LTD FX-400 review by ESP

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  • Sound: 8
  • Overall Impression: 7
  • Reliability & Durability: 9
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 7
  • Features: 7
  • Reviewer's score: 7.6 Good
  • Users' score: 8.6 (54 votes)

Sound — 8
It doesnt't have a bad sound at all. The 60 pulls a more bluely, melodic tone while the 81 delivers a more intense sound with a good amount of bite to it. I played this one out of my Peavey Triple XXX. As most all ESP (or LTD in this case) guitars I've played, this one was pretty noiseless. On clean it can played very smooth with a very rich sound, and distorted is can deliver a sound with, as I said earlier, a good amount of bite, as well as warmth, as well as smooth harmonics. The down side to the tone is the sustain is extremely weak. Either that or Ibanez spoiled me when it comes to sustain. Yet it does work well enough when it comes to the music I play which is mostly metal, with blues, classical, classic rock and them some in between.

Overall Impression — 7
For being a metal guitarist, it doesnt't match me too well. I play lots of lead and this doesnt't offer that lead room as much with the 22 XJ frets on a Set-Neck. I prefer 24 XJ neck-thru. If this were stolen or lost, I would not buy another, in fact, I would just save up for a ESP. I love the look with the whole natural wood along with it's maple top giving it such a nice aged look. I hate the fact that it has no lockings, is unbalenced, and isint that much of a lead guitar. Comparing this to the other ESP/LTDs I got, which was the LTD V-500, and the ESP Eclipse-II, this is by far, my least favorite. It is a interesting touch, but just does not work for me. If your a metal rhythm player, don't care about unbalencedness, and want a Explorer shape guitar, by all means, go for this guitar! Yet for all the lead players out there or people like me Who hate an unbalenced feel stay away. This guitar will not please you in anyway other then looks.

Reliability & Durability — 9
ESP makes durable guitars. I know that for sure due to the fact that I've played a couple of them Live and have had my ESP LTD EC-1000 for a few years and it has not ever given out on me. This guitar, I'm pretty sure will stand Live playing. The hardware seems like it will last but possible fade back to it's chrome finish. The strap buttons and solid, just unbalanced. I feel I can depending it but at a gig, I wouldn't even use it as a backup because I personally HATE using unbalenced guitars Live. The finish seems unnoticeable. You can't really tell there is a finish there. So even if it does where you'll never notice so there is not much I can say there. Throughout, I'm if you don't mind unbalenced guitars, that it will work Live, no problem.

Action, Fit & Finish — 7
As usual, ESP gave me some problems with factory set-up. I always get this from the LTD's but never the ESP's. ESP are perfect guitars. Back onto the problem, the action straight from the factory had a slight overbow. Both that and the bridge had to be adjusted to get rid of the fret static. The neck pickup was slightly too low when adjusted. Yet the great thing I find about ESP LTD models is there always routed properly, which means, none of the guitar shocking me crap. The finish itself came with no visible flaws on the finish at all. This is typical of most LTD's yet gets annoying, it's part of the reason why I switched to ESP's now.

Features — 7
This is one of the last guitars my uncle gave me when he went on his purchase-spree of the new ESP Models. He gave me this one along with a few others. This is of course, a newer 2007 Model, made in Korea. It is a interesting mix of the EX series with a more natural look, along with F headstock, and that same EMG tone. First off, it has 24.75" 5 peice mahogany/maple set-neck with 22 XJ frets on a rosewood fingerboard, abalone dot inlay, topped with a Earvanna Compensated nut. The headstock is the one off the F series with Grover tuners. The body is the EX shape (a Explorer with sharper edges), made of mahogany wood with a maple spalted maple top with a natural satin finish that really shows the beauty of the wood (or at least I think so). The wood itself looks very natural yet aged in a way. The hardware include a 2 peice Tune-o-matic bridge with a black nickle color. It features Active EMG 81(B)/60(N) pickups controlled by a toggle, volume knob, and tone knob. The look is very interesting, with a huge natural touch on it and, in my own opinion, it has a enhanced look with the F series headstock. It came with the basic tools to adjust it along with a little ESP sticker (sticker was from my uncle though). It offers as much as your average guitar and handles well, yet has this annoying unbalenced feel to it. The fact that it features no locking what-so-ever may bug many, including me.

