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ESP LTD EC-1000 Electric Guitar Review

When Metal and Thrash styles of guitar playing broke through in the 1980s, guitar-makers were put on notice. Metal demanded high-performance instruments. Those that could take a beating, pump up the volume, and provide a highly-dynamic sound.

The demands for speed and accuracy meant that the older electric guitars designed for rock n’ roll were not going to cut it. The hardware and the pickups needed to be redesigned to match the sheer audacity of Metal.

One of the leading makers of finely-tuned shred machines is ESP…

The Electric Sound Products (ESP) shop opened in Tokyo, Japan in 1975. Since that time, ESP has evolved into a company known for its meticulous attention to detail and high standards. Over the years, they have produced a wide range of models suitable for every style of music and play.

In 1996, ESP launched the LTD brand. It was aimed at delivering the same quality and prestige of ESP guitars at a price that was affordable to all. One of the avenues ESP LTD went down was building guitars that had the same tone and feel as shred-machines built in a custom Thrasher shop.

Didn’t need to cost a fortune…

They were successful and proved to the world a speed-demon Metal guitar didn’t need to cost a fortune. They also cemented Japan as an equal to the US for high performance, lightning fast guitars made for Metal music.

So, let’s have a look at what they have to offer with the…

ESP LTD EC-1000 Electric Guitar

Our rating:4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

The ESP LTD Deluxe EC-1000 Electric Guitar

This is the very definition of a modern Metal guitar that looks, feels, and sounds like the high-priced Metal guitars used by the professionals. It is quite classy with some LTD Deluxe features that make it stand apart from other guitars in the same range.

If you are a metalhead and want a precise and performance-driven ax to enhance your sound, join us as we breakdown the ESP LTD Deluxe EC-1000 electric guitar…

The Body

Built with a solid piece of mahogany, the LTD Deluxe EC-1000 dominates as a rhythm or lead guitar. Solid mahogany body electric guitars are becoming rarer because the amount of mahogany available has slowly been in decline.

However, the need-for-speed and high-performance precision demands of Heavy Metal makes mahogany the perfect wood. It is a very hard wood, so it is a natural choice for building a guitar that is going to be put through the wringer.

ESP LTD EC-1000 Electric Guitar Review

Screaming high-end…

The tone of mahogany is warm and full, with good sustain. For guitars that are going to shred, mahogany has all the properties that satisfy the requirements for heavy use. All the screaming high-end, depth, and sustain you could ever need when playing Metal.

This guitar features a single cutaway, so you can trill with blazing speed way up on the neck.

Draped in a menacing Black Satin finish with abalone binding. The LTD Deluxe EC-1000 has a look that would make Dave Mustaine green with envy.

The Neck

Keeping with the need for a strong guitar that can handle speedy shreds. The neck on the LTD Deluxe EC-1000 is made from three pieces of mahogany. And, the neck is set through which provides greater strength and stability when you are really ripping away.

The fretboard is made of Pau Ferro, which is a South American wood very similar to rosewood. Like Rosewood, Pau Ferro is strong and hard with good resistance to wear. It also helps to enhance the tones of the mahogany neck and body.

ESP LTD EC-1000 Electric Guitar

Wail with pitch-perfect definition…

There are twenty-four frets on the neck, giving you a higher register to play off. The screaming high notes on the twenty-fourth fret will ache and wail with a pitch-perfect definition.

The construction of the neck means that you can play till your dripping with sweat on the higher frets without any loss of clarity and vitality.

Looks wise, the LTD Deluxe EC-1000 features abalone inlays and binding along the edge of the fretboard that matches the binding on the body.

The neck is made for speed and stability. It is super-fast and smooth. The action is fantastic whether you are moving rapidly up or down its length.


The LTD Deluxe features ESP’s own locking tuners with gold plating. These tuners were designed with shredding in mind. They are made to take a thrashing and still hold the strings perfectly in tune.

The bridge is a TonePros Locking Bridge system. Similar in appearance to a Tune-O-Matic Bridge. The TonePros Locking Bridge differs in a very important way – the bridge and tailpiece are mounted in place with screws to the body.

Electric Guitar

Why does this matter?

A Tune-O-Matic Bridge or any similar stopbar tailpiece and bridge are not in a fixed position on top of the body. This means that heavy strumming and raucous use can cause the bridge and/or the tailpiece to slip or even shake out of position, causing intonation problems.

The TonePros Locking Bridge and Tailpiece system is designed for heavy playing and especially for intense and hard shredding. The bridge and the tailpiece on this system are part of the body because they are screwed in place.

Overall sustain and clarity…

This result is far superior intonation, string balance, and precision tuning. It also increases the overall sustain and clarity of every note.

The action on each of the strings can easily be adjusted using independent bridge saddles. The tailpiece is also adjustable, allowing you to get a slinkier feel to the strings by decreasing the angle the strings break over the saddles.

The bridge and tailpiece are gold plates to match the tuners and control knobs.

The Pickups

These pickups are what you’d expect. Therefore, this guitar can deal out some serious punishment with two EMG 81/60 humbuckers. While these pickups can handle a wide array of styles, they are first and foremost monsters of metal.

 Electric Guitar

Scorching tones…

Designed to give you tons of high-gain output, the EMG 81s offer an increased output that rages and screams enough to redline your amplifier. The scorching tones, deep punches, and blistering output levels have made these pickups a premier choice for die-hard metalheads.

The EMG humbuckers feature active circuitry, so they are as silent as stone when you need them to be.

Made for metal, these pickups can just as easily deliver sweet and warm tones with clear and clean highs, mids, and lows that humbuckers are known to produce.

Also see: Yamaha APXT2 3/4-Size Acoustic-Electric Guitar – Black Review

Final Thoughts On The ESP LTD EC-1000 Electric Guitar

The ESP LTD Deluxe EC-1000 is a deadly instrument when wielded by seasoned shredders, but is still a beast in the hands of mere mortals. This is because the guitar has all the pieces in place to provide you with an incredible Metal sound.

Some of the most famous Heavy Metal guitar players have made their bones with ESP guitars. A short list includes James Hetfield and Kirk Hammet from Metallica, Alex Skolnik of Testament, and Will Adler from Lamb of God. But, there are hundreds of other famous metal and rock musicians who have made ESP guitars a part of their arsenals.

The quality put into the construction and design. Coupled with a commitment to high-performance instruments that are professional-grade have earned ESP a spot at the top of the guitar world.

Professional affordability is what the ESP LTD Deluxe EC-1000 electric guitar is all about.

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