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MF MD HG01 Electric Guitar Month 06-21-17
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ESP LTD EC-256FM Electric Guitar   (Open Box)
Ships Internationally
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Product# H90046
OVERVIEW

A sturdy rocker with a flamed maple top, a set neck and coil-tapping.

The ESP LTD EC-256FM Electric Guitar is a classic-looking rocker perfect for gigging on a budget. It's a stage-worthy performer with its set-neck construction and flamed maple top over an all-mahogany body. The rosewood fretboard has 22 XJ frets accross a 24.75" scale length and is designed for speed and comfort. The EC-256 sports two powerful ESP humbucking pickups with a 3-way toggle switch, independant volume controls for each pickup, and one master tone control with push-pull coil-split. ESP die-cast tuners and a tune-o-matic bridge add to the reliability of this affordable workhorse.

FEATURES
  • Mahogany body
  • Flamed maple top
  • Mahogany neck
  • Set-neck construction
  • 24.75" scale
  • Rosewood fingerboard
  • 42mm standard nut
  • 22 XJ frets
  • Chrome hardware
  • ESP tuners
  • Tune-o-matic bridge and tailpiece
  • ESP LH-150 (B & N) pickup
  • 3-way toggle
  • Bridge volume
  • Neck volume
  • Master tone with push-pull coil-split
  • Case not included

Choose a guitar that'll get the job done gig after gig. Order today.

Reviews
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Review Snapshot

by PowerReviews
ESPLTD EC-256FM Electric Guitar
 
4.4

(based on 56 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (33)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (15)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (5)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (2)

89%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Good feel (41)
  • Fun to play (39)
  • Good tone (38)
  • Solid electronics (27)
  • Good pick up (20)

Cons

  • Fret buzz (7)
  • Poor pick up (4)
  • Craftsmanship (3)

Best Uses

  • Practicing (45)
  • Jamming (44)
  • Recording (32)
  • Small venues (29)
  • Rock concerts (24)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Experienced (34), Professional musician (13), Novice (8)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

Head (stock) to toe BETTER!

I ordered this guitar out of pure frustration from the past 3 guitars I've purchased, setting out to find a guitar that wouldn't cost me a kidney but would stay in tune, ALWAYS #1...Read complete review

I ordered this guitar out of pure frustration from the past 3 guitars I've purchased, setting out to find a guitar that wouldn't cost me a kidney but would stay in tune, ALWAYS #1 as you can change the pickups if you don't like 'em.
I bought a middle of the road "I've been had" for MUCH MORE than this only to have it fall apart during a recording session that cost me 1/2 as much as the guitar for that weeks sessions.
Next I bought a well known up & coming guitar brand that is getting alot of buzz in the metal world *Used from competition only to be shuffled around & find out the guitar had been a factory second with MAJOR neck issues.
Third I bought another guitar (See "I've been had")liking the neck of the first one, but not the Licenced Floyd on it. It held up good but was snapped in 2 by a drunken studio hand.
I will give Ibanez S series a thumbs up for making a comfortable guitar that sounded good, however, it don't compare to the LTD EC-256.
Upon receiving the guitar(EC-256 see through black model) I noticed that the neck felt comfortable for a guy like me who don't have those "yard-stick fingers" it felt like I was finally home from a vast wasteland of guitar malfunctions, misreps from other music gear sites, & sloppy seconds.
The pups rang out very similar to a LP although not as "singy" on the neck. The push/pull pot was a cool bonus that gave me options I never knew I needed for recording, but found spots for right away on my first recorded song within hours of unpacking at my home studio.
Tuning was forgot about because I took it out of the box, tuned it, & didn't HAVE TO give it a second thought!
There was no fret buzz, no flaws in the finish, & I was surprised at how well the hardware felt. It was more like hardware from a guitar that costs MUCH more & felt solid & durable. I was VERY surprised that there were only TWO reviews on this guitar as it handles just as well as my LTD EC-1000 & is intonated BETTER than I've been able to get the 1000.
To finish up this review I would like to add that anyone who has that ear that picks up on guitars that sound great while playing, say an Eb minor, then sound out of tune when you shift to a D chord need to give this one a whirl. Finish is amazing too. My ONLY complaint is the input jack had a loose nut on it which I fixed in 5 minutes flat. If you are on the fence as I read on another review, go for it! you will certainly be glad you spent less money for a much more solid instrument than any other NEAR this price range. 1 last note - I play Metal, Hard Rock, & a little blues on the side. Works great for all although the pups are passive they are CLEAR & you can boost the distortion if you need more Ummph, & I love the way I can hear the notes with more definition than w/ active pups. I 100% would recommend this to my friends,family.
My only regret is that I didn't deal with MF FIRST.

