ESP LTD EC-256 Ultimate Guitar Review 2022

ESP LTD EC-256 Guitar Review

The ESP LTD EC-256 is aimed at the high gain crowd and is packed with options. Not only does it look great, but it sounds good too! Loaded with coil tap electronics, this guitar will basically do what you need on the fly.

If you are looking for a Swiss army knife type guitar, the LTD EC-256 is your guitar!

ESP LTD EC-256 Guitar Review

ESP LTD EC-256 Features

Let’s take a look at some key features of the ESP LTD EC-256 guitar.

  • Mahogany Body
  • Mahogany Set Neck
  • Roasted Jatoba Finger Board
  • Les Paul style Body Shape
  • 24.75 inch scale with 21 frets
  • ESP LH-150B Humbuckers
  • Thin “U” Neck Profile


  • Materials and Design
  • Workhorse in Tone
  • Feels Great To Play
  • Quality Pick-ups and Hardware
  • Different Colors to Choose From


  • A set up may be required out of the box

Who is This Guitar For?

The LTD EC-256 can be used in many different music styles. I found that I was able to get rock tones as well as metal sounds with ease. Being an ESP LTD model, this guitar was designed for heavier music styles, but I found it also did great cleans and some harder edged vintage tones.

But for this particular model, I would suggest that players who are into hard rock or metal look into this guitar. It’s perfect for beginners and even intermediate players, as it’s a great guitar with good construction and excellent play ability.

ESP LTD EC-256 Body

LTD EC-256 Eclipse Body

Firstly, the mahogany body on the ESP LTD EC-256 resembles the Les Paul and is called their Eclipse body shape. It comes in a few different colors and so getting the look you want is very much possible.

The solid mahogany really helps get great sustain from the guitar when you really need it.

The cut away in the body gives you great exposure to the neck, and the binding really makes the body “pop”. This guitar also has a slightly arched top that makes it easier for picking hand positioning.

ESP LTD EC-256 Neck

ESP LTD EC-256 Neck

The LTD EC-256 electric guitar neck is made from mahogany and set into the body.

There is no bolt on neck here, this is glued in, giving the guitar more sustain and outstanding string to body resonance. This also gives you a sturdier guitar that will not flex or move where the neck meets the body. It also makes it easier to play the upper frets.

The finger board is made from Roasted Jatoba and has a 24.75 inch scale and 21 Jumbo frets.

The neck is a thin U profile that is very comfortable and easy to play. It has a 1.65 inch nut width and a plastic truss rod cover on the head stock and nice looking binding.

LTD Flag finger board inlays are found on the guitar, which give it a very custom look.

ESP LTD EC-256 Guitar

LTD EC-256 Hardware

The EC-256 comes with a pair of ESP Designed humbuckers that deliver rich warm tone. But don’t let that confuse you, they also have a good top end response that cuts.

These pick-ups are well-made and sound great! The guitar also features 2 volume and 1 master tone controls with top hat knobs on each of them and a pick-up selector switch.

The electronics also support a push-pull coil tap. This will allow you to forge your sound from blues to metal and everything in between!

ESP machine heads keep your strings in tune and feel good for a guitar at this price point. The ESP LTD EC-256 also has more rock solid hardware such as a Tune-o-matic bridge and a stop bar fully adjustable tailpiece.

ESP LTD EC-256 Full Guitar

ESP LTD EC-256 Sound

So, now that you know a bit about the ESP LTD EC-256 electric, the question is, how does it sound for the price?

While the body shape makes it look like a Les Paul, the ESP LTD really does have a sound of its own. When being used in a high gain amplifier like the Revv Generator, I was rewarded with some crazy modern metal tones with almost no effort. I found the pickups to be pretty good and had a full sound.

When switching to the clean channel, I found the EC-256 to clean up really nice and provide pristine cleans and a full bass sound.

ESP has put in their own quality parts and given the EC-256 some crazy versatility.

The push-pull coil tap will allow you to play metal and quickly switch it up to get some bell like strat tones. And while the sound does get thinner like a single coil, a little bit of noise appears as well.

We recommend the ESP LTD if you are looking for a guitar that looks a bit harder edged but can give you great versatility when you need it.

For a beginner, this guitar is amazing in what it has to offer and the great look. And because you can get it in different colors, that sweetens the deal.

LTD EC-256 Feel

The neck is great and superfast. It’s a thin “U” style neck but still feels like it’s got a meatier feel to it but in a good way.

The neck and body are one piece and this really gives the guitar a great feel in resonance and the sustain when cranking out some drive. It is a quality guitar for the price point and a lot of fun! I also liked the fact that because it’s a set neck design, it is smooth at the joint and easy to get at the upper frets.

Conclusion And Final Thoughts

There are many great electric guitars in the under $500 price range available these days that play and sound great. The ESP LTD EC-256 is well worth the money!

The build quality, solid materials, cut away, electronics, sound and the engineering just to name a few, are all top shelf and amazing ESP quality. This guitar is a very versatile instrument and sounds great for the range of options it offers.

We recommend this guitar for beginners and seasoned players as it is fantastic for the money.

The ESP LTD EC-256 is made in China, but don’t let that deter you. The quality of this guitar is very high for the price point and is a contender for the money. If you are going to need a guitar that can do many types of music styles, this is it!

Other Guitars To Consider

If the EC-256 isn’t what you had hoped, there are a few others that we suggest.

Jackson Pro Series DK2

jackson dk2

With the Dinky DK2 by Jackson, you’ve got a metal machine that will put out some serious shred. The neck is easy to play and perfect for exercises in speed, but wide enough, so it’s comfortable for chord work too!

You also have a Floyd Rose bridge with locking nut to keep tuning accuracy when dive bombs are complete.



The LTD MH-203QM is another awesome guitar by ESP. This one has a Floyd Rose bridge and locking nut, different body shape than other models in their line-up, but still sounds incredible for both lead or rhythm playing! It’s perfect if you’re looking to get started with metal styles without breaking the bank first.

The ESP LTD MH-203QM is made for beginner or intermediate players who want to give this music style a try. It sounds good, plays well and is a great guitar to try your hand at some shredding or more aggressive tones.

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