LTD Viper-400 Review

manufacturer: ESP date: 11/15/2012 category: Electric Guitars
ESP: LTD Viper-400
The Viper 400 features a set neck, 24.75" scale, mahogany body, 3-pc. mahogany neck, rosewood fingerboard, flag inlays w/model name at 12th fret, EMG-81 active set of pickups.
 Sound: 9.1
 Overall Impression: 8.8
 Reliability & Durability: 9
 Action, Fit & Finish: 8.4
 Features: 8.9
 Overall rating:
 Reviewer rating:
 Users rating:
reviews (10) 37 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 8.6
LTD Viper-400 Reviewed by: unregistered, on november 15, 2012
6 of 6 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 500

Purchased from: Boogie Music

Features: The features have pretty much been covered in the other reviews and seem to be completely accurate. As with the majority of mid to high end ESP/LTD guitars it comes with EMG active pickups. I bought mine in the the sunburst finish and it is much deeper then in any photograph, very beautiful. // 8

Sound: I play a lot of thrash, metalcore and melodic death metal, this guitar has absolutely no trouble delivering the goods. The neck profile is fat and fits snug in my hand and the frets are very smooth. I have no problem using all 24 frets to their complete potential or grinding out a rhythm on the other end of the fretboard. I use it with no effects pedals or any of that just plugged straight into my Krank Revolution Series 1 Halfstack. The combination of the EMG pickups with a high-gain tube amp is a sound that I believe cannot be beat if you're wiling to dish out the money. No excessive amounts of noise for any high-gain rig but you have expect some level of noise. The one thing that can be argued about this guitar is that outside of the heavy metal/hard rock genre it is useless. Unless you're Ron Wood, I don't see why you would want to buy an ESP for anything else. // 9

Action, Fit & Finish: The guitar was relatively flawless for a mass production instrument. I couldn't find any reason to bicker about the stock setup on the guitar but I always have a tendancy to fine tune it to my liking. From the factory is was very solidly built. // 8

Reliability & Durability: This guitar has withstood many a pounding exteme metal gig. It has no problem keeping up with any guitar in the upper price ranges, and it is very dependable. It's taken it's share of paint and other materials off walls and still able to look presentable and not trashed. This guitar can definately stand the test of time. // 8

Overall Impression: This guitar fits right at home with any hard rock or metal subgenre. I have been playing for six and have gone through my share of halfstacks and own 15 guitar, 4 of which are LTD. This is one of my all time favorite guitars next to the ESP EXP series and It would be my first to be replaced if stolen. The only thing I wish it would come with is Straplocks, but you really complain compared to the overall package. // 10

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overall: 8.8
LTD Viper-400 Reviewed by: Skunk_Whisperer, on november 15, 2012
2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 550

Purchased from: Sam Ash

Features: This guitar is pretty sweet. As you can tell, its god a SG type body. Set neck. Made in Korea. Tune-O-Matic (but I'm contemplating putting a floyd rose on it). It's got a decent 3-way Switch for the EMG '81s. One volume knob, one tone knob. EMG inc also makes all kinds of goodies you can add on with EMG pickups. It's a pretty heavy duty guitar. Its not as thin and light as a SG, but not as thick and heavy as a Paul. It has a binding on the neck, which looks good. The active pickups take batteries, but I haven't had to replace them yet after 5 months, and I usually play about 8-20 hours a week. One very important feature people overlook/don't notice on this guitar is the heel on the back of the headstock. It prevents the headstock from snapping off if the guitar falls back. Kudos to ESP for that. I only scored features as an 8 because I would like to see a floyd rose and some more knobs to mess around with. // 8

Sound: I usually play lead guitar hardrock, metal, shred, and this guitar sounds kickass for it. It doesn't have a very good tone for blues. Very punchy sound that kicks ass with lots of gain. I've played SG Supremes and high-end Jackson's. This guitar is right up there IMO. The EMG's cancel out a lot of noise, but you can still get awesome harmonix and feedback out of it. I play it through a crate solid state amp btw. It sounds even better through a tube amp. If you think this guitar doesn't sound good, either: you are using it wrong; it's not set up right; your amp isn't set up right; you have shitty equipment hookedup to the guitar. // 9