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

Finish flaws galore, but still relatively happy

This is actually my first electric guitar, but I've been playing acoustic for several years. I still consider myself a novice because I don't play well due to, but I've played enough to...Read complete review

This is actually my first electric guitar, but I've been playing acoustic for several years. I still consider myself a novice because I don't play well due to, but I've played enough to know a bit about guitars. I purchased the ESP LTD EC-256FM Electric Guitar finished in see-thru black cherry sunburst (as a Christmas present to myself) and when I unboxed it I was immediately disappointed in the fit and finish of the guitar. There are MANY blemishes in the finish, including lint under the clear coat, bubbles, and scratches. The finish is bad enough that I can't help but wonder if I was sold a factory second. There is also a pretty deep scratch across the entire fretboard at the 22nd fret. In addition to the finish flaws there is an issue with fret buzz on the low E and A strings and I seem to have to tune the guitar much more frequently than I do with any of my acoustic guitars. One other thing that wasn't too much of an issue, but was still disappointing, the output jack on the guitar was so loose it felt like it was going to fall out of the guitar each time I plugged in or unplugged the cable. That was easily fixed, but since it is a new guitar I feel it's something I shouldn't have to do myself.

With the bad out of the way I will say I love the physical profile of the guitar, the extra jumbo frets are fantastic and overall I find it much easier to play than my acoustic guitars. I really like the "feel" of the guitar and I love the push/pull coil-split because it makes it very quick and easy to switch from a warm almost woody tone to a bright clean tone.

Having never owned an electric guitar before I'm not well versed in setting one up, but I'm hoping that a bit of tweaking will get rid of the fret buzz issue. Because it's my first electric guitar I purposely went with a very low price guitar and because of it's low price I decided to keep it despite all of the cosmetic issue, but issues like that will no doubt be a huge problem for some people.

Reviewed by 56 customers

Displaying reviews 1-10

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(13 of 13 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Head (stock) to toe BETTER!

By Scottcat74

from Apalachin, New York.

About Me Professional Musician

See all my reviews

Ask me a question

Verified Reviewer

Pros

  • Good Feel
  • Good Tone
  • Solid Electronics

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Jamming
    • Lessons
    • Practicing
    • Recording
    • Rock Concerts
    • Small Venues

    Comments about ESP LTD EC-256FM Electric Guitar:

    I ordered this guitar out of pure frustration from the past 3 guitars I've purchased, setting out to find a guitar that wouldn't cost me a kidney but would stay in tune, ALWAYS #1 as you can change the pickups if you don't like 'em.
    I bought a middle of the road "I've been had" for MUCH MORE than this only to have it fall apart during a recording session that cost me 1/2 as much as the guitar for that weeks sessions.
    Next I bought a well known up & coming guitar brand that is getting alot of buzz in the metal world *Used from competition only to be shuffled around & find out the guitar had been a factory second with MAJOR neck issues.
    Third I bought another guitar (See "I've been had")liking the neck of the first one, but not the Licenced Floyd on it. It held up good but was snapped in 2 by a drunken studio hand.
    I will give Ibanez S series a thumbs up for making a comfortable guitar that sounded good, however, it don't compare to the LTD EC-256.
    Upon receiving the guitar(EC-256 see through black model) I noticed that the neck felt comfortable for a guy like me who don't have those "yard-stick fingers" it felt like I was finally home from a vast wasteland of guitar malfunctions, misreps from other music gear sites, & sloppy seconds.
    The pups rang out very similar to a LP although not as "singy" on the neck. The push/pull pot was a cool bonus that gave me options I never knew I needed for recording, but found spots for right away on my first recorded song within hours of unpacking at my home studio.
    Tuning was forgot about because I took it out of the box, tuned it, & didn't HAVE TO give it a second thought!
    There was no fret buzz, no flaws in the finish, & I was surprised at how well the hardware felt. It was more like hardware from a guitar that costs MUCH more & felt solid & durable. I was VERY surprised that there were only TWO reviews on this guitar as it handles just as well as my LTD EC-1000 & is intonated BETTER than I've been able to get the 1000.
    To finish up this review I would like to add that anyone who has that ear that picks up on guitars that sound great while playing, say an Eb minor, then sound out of tune when you shift to a D chord need to give this one a whirl. Finish is amazing too. My ONLY complaint is the input jack had a loose nut on it which I fixed in 5 minutes flat. If you are on the fence as I read on another review, go for it! you will certainly be glad you spent less money for a much more solid instrument than any other NEAR this price range. 1 last note - I play Metal, Hard Rock, & a little blues on the side. Works great for all although the pups are passive they are CLEAR & you can boost the distortion if you need more Ummph, & I love the way I can hear the notes with more definition than w/ active pups. I 100% would recommend this to my friends,family.
    My only regret is that I didn't deal with MF FIRST.

