What do u guys think of ESP basses

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by That Metal Dude, Dec 16, 2007.

  1. That Metal Dude

    That Metal Dude Guest

    Dec 11, 2007
    Hi all

    I'm thinking of buying a ESP bass mid next year and was thinking what u guys think about them. I was looking at the LTD F Series bass guitars and the LTD AX series bass guitars. Has anyone had any experience with any of these basses and if so what are they like to play. I'm still looking for a store which I'm able to go to and try playing some of these basses.

    Also I'm playing with a pick so is there anything i need to looking out for when choosing the bass, I'm playing mainly rock and metal so Drop D is a must and would go on to CGCF. If i was to get a 5 string would i tune it to be BCGCF or would i not really have to ? :help:

    I haven't gotten my new amp yet but my bass teacher told me to maybe get my bass first to get the feel of it and all and then get my amp once I'm comfortable with my bass guitar .... is this a good idea or should i first get the amp and then get the bass guitar .. :help:

    Ty to those who can help

    That Metal Dude :bassist:
  2. treebranch13

    treebranch13 Guest

    Oct 31, 2007
    i have an ESP F254. Love it. when it drop tuning, it is a beast, played some crazy metal lines in C on it, my friend who has a $4000 amp and $3000 guitar loved the sound i was getting. The Ax series... not so amazing. I played the Ax, F, B, and Viper. Viper is warmer by a bit, but i bought the F, the Ax and B, not as good IMHO.
  3. santucci218

    santucci218 Guest

    Jan 26, 2007
    you tune your bass however you want. ESP...not bad i guess, dont expect amazing stuff from it, but it is definitely in the working class.
  4. Linas


    Jan 6, 2005
    ESP makes some really nice stuff. Check out there Vintage-4 Bass. High quality bass with a price tag to go with it.
  5. jefkritz


    Oct 20, 2007
    Madison WI
    if you get a 5er, you dont really need to downtune anymore, unless you like lower tension or you downtune the b-string to something even lower.
    as for what to look for regarding pick playing, make sure you like the sound and feel of the bass when you play with your pick.
    i would get my bass and amp at the same time, but if it has to be one before the other, i would definitely say get the bass first. a bass without an amp is useable, whereas an amp without a bass would just be useless furniture
    hope that helps
  6. Fealach

    Fealach Guest

    Apr 23, 2003
    Gone to a better place
    I've tried out many LTDs, they're OK, thicker necks than I like but as good as anything in the range for overall quality and sound, but nothing incredible either.

    Real ESP, I have only seen or played 1, and it was very sweet.
  7. ucanttme

    ucanttme Guest

    Jul 11, 2006
    I got a B155, awesome bass man... strong as hell. I play in a death metal band so we play in B and gives me the nice brutal tones i want working with my amp. Looks cool, plays well, gets a bit heavy after a 50min set but no complaints, really recomend it.
  8. VinceS


    Jul 25, 2007
    SF Bay Area, CA
    i've played a Japanese ESP (ie not LTD) and i was very impressed.

    i don't like the LTD series so much though, but they are pretty good basses nonetheless.
  9. mikeyswood

    mikeyswood Inactive

    Jul 22, 2007
    Cincinnati OH
    Luthier of Michael Wayne Instruments
    The LTDs are very good basses for Korean. The B305 is a great bass as is the Fs. They are among the best is that price range.

    If I ever find an ESP F like Greg Christian's I am all over it!
  10. Daytona955i


    Feb 17, 2005
    Albany, NY
    LTD basses are a great value when you buy one thats in the middle of the road and up.

    ESP basses are heavenly.
  11. ModuMan

    ModuMan How many is too many? Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2007
    Bristol, CT #19
    How does one go about getting one of the Japanese ESPs? The 5-string that Tetsu plays looks (and sounds) really cool.
  12. I like my LTD B-305. Plays well, came setup well(most likely the store,though) and it looks really nice, see thru black cherry.

    For the money you will get a very nice bass. The hardware is great. It is a neck thru. Most ESP's come with active electronics(usually the EQ). I have never had an issue with my bass in 4 years.

