Price paid: $ 1140
Purchased from: Guitar World
Sound — 9
I play lots of metal and fast riffage, and the neck of this guitar is absolutely superb for just that. The neck is very thin and fast, so soloing is a breeze. At the moment I've got it hooked up to a DigiTech Death Metal Pedal, and through to a Hues & Kettner 75W Amp, and it sounds amazing turned up, though that has been rare as of late (stupid apartment living). It's sound is very crisp and rich, thanks to the wonderful EMG on the neck, and very smooth and full with the bridge pickup. There's no noise, it's Artificial harmonics are crazygood, and I love making sound effects with it (a-la Dragonforce)and it's an overall very fun guitar to play. It's shape is great to play while standing, though playing while seated can be cumbersome for some people.
Overall Impression — 9
A must try for ESP enthusiasts, this guitar is great, especially compared to my old gear (Warlock) I've been playing guitar for about 6 years now, and this is by far my favorite guitar I've ever played by a long shot. If only it had an original Floyd Rose. Not much else I have to say. Well, if you ever see this guitar in a shop, I highly recommend you give it a test jam. I assure you'll be very impressed. This has been a review from your friendly fret-flying fox.
Reliability & Durability — 9
I have no doubt that the FX-400 will perform exceptionally well on stage, the thrashing they have endured so far has proved that somewhat. It's very sturdy, the strap buttons are immovable, overall very dependable, so much so that I don't think I'd need a second guitar on stage (nor would I be able to afford one now). The semi-gloss finish on it is very smooth and shiny, but not so shiny that it's distracting, which is good, otherwise it would probably take away from the magnificent wood top. It doesn't seem very worn as of yet, however only time will tell if it is as long-lasting as I hope.
Action, Fit & Finish — 10
Right from the factory, this guitar was built exceptionally well, the pickups were perfect, the body was very clean and smooth, no rough edges, the action was spot on, absolutely no flaws. Exactly what I'd expect from a top-level brand like ESP. The bridge seems accurately made, as does the top and head. The electronics seem to be in good working order. So far I haven't had a single problem, having the guitar for just over a year now.