Today, let’s take a look at an LTD guitar with the shape that may put your eye out kid. The LTD EX-401. With some real meat and potatoes features, this guitar comes across as a real shred machine that you can sacrifice a goat with. So let’s get down to what this guitar has to offer.

Features :

  • Mahogany Body
  • 3-Piece Maple Neck
  • Rosewood Fingerboard
  • 14″ (350mm) Radius and 24.75” (628mm) Scale
  • 22 XJ Frets
  • EMG 60/81 Pickups
  • 1xVol/1xTone Knobs
  • Grover Tuners
  • Set-Thru Neck
  • Standard TOM and Tailpiece Bridge

First off yes, this can be awkward to hold and is a bit of a weighty beast, but in reality that just comes with the extreme shape’s territory. This guitar actually pulls of the balancing act much better than most attempts at this shape. Not only that, but the fancy and sleek carves on this guitar are surprisingly comfortable to hold whether sitting or standing.

The LTD EX-401 does come with a fairly standard looking and feeling TOM bridge and tailpiece combo, but it’s not too pointy and it intonates and adjusts fairly well, so no complaints on a factor that usually turns me off of a guitar. On the other hand, this does also have a very nice set of Grover tuners on these which turn nicely and feel incredibly solid while providing great tuning stability.

One of my favorite features on this guitar is easily its playability. The thin “U” neck, extra jumbo frets, and 14″ radius make for a wonderfully playable neck that just feels right to shred on. The fact that this is a set-thru neck also allows the heel to be carved out for great fret access if you’re into solos – something not many guitars this shape usually allow you to do with the greatest of ease.

Tone :

Alright, I’m going to come right out and say it – I’ve never played EMGs before this guitar, and after having finally done so, I honestly don’t see why so many people complain about the tone of these things. I found that they had a very flat response in every frequency range with enough punch to hear everything you play. Sure these are pretty unforgiving if you screw up a note, but at the same time I found that they allowed for a really shapeable tone because of how flat the eq response was with everything at noon.

I would really describe the tone as clinical since they have very low noise, bright cleans , brutal high gain tones, and are clearly made for metal. Every note may be a bit compressed, but it does provide a very consistent tone and allows for pretty good note definition, especially with some eq tweaking. Ultimately, this is indeed a metal machine and excels very well in that tonal range, the EMGs do their job and create a killer tone – especially in crushing high gain situations.

If you are on the fence about whether or not EMGs suck, then read our article, “Are EMGs Terrible“.

Build Quality :

I really have to say for being an Indonesian-made guitar, this thing feels like a pretty solid player. I didn’t really notice any glaring signs of screw ups. Everything felt good straight from the factory. The fretwork was pretty solid, obviously not flawless, but still really good. The hardware is pretty good quality as well.

Final Verdict :

I like it. I like it more than most guitars this shape actually – and that’s saying a lot since this is my favorite style of guitar. I really had no idea what to expect going into to it having not tried out EMGs before this guitar, but I was happy with it.

The price isn’t too crazy, and for the specs, I can clearly see where the money goes. This guitar doesn’t hit that law of diminishing return area where you’re mostly paying for the name. Though perhaps not the most versatile guitar to exist, this thing is a real warhorse, designed with the purpose of shredding and getting the most out of high gain tones while remaining reliable night after night.

In the studio or on the stage, this thing will perform.


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

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