Action, Fit & Finish: I got this from Sam Ash, and this guitar was out in the storage place, but it seemed good. When I got home I put a set of 11's on it, so naturally, there was some setup work to do. Damn near perfect intonation, and its got a nice feel not too different than an SG. The pickup Switch is a little tough, but it gets the job done good. The tuners aren't exactly as smooth as a baby's ass, but they work fine. My axe stays in good tune. The tonepros Tune-O-Matic bridge is nice. The knobs are all good. I messed around with the pickup height a bit to get a hotter sound. I would rather have no inlays than the flag inlays. They just aren't that cool. And I think the 12th fret model name inlay looks out of place with the flag inlays. And crooked. I think this guitar would also look and sound better with an ebony fretboard. The black on wood looks kind of hokey, juno? The set neck and cutaway makes for a thin heel, and easy access to the top frets. No real flaws that I can see in this though. // 8

Reliability & Durability: This guitar is tough, and so is the hardware. It has a heel on the back of the headstock to prevent injury in case you drop it. I put dunlop straplocks on it just in case. I wouldn't use it at a big show without backup. I wouldnt trust any guitar to do this for me though. The paint is nice, and I keep it good and spiffy. Squeaky clean. It may be Korean, but its not a piece of shit. It won't bitch if you play around with another guy's guitar either. // 10

Overall Impression: I really love the way this guitar plays. It is every bit as good as a Gibson SG, if not better. If it got stolen, I would probobly save up my money, and buy a custom shop ESP, painted white, black hardware, and an ebony fretboard with out those damn flag (minus the L) inlays, and a black floyd rose. When I bought this guitar, I also put it up to a Jackson RR5, a Strat Showmaster, and an Ibanez RGX. This guitar kicked their asses, so I got it. If you buy this guitar, go to EMGinc's website, and see what cool accessories you can get for this guitar. Theres a few gain boosters and EQ things you can put on this. Just for the heck of it, I stuck a SG pickguard on it to see what it looked like. Very cool. I think that's all I have to say about this guitar for now. But always, you should try it before you buy it. // 9

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overall: 9.2
LTD Viper-400 Reviewed by: Shor-T Zero, on november 15, 2012
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Purchased from: Sam Ash

Features: Everyone has mostly covered all of the stats of it, so I'll go to what I like. This 24-fret beauty has some of the best sounds from a guitar in this price range that I've ever laid my hands on. With an EMG81 in the bridge and an EMG85 in the neck, you are ready to assault your amp with every kind of sound that you want. The Earvana nut, while it seems insignificant at first, is probably one of my favorite parts of the neck, considering it keeps the intonation and the tuning of the guitar in check, and does a great job of it. The Grover tuners help out and well, and keep my tuning locked in while jamming out. I've had to tune a bit too much at times, but I think I may have screwed up some of the action on my own while trying to get my own feel for the guitar. The body of this guitar, obviously, is like a Gibson SG, but this guitar, imo, is like the SG v2.0. It is much slimmer, much lighter, and it's very form-fitted to being an Agile beast. The woodchoice of this guitar was perfect, nearly everything about it is perfect. // 9

