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ESP LTD EC-1000T Honey Burst Satin Flame Top - Fishman Fluence Pickups *Authorized Dealer*

The ESP’s EC series is their long standing take on the classic single cut shape. At the top of the  EC lines sits the 1000 series. The LTD EC-1000T is their deluxe flame top model topped off with a set of Fishman Fluence Open Core pickups. Featuring classic tones and so much more, the EC-1000T defies convention.

 This new ESP LTD EC-1000T features:


  • Full thickness chambered Mahogany body
  • Flame Maple top
  • Satin Honey Burst finish
  • 3-piece mahogany neck through construction
  • Thin U neck profile
  • 22 jumbo stainless frets
  • 24.75” scale
  • 13.75” fretboard radius
  • Ebony fretboard
  • 1.65” nut width
  • Active Fishman Fluence Open Core Classic pickups
  • 250-hour USB rechargeable battery
  • Volume, Volume push/pull, Tone push/pull
  • 3 position pickup switch
  • Tone Pros TOM bridge and tailpiece
  • Locking tuners
  • Case not included
  • Made in Indonesia

The modern era ESP Eclipse shape makes no bones about its inspiration, but there are the traditional ESP touches: These include neck through construction which offers a very sleek heel for better fret access, and the volume, volume, and tone controls put the bridge volume control first....because players of this type of guitar spend most of their time there. The EC-1000T also offers other high-end features not normally seen in this price point including a real ebony fretboard and stainless-steel frets. Workmanship is first rate, and LTD guitars consistently offer the most value at their price point.

But what sets the EC-1000T apart from other guitars in the series are the Fishman Fluence pickups. While they’ve been around for a few years, it’s fair to say that most players have not experienced them. They are an active pickup with a unique construction that features several stacked “printed” coils that make up each pickup coil. These coils produce a very consistent and noiseless signal, and the internal preamp handles the voicings and filtering necessary to create the desired sound. A conventional pickup is an analog inductor with a series of windings and magnets, and so is the Fluence. But it is much more highly engineered, and the designers can accurately tailor the response of the pickup.

There are other benefits of the Fluence active pickups. Their tone and volume controls work equally well throughout their range. Your guitar will sound as good on 2 as it does on 10, with no tone loss. And the internal preamp buffer negates the impact of cable length and capacitance.

But how do they sound? Fluence pickups are designed to sound like a very good renditions of what we expect to hear. The Open Core pickups offer three voicings for each pickup, accessed via the push/pull knobs:

  • Neck pickup both knobs down - Standard PAF type humbucker
  • Neck pickup tone knob up – Clean and airy humbucker
  • Neck pickup neck volume knob up – Single coil
  • Bridge pickup both knobs down - Hot humbucker
  • Bridge pickup tone knob up – Clean bridge humbucker
  • Bridge pickup neck volume knob up – Single coil

What happens if you have both pickups on? Well, you get whatever pickups settings correlate to the push/pull knobs settings. You can’t individually choose each combination, but suffice to say there is still a lot of choice

If you did not know you were playing an active guitar, you would just think you’ve got a really good sounding set of pickups. Compared to a similar set of passive pickups, the passives sound a little more grainy and organic, with less note separation and high end detail. But the Fluence counter with excellent attack, clarity, even string response, and if they sound a little too detailed compared to their passive brethren, the tone control is very effective. They work great with pedals too, and distortion and gain pedals respond very evenly with no harsh peaks, lots of harmonic detail, and minimal noise.  

The big bonus is that if you think that split humbuckers are pretty meh (and we do mostly) the split Fluence really sound like single coils. The split neck pickup is bouncy and touch sensitive with the type of response you get from a real single coil. It’s very good, and the bridge pickup is equally convincing. You won’t convert a diehard Strat fan, but it’s a big breakthrough for humbucker players.  

On its own the EC-1000T is an excellent guitar that played perfectly out of the box and looks like a million bucks. For the price, it puts a lot of brands to shame. The addition of the Fishman Fluence pickups makes it something unique and extremely flexible. While the Fluence don’t sound exactly like conventional pickups, I think I’d get over it pretty quickly, and the benefits outweigh the minor differences. The LTD EC-1000T is an outstanding value that any enthusiast or professional would be happy to own.