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! It’s a rock and roll machine with a sleek look. It’s also comfortable and easy to play.
ESP LTD EC-256 Specifications
Let’s take a look at some key specs 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.
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. It’s a great guitar with good construction and excellent play ability.
Our Rating of The EC-256
Based on my time spent with this guitar, I have rated it out of 5, based on the factors below:
- Build Quality: 4.1/5
- Sound: 3.8/5
- Playability: 3.9/5
- Aesthetic: 4.2/5
- Comfort: 4/5
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 helps get great sustain from the guitar when you really need it. The guitar’s construction is a set neck. This makes it feel great when it resonates.
The cutaway in the body gives you great exposure to the neck, and the binding makes the body “pop”. This guitar also has a slightly arched top that makes it easier for picking hand positioning. The contour along the edges make it comfortable and are a nice touch.
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 a set neck, which gives the guitar more sustain and deep resonance. It also provides a sturdier guitar that will not flex or move where the neck meets the body. It makes it easier to play the upper frets.
The fingerboard 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 guitar nut width and a plastic truss rod cover on the headstock and beautiful binding.
LTD Flag fingerboard inlays are found on the guitar, which gives it a very custom look.
LTD EC-256 Hardware
The EC-256 comes with a pair of ESP Designed humbuckers that deliver a 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 volumes and 1 master tone control. Each with top hat knobs 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. Parts like a Tune-o-Matic bridge and a stop bar fully adjustable tailpiece.
ESP LTD EC-256 Sound
So, now that you know a bit about the ESP LTD EC-256 electric guitar, 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. 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. This was when used with the Revv Generator MK3 guitar amplifier.
When switching to the clean channel, I found the EC-256 to provide pristine tones and a full bass sound. ESP has put in its 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 in sound when you need it.
For a beginner, this guitar is amazing in what it has to offer. It’s the full package of sound and looks And because you can get it in different colors, that sweetens the deal.
The neck is great and thin to encourage a fast play style. 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. This really gives the guitar a great feel in resonance and sustain when cranking out some drive. It’s 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’s smooth at the joint and easy to get at the upper frets.
The string height was good, making the string easy to press. This was important for playability. I was happy with the quality of the guitar in this area.
Is It Reliable?
The EC-256 is a well-made guitar for this price. Being a set neck design makes it feel very durable. The rigidity confirms this to be a reliable guitar. The neck had a good string height which made it easy to play, but it also felt like it was quality.
The tuners feel good. I had no issues with tuning the guitar, and it held strong. Even after using it for a number of days, it retained the right pitch. The controls feel good and don’t feel cheap. Overall, I would say this guitar will provide reliability if you decide to use it to gig with.
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
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.
ESP LTD MH-203QM
The LTD MH-203QM is another awesome guitar by ESP. This one has a Floyd Rose bridge and locking nut. It’s a different body shape than other models in their line-up. But still sounds incredible for both lead and rhythm playing! It’s perfect if you’re looking to get started with metal styles. All without breaking the bank.
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.
Conclusion And Final Thoughts
There are many great electric guitars for under $500. Many of them play and sound great. The ESP LTD EC-256 is well worth the money!
The build quality, electronics, sound, and engineering to name a few. It’s all top-shelf and has 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!