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Rating and Reviews: ESP LTD EC-256FM Guitar

The ESP LTD EC-256FM offers a classic vibe at a great deal. With a mahogany body and Tune-O-Matic bridge, the ESP LTD EC-256FM is a great performer's guitar.

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The Wow Factor
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"A LP for those of us who can't afford over 2 G's..." submitted July 30, 2010

By a customer from hotmail.com
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Musical Background: Hobbyist, Semi-Active Musician
Music Style: Classic Rock, Metal, Rock
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Sound: This is my fourth ESP/LTD guitar (I also have the M100-FM, EC-200QM, ST-203FR). Have been in love with the ESP/LTD line since '03. I've always loved the LP look and style and wanted to get that vintage look ala Page or Slash. I've got the honeyburst and the worn look is great. The coil splitting is nice and allows for some real versatility. Thin body and fast neck (slimmer than 60s LP- IMO) makes this a dream to play. Classic rock tones through a Marshall. It really doesn't get much better than this for the money. Feature: The coil splitting is a nice feature, as is the slim, fast neck. The worn finish is cool and the guitar is a dream to play. Pickups are solid, not too harsh or bright. Ease of Use: Plug it into a Marshall and wail away. The knob for the coil splitting may be difficult at first to get used to, but well worth it. Quality: All my ESP/LTD guitars have been spot on. For the price, these guitars are hard to beat. I use them regularly for gigging and haven't been let down. I've gotten numerous compliments on my live sound. I use the ST-203FR and EC-256 for classic rock and the M100-FM and EC-200QM for metal. Got all my bases covered... Value: ESP/LTD guitars are the best "bang for the buck" guitars...period. There isn't anyone making such great guitars at these prices. I'm not rich/famous nor do I have an endorsement deal, so gig money needs to go a long way. Manufacturer Support: I had to call ESP once, a couple of years ago to register my EC-200QM as I didn't get the warranty card with my purchase (local guitar dealer). ESP called me the next day and sent an email as well. Pleasant, prompt and professional on the phone. Class act. The Wow Factor: It's practical and delivers the goods. Overall: This guitar will remain in my stable permanently- along with my other three ESP/LTD's.
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"BUTTER!" submitted May 7, 2012

By Brad W in I.F., ID
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Musical Background: In a band.
Music Style: METALCORE/HARDCORE/DEATH-METAL/POST-HARDCORE/POP-PUNK/INDIE
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Sound: It comes with LH-150 ESP humbucker pickups(kind of unfortunate because that's what my EC-100QM came with). But don't get me wrong, they are much better quality in the EC-256 with the chrome finish(and to be honest, I personally think they have a more distinct sound). Which is why I put them into my EC-100QM guitar and upgraded my EC-256 to the ESP EMG LH-300 humbucker pickups(very similar sound to the EMG HZ4's). Either way though, both humbuckers sound good, I just wanted my EC-256 to sound a little more metal. Feature: The push pull coil splitting is pretty cool. You can get any sound out of it that you want really.. I personally don't have much use for it but it is a great feature. Everything else seems very well built, the only thing I can think of is to check the input jack and make sure it's screwed on tight. An easy fix but I've had this problem with both my ESP's when first purchasing them. Ease of Use: Once you get the push pull coil splitting figured out you are golden. The neck is mahogany and pretty slick for fast playing(slicker than the EC-100QM with the maple neck) you don't have to worry about sweaty hands. It also has a nice thin neck and smooth fret board. Both of my ESP's have the same tune o matics and they stay in tune perfectly! Quality: All ESP guitars are very well made and durable. The EC-256 is light weight and built to shred. I had to get my neck straightened out on it and of course get new strings, but it plays like a dream now. Value: Over all this really is a great value if you're in the 400 dollar price range! Even though I upgraded the pickups, got the neck straightened, and switched out the strings, it is pretty much needed for any guitar. But I guess if you have an extra 200 dollars to upgrade to an ESP with active EMG pickups I highly recommend it.. Just because you absolutely can't go wrong with that. Manufacturer Support: I have never had to deal with ESP support.. But I don't see why your local guitar shop couldn't help you out with what ever is wrong. The Wow Factor: I bought the 2tone burst and the pictures don't justify its looks. The age finish is epic and I won't have a problem getting br00tal with this guitar on stage.(hint* kind of why I got it as well, I won't feel quite as bad if i ding it up). But once again, I absolutely love this finish on it. Overall: I absolutely love ESP and all of their work! I've owned the EC-100QM for about three years now and upgraded to the EC-256 a little over three months ago. And both are still so fun to play that I'll switch off between them.
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"Great affordable guitar" submitted August 9, 2012

