ESP B-404 thoughts?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Strategery, Jun 9, 2005.

  1. Any thoughts out there on an ESP B-404?

    Looking to go deep on a new bass and this one caught my eye. B-254 also looks interesting but it has passive pickups, agathis body and cheaper tuners. I tried an F-254 for fun and it played really nice but has 35" scale. Too "metal" though.
  2. Oliver


    Jun 21, 2003
    Perth, Australia
    im not a big fan of ESP anymore, their basses sound funny to me and their quality control in regards to laquer on fretboards and fretboards being "beat up" from the factory.

    owned a f204 and a B 305, towards the bottom of the fretboard on both of them, even the ones in the store suffer from the dry look, its like esp have run out of laquer, also the store models (3 of them) have beat up fretboards at the bottom, they all had similar dents in them. maybe its just a shotty batch...still

    take brands like Yamaha, Ibanez, samick, BC Rich, any other brands in that price, id choose them over ESP.
    Especially ibanez, i love em, but im biased:)

    up to you mate, if the sound and looks suit you then get it.
    i recommend you check the fretboard if your picky like me, if all good, then great:)
  3. Hollow Man

    Hollow Man Supporting Member

    Apr 28, 2003
    Springfield, VA
    I have an ESP B-304, and it's been a great bass to me. It was relatively cheap, but I've never had the first problem with it. It's got a very beefy sound, which is great for a lot of the rock/classic rock that I play. I'd never heard any complaints about their necks before... mine's pretty solid. I consider it a bargain for what I payed for it.
  4. bass-shy


    Jan 11, 2005
    I say go for it. I've been eyeballing one, too. They appear to be solid and have great specs. I have a C-304 right now and am in love with it. I've never had a problem with it, it looks and sounds great, it's always in tune, the neck is perfect and it balances well on me. If you get one, it would be great of you to post a review. Thanks and good luck.
  5. Tash


    Feb 13, 2005
    Bel Air Maryland
    I'm a big fan of the LTD series and think they are one of the best values in thier price range. If you like the B series style you mihgt also want to check out the aniversary edition bass, which is essentially a B404 will full actives and an ebony fingerboard with a custom inlay.
  6. I own an LTD B-105 (pre-agathis era) and can honestly say it is one of the most comfortable basses I've ever had. The neck profile is awesome. Very slim at the neck, but wide enough at the body to really dig in, and do some slappin' if that's your thing. That neck is so nice, I've turned down some fantastic sounding basses, because I just couldn't dig the neck profile.

    It sits on the body really nicely, and it has a thick finish that is practically indestructable. The headstock has poked holes in the $1000 Les Pauls and G&L's that my old band used to play, and even falling off of wall mount stands has never even put a dent in the finish. Of course all that finish means, it's a heavy thing, and if I don't do stretches before a show, I'm in pain the next day.

    Now, that I've commented on all the good things, here's the bad stuff. The bridge is made out of some poor quality crap, and doesn't intonate very well. The pots are beyond cheap, and the pickups are more sterile than a unic at a uranium plant. :D I have fought with this thing more than any other instrument to get it to a decent place where it can be my main gig-baby. It's still in need of a lot of work though.

    I think the newer low-end stuff from LTD is coming out of Indonesia, wheras mine was a Korean. I tried an Indonesian B-105 (before they switched to the B-155) which had the active pups on it. I will say that the sound of the bass boost cranked all the way was pretty warm and smooth (Most bass boosts get that nasal I'm in a rap group sound that drives me crazy,) and the treble boost wasn't too bad either. But, it didn't feel as good as my instrument. The neck felt weak and dry, the body paint felt fragile and ready to chip....well you get the idea.

    I've also tried the C-304. You might like it's tone, but I personally found it to be too trebly for my tastes. No amount of Eq'ing could factor that out for me. But hey, mine may have just been a freak.

    To summarize, if you're commited to an LTD, save your money and get the 404. The bridge looks beefier, The pickups are better quality, and the wood material is something reliable (I'm personally boycotting LTD for charging $300+ for Agathis....eeew :D )

    I'm agreeing with groovyriffage and would say that if you can try one in a shop, spend some time checking on the neck and body.
  7. xshawnxearthx


    Aug 23, 2004
    new jersey
    i was just commenting to one of my friends how people dont respect esp/ltd as much as they used to.

    me, i played a viper 404, and i liked it a lot. neck wasnt my favorite, but if esp gave me one like they have done with some of my friends bands, i would defintely take it and be happy, same goes with any of their viper series guitars.
  8. Tash


    Feb 13, 2005
    Bel Air Maryland
    ESPs have simply become a lot more mainstream. Most people's expirience is with the LTD line, which are not super high end instruments by any means. They are still very very nice, I think they are every bit as good as any other guitar or bass in the >$1000 group, and much better than most.

    High end ESPs are even nicer, I too have a couple friends with endorsement deals who play custom shop instruments that rival anything I've seen from Warwick, Spector, Zon, Modulus or a host of other boutique names.

    ESP and Spector are the only companies I'd have not even a second thought signing an endorsement contract for,. While many people would jump to endorse anyone I'd be afraid to put my name next to an sintrument I wasn't confident in. I've owned several ESPs now and had not a single complaint about build quality or sound. While I've never owned a Spector I've played dozens and never found one I didn't like...its the price tags that get me :)
  9. Thanks to all who replied. If I buy it, or even try it, I'll definitely post my review.
  10. ESP-LTD


    Sep 9, 2001
    I've had a B305 for a couple of years now; no complaints.

    I think most rosewood fingerboards are pretty dry, so I oil them; problem solved.
  11. Well, I ordered it. Due end of July but I wouldn't be surprised if it is delayed. I'll report back with an update when it arrives.