    If you're looking at the F series I see that the 255 has all of the same options as mine. I have tried them out before, and they were nice. F-255 are clearer sounding, not as much mud on the B string as my B-305. It wasn't that big of a differance to me. It is 35" scale, which is really good for drop tuning and the clarity of lower notes. The only weakness on the lower models is the pickups. I think the ESP PUs are ok, but they are a little treble heavy and not as sparkley as some. Pickups can be changed, though, and still keep a low buget.

    The higher end models come with passive EMG PUs and EMG EQ, and some come with active EMGs all around. It all comes own to price.

    I havn't tried the AX series.
  13. I have had a few LTDs and played a couple of ESPs. I just bought a F255FM and I love it. The quality and fit and finish is excellent. The setup was OK, but I always take my new stuff in to my tech to get a proper setup with new strings.
    The preamp is a monster. Tons of low end and very versatile. I will be changing out the pickups for Barts or Basslines to add a little warmth.

    You can play any style with this thing. from jazz to metal.
    I play Rock and Funk and it rips.

    Dont let people try to confuse you or throw you off with the ESP - LTD thing. The LTDs ARE ESPs budget priced models. So they may have cheaper parts, electronics and made in Indonesia, China or Korea vs. Japan. My experience is they are not that much different.
    get one and enjoy.
  14. I would disagree on the quality of LTD vs. ESP. The LTD basses, while great in their price range, are not in the same ballpark in most cases. The LTD's on the higher end approach the Japanese quality (good hardware, real EMG's etc.). I had a Horizon 5 many years ago and deeply regret getting rid of it. Outstanding bass. Not sure about the newer Japanese models. You rarely see them in the US but I would bet they are outstanding.
  15. MoD_Scotty


    Jul 22, 2007
    Thrapston, UK
    I flat-out LOVE my ESP LTD D4. I play metal, and clean or distorted, the bass cuts through everything so much better than the Ibanezes I was using before. It really blew me away when I first got it. I've had it for 6-8 months now, and I'm still experimenting...and I think the tone just keeps getting better. Oh yeah, and I tune mine drop-B (BF#BE). I don't play with a pick, and I would suggest putting the pick down and concentrating on your fingers, but that's up to you.

    I hate playing bass unplugged. I would definitely try to get an amp, or even something that will allow you to play through headphones. Most multi-effects units have headphone jacks. Even playing throguh a used, beat up, small practice amp is better than nothing. It'll allow you to actually hear everything you're playing.
  16. A9X

    A9X Inactive

    Dec 27, 2003
    I have a friend with an ESP Custom Shop guitar and it's one of the best looking and made instrument I've personally ever seen. He also has a couple of LTD models, and whilst not as nice, the laws of dimishing returns have kicked in well and they're much better value for money.

    Nice guitars, and if I ever get to Japan so I can get one of the more intersting models, I just might buy one.
  17. MacktheKnife

    MacktheKnife Guest

    Dec 5, 2007
    Real Japanese ESPs are in a different league to LTD, I have owned/played both in basses/guitars, ESP are awesome, LTD are okay. I picked up a 6 string LTD Bass recently, and sent it back as the finish was so poor, but I've owned 2 LTD guitars before and they were both fine, and a real ESP Viper, which was superb.
  18. That Metal Dude

    That Metal Dude Guest

    Dec 11, 2007
    Are the pickups on the F255 active ? ... wanting to no and is there any point on spending the extra $600-$700 on getting the F405 ? I'm sizing up the option of either that or the AX's at the moment just need to try some out but if anyone's tried these please tell and should i spend the extra dollars ?

    That Metal Dude :bassist:
  19. Nedmundo

    Nedmundo Supporting Member

    Jan 7, 2005
    I've tried a few LTD models, and think they represent very good value. I thought the Surveyor 400 was outstanding, with excellent playability, great construction, and a hard-hitting aggressive tone from the EMG electronics. I normally don't like EMG stuff because I'm more of a passive Fender guy, but these sounded almost like G&L MFD's and really impressed me. It would be an excellent bass for metal. I thought about getting the five string version, but then I played my P-bass at rehearsal. Great cure for GAS.
  20. musicmedic

    musicmedic Guest

    Mar 24, 2007
    I play an LTD B305 and I love it. Never had a problem with it in the 5 years I've had it, and for the price it makes it a little easier to take to the bar gig without having an anxiety attack.