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ESP LTD, Good Guitars?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by sandman357, Apr 19, 2006.

  1. Hi,
    I am ready to buy a decent 5 string. I think I like the ESP LTD B155. http://www.zzounds.com/item--ESPB155FM Does anyone have one of these? How is the ESP brand in general?

    I have had a Yamaha RBX 350 for 12 years and love it. I have looked at upgrading, but honestly can’t find anything I like that much better than old faithful. The ESP has a similar feel and sound. I know these are lower grade instruments, can I expect the ESP to hold up as well as my Yamaha?

  2. Eilif

    Eilif Supporting Member

    Oct 1, 2001
    I've never bee particularly impressed with LTD, but then I played a j-1005, and it blew me away, so maybe there is more to them than I realized. I wouldn't hold out much hope for it being a better instrument, but it might be equally good.

    Anyone else out there with some LTD experience?
  3. Doctor J

    Doctor J

    Dec 23, 2005
    I've an old ESP 400 series Jazz bass and I've yet to play any other brand of Jazz that comes close. It's most definitely my number 1. The LTD stuff is pretty decent too though quality does increase the more $$$ you shell out.

    Edit -> should have said, the 400 Series is pre-LTD era
  4. 1zero


    May 20, 2005
    anything below the the 400 series is really not worth considering..there are much rock basses at the price like ibanez..but if you really want one, save up and get a genuine ESP..not an LTD
  5. bass-shy


    Jan 11, 2005
    I don't have any experience with the B-155, but I own a C-304 and a B-50. IMO, they are both awesome. The C-304 is my number one. I have yet to play any other bass that does so many styles so well. If I could only have one bass, this would be it.

    The B-50 is a project of mine. I defretted it and I am planning on replacing the hardware, electronics and finish, soon. The stock pickups are actually pretty decent, especially the P pickup. The J is noisy, but that's what single coils do. Both basses are completely different from each other, but both are great in the right applications.

    To answer your question, ESP LTD's are not crap. IMO, they offer the best bang for the buck in the industry. Compared to Schecter, Fender, Warwick, Ibanez and Yamaha, they win hands down.

    If you can, try a couple out before you decide. If you can't, at least buy from somewhere with a good return policy. Good luck.
  6. Eilif

    Eilif Supporting Member

    Oct 1, 2001
    Did you mean ESP or LTD 400 series. If you meant ESP 400...

    Have you tried a LTD J-1005? That is a smoking bass! Of course it costs over 800... I initially thought similar to you, but I don't think that anyone looking in the 800 range can afford to not check out the J-1000 series.
  7. bass-shy


    Jan 11, 2005

    +1. LTD basses are badass. The higher end ones especially. The fact that the LTD designation refers to a lesser line of ESP basses is misleading. It is not the same quality ratio as say, Fender to Squier. I would put the higher end LTD's on par with American Fenders, and the "real" ESP's on par with high end builders, like Tobias and Modulus. Of course, they are not the same as Tobias and Modulus, I just feel that they are in the same league of quality, sound and craftsmanship. All of this is IMO and IME.
  8. Eilif

    Eilif Supporting Member

    Oct 1, 2001
    I should qualify my statement by saying that it has been years since I have played a low end LTD. They all seemed so metal esque', with thier pointy curves and ugly headstocks. (IMHO of course) None of them were visually pleasing enough to make me even want to try it.

    That was why the J-1005 caught me by surprise. Partially because it got a good BassPlayer review, but mostly because it looked like a boutique quality Jazz bass, and played/sounded really good.

    When I was done, I thought "this is a bass I could own", and that doesn't often happen with alot of the modern featured import lines of basses. i.e. Ibanez, Schechter, LTD, Yamaha, Cort, etc. I'm very often impressed with their quality, but rarely do I find one that I want to take home with me.
  9. v-12


    Mar 3, 2005
    FL Panhandle
    i had an ESP mij jazz custom (same model as guy from steely dan) that was pretty sweet, i'm just not a jazz guy. my brother in law is a gui**r player who is sponsored by esp and they sent him an ltd (unsure of the model) that i was pretty impressed with it-solidly built with a fat tone. i'd have no problem buying another esp!
  10. JanusZarate

    JanusZarate Low End Avenger Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 21, 2006
    Petaluma, CA, USA
    +1 on ESP LTD basses!