By Theo M in Ängelholm, NA
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Musical Background: I have been playing music since I was 13 and professionally since I was 15.I play the guitar, bass, drums and sing.
Music Style: With this guitar, I mostly play classic rock, blues and other pop-rock sub-genres. Otherwise Metal.
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Sound: I like the ESP-pu's sound and they produce a truly full and warm tone. One problem I have is that the neck pu is a bit too bassy, though this can be fixed by changing the settings on your amp/pedals or adjusting the height of the pu. I am Probably going to switch them for a Gibson 500T in the Bridge and a seymour duncan something in the neck slot. Feature: The hardware is pure quality and the coil-splitting gives the oppurtunity for some real versatility. The woods resonate well and the fretboard feels great. Also it stays in tune well. Ease of Use: Fantastic playability with the fast and slim neck. In comparision with other guitars (Like the Schecter Hellraiser V-1) the neck feels super thin and comfortable to play. Quality: The guitar feels like it's real quality and I've never had any problems with it. Since it's distressed from the factory, I don't have to worry about dings or scratches! Value: This guitar is 100% worth the money. Manufacturer Support: Never had to contact support. The Wow Factor: It looks and feels stunning. Overall: I just bought this guitar for fun since It was dirt cheap and I had some money in my pocket but, wow, I was blown away.
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"Bought a "Blemished" Lemon Drop EC-253 for $250...Best deal ever!" submitted September 20, 2013

By Gregg Chirpka in Pahrump, NV
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Musical Background: 40 years, anything with strings.
Music Style: Christian Rock, Southern Rock, Honky Tonk, Classic Rock and Jazz.
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Overall: Can't find a blemish...not even a subtle nick or scratch...absolutely beautiful AX...not even fingerprints. Made in Vietnam..God bless the artisans! The Lemon Drop color is actually more golden orange like a flame maple gold top. Action feels like .009s,slinky,but neck has the correct relief and intonation is very close. Fretboard could use some bore oil for moistening and protection befoer dirty build-up. ay consider Sperzal Tuners and upgrade to DiMarzio Super Distortions (they can be Coil-Split)..We'll see. So far, extremely happy with this "Poor Man's Les Paul".Unbeatable best value compared to EPIs, PRS Koreans, and Schecters.Don't be afraid of a "Blemish"! Cost me 1/10th of Gib.Les Paul Stndrd. I've been playin' for 40 years..own Fender,Gibson,G+L,Hagstrom,Ibanez,RWG and Washburns...Thank you ESP and ZZOUNDS...forever grateful...G3.
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"Esp gem" submitted November 25, 2013

By Sydney S in Morton, MS
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Musical Background: Playing for 40 years. Play all kinds of music but this instrument was perched for playing with church band.
Music Style: Rock, blues, Christian, country
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Overall: Excellent guitar not just for the money. Has the best neck I've played. Tone is great. Finish is first class. Lemon drop is awesome.
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"awsome guitar" submitted February 6, 2010

