SMG Review: ESP LTD V-401 Electric Guitar

ESP LTD V-401 electric guitar

In 1975, Hisatake Shibuya opened a company called Electric Sound Products (ESP) in Tokyo. It provided custom replacement parts for guitars. In 1976, ESP gained a reputation as a provider of high-quality replacement parts for guitars. At this time, ESP also began crafting guitars under the ESP and Navigator brand in the Japanese market.

ESP replacement parts were first introduced into the US in 1983. ESP began crafting custom instruments for local New York artists between 1984 and 1985.


The ESP LTD V-401 electric guitar feels like most Flying V axes however the V-401 is a bit lighter then your average V. The mahogany body pumps out great tone and lots of sustain. The maple neck has a thin ESP “U” neck contour and a rosewood fingerboard that is set with 24 extra jumbo frets and arrow inlays. The thin neck gives you all the room to shred up a storm while still remaining comfortable. The low action is a nice treat giving you ease when switching from all the more difficult chords.  With the Grover tuners it assures that you will stay in tune through even the most brutal of sessions.

The ESP LTD V-401 comes with EMG-81 active humbuckers. These metal standard pickups have the raw power you need to chug the walls down through and through. They produce a tone with detailed intensity, incredible amounts of high-end cut, and fluid sustain. Definitely a metal masters tool of destruction.


  • Set-Thru Construction
  • 25.5″ Scale
  • Mahogany Body
  • Flamed Maple Top
  • Maple Neck
  • Rosewood Fingerboard
  • 42mm Earvana Compensated Nut
  • Thin U Neck Contour
  • 24 XJ Frets
  • Black Nickel Hardware
  • Grover Tuners
  • TOM Bridge
  • EMG 81 (B & N) Active p.u.
  • Volume/Volume/Master Tone
  • 3-way pickup switch


The ESP V-401 is a great aggressive V with all the trimmings you need for a successful metal career. The active pickups will give you that loud crisp tone like you have never heard before. The mixture of a mahogany body and the maple neck will give you amazing sustain geared for all your soloing needs. The lighter weight model will make it easier to rock out long jam sessions or brutal recording sessions. The Neck is fast and comfortable with a soft feel. This axe stays in tune very well while suffering through big bends and heavy chugging. We cannot say the same for most other guitars in this price range. The 24 frets are always a nice addition to any guitar, giving you a longer range for those solo opportunities. All in all, the ESP V-401 is a great rock and metal guitar that can give you all the metal tones you need to join the long line of metal masters. Check one out and see if this is the guitar for you.


Pros: Thin neck, 24 frets, EMG pickups, Affordable price, Grover tuners, Earvana nut.

Cons: N/A

Price Range – $599 – $699

Till next week, thanks for reading and keep on shredding!

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