    (9 of 10 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    Best bang-for-the-buck guitar ever.

    By VEEDUBZ

    from Man, WV

    About Me Experienced

    See all my reviews

    Pros

    • Fun To Play
    • Good Feel
    • Good Pick Up
    • Good Tone
    • Solid Electronics

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Jamming
      • Practicing
      • Recording
      • Rock Concerts
      • School Bands
      • Small Venues

      Comments about ESP LTD EC-256FM Electric Guitar:

      Wow!!! I already own the "real deal", an ESP Eclipse II Standard. To me that guitar seems too nice for someone like me to play out with. I was afraid to get it beat up. I thought this would make a nice workhorse. Now that I have it and see how beautiful the Lemon Drop is in person, I don't wanna hurt it either. It really is so nice. Came setup great right from the box. No tweaks necessary. Just did the usual fretboard conditioning and new Dunlop Pure Nickels. This thing rocks! It plays so nice. I honestly can't see anyone justifying paying a higher price for the upper models. I have a new go to guitar. If you're on the fence, just jump on over. It will not disappoInt you.

      (6 of 7 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      LTD EC-256FM

      By BigpawPat

      from Poncha Springs, CO

      About Me Professional Musician

      Pros

      • Big Frets
      • Coil Tap
      • Fun To Play
      • Good Feel
      • Good Neck
      • Good Pick Up
      • Good Tone
      • Maple Top
      • Pups With Punch
      • Solid Electronics

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Jamming
        • Practicing
        • Recording
        • Rock Concerts
        • Small Venues

        Comments about ESP LTD EC-256FM Electric Guitar:

        I like this axe! The tiger striped maple top is very nice. It's well balanced weight is an improvement over my Les Paul. But it is not a Les Paul. The PUPs have a different voice. I won't mod them as yet, because I want to see what they can really do. I played tis guitar through my 1964 Twin, and it had lots of voice. The coil tap does not turn it into a Telecaster and weakens the volume (I'm not a coil tap guy- just buy a Stratocaster and turn it up). I love the neck, the fret board and the big frets. No fret buzz on mine, BTW. For the SDOD price, it's win, win, win. I'm 67 years old, been playing since 1957 and have handled lots of great guitars. I think this little black cherry tiger stripe will keep me in heaven for quite a while.

        (6 of 6 customers found this review helpful)

         
        5.0

        Great instrument, incredible value!

        By Todd Weller

        from Topeka, KS

        About Me Professional Musician

        See all my reviews

        Pros

        • Good Feel
        • Good Tone
        • Perfect Setup
        • Quality

        Cons

          Best Uses

            Comments about ESP LTD EC-256FM Electric Guitar:

            Excellent build quality. Had very good intonation right out of the box. Action was perfect. Absolutely zero fret buzz, yet incredibly fast action. For the money there is no other guitar that comes close. The finish was flawless and the turners stay in tune! As a professional working musician who has played just about everything out there, I'm blown away at the value of this guitar. I own another more expensive LTD and this one seems to have the same build quality as my more expensive LTD. IMHO, LTD makes VERY good guitars.

