ESP LTD EC-401 – Is It Good? [REVIEW]

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esp ltd ec-401 review

If you’re wondering if ESP LTD EC-401 is a good electric guitar or not, don’t worry – you’ve come to the right place! In today’s in-depth review, I’m going to take a very close look on that unique model. It’s a really popular axe among the advanced players, but is it actually that good?

The truth is that ESP LTD EC-401 offers a fantastic value for the money. This guitar looks, sounds and feels like a much more expensive guitar. Although it’s a mid-range model, it can definitely compete with other high-end electric guitars.

Let’s dive deeper with research to find out what exactly makes the EC-401 so good and so popular all around the world. Firstly, we’ll start with a quick overview of the specifications of that axe. Additionally, we’ll check out the biggest pros and cons of that model. Hopefully, this guide will help you figure out if this guitar is a good fit for you!

Specs & Pricing

photo of esp ltd ec-401

ESP LTD EC-401 is a high quality electric guitar designed for the most demanding guitarists out there. This guitar has everything you need – it has the looks, the sound and the feel. And that’s why it’s so popular!

The EC-401 features a solid mahogany body, a comfortable mahogany neck and an easy-playing rosewood fingerboard. The thin neck is a huge advantage of that model, because it allows you to practice for several hours without getting tired.

What’s important, the manufacturer decided to equip that model with a pair of extremely versatile and powerful humbuckers:

  • EMG 60 Humbucker (Neck)
  • EMG 81 Humbucker (Bridge)

Both of these pickups give you access to a wide range of tones which are perfect for hard rock and metal. Whether you’re looking for glassy, atmospheric cleans or screaming distorted leads, the EC-401 won’t let you down.

It is also worth mentioning that this ESP LTD model looks absolutely stunning from the outside too. There’s something really unique about that gloss finish on the black body. On top of that, the black hardware adds a lot of character to that model too!

When it comes to pricing, the EC-401 isn’t that cheap, however it’s not overly expensive either. This is definitely not an overpriced model. That being said, it’s definitely worth the money!

Here’s the sound demo – feel free to check it out below.

Who Is It For?

ESP LTD EC-401 is suitable for guitarists of all levels. It doesn’t really matter whether you’re an advanced musician or a complete beginner – you will definitely notice the high quality of that axe.

However, since it’s a mid-range electric guitar, it’s most often used by a bit more experienced and intermediate guitarists.

Just like all the other ESP LTD guitars, the EC-401 is a particularly good choice for rock and metal. If you love these genres and you like to shred, there’s a really high chance that you’ll love that axe.

It is also worth mentioning that this model works perfectly during live performances and studio sessions. If you’re searching for a good and reliable guitar to record your next album with, you can be sure that the EC-401 won’t disappoint you.

Overall, I’m positive that the vast majority of guitar players will be really satisfied after adding that model to their collections. It exceeds all the expectations in pretty much all aspects!

Pros & Cons

Just like any other electric guitar available on the market, ESP LTD EC-401 has its own advantages and disadvantages. That’s totally normal! In the end, it’s not a high-end electric guitar worth thousands of dollars. Don’t worry though – it’s pretty clear that it has far more pros rather than cons.

  • Great Tone
  • Affordable Price
  • Comfortable Neck
  • Perfect For Gigs
  • Ideal For Shredding
  • No Gig Bag Included
  • There Are Cheaper Guitars Out There

As you can see, there are a lot of things that can be considered as major advantages of that model. It looks, sounds and feels like a much more expensive instrument. On top of that, it’s perfect for gigs and shredding. Surely, all metalheads out there will immediately fall in love with that axe!

On the other hand, the EC-401 model usually comes without a gig bag, so you’ll have to get it separately. This is not a huge problem, but it would be really nice if it would be included. It would save you a lot of time!

Nevertheless, I’m positive that the advantages of the EC-401 outweigh its disadvantages. There’s just not too much to complain about! In my opinion, it’s still one of the best metal guitars that you can find at this price level.

Here’s an another sound demo.

My Thoughts About ESP LTD

I had the pleasure to use quite a lot of ESP LTD guitars in the past (including ESP EC-256, EC-1000 and EC-401) and to be honest, all of these guitars made a really good impression on me.

What I like about the ESP LTD guitars is their comfortability – their necks are extremely easy to play. They’re usually pretty thin, so they’re perfect for fast solos. If that’s your kind of vibe, choosing guitars by this brand is a safe bet.

I have no hesitation in recommending all ESP LTD guitars (and particularly EC-401) to all guitar players who are looking for great sounding and reliable guitars for rock and metal. They’re simply awesome!

Alternative Options

If you’re not satisfied with the overall quality of ESP LTD EC-401 or you simply can’t afford it right now, that’s not a problem! There’s still quite a lot of other fantastic electric guitars that also deserve a lot of attention.

Of course, choosing a brand new electric guitar will depend on your own personal preferences and most importantly, on the size of your budget. Here’s a few other models that are also worth checking out.

Alternative Option #1 – ESP LTD EC-256

ESP LTD EC-256 is one of the most popular electric guitars manufactured by this brand. It’s a very similar model to the EC-401, but it’s a little bit more affordable.

Is it better? Well, that depends on what you’re searching for. In my opinion, both of these guitars are totally worth the money! But the EC-256 will definitely be a better choice for guitarists with a bit lower budget.

Overall, I’m positive that the vast majority of guitar players will benefit from adding that model to their own collection. There’s just not much to complain about – it’s just perfect for rock, metal and shredding.

Alternative Option #2 – Epiphone Explorer

Epiphone Explorer is a high quality electric guitar which can be used as a great alternative option for those who don’t want to get the ESP LTD EC-401. This particular model features a bit different body shape, but just like the axe from today’s article – it’s perfect for heavy genres of music.

As you’re probably already aware, this axe is heavily inspired by the legendary Gibson Explorer. Although it’s not as good as the Gibson model, it still offers a fantastic quality and in fact, it’s far more affordable.

I’m sure that a lot of you will be extremely happy and satisfied after adding that model to your own collections!

Alternative Option #3 – Epiphone Les Paul Special VE

Epipone Les Paul Special VE is a cheap alternative option for those who are looking for the most affordable gear on the market. Although it’s not as good as ESP LTD EC-401, it still offers a pretty good quality. If you’re a beginner, this guitar will be more than enough for you.

I had the pleasure to test this guitar out on my own and I was particularly impressed by the comfortable neck of that model. It has a satin finish, so it’s very easy on the fingers. Surely, it’s one of the bets LP-style guitars that you can currently find on the market!

Low price, great tone and a comfortable neck – who needs anything else? That’s why I highly encourage you to check it out!


What is the scale length of ESP LTD EC-401?

The scale length of the EC-401 model has 24.75″.

What is the radius of that guitar?

The radius of that model has 13.7″.

Is the EC-401 good for beginners?

Yes, this guitar is perfect for beginners!

Where can I find out more about ESP LTD?

If you want to learn more about the guitars manufactured by ESP LTD, make sure to visit their official website.


As you can see, ESP LTD EC-401 is a truly amazing electric guitar. Although it’s not cheap, it’s definitely worth every cent! I have no hesitation in recommending this model to all amateur and advanced musicians who are looking for a great sounding and reliable instrument suitable for rock and metal.

What do you think of that axe? Would you get it for yourself or do you think that it’s overrated? Leave a comment down below and let me know what you think, I’m really interested to hear your thoughts!

Thanks for checking out today’s review, hopefully it was helpful. If you enjoyed this article and you’re searching for more gear recommendations, you may also like: