Sound — 8
It suits my style pretty well. I play stuff from Steve Vai to Metallica to Slayer to Greg Howe. So basically metal, fusion, jazz, guitar virtuoso stuff and shit. I use it with a Line 6 Spider IV 60 Watt. Also I use with some effects pedal by Korg and a compressor by MXR. Its not noisy at all. NEVER. The PUs are as quiet as the dead. Until you play them. And that is where the EMGs are coming in. Usually I like this guitar better on the distorted setting, because on clean, it always sounds like the PUs want to Switch themselves back to the distorted settings, as if they were saying "were METAL pickups"...;) On the distorted settings, it can recreate ALL the sounds needed in the metal context. On clean settings...there is like a powerful loud clean sound, and some other settings which are a little bit more sparkling.
Overall Impression — 9
This guitar is a perfect match for metal, but also for other styles like fusion for Ex. Ive been playing for 7 years now. The other stuff I have is a EPI G-400 and an Ibanez Rg 350 DX WH (my favorite, because of the whammy xD) I would buy it again, if only to have a guitar with a more "crazy" style. Only thing I miss is a FR vibrato bar.
Reliability & Durability — 7
This guitar will deffo withstand live playing. The hardware WILL last. Thats what you expext from a 700 dollar guitar anyway, don't ya? BIG problem are the strap buttons...the one at the neck in the particular. The strap will ALWAYS slide off that fuckin button, which was the reason my guitar fell to the ground while I was on the phone. It is because of that, that I bought strap locks, which will NEVER fall of or whatever. AND it is because of that, that I have seen how thick the finish is...it will last a LONG time. U and deffo depend on it. 7, because of the strap buttons. Yep, they really suck that hard.
Action, Fit & Finish — 9
The guitar was set up PERFECTLY at the factory, although it wasn't tuned properly.
Features — 8
Ok. Now, this is my review of the LTD EX-401 which was made in Indonesia in 2009. It has 22 frets XJ (Jumbo) frets glued into a rosewood fretboard. Neck Scale is the same as most guitars, 24.75 (I think). It has a C shaped neck, at least it says so on the internet, which is made from mahogany, as the rest of the guitar. Its a Solid-Top. It has a white finish which contrasts the mechs. It has the regular Explorer form, although not EXACTLY like a Gibson...its sharper all around. Has a regular Tune-O-Matic bridge, which keeps in tune all the time. As you all now, it has active electronis. Also, it has a 3-way Switch and one tone and volume knob. The pickups are: Neck: EMG 60 Bridge: EMG 81 It has the usual Grover tuners and (in my case) didn't have any accessories.