LTD Viper-100 FM Review

manufacturer: ESP date: 05/10/2013 category: Electric Guitars
ESP: LTD Viper-100 FM
The gorgeous flamed maple top on an agathis body provides edge and substance to the thick, gritty tone that comes blasting out of 2 ESP LH-100 humbuckers. Black hardware gives it a dark, sultry look, while the stopbar tailpiece and bolt-on maple neck lend miles of sustain.
 Sound: 9.3
 Overall Impression: 9.3
 Reliability & Durability: 9.4
 Action, Fit & Finish: 9.4
 Features: 9.1
 Overall rating:
 Reviewer rating:
 Users rating:
reviews (7) pictures (3) 36 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 8.6
LTD Viper-100 FM Reviewed by: Sameagleye, on november 15, 2012
5 of 5 people found this review helpful

Purchased from: Guitar City - Michigan

Features: in 2005 LTD introduced the Viper 100FM, a hard hitting sleek guitar that takes after a Gibson SG. This guitar is great for playing Metal as well as most other ESP/LTD guitars. It's only available in trasparent black but this thing sounds pretty damn good. It's not the best guitar you can buy, but it's worth a try. // 8

Sound: This Guitar is best suited for Metal or hard rock. It's kinda thick so you get pretty good sustain.So if you play a little on the heaveir side this guitar should make you happy (especially at the price). Right now I'm using the Viper 100fm with a Krank Krankensien (head and cab) on mostly the Dime channel, unless I'm using my DigiTech Death Metal Ditortion. I'm using mostly the bridge pickup on a high gain and low sound (H:3 M:3 L:7 Gain:10). It's got a real nice fit for that Pantea sound, or even BLS or Metallica styles. It's not that noisy, only a tad bit of feedback because of the high gain. The guitar dosn't have very much variety but the hard rock metal sound kicks ass! // 9

Action, Fit & Finish: The guitar came ready to f--kin' rock right outa the factory. Everything was aligned perfectly, the action on the neck was great for solo or rythm, the pickups were sraight and the finnish was amazing. Everything was already alighned perfect, all I had to do was go home and plug it in. // 10

Reliability & Durability: I think overall this guitar is pretty durable. You could probably play for quite some time without serious repair. Although it's no Gibson as far a durability, it should do quite well on stage. I've used it at a couple of gigs, and I was quite reliable. It will last a while. // 8

Overall Impression: Iv'e been playing for only 2 years but, iv'e played Gibson, Fender, Dean, all the big ones. Yeah they're better, but for the price, it's a must. 300 bucks and you got a damn good guitar. I have a Gibson Les Paul Studio, a Charvel Randy Roahds V, an Epiphone SG, and a Dean ML as well as this and lately iv'e been stickin' with the LTD for metal puposes. If it were stolen I would gete it again, it's pretty cool, and it's only 300 bucks versus Gibsons 2000 bucks. So overall, if you're into heavier music, the LTD Viper 100FM is a good guitar worth checking out. // 8

Was this review helpful to you? Yes / No
Post your comment
overall: 9.2
LTD Viper-100 FM Reviewed by: LoW, on november 15, 2012
2 of 5 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 425.25

Features: Absolutely awesome, not-so-different-than-50-model, 24 fret 24/75" Scale guitar including ESP LH-100 humbuckers, this is sweet looking curvy guitar! It has Tone-O-Matic bride style, black hardware, maple neck, Active electronics and It has volume and tone controls/ 3-way toggle. I got a Case and a strap with it. Case is called Rockbag and it's made by Warwick. It has space for cables, notes, picks and for many more! Strap is by planet wawes, and it has good little tight pocket for a pick. Its body style is kinda same with Gibson's SG model, and it's finish is flamed top in top and agathis body. The best thing is, that it has xtra jumbo frets and it has thin bridge. // 10

Sound: I play a lot of heavy metal and '80s and '70s hard rock so humbuckers are best in that job. I use as my amp a 15 wat H&K blue edition amp. It's kinda noisy but not much, and it has very full sound and bright too. This is perfect for effects and sound making! You can depend on it! You can use it to play anything from Slipknot to Coldplay! // 9

Action, Fit & Finish: It had nothing when I bought it. Except that after 4 months its volume control dropped off bcause of its bolt but it was easy to get it back to it's place. And after 7 months its neck pickups bolt was too loose so I have to get it tight but otherwise it was in perfect shape. // 8

Reliability & Durability: I have played it many times with this live and it never fails me, specially in cover songs like 'Opeth: Grand Conjuration' and Stratovarius: Maniac Dance'. It's distortion is awesome and you an trust this guitar. And yes, I think it will last long enough! // 10