    I own a lefty LTD B-50, and I'm very pleased with it. It's my only bass, but combined with DR Lo Riders, and it gives me the tone I'm looking for.

    Compared to Ibanez and Fender basses of comparable quality and price range, my B-50 won out when I first tested it at a local guitar shop.

    The only real issue is the noisiness of the J-pickup at high volumes. My P-pickups are amazingly quiet.

    I imagine installing EMG P/J pickups could only further improve the great tone it already has, and take care of the J-pickup noise issue.
  11. ESP Japan rocks much harder than the domestic stuff we get... case and point;

  12. lola99


    Jan 28, 2006
    I love my esp b-50, but then I'm a beginner. I also love my 1984 Peavey Fury.
  13. ESP LTD's are pretty good. I play the anniversary model, and quite frankley i couldn't be more happier. i love everything about it.

    i would be happy buying any higher end LTD's, but would be very cautious about anything else. if you can, try and play it before you buy it. for i five string i'd prefer a 35" neck. if you do get it, you may want to switch out the pickups. aswell, i personally don't trust basswood or agathis.

    this is all just my prefrences, i've never actually played this bass, i'm just speculating. My own experiance with LTD has been quite good, i wish you good luck.

    on a side note, for best bang for you buck, i'd have to say either Cort or Spector, if you can, see if you can try out the Performer 5DLX, good deal.
  14. BassGod


    Jan 21, 2004
    I have the 30th Anniversary as well, and I think it's a great bass. Of course, many people dislike the tone of the EMG active pickups it comes with; I love it though. The action I can get without buzz is outstanding. The only gripe I have is with the battery door.

    I'm saving now for a custom ESP, having been so impressed with my current ESP/Ltd.

  15. Eilif

    Eilif Supporting Member

    Oct 1, 2001
    What's 30th anniversary?
  16. BassGod


    Jan 21, 2004
    The ESP/Ltd B-2005 30th Anniversary bass. There was a limited number made, but it's a great bass. Black satin finish, neck-through, ebony board, EMGs, etc. I'll try to post pics.

  17. 73jbass

    73jbass Supporting Member

    Apr 17, 2004
    I have an ESP LTD 206 that is unplayable right now,because the bridge bent right behing the mounting screws from normal string tension. ESP will not replace it because it's out of the warranty period. I have emailed them on several occasions about getting a replacement bridge for it,and they keep sending me to places that don't sell that bridge.When I reply to them that the sites they recommend don't have what I need,I never get a response back. So much for customer service. I'll probably wind up selling it without a bridge pretty soon.I hope their other prodects a made better than the P.O.S. I got.
  18. lola99


    Jan 28, 2006
    Here's the 30th anniversary bass, but this is four string.

  19. Hey,
    Thanks for the advice. I am still very much in the looking stage right now. I am a firm believer in “you get what you pay for”. In the back of my mind I am thinking for this price, with the quilted maple top how good can the quality be? I liked the feel of the bass when I played it, but I let the music store plug it in to a nice big expensive amp. (can’t remember what brand, but I bet it would make my Rogue sound good!)

    I am not realy looking to replace my Yamaha, Just trying to find a 5 string I like as much for under $500, which brings me to my next question.

    Is there much difference in a $300 bass and a $500 bass, or would I have to go up to $800 or more before I get a noticeable difference?

    I know I will just have to go and try a bunch of basses to find the right one, but music stores in my area are limited. Just trying to narrow my focus a bit.

    Thanks again.
  20. you may notice a big difference in a $300 bass compared to a $500 one. it's entirely based off of what bass it is. some "cheap" basses can be real jems, some can be utter crap. in this pricerange, prety much everything you find will be made in asia. quality control by many companies is rather questionable on their basses made with cheap labour (basses from southeast asia, mexico, etc...). sad to say it yet again, but all you should do is just get out there and try anything you can at or under you price range.

    good luck!

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