By a customer from comcast.net
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Musical Background: garage band
Music Style: rock and blues
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Sound: this guitar rocks.powerful pick-ups,great sustain.I could not believe this guitar is only 399.00.To me it sounds as good as my Les Paul.I am blown away . Feature: I like the classic worn look.this is a high end guitar at a low end price Quality: high quality guitar.This is my second ESP and I would definitly buy another Value: worth every penney and then some Manufacturer Support: never needed support The Wow Factor: very sexy guitar Overall: I will have this guitar a long time
10 of 11 people (90.91%) found this review helpful. Did you?
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"ESP LTD EC-256" submitted November 21, 2012

By Steve N in Cleveland, OH
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Musical Background: Rock musician from the classic days of Jimi in London
Music Style: Long Live Rock, I need it every day
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Overall: You know guys, on other sites everyone is always trashing this guitar for the pickups. And, no, it does not have EMG shred heads in it. You won't get that here. What you DO get is a fine instrument at an EXCELLENT price. It even came with Cleartone strings - that is the discovery of the month for me - neck perfect, nice coil tap feature, perfect weight and balance, and I love the artsy distressed worn gold look. This is my favorite ESP LTD guitar - in fact my go-to, plugged in as I write, ready for some more rock music - Gimme Back My Bullets, That Smell, Had To Cry Today just sort of came out of her effortlessly. I will take her out and play live with this one, no shame there. Put EMG's in it if you want, but for me, a GREAT value.
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"owner of 5 ec model esp and ltd loves new 256mg" submitted January 12, 2011

By a customer from yahoo.com
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Musical Background: active musician
Music Style: punk
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Sound: sounds great. the coil tap is refreshing. this plays sraight into a crate 60 watt tube head and 4 - 12 cab Feature: although it plays and feels great the nut is the one thing that i changed. from a ec-400. nut too soft and slots too deep Ease of Use: i think any ec plays great. i own 5 Quality: made well besides the nut. but that wouldnt stop me from getting the black one. Value: yes Manufacturer Support: esp support depends on the store you buy it from The Wow Factor: an addition. all are unique Overall: anyone that buys a guitar will change parts, nut, tuners, etc. the foundation of a guitar is the neck and fretboard. esp/ltd has that down no matter what hardware is used
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"A Real Screamer and a Great Value!" submitted November 6, 2012

By Jason A in Cedar Park, TX
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Musical Background: Long musical background but failry new to guitar (two months).
Music Style: Rock, Metal, Pop
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Overall: My first impression when I pulled it out of the box was that it was very light and that I did not like the finish - i ordered the 2-tone burst. I think i would have liked the Honey burst better, but it was not in stock when i wanted to buy. The sound is fantastic - it is my first set neck guitar, and there is a definite tone and sustain difference from my other bolt on neck guitars. Decent setup out of the box. Overall I am happy.
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"Best Les Paul style guitar on the market today" submitted November 7, 2012

By Richard G in North Aurora, IL
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Musical Background: I've played guitar for 27 years. Professionally for 10. Now just for the love.
Music Style: Rock, metal, jazz, blues.
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Overall: If you are considering a single cutaway Les Paul style guitar buy this one and you will be happy. Where to begin? The tone? It's incredible. Everything from sparkling clean strat tones (thanks to the coil tapping) to bluesy quack and honk to classic rock crunch to overdriven saturated metal. The feel? Exquisite. A little thinner body to save weight but not so thin as to sacrifice solid tone. Belly cut for comfort. The neck is thin enough for shredding solos and leads but thick enough for easy chording with a solid feel in the hand. Combined with the extra jumbo frets for easier fretting and it feels like a dream. The look? Gorgeous! I bought the cherry sunburst and the perfectly book ended flame maple is as beautiful as anything coming out of a custom shop. The pictures make the red look too bright and pinkish. In reality the red is much more subtle and blends perfectly into the gold of the burst. Sitting in the stand across the room it's so sexy it makes me want to play it all the time. Finally, the price? Un-believeable! It has everything the EC-1000 has with the exception of gaudy abalone pimp style binding, ebony fretboard, and active pickups. If you like active pickups get this guitar and install them. You will save money and have a better guitar (the EC-1000 is heavier with no belly cut). The EC-256 is every bit as good as a $2000 Gibson Les Paul also. Save money and sound better. Buy this guitar!
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"ESP 256-2TB Vintage Electric Guitar-Fits like your favorite old blue jeans" submitted June 16, 2011

