTD EX-400
13

Sound — 10
I like me my metal and this guitar is perfect. The active EMG's pick up every thing. I just got a Randall RG100 G3 series and it howls through this thing. The clean tone is even pretty cool too. If you have the volume up high through the 81, it's got a great dirty sound and there's a nice warm sound through the neck 60. Even when it's not plugged in, it makes a decent acoustic, louder than most electrics anyway.

Overall Impression — 10
I love this guitar. I can't stop playing it. It's a metal-head's dream guitar but it'll play those other genres just as well. I've been playing for about 5 years now. Up until I got this, I was playing an Ibanez RG170. I always thought it was a great guitar until I got my ESP. I tried other similar guitars when I was looking for this one (Jackson Kelly, LTD Viper, etc) but they just didn't stand out like this one has. I'd definately get this guitar again if it was stolen (maybe in a dark blue though).

Reliability & Durability — 10
I've had this guitar for 5 months now and not a single problem. It's got a lot of jagged edges sticking out and I have banged it a few times and it's fine. I'm not the type to go to a gig without a backup but I'm confident that I'll never have to use it.

Action, Fit & Finish — 7
I'm really just too picky in this department. The action is great on the three high strings but I had to raise the lower strings because they were buzzing too much. The pickups were a little too close to the strings for my liking. There's some cracks in the finish on the back of the guitar but they're on the back so I'm not too choked about it. One odd thing on mine is the tuning peg for the low E is too close to the neck. It rubs when I go from standard to drop-D and has taken a chunk of the finish off.

Features — 9
This is the Explorer-style body. I went with the plain black (not the faux-metal plating) because it has all the same features for $150 less. I couldn't justify spending that much extra for a cosmetic thing. The one drawback is the cutaway isn't big enough and it's tough to play up in the 22nd fret range for too long. But if you're like me and only go up there for the big finish then it's fine. I didn't get any accessories with it. They didn't even have a case for the shape but it fits (albeit awkwardly) in my acoustic guitar gig bag.