Sound: The 81's are perfect for that chugging distortion and squealing pinch harmonics that everyone loves, and it picks up on everything with pin-point accuracy. The 85 is superb about bringing out your leads. What is weird on mine, my 85 almost gives a bluesy kind of tone to it, and I don't mind it one bit. But if you are unsatisfied with the 81 though when you play in some settings (which I don't know why you wouldn't be in the first place), just Switch it the pickup selector to the middle. You'll get the punch of the 81 while delivering a bass-driven sideswipe of the 85 for a great rhythm sound (but you lose some harmonic abilities). The 81's are so sensitive, you can p.h. on nearly any fret you want, it can get annoying for other people sometimes, but I don't mind it for the most part. Battery life on this baby is pretty good. When I first got it, I didn't have to worry about changing the single 9Volt battery until about a year later. If this guitar ever starts sounding bad, like it doesn't put out enough volume, it's sound with distortion is weak, etc., just pop in another battery, and watch as your baby is brought back to life. I swear, when I played it after changing the battery, it was like I had just bought it new. So if you want an average life span for the battery, I'd give it 8-12 months, depending on how much you play, if you gig every night, etc. I play rock, hard rock, and metal, and this guitar delivers. If you want simple, but powerful, Lamb Of God dist., done. Any kind of hard hitting distortion that you want, it'll take care of it. But it handles the classic overdrive sound of the greats (Hendrix, SRV, and everyone else we all know and love hearing) that you would want from a guitar. People say EMG's aren't versatile, I just think they haven't experimented with these pickups and tried changing their playing slightly. One note on this guitar, you can, like any other guitar, set the pickup height to what you want. While it seems insignificant, give it a shot and tinker around with the heights of your pickups. You won't believe how great you can make it sound, or the fact that you can even improve on your sound. But, it implies the same inversely, so if it sounds bad, bring the height back up. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: The paint on this is amazing. I've owned this for nearly 2 years, and I've only got one small chip in it, and I don't even remember where it came from. This guitar has fallen so many times from sucky guitar holders, but it still keeps in tune and still looks great. The See-Through Black Cherry is one color option to seriously take a look at, I have that one, and it is beautiful. The pictures online don't do it justice, and once you Shine it up a little, it gets even better. The action when I got it was great. And now, after I get it re-adjusted is great. Low for doing those pinch harmonics, and I've adjusted the pickup height on my own in order to bring out some distortion and leads. Still great though. This guitar is a bit top heavy, and by that, I mean the headstock is a bit disproportional to the rest of the guitar. Normally hanging the guitar from a strap around ya (which, by the way, doesn't really need strap locks unless you want to throw this around... which, it can stand it, but I'd rather keep my baby near me) and bring the headstock near your head leads it to slowly swing back to regular horizontal position, and then lower. This can be an extreme discomfort for some people, I realize that. Personally, I hardly let go for the guitar, and when I do, I've found a way to keep it up in my own playing style. It takes practice to do, but I'm sure you can find a remedy. // 8

Reliability & Durability: This guitar is built to last, seriously. The strap buttons will endure, no questions asked. Unless you want to let your guitar fly around you, then I wouldn't worry about investing in locks. Live playing isn't even a question. I gig without a backup of this thing, that's how sure I am of it. But that's also because I'm not pulling Benjamins out of my nose, so if I could have a backup, I really would. But only because of a random act or an insane person possibly trying to start something. If anything, I would just have the backup in case, and hit anyone Who comes at me with my original. Then keep on playing in tune. Thanks Earvana. // 10

Overall Impression: Like I said, I play rock, hard rock, and metal. And this guitar fits every single one. Plus, it can still harken back to the days of AC/DC, Sabbath, Hendrix, SRV, and anything in between and/or around. I would kick anyone's ass that tried to steal this guitar, then hit them with it. And then buy another one, just cause I like it. But I'd probably go with the custom model or something, or at least put an FR trem. on it, only because I've never had an FR-equipped guitar. And maybe trade the 85 pickup out for the 89 just to see the different sounds. EMG pickups are just pop and plug-in pickusp, as I've heard, so the 85-89 switch may be the only thing about it. I only wish for a few things about this guitar that are minor, but somewhat vital complaints. That it comes with a case. I shopped at Sam Ash, so they actually gave me a huge discount on a case (I think it only cost me about 20-30 dollars extra for a pretty good case). So if you buy this online, make sure it's got a case! The guitar might outlast the case when it comes to damage, but I know you wouldn't want to hurt your guitar before you can even play it. The balance of the headstock gets fixed. If ESP had cured this ailment, I would've given this an 11/10 with ice cream on the side. Other than those, I don't see many faults with the guitar. The action is clean, the finish is beautiful, the sound is amazing, and it is a very high-quality instrument for the price. Go ahead, give it a shred. You're bound to like it. // 9

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overall: 7.2
LTD Viper-400 Reviewed by: unregistered, on november 15, 2012
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 450

Purchased from: doug terror (esp endorsee)