Overall Impression: I have nothing else to say about this: it's great, you should buy it! Only thing in this could be better is the noise it makes specially when You use high lead. And if it would get stoled, I would buy maybe 200 serie guitar. I love the distortion and hate the difficulty of chancening of the strings. Really it's kinda hard to do it! // 9

Was this review helpful to you? Yes / No
Post your comment
overall: 9.2
LTD Viper-100 FM Reviewed by: unregistered, on november 15, 2012
2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 320

Purchased from: Ottawa Music - Kansas

Features: Not sure what year it was made, but it was manufactured in Indonesia. Has 24 frets that are evenly placed along the fretboard, not too hard to navigate. The neck is silky smooth to the touch and really stands apart from the friction-y feel of some of the other necks. The finish is what drew me to it, and the shape. Mine almost looks green under any kind of light, which gives it certain character. The bridge is perfect for setting intonation, if you know what you are doing. This guitar was my first real baby, and I bought it second hand, not bad at all for the price. Stays perfectly in tune if you've got the right set of strings (I normally use D'Addarios). It was a little dinged up when I got it and has suffered a few battlescars under my watch, mostly due to the absence of any case. // 9

Sound: The sound generated by the pickups are nothing that would turn heads under normal circumstances. I usually have to turn on a chorus or crank up the bass on the amp to get any real warmth out of the humbuckers. Metal distortion is where this guitar really shines, you can pick out every riff played. It's crisp, resonating and pleasing to my ears. Currently I am playing is through a Marshall MG-10 amp and a Boss ME-20 multi-fx pedal, but when I do run it through my baby (Spider II HD 150 w/ Peavey Bass Cabs) this guitar can really tread any ground. When I play clean, I usually defer to the neck pickup. For any metal, I use the bridge setup. I am going through a phase where I play alot of fuzzrock, and the neck is good for that. // 9

Action, Fit & Finish: Since I was an entry level guitar player when I bought this, I didn't have alot of reference when it came to how a real guitar should feel. There was a period where I really struggled with the setup of this guitar. A few lessons of guitar care and I was able to fix that and now it plays just as I want it to. This thing is pretty durable, as well. As I've said it's survived a few dings and the input jack even came loose one time. Other than that there isn't a thing I could complain about. // 9

Reliability & Durability: I've played extended jam sessions with various people and this guitar handles alot. I've tuned it down to drop B, and while we practice I regularly switch between standard and Drop D tunings. The straps are bolted ten feet deep, they never budged, and with my locking strap I can really put my mind at ease. The finish holds up very well, other than the chips at the sides, and at the top of the curvy headstock. // 9

Overall Impression: Overall, this guitar has grown on me. It was my first real axe and shall continue to guide me on the path to rock-dom. Even when I bump up to something different, I don't really think I could ever banish this guitar in any sense. It's durability has showed me that it can go the distance. This is a struggling musicians guitar. The quality put into this guitar is an assured footnote to ESP when I continue to throw money into the bottomless pit that is my hobby. // 10

Was this review helpful to you? Yes / No
Post your comment
overall: 9.2
LTD Viper-100 FM Reviewed by: vanilla_ice2790, on november 15, 2012
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 240

Purchased from: Musician's Friend

Features: This ESP has a sleek, black with tiger stripes finish. It has a 24-fret maple neck, that is decently thin enough to move around freely and quickly. The body is a sicker looking Gibson SG, with a bit of a slant. This body has a good look to it, and even though it only comes in black, I don't think it could look better in any other color. It has a two control knobs, one for volume and another for tone control, as well as a 3-way pickup selector. The pickups are ESP made, so I wouldn't call them the best, but they definetly get the job done. Like most ESP's, they give you that amazing sound over distortion for heavier genres. // 8

Sound: I play a general metalcore, nu-metal, and a small amount of 80's hard rock on the side. This guitar suit's it perfect- I get exactly what I want out of it. I only use a Fender 15 watt Frontman 15R, but I've played on bigger amps and through multiple pedals and this guitar does not disappoint. Probably not the best guitar you could buy, but for this price, I would buy anything over it. A pickup change could probably do someone a good deal, but the ESP's it comes with do a fine job for me. // 9

Action, Fit & Finish: This guitar was ready to go as soon as I got it. The finish was shiney and still is, and everything was perfectly alligned. I did look at my friend's Viper-100 a few days ago, and the pickups were alligned differently, but mine were fine. The bridge, nut, finish, pickups, you name it, were all good. Ten out of ten from me. // 10