            (6 of 6 customers found this review helpful)

             
            5.0

            Amazing action w extra jumbo frets

            By Sssteeve

            from Bay Area, California

            About Me Professional Musician

            See all my reviews

            Ask me a question

            Pros

            • Good Tone
            • Incredible Action

            Cons

            • Pickup Not Great

            Best Uses

            • Good for everything

            Comments about ESP LTD EC-256FM Electric Guitar:

            ESP LTD has these guitars made for them in Vietnam from a very slick design that they have come up with. I already have 2 of the EC256P models which use P-90 frame pickups. I started with just one but the neck and action were incredible- much better than any of my Gibsons so I got another. I ordered the EC256FM from MF so that I could install regular Gibson-frame humbuckers.

            These guitars come with extra jumbo frets which is one upgrade a lot of guitarists have done with their Les Pauls. Gibson uses the Plek process on their high end guitars to make the neck and frets perfectly level; I'd have to say that whatever process the factory in Vietnam uses to level their necks and frets is almost as good as that- amazing for a guitar that sells for such a low price.

            The body is thinner than a LP with a deeper cutaway sculpted on the backside for better access to the highest frets. The upper bout is sculpted on the backside, too, so it doesn't dig into your stomach.

            Sounds too good to be true? Well, the LF-150 pickups that come with this guitar are the only weak point I see. Not a bad decision on the part of ESP LTD since a lot of guitarists (like me!) prefer to use specific pickups and would replace them anyway. The stock pickups do work and get the job done but are nothing to write home about.

            My EC-256 was delivered earlier today and it is built with the same quality as their EC-256P. The flamed maple top (hence the FM suffix) is very beautiful, especially in the black cherry sunburst. So nice that I just ordered a second one. (These guitars are literally the smoothest-playing guitars I have ever tried in 49 years.)

            I'm getting a second one because I want to put SD Seth Lover pickups in one for a vintage humbucker sound and a set of DiMarzio EJ Custom pickups in the other for a very clear strat-like tone in a real humbucker that kicks butt when you crank it up. (I am amazed at what those guys at DiMarzio are coming up with!)

            (6 of 7 customers found this review helpful)

             
            5.0

            Great Guitar and Amazing Value

            By fpeding

            from Syracuse NY

            About Me Novice

            Pros

            • Better Than My Lp

            Cons

            • Packaging

            Best Uses

            • Jamming
            • Practicing
            • Recording
            • Small Venues

            Comments about ESP LTD EC-256FM Electric Guitar:

            Let me start with I have owned a Gibson LP Standard 03, Fender Strat 40th anniversary, Gibson flying V, and many others. When I was much younger I was really bent on "Made in USA". As I have gotten older my bank account got bigger so I would buy all "Made in USA" guitars. This guitar was the right price because I purchased it as a used guitar and I made a great choice. I can say with all the guitars I have owned this plays the easiest. I wont say this is better than a LP.....I will say I personally like this guitar more than any other I have owned. It has a amazing neck and the fret board radius is great. This guitar has changed my mind set 100% on cost of a guitar. I play this 100 times better than any other guitar I have owned. Lets be honest if a guitar sounds great but you play it like junk whats the point? This guitar sounds good easy to play and is much lighter feeling than my Gibson LP felt. This guitar has made me want to go deep dive into more esp guitars. All I can think is the eclipse series as a hole are one heck of a guitar. One last thing I hate signature model guitars....I think the idea is really lame really but honestly looks wise this reminds me a real lot of the slash signature model.....I would never ever buy a different guitar. My others will not come out the cases much anymore.

