ESP Company LTD is a Japanese brand that has started from humble beginnings, with just one shop in 1975 when it was known as Electric Sound Products.
Nowadays it is a well-known brand in guitar circles for is experience and success making excellent guitars. They are mostly known for their guitars that have been played by metal bands such as Metallica, Anthrax, and Slayer to name a few.
Their ESP LTD EC-256 is not a high-end guitar, but rest assured because it has excellent quality, great classic looks and great sound at an affordable price.
The design of this guitar is absolutely gorgeous, the designers have really put thought into this guitar, combining a blend of the vintage Les Paul vibes with heavy metal vibes.
The ESP LTD EC-256 sports the timeless Les Paul single-cutaway shape, and it is built with solid mahogany tonewood that gives it substantiality and flamed maple top that can come in three colors, the trademark Lemon Drop finish, the See-Thru Black Cherry Sunburst, and See-Thru Black, you can’t go wrong with each one, but I would prefer the Lemon Drop finish. The ESP LTD EC-256 utilizes solid mahogany on its neck as well and tops the package off with a rosewood fretboard, it has a 24.75-inch scale length. Also, it is worth mentioning that the neck is very slim and has a U shape that allows super-fast playing.
22 extra-jumbo frets allow great string bending, and overall I can comfortably say that the ESP LTD EC-256 achieves a Stratocaster status for playability thanks to its lightweight and speed.
The ESP LTD EC-256 sports two humbucker pickups that are positioned at the neck and at the bridge. Both of the pickups are LH-150s and are designed by ESP, while they may not be very remarkable, for the price of this guitar they are excellent. The controls of this guitar consist of two-volume knobs for each pickup, a master tone knob, and a three-way pickup selector. It is worth stating that the master tone knob features a coil-split with a push-pull mechanism, allowing you to choose single-coil tonality to your pickups.
The bridge is tune-o-matic and on the other end, you will spot chrome die-cast tuners that do a particularly good job for its listed price. Furthermore, I found that the guitar doesn’t get out of tune often, despite extreme string bending.
This guitar is very versatile when it comes to tonality as you can achieve various tones from the pickups and their splitting ability. I found it perfect for heavy rock riffs and drives and it could handle solos pretty well. Interestingly enough I found that it has plenty of sustain and is perfect for blues and classic rock melodies. Whatever you choose to play the ESP LTD EC-256 can handle it perfectly.
Overall, the ESP LTD EC-256 is an awesome guitar, with great looks, plenty of sustain, amazing build quality and adequate pickups. For the price that this guitar is listed it really doesn’t get any better than this. The best part is that this is an electric guitar that costs less than $500, so if i was shopping for my first guitar, i would definitely go with this one.