Reliability & Durability: I have never had any problems with this guitar. I've taken it on the road with me, I've put it through some serious playing sessions, and I don't even have a case for it. This body feels solid, and it most defintely is. Maybe if you burn it the finish will be ruined, but I don't intend to do so. // 10

Overall Impression: This guitar is worth buying, No Doubt. I bought it for the major distortion handling that I heard it had, and I got just that. It will suit someone who plays things from GnR to Metallica, and then even to Killswitch Engage with the right distortion. If I had to pick something to change about this guitar, it would be the pickups. Other then that, the feel and sound are good. // 9

Was this review helpful to you? Yes / No
Post your comment
overall: 10
LTD Viper-100 FM Reviewed by: jeffo46, on november 15, 2012
0 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 160

Purchased from: Guitar Center

Features: Not sure of the year, but it is a used made in China model. It has 24 Jumbo frets, with a Gibson style, thick neck and a I believe, Agathis body. The pickups are ESP LH-150 Humbuckers in both the neck and bridge positions with a 3 way pup switch and a tune-o-matic bridge. The finish is a transparent Black which looks absolutely stunning IMO. The tuners are stock ESP's and these hold tuning very well. // 10

Sound: I had to adjust the pickups so that they were even with the edge of the pickup rings. This way I could get a nice, clear tone and still have sustain at the same time. These stock LH-150 pickups are beasts to say the least, but I also think that the weight of the guitar has a lot to do with the sound of the guitar as well. This is one heavy axe. Which is very reminiscent of a Les Paul as far as the weight is concerned. The sound from this is actually quite good and is capable of handling Classic Rock, Metal, and even Blues. One awesome sounding guitar for sure! // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: The only modification I had to do was to do a truss rod adjustment, that's it. Other than that, the intonation was spot on and the frets on this are perfect with no flaws at all. The transparent finsh is simply stunning while I'm also amazed at how great this guitar can stay in tune for days as well. // 10

Reliability & Durability: Everything on this, is rock solid and IMO, seems to be very durable. I've already have used this at a couple of gigs and have gotten compliments on it. I don't need a backup with this one around. I love this guitar, nuff said! Everything is great on this. // 10

Overall Impression: I'm 53 years old and have been playing now for 40 years and in that time, I've played them all, Fenders, Gibsons, Ibanez, Epiphone, etc. ESP has exceeded my expectations with this model. IMO, this blows away a lot of their current product as far as build and sound are concerned. I can't believe that I got this used and that brand new, these are only selling for $250.00. This is definitely a keeper and isn't going anywhere. // 10

Was this review helpful to you? Yes / No
Post your comment
overall: 10
LTD Viper-100 FM Reviewed by: jeffo46, on november 15, 2012
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 159.99

Purchased from: Guitar Center

Features: This is my 2nd review as seeing that I didn't really give enough info with the 1st one. Looking at the serial number on the back of the headstock and also calling ESP to confirm it, Mine was made in 2010 in China and has a Basswood and not Agathis as I previously stated, body. The neck is Maple with a Rosewood Fretboard with 24 Jumbo Frets and stock ESP Tuners with the LTD Logo on the headstock. The electronics are ESP LH-150 Humbuckers in both the neck, and bridge positions, while the pickup switch is your standard 3 way. The bridge is a tune-o-matic with a tail piece at the end. It has a lovely Transparent Black finish which I think looks really cool and adds a lot of class to this guitar. // 10

Sound: These stock ESP LH-150 humbuckers are a vast improvement over the LH-100s that I had in my old LTD M-15 for sure. These have a much more fuller tone to them and more sustain. IMO though, if you have the height too close to the strings, you are going to get a muddy tone, but then again, that's with any guitar. I have mine set almost even with the edge of the pickup rings and because of that, I'm able to get some nice Classic Rock and Blues sounds with this guitar besides Heavy metal, which this guitar has a major reputation for. It dos sound great through my DigiTech RP-50 as well. For a mid level ESP LTD model, this blows away a lot of Fenders and lower priced Gibsons. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: Mine is a used model and there was some slight fret buzz, so the only thing I really had to do, was a slight truss rod adjustment. The intonation was spot on. I did adjust the pickup height to my own personal settings of course, and other than that, everything else was just fine. I use D'Addario 10's and they sound great with this and stay in tune forever. It is a little neck heavy though, due to the SG design, but that's not a big deal. This guitar does have some nice weight to it for a SG design which adds to the sustain and tone of it IMO. The neck, even though it's rather thick, is very fast and comfortable to play no doubt to the jumbo frets. I could play this one all day. // 10