            (5 of 6 customers found this review helpful)

             
            4.0

            Stupid deal ain't so dumb

            By ClayStrider

            from South Carolina

            About Me Professional Musician

            Pros

            • Fun To Play

            Cons

              Best Uses

              • Jamming
              • Practicing

              Comments about ESP LTD EC-256FM Electric Guitar:

              I got this as a "Stupid deal of the day". I have wanted a single cut away, mahagony body electric with a maple top. For the price I figured why not. I am very pleased. The fit and finish of this instrument is very high quality. I did have to lower the TOM bridge some as it was kind of high. The pickups are not the best but work fine for 90% of what I need it for. These frets have taken some getting used to. You will want to play one before buying as they can be off-putting. The neck is not set for very much relief so a proper set up is in order. The tone you get through the neck pick up with the split on is pretty frickin cool. Through my old Fender tube amp I am able to emulate Pearl Jam tones easely. You won't find a better guitar for the price. If you like tinkering with a guitar this one will work for you. It is a nice solid platform with the potential to be an impressive guitar.

              (5 of 8 customers found this review helpful)

               
              3.0

              LTD Review

              By MAJ S

              from Bristol, TN

              About Me Experienced

              See all my reviews

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Awesome Look And Finish
              • Good Pick Up
              • Good Tone
              • Solid Electronics

              Cons

              • Heavy
              • Tuning
              • Uncomfortable Lap Guitar

              Best Uses

              • Practicing

              Comments about ESP LTD EC-256FM Electric Guitar:

              Will make it short....Guitar is awesome looking, great finish and craftmanship is tight. Sounds great and would recommend it as a cost effective entry level intrument. Might just be mine, but have tweeked it multiple times and the tuning just doesnt last long if you do alot of bends. It's a relatively heavy instrument and if you like sitting while you play, the ergonomics aren't very comfortable, at least not for me. For the price, it is what it is so would give it a 3-4 based on the above.

              (5 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

               
              5.0

              ESP 256fm see thru cherry

              By Jim

              from Hampton

              About Me Experienced

              See all my reviews

              Ask me a question

              Pros

              • Amazing To Play
              • Fun To Play
              • Good Feel
              • Good Tone
              • Solid Electronics

              Cons

              • None I Can Find

              Best Uses

              • Jamming
              • Plays Everything Well
              • Practicing
              • Recording
              • Rock Concerts
              • School Bands
              • Small Venues

              Comments about ESP LTD EC-256FM Electric Guitar:

              Im amazed a set neck guitar that is this good a quality that plays equal to my 2003 Gibson LP studio plus.

              The guitar is a xmass gift for some one so i made sure it was ok when delivered , i must get one for myself now asap.
              I read the user reviews everywhere and found the word fantastic does apply , but you know how owners brag abit.
              In this case its happily a fact and the vietnam factory craftsman produce excelent quality now !

              Im getting another 256fm soon !

              (4 of 7 customers found this review helpful)

               
              5.0

              EC-256FM

              By Jim

              from Hampton

              About Me Experienced

              See all my reviews

              Ask me a question

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Excelent Neck
              • Fun To Play
              • Good Feel
              • Good Tone
              • Solid Electronics

              Cons

              • No Faults

              Best Uses

              • Jamming
              • Practicing
              • Recording
              • Rock Concerts
              • School Bands
              • Small Venues

              Comments about ESP LTD EC-256FM Electric Guitar:

              I am very surprised to find this quality neck at this price and the tried and true tone woods used in the body and neck can not be better!

              A good neck makes a good guitar,the XJ frets are true and plays in tune and the nut is cut perfectly low with no buzzing.
              I had to tighten the truss rod a little and I put slinky 10-46 on and adjusted the tom bridge and raised it 1/16" so you can feel the strings some what.

              I bought it to give as a gift and MF sent a v/well made guitar on the stupid deal of the day price that was dirt cheap !
              The cherry finish seems very durable and beautiful as I hoped.

              Switched too single coil sound and it was much better than I expected and gives some sweet rythem tones.
              The 150 pickups were a good choice frankly,because high gain is easy to get with amps and pedals these days.
              I may buy another ec-256 for me,or a ec-1000 if I can find a deal!
              If you want a guitar that does lead work and to fret true on chords especially this does that in spades.
              I think the multi-wood piece necks will stay strait many years so this is a one piece walnut so keep it out of rain and weather events I would say.

              The price and perfect playability beats any brand of my knowledge for this price.
              I had a hard time believing the user reviews but here is a guitar that can play great stuff ,and that's not brag its fact.
              Fact is the glued neck tenon sounds better than a neck thru body design also.
              The strong fundamental LP like tone is in the 256fm.

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