ESP has done many of us a favor in the way of making affordable and well made guitars over the past few decades. They have produced some incredibly impressive instruments, at least the ones I’ve learned about, and have one a great job of supplying the market with decent, affordable guitars. The ESP LTD EC100AT might be one of them. Let us take a closer look at the instrument and figure out what makes this one just as good as the so many others.
First and foremost, let us discuss the design of the guitar and how it works, or doesn’t work, when you first look at the instrument. The guitar has imitated the famous Les Paul design in the attempt to produce something familiar and loveable. The result is a very decent looking guitar with many comfortable aspects, such as easy access to the highest tone frets, comfortable carrying and playing. It is definitely a great design, though a little overused nowadays, and the classy solid color choice makes the guitar look, and feel, even better.
The body of the guitar is built out of basswood. This tonewood is known for a lot of things. The favorite aspect of it for the majority of manufacturers is the fact that it is so cheap. This, as a result, becomes the favorite aspect of the players as well, since they get a cheap guitar out of it. The second most favorite aspect of the tonewood is the effect on the tone of the guitar. Basswood resonates beautifully with the lower tones, producing a warming and thickening effect on the sound of the instrument. The hardwood is also notoriously light, making for a comfortable holding instrument material, such as a guitar. The only problem the tonewood might have is the fact that it is not as sturdy as you would want it to be. Susceptible to dents and scratches, it is something you might feel like it is a fair tradeoff.
The neck of the guitar is made of maple. This is a standard construction choice for the lower end guitars. Maple is known for its quality of being extremely sturdy, making it the prime choice hardwood for the building of guitar necks. The neck is bolt on, with no known alignment issues The fretboard of the guitar is made of rosewood, which is always a nice pick.
The bridge of the guitar is designed in the Tune-o-matic style, with a tailpiece attached. This gives the guitar decent action and some nice string stability. The design also matches the traditional Les Paul overall design.
The nut of the guitar is where the instrument suffers a whole lot. Made of a cheap plastic material, the nut does very little in the way of mitigating string buzz.
The tuning machine of the guitar leaves more to be desired as well, though it is better than most in the price range. It keeps the guitar tuned for an adequate amount of time, but cannot take travel or extensive string bending.
The guitar is equipped with two ESP designed humbuckers. The LH-150(a) and the LH-150(b) are located and the bridge and the neck of the guitar, respectively. These passive humbuckers do a great job at being powerful and having a full, powerful tone. Yet they are very basic, and have a tendency to go flat after a period of time. Nothing too harsh or too out of the world, but a balanced pair of pickups.
The guitar has a fairly normal set of controls. Two knobs for volume and one for tone, as well as a switch for treble and rhythm, as with most Les Pauls.
The sound of the guitar is acceptably decent. It has a lot of things going for it, with the humbuckers neutralizing most of the string buzz. The resulting sound is clean and powerful, while the tone of the guitar is enjoyable and full. Overall a great sound, especially for a guitar of this price.
Beginners should be scrambling to pick this guitar up. It provides you with all of the basics of a Les Paul/Humbucker instrument. While it might not be the choice for an intermediate player, the affordability and ease of upgrade should make it a good instrument for consideration.