ESP LTD EC 256 Review

You’re obviously here to find out more about the ESP LTD EC 256 to see if it may fit your needs as a guitar player. If you are not here for that, I don’t know what you are doing here!

If you want to get into the details quickly, check out the quick review below. To find out everything about the LTD EC 256, read on!

Guitar enthusiasts are always eager to learn about the guitars available on the market. Despite their busy schedule, they always find the time to browse through a variety of lists, do a little research, and read or watch reviews about the guitar that piqued their interest.

Guitarists are really thorough when it comes to guitars and have to know every feature of it down to a T. Some people might think it is a lot of work but as a fellow guitar geek, I can relate to having to spend hours just studying details about guitars and not even regretting a thing about it!

To all those guitar fanatics out there, here is another one of those reviews to spend some of your precious time into.

Review of Esp LTD EC-256

Too lazy to read the full review? Here’s the quick summary!

esp ltd ec 256 electric guitar review

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What We Think

The ESP LTD EC-256 is a versatile guitar with great looks, comfort, and amazing sounds in this price range. This guitar is ideal for rock and metal players but if you are someone who loves playing various kinds of genres then you won’t be disappointed with this one.

The guitar is perfect for those who want to upgrade to the intermediate level and also for advanced players. Buying this does sound like a great investment as you need not buy another guitar for a good period of time after purchasing this one.


  • Roasted Jatoba frets
  • Humbucking pickups
  • Excellent build and finish
  • Mahogany neck
  • Cheap

Let’s dive deeper into its details!

Talking About The ESP Brand- Is it any good?

‘ESP’ is the name of an electric guitar company and stands for ‘Electric Sound Products’. It is a Japanese guitar manufacturer based both in Tokyo and Los Angeles.

esp guitar logo

Hisatake Shibuya, in 1975 opened a shop in Tokyo, which provided custom replacement parts for guitars, named Electric Sound Products. Then they started making guitars gradually. They were first introduced into the US in 1983 and began to provide locals with custom-made instruments between 1984 and 1985. ESP expanded its Signature Series as well as its standard product lines between 1990 and 1992. There are about 41 signature series guitars.

In 1995, the LTD series was introduced to produce ESP’s products of high quality at a reasonable and affordable price. Their quality has been the main reason for their continued demand other the years.

ESP not only makes guitars but also produces a wide variety of hardware parts like ESP Labs Pickups, Bass bridges or the ESP Flicker tremolo, sustainers, equalizers, etc. They were ranked among the fastest-growing companies in 2002 and they are continuously meeting the increasing demands of the players over the years without compromising their product quality while living up to their name.

Detailed Review of ESP LTD EC 256 Electric Guitar


The weight of this guitar is within 8 pounds, which is an average weight for electric guitars. Therefore, it is not much of a hassle to carry it around during practices and play for hours. Also, because of its balanced weight, your hands are less likely to feel sore after long hours of practice.

Build Quality

The ESP LTD EC-256 guitar costs under $500 but despite the lower range of price, you can rest assured that no compromise has been made when it comes to the build quality of this guitar. Durable materials like mahogany and roasted jatoba have been used to build the body and fingerboard respectively.

The neck is made up of three-piece mahogany and therefore, the chances of warping in this guitar are less in comparison to those with one-piece necks. But the body is a single piece made of mahogany – without any chambers and this acts as another factor to add longevity to this guitar.

This guitar, when compared does not come short even against other expensive guitars that are built with rich customers in mind.


The ESP LTD EC-256 guitar looks really sleek and is also aesthetically attractive. It is the upgraded version of EC-10 and has a good amount of resemblance to the style of Les Paul. So, if you are someone who cannot afford the Les Paul but is a fan of that style then this humble guitar can act as an affordable replacement for a Les Paul.


The Eclipse body style with single-cutaway design and slightly arched top provides players with comfortable hand positioning irrespective of the players’ picking style. You can find the thin U-neck contour in this guitar.

Even though the neck and body on this instrument are sleek and thin, the frets are huge. This makes playing with this electric guitar much easier.

Along with attractive aesthetics, the guitar comes in a variety of colors like black, gold, etc. and so you can choose any color of your choice.

If you are into glossy and shiny guitars rather than matte ones then this shall prove to be your cup of tea. The gold hardware, the smooth black finish of the guitar body, and the jatoba fretboard highlight the beauty of this guitar.


There is a beautiful decorative headstock and you get a thin U-neck with this guitar. Because of this feature, customization is really easy and the players can choose the thickness of their preference.

esp ltd ec 256 guitar neck

It has a nut with 1.65-inch width and a plastic truss rod cover on the headstock. Thick necks are sturdier and are also less prone to warping over a period of time (because of fluctuations in temperatures). However, it might not be that much comfortable for people with smaller hands. Therefore, anyone can modify it as per their comfort and choice.

As the neck is made from mahogany, it is flexible, buoyant, and durable. This wood also helps to bring out that desired warm tones and resonance. The neck isn’t attached to the body with the bolt but instead is glued and therefore, the player can feel the string-to-body vibrations and resonance much better.

Not using the bolt-on type of neck for attachment to the body also adds durability to this guitar.
The frets in this guitar are quite big with an interesting design. There are 22 jumbo frets and the fingerboard radius is 350mm, thus playing this guitar is much easier as you can have plenty of room to experiment around.