By a customer from hotmail.com
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Musical Background: Active Musician
Music Style: Christian Contemporary, Old school Rock, Country
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Sound: The EC256 from ESP has a tremendous range of sound from a light mellow distortion to a clear strong rhythm mode. You can get extreme distortion and rock sound or simple clarity for lead licks or rhythm riffs. Ease of Use: Plug it in and start playing. The dial set and push pull tap coil are well described both in the manual and on the knob itself with a hang tag. Control the volume and levels of each pickup. Quality: The 2 tone burst, or as some call it tobacco burst, is an absolutely awesome vintage finish. It exceeded my expectations because it was much nicer than the photographs showed...it is a very rich deep finish and the worn look adds nice character. Value: Zzounds price beat the competition on the web, quickly and without pushback. I love my equipment and I love to shop at Zzounds.com. You guys Rock! The Wow Factor: This is a very cool and distinctive guitar. Smooth neck action and fret movement, nice markers on the frets, a vintage finish that is like your favorite pair of blue jeans but in a guitar. It also has a gift tag from SIT, Stay in Tune strings...nice touch. ESP and SIT are paired up to bring you some great products if you are in the market. Overall: I expect this guitar to stay in my inventory forever, I may even buy a second in a different finish. Doubt I will ever add another one, looked at Gibson Epiphone and others...extremely happy with my ESP.
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"The best deal for the money!..ESP, baby!" submitted May 16, 2011

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Musical Background: Active Musician
Music Style: rock, country
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Sound: Sounds great, feels great and looks great....I love sexy curves and this little momma has them. I am new to guitar playing and bought this as my first. The wide range of tones available from the selectable, independently adjustable LH 150 humbuckers is totally awesome. I am in love with this guitar! It keeps it's tuning through the bends, and is built like a tank...Thank you ESP and Zzounds for the great deal. Feature: I love the coil tap, it just makes the tonal abilities almost endless. The Tune-O-Matic makes palm muting a breeze and with the Mohogany body and neck, the sustain keeps on going and going...I love it. No, it is not a Les Paul, it might resemble one in looks and sound. But, this one is all ESP, baby! Ease of Use: I thought it was set up perfect right out of the box..a 1/2 to 3/4 turn on the tuners and she was ready to go. The action was perfect and the over all feel and playability is great. I use this with the Fender Frontman 212, and this baby Rocks. For $400 bucks, it is a steal. Quality: It is ESP...built like a tank and keeps a tune through the twists and bends with sustain like mad! U will not find a better deal, period Value: It is worth twice it's selling price. Manufacturer Support: ? I hope I never need it...I own a ESP Bass guitar as well and never needed them. The Wow Factor: "I want It", "I got it"..."I love it!" Overall: I know I will buy another ESP guitar..but to replace this one??, I doubt it. yes, if it were broken or stolen I would replace it in a minute..( after a thorough manhunt) All these have a maple top, but the Aged Honey has the flamed top...If looks might be your thing...Again, Thank you ESP and Zzounds for a helluva deal on a rock solid guitar! RAWK!
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"This thing is awesome......you cant go wrong." submitted January 30, 2011

By a customer from aol.com
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Musical Background: hobbyist
Music Style: Alternative, Country, Worship
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Sound: sounds great, but i may go for new seymour duncan hot rods at some point. overall awesome guitar! Feature: like the coil tap too Ease of Use: plays great! Quality: seems really nicely made. Value: awesome deal for a guitar like this Manufacturer Support: havent needed any.................. The Wow Factor: love the looks of this baby Overall: I love my new guitar! its easy to play, looks awesome, sounds good. My first ESP wont be my last! definitely. I almost got the epiphone goth les paul.......so glad i bought this guitar! although i may some day buy the epi too.
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