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FDP Forum / Non-Fender Gear Reviews / LTD Brand Eclipse Model with Dimarzio Humbuckers



Mar 23rd, 2016 03:34 PM   Edit   Profile  

I brought home an LTD brand (licensed by ESP and built in China) Eclipse 401VF three weeks ago and this is my post-honeymoon review. It's basically an LP type, and moderately priced, alternative to a real Gibby for those on a budget.

I am a Strat player in recent years (with 3 older guitars dating back to 2006 and 2008) but got a cheap Brighton no-name LP custom copy from a college student a few years ago for $ 300.00 and dropped in some upgraded pups for the crunchier tunes we play. It was not cutting it (an unknown wood under the hood, a maple neck, and a thin body style) so I rarely play it.

Saw the LTD 401 Vintage Flame on the clearance rack right in January and played it for about an hour and fell in love with it. Then I called my Daughter (who owns a Japanese ESP Eclipse she bought last year) for her take and when she saw the pics, and the price, she told me to snap it up before someone else did. I put down the lay-away deposit right there and paid it off on March 1st.

By way of background, I stated playing in the 70's and had the luck of getting a nice Ibanez LP as my first good guitar, loaded active EMG's in it, and pawned it off like an idiot around 1985. Never had the cash for a real LP after that, switched to Strats, and never bonded with the dozens of Epiphone LP's I have picked up in stores over the last 1O years.

This LTD/ESP licensed Eclipse is the nicest LP type style guitar (other than original standards and customs I have borrowed or played in stores) that I have every played (and now own).

Will only say these few things about it: a) the flamed maple cap finish is beautiful; b) the stain on the back and neck is beautiful and shows off a very nice mahogany back and perfectly aligned three piece neck; c) the neck and fretwork-inlay work is perfectly smooth and a dream to play; d) the tone of the Dimarzio 36th anniversary PAF's is very nice, warm, and single note articulate in every position; and e) the tone knob is the most responsive one I have every played in a guitar; it does not loose much volume at all when turned all the way down (for the Slash overdriven tone for leads) and no ice-pick highs when turned up on max. A very well balanced traditional LP type of sound.

Recorded some riffs last night for the first time over a friends acoustic playing and was just amazed (last night and today) at just how clear and creamy the tone is on this guitar listening instead of playing.

Bottom line is that I got this guitar new for the steal clearance price of $ 399.00; I know that the high end EC 1000's are very nice and that the current prices on the sites including GC for this guitar actually range from $ 599.00 to the MSRP of around $ 799.00.

I would certainly like to own a nice Gibson LP before I die if I have the chance/cash (and not the lower end ones but a nice Standard or Custom) but have to say that this LTD is a thrill to play, gets pretty close to the beefy Paul tone, is a very well made guitar, and has made me appreciate why Les Pauls are such treasured instruments. You cannot get that tone unless you have a guitar with the original ingredients (full thickness mahogany neck body/maple cap/nice quality PAFs/traditional LP bridge) and this guitar not only sounds good but sustains forever (with the nice set neck) just like the real deal.

I never played this model when they had the Semour Duncan pups but imagine that this guitar would take nicely to most high quality PAF models out there.

Thanks for hearing me out on this "last" guitar I will every buy as I told my Wife when she caught me bringing it into the house.............. Lol.

(This message was last edited by celius at 05:38 PM, Mar 23rd, 2016)

Contributing Member

Cincinnati, USA

Apr 6th, 2016 07:09 AM   Edit   Profile  


FDP Forum / Non-Fender Gear Reviews / LTD Brand Eclipse Model with Dimarzio Humbuckers

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