Metal music is abundant with many presumptions and stereotypes, such as the use of extra pointy guitars. With monumental guitarists such as Jeff Loomis using gnarly shaped instruments, it’s really not a surprise that these connections exist. Extra pointy really isn’t my thing, but today I’ll be playing an LTD FRX-401 and doing a fair review of it!

Let’s see what this over-the-top creation is all about!


  • Mahogany Body
  • 3pc Maple Neck
  • Set-Thru Construction
  • Rosewood Fretboard
  • 25.5″ Scale Length
  • Thin ‘U’ Neck
  • 24 X-Jumbo Frets
  • EMG 81/60
  • LTD Fixed Bridge
  • 1xVol/1xTone/3-Way Toggle
  • Grover Tuners
  • 13.77″ Fretboard Radius

The first thing you’ll notice about the FRX are it’s insanely pointy contours and it’s carved bevels. Something I notice about “affordable” guitars with crazy shapes is that they often look cheap. I will say that the finish and overall aesthetic was pleasing to the eye. This doesn’t look like a cheap guitar at all. The all black finish, black hardware, and rosewood board definitely go along with the aggressive, metal look presented by the shape.

Now, the shape of this guitar really looks like it would be uncomfortable to sit down with. I will say that it certainly isn’t as bad as it seems. It sits reasonably well in your lap and hugs your leg well. It obviously not as comfortable as a smoother contour, but definitely more comfortable than something like the EX-401. Also worth pointing out, the top of the guitar is deeply carved for extra comfort on the picking hand.

This guitar features the ESP thin ‘U’ profile, which is found on most of their modern guitar models. I particularly love this neck for metal-style rhythm playing. It’s on the thicker side for a shredder guitar and gives you a bit more to anchor your hand on to.




The Set-Thru/Mahogany body combo is an ESP classic. It offers up a warm sound with a bunch of sustain without breaking the bank. It’s not quite the sustain a Neck-Thru offers, but it’s close.

The pickup choice pretty much makes this guitar a metal workhorse (What else would you use this thing for anyway?).

The EMG 81 offers fluid sustain and a bunch of high end cut. The tones offered are aggressive and tight. They aren’t very good for mid-gain though..

Do I need to go on? We all know about this pickup. Some of us think they are great, some of us hate them. We discuss this in detail in another article, “EMGs: Do They Suck?”.

The EMG 60 is a bit less aggressive and has a great thickness about it. Fat lows and boosted mids make it a great pickup for clean passages and single note runs that need to stand out. I definitely prefer the EMG 60 to the infamous EMG 85.

Build Quality:

Similar to the H-401QM, the FRX-401 is a part of the LTD 400 series. This series is generally has really solid bang-for-your-buck price point/quality ratio.

The aesthetic quality is usually really nice from LTD. Like I said before, the finish was on point and the guitar looks really well made.

The neck felt really great and the fretwork was solid for an import instrument (although not amazing).

The only problem I ran into was a particularly scratchy volume knob. Rolling it at all caused a lot of buzz and noise. A quick solder job would fix it right up, so I wasn’t too concerned. Don’t try to solder anything in your guitar without learning the basics first!

Final Verdict:

The FRX-401 is most of what I expected: Aggressive, punchy, and unique. I was surprised by how much more comfortable it was than it looked, this gets bonus points for sure.

While this guitar isn’t for everyone (pointy still isn’t my thing), it offers you something unique, with good sound, great playability, and an attractive price point ($799). If you want pointy, ESP/LTD does it right.


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This article was written by Zac Buras, our editor located in Louisiana.

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