Build Quality:4.7 out of 5 stars
Hardware:4.8 out of 5 stars
Electronics:4.7 out of 5 stars
Sound:4.7 out of 5 stars
Value:4.8 out of 5 stars
Average:4.7 out of 5 stars

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ESP LTD B-204SM NS Spalted Maple Bass


  • Well rounded tonal range
  • Flexible Sound
  • Affordable


  • Bolt on Neck
  • Cheap Nut
  • Tuning Stability Issues

There is a whole world of bass guitars out there, and most people will never know about this world. Most people will stay, complacent, within their electric guitar world, or their acoustic guitar world, and never know the beauty and hardship of working with or having a bass guitar. Let them stay in their narrow worlds I say, because we, the enlightened get more space to enjoy the ESP LTD B-204SM NS Spalted Maple Bass that we are going to take a closer look at now.

Body Quality

The body of the guitar is designed in the spirit of the popular mainstream bass guitars, whether they are affordable or not. This means you get a double-cutaway shape that looks rather cool, but does not stand out much. A top wing that is much larger than the bottom wing for a lopsided look that wants to emulate an axe but falls short and a rounded bottom. Overall it is not a bad look, just one that does not stand out in any way. The coloring of the guitar reveals the spalted maple top of the guitar, which is a rather nice look and detail for the guitar’s design.

The guitar comes in a combination of two tonewoods, Ash and Spalted maple. The ash makes up the most of the body, and provides the instrument with a lightweight and a nice emphasis on the mids, with a nice and well rounded bottom end of tones. The spalted maple top of the guitar provides the instrument with a nice resonance towards the high tones of the guitar, with the final result being a well-rounded tonality. The maple is also moderately weighed, with the guitar being very comfortable to play as a result, while also being rather sturdy.

The neck of the guitar is made out of maple, which is a traditional choice among guitars in all price ranges. This provides the guitar with a sturdy, warp-resistant tonewood for the neck, which results in a long lived instrument with some great neck stability. The bolt on nature of the neck joint is something I never truly enjoyed, but it allows the guitar to be cheap and does not get in the way of playing much. The fretboard of the guitar is made out of rosewood, which is always a fine choice, both in terms of utility and design.


The guitar comes with an LTD BB-604 w/ String-Thru-Body Bridge. This system has a nice level of action and provides the musician with good string stability, though some individual items have been known to be not as sturdy.

The nut of the guitar is on the cheap side and is molded plastic. This would be a problem, but fortunately the guitar comes with a humbucker set up, so all of the potential noise is filtered out.

The tuning machine of the guitar is made to look ok with the rest of the guitar. The tuning stability leaves more to be desired.


The guitar comes with a dual humbucker setup, with one pickup located at the middle of the guitar and the other located at the bridge. The middle pick up is an ESP designed SB-4n and the bridge pickup is an ESP designed SB-4B, and both of them are designed to sound amazing. The output of the humbuckers is powerful while the tonality is delectable. The pickups to a wonderful job of producing a great, lovely sound.

The guitar comes with a detailed set of controls. The player gets one master volume control, one master tone control and three Band EQs for treble, bass and mid.

LTD B 204SM Sound

The guitar has a great and flexible sound. It has a great low tone emphasis, with the bass tones being powerful and highly emphasized, while the midtones and the high tones get a powerful treatment thanks to the presence of ash and maple in the body of the guitar. The pickups do a great job at producing a powerful sound and picking up detailed, lovely sound across the spectrum. Great stuff really.


The first paragraph of this review sounds as if it was recited by a villain. I am in fact not a villain. I just really like bass guitars. The guitar is overall rather lovely, providing a well rounded option for all buyers at a price that is not an insult to anybody’s wallet. Highly recommended.

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