LTD Viper-400 [200x-2008]
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LTD Viper-400 [200x-2008]

Viper-400 [200x-2008], SG-Shaped Guitar from LTD in the Standard Viper series.

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tjon901 08/02/2011

LTD Viper-400 [200x-2008] : tjon901's user review

« Great Metal guitar for the price »
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The ESP LTD 400 line of guitar is one of the best values out there if you are looking for a metal guitar. LTD is ESP's line of budget guitars. They are like what Epiphone is to Gibson. Their guitars are made to the exact same specs with the same species of wood except they are not made in Japan. The 400 has awesome bang for the buck. This guitar design is like an offset SG with 24 frets. It has a mahogany body and maple neck with set neck construction. It has a rosewood fretboard with 24 very big frets with the ESP flag inlays. It has fully active EMG pickups with an 81 in the bridge and an 85 in the neck. The controls are simple with a master tone and master volume switched with a 3 way selector. Up top it has Grover tuners and an Earvana compensated nut for truer intonation.

UTILIZATION

The playability is great as is with all ESP guitars. With the 24 frets you need the offset body to reach the upper frets easily. With the 24.75 Gibson scale the upper frets can get a bit crowded but the jumbo frets help with this. The jumbo frets also let you have a low action and you can really bend forever. The Grover tuners and the tune-o-matic stay in tune well. The Earvana Compensated nut means you have better intonation all the way up the neck so complex chords anywhere on the neck will sound in tune. The body is nicely contoured so it will fit nicely against you while you are playing and it is also pretty light.

SOUNDS

You are not going to find many other guitars this cheap that come from the factory with EMG pickups. It uses the classic EMG set that pretty much everyone uses with the 81 and 85 EMG pickups, also known as the Zakk Wylde set since he has been using it the longest I guess. The 81 in the bridge has been an iconic metal pickup for decades. It has a high end crunch and distortion that gives it clarity no matter how much gain you are using or how low you tune. The 85 in the neck is a great pickup too. It has a more fuller sound than the 81 so in the neck position you can get fat lead tones. The 85 is also good too in the bridge. With EMG's quick connect system you can easily swap these pickups position without soldering anything. The 85 in the bridge produces a super thick tone and cleans up better than the 81. Speaking of cleans if you do the 18v mod on the EMG's. With the 18v mod you run the pickups on two batteries instead of one. This provides a more organic tone with more headroom. This tone produces better cleans than stock EMG's and clean tones are usually the weakest part of the EMG sound. This guitar is super cheap but sounds as good as guitars that cost twice as much with EMG pickups. EMG's are some of the best pickups out there and they tend to take over the sound of a guitar so if you can get a cheap guitar with EMG over an expensive guitar with EMG's the cheaper guitar will most likely sound just as good.

OVERALL OPINION

When these were new these guitars sold for about 450 guitars. Now you can get these guitars for 350 used all day long. The pickup set in them alone costs 200 dollars. This is not a 100 dollar guitar with 200 dollar pickups. Its a 500 dollar guitar with 200 dollar pickups that you can buy for 300. It is the bargain of the century when it comes to metal guitars nowadays. With the Viper or EC 400 LTD ESP guitars you cant go wrong if you are looking for a heavy metal machine at a low price.