Features: 2004 Viper 400. Korean made. 24.75" scale. 24 jumbo frets. Mahogany body. Mahogany set neck w/rosewood fretboard. Bound neck and head. Transparent red finish. Body is a variation of the Gibson SG double cut style. Dual EMG 81 active pickups w/single tone and volume knobs and 3 way Gibson style selector. All standard Viper 400 features plus sperzel locking tuners dunlop straplocks installed by the factory. // 8

Sound: Despite having EMG active pickups, this guitar retains a lot of the character of the Gibson SG. A very very dark midrange dominated sound. The sustain is definitely on par with that of an SG and the neck profile is also similar to that of a slim taper Gibson 60s neck profile, which is to say it is of a substantial size, but not so large that it gets in the way of playing leads/solos. I play primarily hardcore and metal. I a run a 2nd Mesa Single Recto and a Marshall 1960a 4X12 cab. The heavy low end sounds this guitar is capable of is truly amazing. For a brutal powerchord driven sound (think Hatebreed) I could not honestly think of a better guitar. I find myself turning up the treble on my amp more than I do with most other guitars, because this guitar is very dark sounding. Not say it is inadequate for leads, just not as inclined as others. I also find the EMG81 in the neck to be useless. I do not like it as a neck pickup for any guitar, and it seems to be the worst in this one. This guitar by nature has a very fat warm sound, on top of the fact that the EMG81 is more of lead oriented pickup, the neck position is simply an overkill, as the lower frequencies become too "boomy" to really be used for anything I would like. I plan to Switch it out for an EMG60 which I would use for clean sounds, as EMG81s are just not inclined to clean sounds. // 8

Action, Fit & Finish: The fit and finish is excellent, save for a very small region of neck binding which extrudes out just a tiny bit too far. It is slightly noticable on your fretting hand, but not enough to make it really detrimental to the playabillity of a guitar. // 6

Reliability & Durability: This guitar is built just as strong as any other set neck/stop tail guitar out there, so make sure above all else you dont ever drop it! // 6

Overall Impression: This guitar is a great blend of modern and old school features. Definitely geared towards rock/metal oriented sounds. Whats nice with ESP are all the great brand name products you get stock on many models. This one in particular, the EMG pickups and earvana nut. If you are a hardrock or metal guitarist, and leaning towards Gibson, I highly recomend considering ESP/LTD instead, as they are a much better value and much better suited to the style. // 8

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overall: 9.6
LTD Viper-400 Reviewed by: unregistered, on november 15, 2012
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Purchased from: Grandmas Music and Sound ( )

Features: The ESP/Ltd Viper-400 is new to 2004. This guitar is made in Korea. It has a 24.75" three piece mahogany set-neck and a rosewood fretboard. Also it has 24XJ frets, flag Inlays and white binding on the neck and headstock. The body shape is just like the SG but the looks are way cooler. Mahogany body. It's got a Tune-O-Matic/Stop Piece bridge. It has got active EMG humbuckers on it (EMG 81/81). It's got a volume, tone, and a 3-way selector. It has grover tuners and an Ervava Compensated nut. I like all the features on it. ESP did a good job choosing them right. Here are ESP's specs for the Viper-400. - Construction: set neck - Scale: 24.75 - Body: mahogany - Neck/fretboard: 3-pc. mahogany/rosewood - Inlays: flags w/model name at 12th fret - Pickups: EMG-81 active set - Electronics: volume, tone, 3-way toggle - Hardware: Black + Earvana compensated nut & Grover tuners - Bridge: Tune-o-matic w/stop tailpiece - Binding: White (BLK, VSB, STBC) creme (OW), (neck, headstock) - Frets: 24 XJ. // 10

Sound: This guitar fits my style of music perfect. I mostley play metal and classic rock (Pink Floyd to Slayer). I have a DigiTech GNX1 gutiar processor wich I run through a 15w Crate and a 500w Home Stereo System. I have to say the EMG-81 actives sound great. I thought the EMG's were only for metal but they sound great for cleans to. Overall the Sound of the guitar is awsome! // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: The guitar was set-up pretty good except for a couple things. One thing is that both pickups were loose, which isn't that big of a deal. The other problem is that there is a little fret buzz which is kinda easy to get used to. The finish I got is the Vintage Sunburst which is very nice looking. Nothing was wrong with the finish at all. The neck feels very good and wasn't very dirty when I got it. The Nut was set in perfect and the Tuners wern't loose either. // 8

