Hello, is that LTD? Yeah, well there’s something up with the EC-256 you’ve sent us - it looks like it’s gone 12 rounds with Zakk Wylde. Meant to look like that, you say? Aged finish, you say? Right. Sorry.
LTD hasn’t bothered with marketing blurb for the EC- 256, and we don’t blame them because there’s not a lot to gush about on paper. Dig beneath the aged finish and this is a traditional electric that verges on the unimaginative, with the deep mahogany body and set neck paired with twin humbuckers and a tune-o-matic bridge in the tried-and-tested configuration you’ve seen a thousand times before.
And yet… there’s a whiff of promise about this axe that stops us writing it off.
It’s not groundbreaking, but the EC-256 has been done so well that we don’t care. Aside from the minor criticism that the XJ fretwire is slightly bulky beneath the fingers, this guitar is an undiluted joy, weighing in at a fraction of the bulk of a Les Paul, with a thin U-shaped neck profile that means your fingers are as mobile as you are.
There is a coil tap, but you’d be crazy to demasculinate the organic bark of those ESPs.
This guitar has everything you need: a creamy, sustain-heavy neck roar; a gutsy ‘middle’ setting that can bring the funk or the rock; and a knife-through-butter bridge tone that will slice your bassist in half. Not as clever or as charming as many, but we fell for the LTD hard.
Pros: Monster tone, stellar playability.
Cons: Concept, bulky fretwire.
Buy: LTD EC-256 AVB is currently available from Thomann, PMT Online and GuitarGuitar.