Reliability & Durability: I've already have played this at a couple of gigs without a backup and it has held up without any problems at all. The finish on this is lovely and adds class to it. I'm very sure with proper care, it'll last. The strap buttons seem to hold up very well, along with the hardware. All in all, this seems to be one solidly, well built instrument. I'm very happy with this guitar, can't you tell? LOL! // 10

Overall Impression: First of all, let me say that I've been playing for 40 years and at 53 years of age, I've played and owned Fenders, Epiphones, Ibanez, and Gibsons. To be honest, I can't believe that this is made in China. The quality of this, is just that damm good. Secondly, this is one of the top 5 guitars that I have have the privilege of owning in my life. I am in love with this axe, and it has earned a pernament place in my collection. I see where these are going for $260.00 brand new. IMO, these are a great investment for either a beginner or a gigging guitarist. ESP has some great product in their LTD line for very reasonable prices. // 10

Was this review helpful to you? Yes / No
Post your comment
overall: 9
LTD Viper-100 FM Reviewed by: carcharodon, on may 10, 2013
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Features: 2013 model, beautifully made in Indonesia (I am amazed at the quality of this guitar... And the price!) 24 fret/2 octave neck, same scale length as Gibson SG? Pretty sure it's a maple neck, attached with 4 screws and and asymmetric plate with "ESP" on it, rosewood fingerboard, has a heel near where the headstock starts, neck is really nice and thick. Body is Basswood, 2 piece, SG style only offset and thicker, dressed away on the upper side. Transparent Black finish with Tiger stripes underneath the lacquer, almost greenish in the light. Gibson SG style body only offset (still a bit neck heavy, but you get used to it... :) Tune-O-Matic bridge with stop tailpiece (all the hardware is smoke finish). 2x Passive ESP humbuckers (no batteries - I like it) 3 way switch: back/middle(both)/front. Maybe the tuners are Gotoh? I don't know. Came well packed in a cardboard box ie. Foam blocks supporting the neck, body etc. 2x allen keys, 1 for truss rod and small one... Not sure? // 9

Sound: Sounds really great, especially for stoner rock, QOTSA, Kyuss, Fu Manchu, Sabbath (well... It is the bastard cousin of the Gibson SG!) It has a really solid sound (bassy, as the guitar is quite heavy) It's not just for distorted rock would be good for any style, jazz etc, really, but chug/death metal is "primo" on this guitar. This is my first ESP/Ltd guitar. I have only used it through a Vox Pathfinder 15R (great little amp for a SS), but tried one in the shop through a Hughes & Kettner 20 watt valve head which sounded good to me ears. Have yet to play it through a 50/100 watt valve amp... Reckon that's what it needs though. The ESP pickups are very quiet and "balanced" sounding. // 9

Action, Fit & Finish: Really well made and setup guitar from the factory, SIT strings it came with are great too. I am really impressed with the overall quality of this guitar! It has a "resonance" to it, as any quality guitar will have. Very SOLID. I love the tiger stripe finish under the lacquer! The red finish is also really nice.I found no floors, only one height adjust screw for the front pickup was wound out... No problemo. All the hardware is top notch too... Tuners feel good, solid etc. All this on a guitar that was only $359! // 9

Reliability & Durability: Have only had the guitar for a couple of weeks so time will tell. To me it seems like a much better built and finished guitar than others costing 4 times the price.I hope the guitar will get some nice character dents etc. With time and usage.I may put strap-locks on it as it is a weighty little sucker. Overall, I have seen used ESP/LTD's that have held up really well to a lot of playing and abuse, having said that, I don't have a case for the viper yet. I use the cardboard box that it came in. You can always paint something with timber paint if ya want to... really. // 9

Overall Impression: I have pretty varied taste in music (Ween, stoner rock (as mentioned above), Tinariwen, metal, death metal, early metal, psych rock, reggae, etc. Have been playing (good and bad) for 20 years. I have played Stratocasters, Mustangs, and this guitar rates very highly. I have an '80s Japanese Stratocaster, and I don't really want to put a humbucker in the bridge position.It is very different to a single coil pickup guitar (they both have their uses). I really like the way it is a contemporary take on the Gibson SG. I tried a few SG copies then realized this guitar was better than most of these, and a quarter of the price! The only slight criticism I would make is the position of the strap button on the horn makes it a bit neck-heavy. You could move it though. There are a lot of great instruments coming from places other than the US these days, this guitar is proof of that. // 9

Was this review helpful to you? Yes / No
Post your comment
Only "https" links are allowed for pictures,
otherwise they won't appear