Reliability & Durability: This guitar has only one problem, the neck is a bit heavy. So when you play standing up it kinda falls the ground. But, It doesnt bother me at all. The hardware is built to last I think but the color might wear off after 5 or more years of playing it, just like all other black and gold hareware. The Finish will probley never wear off. // 10

Overall Impression: ESP/Ltd guitars are very good quality gutiars. They are built to last a lifetime. I am very happy with this guitar and hope to keep it forever. I like all the features on it and the sound. I can't think of anything I wish it had. I orderd this guitar September 1, 2004 and got it December 21, 2004. I waited day by day for that phone call from my local music shop saying "your Viper-400 is in!" I finally got and was shocked that it finally arrived. It was well worth the wait! I would recomend this guitar to anyone who is looking for a great sound gutiar! Great price too! // 10

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overall: 7.3
LTD Viper-400 Reviewed by: mrserv0n, on november 15, 2012
0 of 2 people found this review helpful

Sound: Sound is pretty good overall, I was expecting something unamaginable when I got this guitar considering all the praise EMG pickups get. They're good and all but didn't blow me away, '81 is great for high gain tone, sometimes can both '81 and '85 can get a bit Muddy but it's probably in part by the SS amp. // 8

Action, Fit & Finish: Guitar came with 10 guage strings which were right on, sounded nice, tunes easy, low action, which can be a downfall if tuning lower than D. // 8

Overall Impression: Overal I had the Viper 100 and upgraded to the 400 for the EMG pickups, If I could pickup something different I'm not sure I would because I love the way the Viper series plays, but I could do without the active pickups, I would stay with the Viper 100 for half the price. // 6

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overall: 8.6
LTD Viper-400 Reviewed by: _blackened_, on november 15, 2012
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 1072

Purchased from: 4 Sound Sweden

Features: I bought this guitar in March 2006, and it is the 2006 model. The guitar is an LTD and was made in Korea. It's a 24 frets 3-pc. Mahogany/rosewood neck, with Extra Jumbo Frets which feels great in my hands. The body is all mahogny, which suits great with the pickups. I bought it with black finish after all, (I did like the white too). The shape of the guitar reminds a lot of the Gibson SG, But I actually like this model better, it has a cooler edges and the shape is def. nicer! It has an the bridge is a Tune-O-Matic bridge with stop-tailpiece, and the guitar stays in tune great when set-up correctly! The pickups are EMG's 81 (bridge) and 85 (neck) which sounds awesome! I love the pickups on this guitar. It has a three way pickup switch, one volume knob and one tone knob. It has Grover tuners, which also helps with the tuning. The features and the beauty of this guitar is what made me buy it, not to forget how it plays. // 9

Sound: The EMG pickups are awesome for my music, I play mostly metal, but I tend to play some mellower things too, and it suits great for most genres. There's nothing wrong with the cleans, they sound beautiful Especially on the neck pickup (EMG 85). Since I got my Line 6 GuitarPort I put my amp on the side since I mostly sit in front of the computer while playing, (playing along to backingtracks or reading tabs). The distortion (not to forget to mention the squeely pinch harmonics) on this guitar can't be beat, the EMG's in a mahogny body is the Ultra-sex! The 81 has a little brighter sound while the 85 has a very warm sounding tone, great for leads! // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: The guitar was set up pretty good when I bought it. It was in beautiful shape and had no scratch or what'soever. The strings on it were GHS .10 strings, I changed them to.9 Earnie Balls since I like them better. I didn't like the GHS strings at all. It played like a dream once I got it home and tried it. // 8

Reliability & Durability: I have never actually used this guitar to play Live since I'm currently not in a band. I don't have time for that, which is too bad. I do however stand up while playing a lot and I have never experienced any problems with the strap jumping off. The guitar is a little neck heavy though but it's not much. I use a leather strap so I really can't tell the heaviness very much. I would def. use this guitar on stage without a backup, since I'm sure it wouldn't break. The finish on the guitar is great, and doesn't seem to be thin at all. I can definately depend on it. // 8

