When looking for a guitar that meets the needs of a professional musician at the budget of a casual player, ESP’s LTD line always comes to mind. With many entries, such as the M-1000se, that offer really cool features at very affordable price points.

Today, we’ll be looking at a recent addition to the LTD H-Series, the H-401M.

Let’s see is this puppy is worth the $700 price tag!


-25.5” Scale

-Set-Thru 3pc Maple Neck

-Mahogany Body

-Mahogany Top

-Natural Satin Finish

-Thin “U” Shape Neck

-Seymour Duncan Custom-5/Jazz Pickups

-LTD Fixed Bridge

-Black Hardware

– 1x Vol/1x Tone Knob/3-Way Switch

-Grover Tuners

Similar to the H-401QM, this guitar has a carved top for added comfort as well as a Thin ‘u’ neck profile. The Thin “U” shape is similar to the ones found on some of the higher-end ESP models and offers a nice thick neck, which I like for fast rhythm playing.

The bridge on this model is similar to a hipshot-style hardtail, and I found it to be quite comfortable. This along with the Grover tuners made for really good tuning stability. I played it for quite a bit and it never really slipped. I would prefer locking tuners, though. They just make restringing easier and cleaner!

Be sure to read our guide on installing locking tuners if you would like to make this upgrade on your own!

The set-thru construction and thoughtful body carve offer great upper fret access and comfortability as well.

LTD H-401M


The H-401M features an odd combination of wood that you don’t see every day: Mahogany body and a Mahogany top!

At first glance of this guitar, I sort of went into it thinking it was going to have a flubby low-end and lacking a bit in the high-end. I was a bit surprised by the results.

While solid Mahogany is really warm and round sounding, the Set-Thru Maple neck really helped to balance out the tone a bit. It was a bit snappier than I imagined (although not as much as something with a bolt-on construction) and it resonated wonderfully.

The Seymour Duncan Custom-5 pickup is a really unique design that can be described as a really hot PAF humbucker. It has a scooped sound (not too scooped though) and sits really heavy in the bass department. It sounds especially great for thrashy and punk styles.

The Neck pickup features one of my favorite Seymour Duncan pickups of all time, the Jazz Neck Pickup. The Jazz neck is for the player who wants more clarity and snap out of their neck pickup. It offers a lot of the same tonal qualities of a single coil in the neck, but is particularly tight, and really fat sounding. It has a scooped sound as well, and boasts some of the punchiest lead tones around.

Fun Fact: Both the Custom-5 and Jazz pickups made it to our Top 5 Seymour Duncan Humbuckers list!

Overall, I found this guitar to be very warm sounding. The pickups are quite versatile, fat, and punchy, but I do think a different top wood could help this guitar be a bit tighter in the low end. This guitar can certainly handle most genres exceptionally well, though.

Build Quality:

LTDs are generally some of the most fantastic guitars for the price. With each review, they maintain a wonderfully surprising level of quality control that helps them to stand out in a crowd.

On the H-401M that I played, I found the aesthetic qualities to be almost top notch. The satin finish was really smooth and even, and the fretboard was really clean looking as well. The one issue I found was in the body binding around the bottom side. There was a bit of it that seemed to be rubbing off.

The electronics were installed wonderfully and this guitar featured no scratchiness whatsoever. The knobs were really smooth, as was the pickup switch. The volume knob felt really responsive as well. I found myself able to very smoothly adjust the volume to my taste.

The fretwork wasn’t perfect, but it was solid. The overall feel of the neck was really smooth and easy to play.

Final Verdict:

The LTD H-401M is a versatile instrument for sure. It has a unique look being all Mahgoany, and has a great pickup set to go with it.

All of the playability and sound were there, but there were a few minor quality of life-type of things (the binding mostly) that stood out, luckily none of these minor issues affected playability as the guitar was buttery smooth and a joy to look at.


We upload new articles daily so if you liked this one, make sure to check out some more! We are also authorized ESP dealers and can get you any current ESP you’d like at the best price possible!

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

About The Author