REVIEW: ESP LTD EC-256 Electric Guitar

We reviewed ESP’s LTD EC-256 electric guitar. 

Check out the review below! 

Here’s a transcript of the review: 

This single cutaway instrument features a highly contoured body. There’s really nice ergonomics throughout, both on the top where you have the belly cut, then on the hand access point right here. You got a really nice shape that gives you easy access all the way up to the 22nd fret. 

There are 22 frets on this instrument and they boast extra jumbo, that’s right, extra jumbo, frets.  So these frets really offer a lot of substance, and you can sort of feel yourself dig in and they will last a lot longer as well from where due to their size. So it’s a really nice, just substantial feeling fretboard, while also having the thin C contoured neck. The guitar is just super comfortable. I’d say the neck is a bit on the thinner side and I’m finding it to be extremely comfortable to play with, not a full C shape, just a thin c.  Not quite as thin as some of those ultra thin necks either. It’s kind of striking a nice middle ground balance for me, in terms of comfort and playability.  I definitely prefer it to some of the larger size neck profiles, so the neck is extremely comfortable with 22 jumbo frets. 

You can’t forget this is a set neck construction, so the neck is set right into the body here.  While I’m on that topic, the neck is mahogany, neck body also mahogany, so mahogany wood used throughout, which is a denser tone wood. It yields really nice sounds but I think it balances beautifully with the contoured, somewhat thin low profile design of the guitar.  Overall it doesn’t feel heavy, it feels fairly lightweight even though it’s using a really rich tone wood.  

Onto the hardware, there is gold hardware on this particular instrument depending on which LEC-256 you’re looking at.  There are gold hardware options and silver to match the feel of the finish type that it’s being paired with, so this one’s got the two gold-covered humbuckers, a three-way selector switch for your mac bridge, and then in the middle.  It’s going to give you both pickups down to the controls we have two volume controls one for each pickup so each pickup has individually controlled volume, and then the third knob down here that’s the master tone knob, so that’s going to give you your tone control for both pickups at the same time. But it doesn’t stop there –  this tone knob is also a push-pull, and what that’s doing is coil tap, so these humbuckers have coil taps. So when you’re in the down position, it’s your standard humbucker. These are the ESP 150 humbuckers with coil taps.  When you pull this knob up, it clicks and now you have access to your single coil sound. Now it’s not strictly a single coil really what we’re doing is tapping into the humbucker to isolate a portion of it and get a more hum – less of a humbucker sound and start to get more into that single coil sound. 

The coil tap is doing a pretty convincing single coil style. The tone is definitely lightening up the sound a little bit.  I think adding a little bit more brightness overall, slightly less output,  so giving a lot of those main characteristics that you get from a single coil. Do I think that this is an exact replacement for a single coil pickup? Not quite, but it does offer a ton of tonal variety with all the different things that you can do with these two pickups.  You can then add the additional option to tap, to coil tap, or not to coil tap.  I find it really nice because of those reasons, this guitar can really cover a lot of ground musically.  I like the coil tap for playing lighter rock and jazz, any sort of instrument origin or sound that would call for a slightly brighter, more single coil-esque sound, and then you have all of the humbucking power and clarity by default with this with this knob turned down. In terms of the overall tonal characteristics of this guitar, it’s a really nice sounding, resonant body.  You know one thing that I like is that due to this neck construction, I really feel a lot of responsiveness just throughout the whole body even without being plugged in. It sounds good. 

That tells me that it’s the that’s the makings of a well-constructed instrument. It uses the right kinds of woods with the right construction style to give you just a really exceptionally resonant , high-sustaining guitar, so for those reasons, I think this guitar is really going to excel with any sort of music that would that would be considered slightly higher-output like rock, even classic rock. These pickups can do a lot with distortion.  I think it responds really nicely to a high-gain amp or distortion pedal for hard rock, even metal. These guitars have been extremely popular lately for those types of reasons.  It sounds amazing too. The pickup quality shouldn’t be overlooked on these guitars. They sound awesome, and on top of that, you’re getting some really nice features that make this guitar really stand out at the price point.  Again, a mid-range option, so this is not your beginner instrument – this is really kind of a step up. For me, this is a guitar that I find really nice to play, especially considering the shape of the neck. I love the shape of this neck and the jumbo frets, as well as the sound and the overall look and feel of this instrument. It’s super contoured, performs great. It’s got the triple layer binding on the body, binding on the neck all the way up through the headstock. 


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