Overall Impression: This guitar is perfect for playing Metal. It's great for some cleans too, as well as classic rock. I don't play much of other genres so I can't say how it would fit other styles but I would count on it. It does have a Metal look, and the EMG's are made for high-gain metal, so I would be a little chocked if I saw a jazz band playing this. I sometimes regret not buying the Eclipse, since it's a real beauty but I do love my Viper. I will probably buy an Eclipse soon either way. The neck is fast and is great for rhythm and lead playing. I really like the look of the headstock. One thing I can feel I would want is a tremolo bar. Otherwise it's a real kick-ass guitar! // 8

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overall: 10
LTD Viper-400 Reviewed by: unregistered, on november 15, 2012
0 of 1 people found this review helpful

Features: I don't know when or where it was made, but Who ever made it did a amazing job. It has a HardTail (Viper 500 has string thru) active emg 81 bridge and 85 neck. I played it in satin black and gloss black, but I'm buying it in white. Looks good in any color though. Probably even dookie brown. // 10

Sound: I play pretty much metal, sometimes I'll switch it up to blues, jazz, etc, and this guitar perfected each style. But defiantly best for metal. I played it on a Vox ad30 and Vox AD30VT. I own the AD30 so I wanted to play the guitar on a amp that I own so I know how it would sound at my house. The guitar and amp go together like Michael Jackson and little kids. Not a single bad thing about this guitar. No noise what so ever. The neck pickup is great for solos, two hand tapping, pick tapping, rhythm, pretty much everything? // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: Right off the stand, it played great, just needed tuned due to the guitar noobs at the store Who try to "tune" the guitar when it's already in tune. Anyway, it played wonderful and sounded great. When I first picked it up, I wasn't expecting it to be so light. It looks so nice. The pickups were adjusted just right. The bridge a bit higher then the neck, just how I like it. Nothing was loose on it. There really isn't much to complain about here. // 10

Reliability & Durability: Since you see this guitar in almost every metal music video, I'm sure it will withstand Live playing. The hardware is top notch. I wouldn't mind better tuners though (not saying the ones on it are bad) I never tried the strap buttons since I played it in the store, but since this is a 600 dollar guitar, I'd get strap locks for it No Doubt. Hopefully soon I'll start gigging, and I'll defiantly use this. I'll probably bring a back up just in case though. Never heard any complaints about the finish, don't think I ever will. // 10

Overall Impression: I played this guitar 3 times, all on different days. The second time I played it I was so disappointed at the sound, it was horrible. Then later I found out it was because the batteries needed changed. The 3rd time I was blown away. Completely speechless. I read all the reviews I could on this and not a single bad one, besides some old guy on music123 who said he doesn't like the active pickups, but he's probably into Weezer and such. It was either this guitar, the Viper 407 (seven string) or the Viper 200, I've never played the 200 but I'm sure it can't be better then the 400. I just wish it came with a hardshell, I'd hate to drop a 600 dollar guitar. // 10

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overall: 9.4
LTD Viper-400 Reviewed by: mafropetee, on november 15, 2012
0 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 600

Purchased from: Sam Ash

Features: This guitar has a rosewood fretboard with 24 extra jumbo frets. It's got a solid top mahogany body and a painted mahogany neck. It comes in either a solid or a burst finish, and the finish is quite nice. The body is a modified SG with a slight slant to it, but it seems to fit snuggly in any case that is designed to fit a normal SG. It has a TonePros tune-o-matic bridge with tail piece. Includes one volume knob, one tone knob, and a 3-way pickup switch. Dual humbuckers with an EMG-81 in the bridge and EMG-85 in the neck. It has very high quality Grover non-locking tuners. It doesn't come with any accessories. // 9

