A few days ago we posted a review of the discontinued Ibanez 2609B Black Eagle. For the sake of thematics, we figured we might as well do a discontinued LTD bass as well! Though this bass may not have lasted in production the longest, the Surveyor-4 stands as a solid example of why LTD should be seen as a legitimate option for quality bass guitars. With the Surveyor-4, they set out for an affordable and solid workhorse that has a great feel and killer sound.

Let’s check it out!


-Ash Body

-34” Scale

-Maple Neck with Block Inlays and White Binding

-Rosewood Fretboard

-38mm Nut

-21 XJ Frets

-Wilkinson Bridge

-EMG MMTW (Bridge) and EMG 35P4 (neck) pickups

-1 Volume, Active Pre-Amp (Bass/Treble/Mid) with a Balance Knob and a Bridge Coil Select Switch

This bass is pretty comfortable to play with it’s incredibly thin neck, as well as it’s simple body carves. The wood combination is nice and simple, but for having an ash body, I found it to be a fairly heavy bass to play. My only complaint regarding playability is that standing with this bass for a while may get uncomfortable.

I really love the jumbo frets on this bass. Coupled with the super thin neck, the frets really makes for noticeably smoother playing.

The Wilkinson bridge is another cool part of this bass as it lets the strings sit fairly low to the body, which may or may not be to peoples liking. I enjoyed this little feature as it allowed me to rest my hand on the bass more comfortably, but slapping may become a bit awkward. The Wilkinson did allow for an incredibly low action though, which is yet another feature that allows this bass to play like butter.


Though this bass may be shaped like a regular jazz/precision bass, those sounds are not what it’s going for. This thing is an aggressive beast with EMG pickups and an active pre-amp. Unfortunately, it’s not the most versatile bass as the pickups are rather hot, but it does offer some really great tones if you’re looking to play rock or metal. The coil tap on the bridge does add a bit of tonal versatility when necessary, but I still wouldn’t want to play some smooth jazz on this. It’s a metal machine, and it plays as such.

The active bass, treble, and mid controls do have a good frequency boost/cut range of versatility, so if you really want to play some very clean sounds, you’d be able to achieve it with a bit of work. Like I said, this thing knows it’s job and just wants to play loud and hard. It really shines in it’s crisp high end without being too harsh, and the mid control knob really lets you dial in how much of that punchy/snarling tone you want. Also, the active bass knob can really help clean things up if the sound starts to get muddy.

The cool thing about this bass’ controls is that the bridge pickup is a 3 coil pickup, so the selector switch doesn’t actually tap or split, it switches between the MM humbucker and the extra single coil pickup encased in the bridge soapbar. If you don’t know what tapping or splitting pickups means, I highly suggest you read this article on Splitting vs Tapping.

Build Quality:

This thing felt solid from the moment I picked it up, it has a nice heftiness to it, but also has nice contours to fit your body to it. The binding is done in a very classy manner just on the neck. No body or headstock binding here. The neck joint is a bit of a fatty, so if you have tiny hands like me getting them up in the higher frets is a little more difficult, but since it’s only got 21 frets it’s still pretty easy to get in there.

Setting this bass up is also very easy and because it’s built so well it takes almost no effort to get it playing with ridiculously low action and a straight as an arrow fretboard.

Final Verdict:

It looks like your dad’s bass, but definitely doesn’t sound or feel like it. It’s got a great build quality for the original price (it’s discontinued now so the used prices may vary), and it has a really mean and distinct, but still controllable sound. The specs are fairly simple, but that makes it a solid workhorse of an instrument that will do its job day in, day out, and night after night without failing.


Unfortunately, this guitar is discontinued, but we are authorized ESP dealers, and can set you up with any current ESP/LTD you’re looking for at the best price possible. Besides reviews, we write a lot of technical articles, theory pieces, and more! Click here to find those!

This article was written by Keegan Connor, our editor located in Canada.

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