The frets are made up of Jatoba, a hardwood similar to Rosewood but much more sustainable, harder and cheaper in comparison. In addition, Jatoba is known for holding a good amount of moisture and leaving a minimum amount of blotch on the guitar’s surface. There is an LTD flag in fingerboard inlays and this provides it with a very custom look that I really like.


As mentioned before, the body shape of this guitar is Les Paul (LP) and is made up of Mahogany.

esp ltd ec 256 guitar body

Mahogany adds warmth and softens the highs by reducing the overtones. Along with that, it is durable, easy to work with, and also resonant which is one of the necessities for musical instruments. The body is shaped in such a way that it fits under the arm naturally and is comfortable.


There are two humbucker pickups in this guitar. The neck pickups used in this guitar are ESP-designed LH-150N pickups.

The pickups are similar to those found in ESP LTD and based on the position of the neck, it can emit 8k up to 14k ohms. They offer great tone, both clean or dirty, as they are responsive to playing dynamics.

The bridge pickups used are ESP-designed LH-150B. You can split the pickups and play a variety of pickup configurations. This is possible because of the presence of a push/pull control knob.
This guitar has a pickup selector for each pickup and there are three control knobs; one master tone knob, and two volume knobs.


You can find Tune-O-Matic (TOM) bridge and tailpiece in this guitar. These give you that dependable stability and intonation you need for tuning. TOM is responsible for maintaining the distance and making it adjustable for all the strings. Whereas, the stop Tailpiece bridge makes the string changes easier.

Along with those, what you get with this guitar are really affordable LTD chrome tuners for setting your sound. Even if you play the guitar by bending the strings a lot, it is less likely to get out of tune. Hence once tuned, you can just grab it and play it anytime.

The string used in this guitar is the D’Addario XL110 string. These are tough and also sound better.
Single-coil and the humbucking tones both can be accessed easily by the push-pull coil in this guitar.
The nut made from molded plastic is used in this guitar. This isn’t ideal but it is understandable for keeping the price of this guitar low.


As this guitar is not as expensive as another great-sounding guitar, you might feel that this guitar will have issues with how they sound. But that’s not the case with this one. Single coil pickups in some guitars give that snappy and bright sound as coils are susceptible to environmental noise.

But this should not be an issue for this guitar as you can find “humbucking pickup” in this guitar. The two coils in a humbucking pickup help to reduce any noise by canceling out each other’s noise and producing that much-required big, loud, and warm sound with a great-sounding sonic tone.

Each of the pickups in this guitar consists of a pickup selector. That pickup selector works three ways, a master tone knob, and dual-volume knobs. Because of the presence of a master tone knob, one can switch from a push-pull to a coil-split mechanism while playing. The splitting mechanism helps to bring versatility to the tone of this guitar.

The master tone knob allows you to switch from a push-pull to a coil-split mechanism and bring those tonal variations. The ESP LH-150B bridge pickup in this guitar offers a brighter, snappier sound than the neck position. Whereas, the ESP LH-150N neck pickup helps to bring that higher bass content and warmth. Thus, one can enjoy a crisp solo as well as rocking heavier riffs on this guitar.

Freebies with the ESP LTD EC 256!

You get a form-fit case/ gig bag complimentary with this guitar. Therefore, you can protect your guitar from accidental external scratches and carry it around with easy.
The presence of a standard strap button on the heel of the guitar helps hold the guitar strap.

The Good

  • Low price but great value
  • Dependable build quality
  • Excellent playability
  • Beautiful fit and finish
  • Versatile
  • Comfortable
  • Humbucking pickups
  • Moulded nuts
  • Good sized guitar frets
  • Three-piece mahogany neck
  • Roasted jatoba fingerboard
  • Tune-o-matics and stop bar fully adjustable tailpiece
  • Fits naturally under the arms

The Bad

  • No locking tuners
  • Some of the fret ends aren’t as smooth

Closing Thoughts

This ESP LTD EC-256 guitar is great for both advanced as well as intermediate players. Also, it can be played to produce various genres of sounds. Thus, this guitar can be used by players having different levels of skill and can switch musical genres effortlessly.

Pickups of this guitar are not that ideal but it could be easily replaced as per the player’s choice. Other than that, the features of this guitar are great and it can give good competition to the guitars which are much more expensive than this one.

Even though the low price, this guitar does not compromise on its’ sound quality and durability. All in all, from my point of view, investing in this guitar shall not prove to be a waste of money and space!

Frequently Asked Questions

Is ESP Ltd EC-256 guitar versatile?

Yes, it is. The powerful ESP-designed humbuckers deliver amazing versatile tones and allow the player to capture their playing style of any genre.

Is ESP Ltd EC-256 guitar worth the money?

Of course. For this price, you get many of the features in this guitar which are exclusive for other guitars priced much higher than this.

Is ESP Ltd EC-256 guitar good for beginners?

Because of the comfortability and easy playability, this guitar can cater not only for the advanced players but also equally towards the beginners.

Does ESP Ltd EC-256 sound good?

Yes, it does! You can get a brighter and crisp sound along with higher bass and warmth with this guitar. The features in this guitar make it a great pick when it comes to sound quality and versatility.

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