Sound: This is a metal guitar. No Doubt. It sounds and plays excellently for heavy rhythms as well as fast solos, and the EMG-85 can even throw out some nice clean tones when you need it to. But if you don't play metal or hard rock, look elsewhere, because that is what this guitar is made for. I play it through a Line 6 Spider II 112 (75 watts). Not the best amp in the world, but I've plugged it into a few Marshall stacks at the store and it still sounded amazing. I also run it through an original Cry Baby. It gets some loud feedback with high distortion and volume if you aren't careful, but that is expected. It has a very full bodied sound. Picks up lows very well, but also picks up the highs just as well and everything in between. The only problem this guitar might have is sustain. It can't hold a note for too terribly long, but long enough for most people to be satisfied. It picks up harmonics very, very well. // 9

Action, Fit & Finish: Mine was a floor model, so I played it before the store set it up for me. It seemed to be set up pretty well already, but it still needed some work, so I had them fine tune it. It really made a difference. The action is nice and low, just how I like it. The pickups are right in the perfect spot. No flaws in the finish or anywhere else. // 10

Reliability & Durability: This guitar is a beast when it comes to durability. I've smashed this thing against brick walls, dropped it hard on a wood floor, and I can't even tell you how many times it's simply fallen off of it's stand, but it's still going strong. It holds it's tuning incredibly well and doesn't lose it's initial setup easily at all. It could be used at a gig without a backup, but I'm pretty brutal on stage, so I would bring one anyway. The finish just doesn't die. About 2 years and no visible scratches on the top or anything. It's got some buckle rash but that's about it. // 10

Overall Impression: This is one of the best metal guitars out there in it's price range without a tremolo. If you are an intermediate guitarist and don't mind lacking the ability to dive bomb, this is your guitar. It was between this and an Ibanez RG350, and the sound of the Viper blew the RG away. If this guitar were lost or stolen, I would buy a guitar with a Floyd, just because I want a Floyd. I would still buy something else anyway, because I like to try different things. // 9

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overall: 9
LTD Viper-400 Reviewed by: EMGPWNS, on november 15, 2012
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 415

Purchased from: Ebay (used)

Features: The beaut was made in 2004 in Korea, I came to own it 3 months ago. 24 extra jumbo frets, thin you contour mahogany neck with rosewood fingerboard, mahogany body, Vintage white finish, comfortable solidbody Viper shape, TOM bridge with stopbar tailpiece, active EMG 81 set, single volume and single tone controls with Gibson-style 3 way Switch, Grover 18:1 non-locking tuners, mine came used with a sturdy ESP Viper case. Great features, especially for a guitar of this price. // 9

Sound: EMG 81's (and Vipers with EMG 81 sets) do what they're meant to do better than most anything else, but can't do anything else too well. EMGs sound about the same no matter which guitar you put them in, so there isn't much point spending much more on an active guitar. This axe has a great metal tone, but just about everything else would sound better with passive pickups. If you've ever used EMGs, you know they're dead freakin silent. Due to having 2 EMG 81's, this is a one trick pony. But it does that trick amazingly well. // 8

Action, Fit & Finish: I recieved this used, but it was set up amazingly. The high E string is about a millimeter off the 12th fret, and there is no buzz what'soever through my amp. The setup, routing, and build quality on this were something I would expect on a $1500 ESP Viper. 4 years old and it all looks like new, save for some "character" (knicks and scratches). // 10

Reliability & Durability: I haven't ever gigged, but if I did, I would use this axe and not be too worried about bringing a backup. The strap buttons should be changed before gigging, but that's to be expected from any guitar. My Viper is 4 years old and it still shines like a bald guy's head. I've banged it's headstock against my walls and bed many times and I'm sure the previous owner did too, but the isn't a knick to be found. Unsafe strap locks. // 9

Overall Impression: I have played several Jacksons and Ibanezes in the 400 series' price range that can't stand up to this axe's sound, looks, or playability. I've even played a $2000 Gibson SG that doesn't play as well or feel as comfy on my lap. If this was stolen, I would buy it back as soon as I had enough money without a second thought. Before you buy this guitar, make sure you like the sound of EMGs and are comfortable with the relatively thin neck. Trying one (or 5) out is best. If those work for you, find a used one on Ebay, the are some amazing deals there. (NOT 401, those are made in China and not as wonderful as the older ones). All in all, wonderful guitar that I don't regret buying a bit, but it does have the flaws that I mentioned earlier. // 9

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