74 comments sorted by best / new / date

    cloud5975
    $915 dollars!?!?!? Whoa! You got ripped! It's $599 at my local music store, Kelley's music.
    ripcord94
    Bebbo wrote: i don't like the explorer -style/shaping...
    Well,,, your a dick
    Shinozoku
    the capta1n wrote: did you bump your head Ali? This guitar is also an ESP. Get your head in the game son.
    Ltd =/= ESP. They're close, but ESPs play sooo much better than the LTD series. So do the Japanese Edwards models. I want one of these for my super drop-tuned melo-death stuff and I'm lookin for reviews, haven't found a bad one yet on here or HC.
    HeavyMetalDevil
    I've bought this guitar (Olympic White) today and it's AWESOME. I would recommend it to anyone who's lucking for a guitar with a nice look and a sweet, long sustain.
    the capta1n
    did you bump your head Ali? This guitar is also an ESP. Get your head in the game son.
    the capta1n
    Ali-b912 wrote: markonavich wrote: Can a whammy bar be attached to this guitar? with alot of saw usage yes. or u could use one of those bigsby sort of ones that bolt on top. but that wouldnt look very metal. i wanna one in white. just like hetfields...except his is an ESP. balls if im gonna pay the 5000 or whatever it is for an EXP tho...
    qotsa1998
    markonavich wrote: Can a whammy bar be attached to this guitar?
    Yea. You could get a top-mounting Kahler trem, which im pretty sure is a Floyd Rose-style trem that mounts into the Tune-o-Matic holes.
    deathmagnetic01
    "Oh, be careful around it though. I punctured my wall with the headstock when I turned around standing too close to the wall. it's sharp and dangerous" Goddamn, do i play it or hit vikings with it? U make it sound like we should use it to solve the american border problem!
    deathmagnetic01
    glowskulls wrote: sweeet, i'm only 600 short of it. gayyyyy, can't decide wether it's better in black or white though, black = metal to the maxx, white = more contrast, less of a filthy goffer. fuucking confusingg.
    Actually, the white is also metal, i can't look at the wight one without thinking "eet fuk"
    ripcord94
    Cpt. FLue wrote: im sorry... but they DO have a hardcase to the explorer series... it just don't come with the guitar
    Yeah, i got the 50, and it fits in a case that i got from mother's music, Saskatoon, fits just snugly, but the case is as long as my car is wide!
    Kazue00
    I got the EX-400 and the F-400 I love my EX, replaced the 60 with another 81.. Only complaint about it was that it was neck heavy but its nothing big.. i do have to say though my F-400 is quite better xD
    BulletCrazy
    i just wish it had 24 frets. floyd rose is awesome and stuff but its a bitch wen u try to change tunings.
    AlexAvarice
    I played on this guitar for a good two hours and loved it. My only problem was soloing on the higher frets. it felt like razors when I tried to do slides. I hope it was just a dud guitar, because everything else was amazing.
    thrash-til-deth
    I CAN ONLY AFFORD THE EX-260 MODEL DO YOU THINK I SHOULD SAVE UP FOR THE EX-400? IS IT WORTH THE EXTRA MONEY?
    DamagedJustice1
    yeah save up for the ex-401(the new model) or save up for the ex-401dx that thing looks damn sexy dont get the 260 its made of shit wood and shit pick ups. u want emgs they are amazing
    espex400
    eetfuk01 wrote: i heard these guitars have fat necks. is that true? i would also like to know this
    not true, i have this guitar, the neck is BEAUTIFUL for lightning fast solos, heavy riffs, anything, very nice neck.
    Minivirus2
    Had this guitar for several years. Haven't ever been able to get a really good action. Will be taking it to a profession tech soon to have that sorted and dropped to C standard. Will be my Jesper impersonation guitar
    MaNtIc
    Lots of you must have tiny hands, because the neck is really thin.
    thatmikedude
    i have the wayne static signature ex. it definitely is way awesome and yeah the neck is kind of fat but its the perfect width for doing heavy chording then lightning solos
    DunUltex
    i have one of these and yes, i almost litterally is built like a damn tank! about month after i got it, i put it on its stand, and i didnt realise that my foot was caught in the strap and BANG! the poor thing landed face first onto the ground i was SHATTERED, i was pannicing that it was completely f*ck*d, but i looked at it from its headstock to the bridge, not a crack anywhere i was really actually suprized great guitar, i play it through a Randall RX 75RG2 (i was going through a MAJOR Metallica phase) i play it in drop C (Bullet For My Valentine, Children of Bodom, Metallica's St. Anger album) and it sounds great =)
    DropC09
    Alright... I will trade anyone my 2009 Schecter Hellraiser solo-6 for one of these!
    Vitooch
    they HAAAAVE to come back with the rounded ones again, theyre perfect.. way better shape, emgs, white...simply hetfield. thats the only reason i dont really wana buy this cuz the new shape i no liky, i guess its the same right? just the shape, but i dont realy like it compared to the old one.
    stage4saiyan
    I'm getting one of these with my income tax refund. Getting it in Olympic White...I'm gonna be so tempted to take a Sharpie and write "EETFUK" on it haha
    eetfuk01
    i heard these guitars have fat necks. is that true?
    i would also like to know this
    ChrisJAMESS
    This guitar is on clearance right now at many stores and online if you're interested!!
    Levi79
    i might be getting this guitar this weekend used, hope its in good shape
    J.J.G.
    markonavich wrote: Can a whammy bar be attached to this guitar?
    dont do that, you will lose sustain and the floyd will not work so well as it was suposed. trust me i already saw that happening once to the lead guitarist of my band, lol the guy got pissed with the guitar center tech . Don't ruin this great guitar.
    groose
    ^I have it on my other guitar, one reason why I'm getting the ex-400
    groose
    If it only had 24 frets that was easy to reach it would be my dream guitar, tho I'm still buying it in black! I hate the trem bar, it's a b**** to change strings and tune it, tho dive bombs rule!
    blakiss
    my friends getting one for christmas, there pretty sweet, i played one at Axe Music one time
    Spanky Dude
    i dream to have on of these. i played one in a shop and it blew me away..or was that the AMP?
    silencesoloud
    I've got one of these in olympic white, and it played like a damn dream right out of the box. Perfect action, incredible sound, couldn't ask for more in a metal guitar.
    spoonfulofshred
    To add to my review: The action is great. I've got it set up now the way I like it. I wish I could change the rating to a 9.
    Kain_Doom01
    I have this guitar, it's great isn't it? I'm gonna put an order in for a custom with a floyd rose for the "fun" solos, but this one's my main, it plays so damn well for its price!
    KaiserX
    i had the same problem on my EC-2005 (the anniversary edition) with the action being too low, but it extends to the G.