18 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Hmmm, seems the site didn't record the price I paid for mine. It was around 465 from
    I have owned my FX for nearly a year now. Play it hard wipe it off and do it again, it holds up great. The jack has a plastic mount so be careful pulling around heavy cords or getting snagged and pulling loose with the guitar, it WILL break. The Pickups are what you should expect from EMG. The guitar is Mahogany so the sound is great. Stay lite with the strings. The neck it sort or "hanging out there" and Super heavy strings (low E .50 or higher) really tax the neck and you will have to adjust the Truss Rod to compensate, still wont sound Right though (my opinion only) I play it with .48 low E and .10 Hi E and it is great. I'm a Big Guy so I moved the back strap mount up about 3 1/2 inches higher. Made the guitar MUCH more balanced and slung it where I like it. Also, the thing just hates guitar stage stands...BE CAREFUL not to crater the top rear "point" and not let it fall over to the right in the stand. The bottom is not level (obviously) and it will go over if you bump it and the strap is not across the neck. Other wise Great Guitar man. If you can afford the Gibson Explorer (I own one also) buy it. But the truth is...they are two completely different guitars sound and feel wise. Not in a bad way, but in a very good way. Play both you will see what I Mean. Cheers
    If by "Fall" you mean it goes down?, Yeah it does, a little bit, but not THAT much, it wont hit the ground at any time, it just goes a little bit down because this guitar's shape is not 100% balanced. BUT That wont affect your play performance, as long as you got ONE of your hands on the guitar , it will stay still. THe sound if this guitar is great, it sounds AWESOME distorted, and INCREDIBLE on a clean channel. I recomend it. I own one.
    Hi, I have a question about this guitar. Does the neck fall when you play in stand up position ?? excuse my english i'm french.
    ChrisJr03 wrote: The first review saved me from wasting my money on that guitar. While it looks nice, apparently it plays bad.
    it's made of mahogany and has 2 sure fire EMGS. im sure if u set it up (lowered the action,adjusted truss rod if neccesary,adjusted the pickup height) it would be a great ax.
    ChrisJr03 wrote: The first review saved me from wasting my money on that guitar. While it looks nice, apparently it plays bad.
    Just goes to show you shouldn't believe all that you read. I bought one, it's a dream to play. You missed out my friend. Happy New Year
    The first review saved me from wasting my money on that guitar. While it looks nice, apparently it plays bad.
    To the first reviewer: your "Reliability and Durability" section looks like it was written by a 5 year old lol...good review otherwise, though.
    What do you mean when you say no lockings? Locking tremolo, locking tuners? You could either be a noob who has read other reviews and tried to BS a review, or you're guitar illiterate. I personally wouldn't go for the FX series. I prefer the traditional explorers but I'm more into shred guitars now.
    muso_ chris wrote: its not original, it looks like a gibson explorer.
    They changed the guitars, they had too because of the lawsuit thing ages ago. It has sharp edges instead of the rounded off ones, so the ESP/Ltd explorer styled bodies are more unique then the thousands of other brands taking the traditional explorer and not changing a thing
    The Novice
    YOU'RE BEING GIVEN ESPs ?! Even though it's LTD but still, what the hell man?! Share with your fellow UG'ers (me)
    jester ed
    I'm really thinking of buying a new guitar but I can't decide whether to buy the FX- or EX-400. Good reviews!
    So you got the guitar from your Uncle? But when YOU got it straight from the factory, the set-up was bad? Do you work for Gibson?