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This model has been discontinued and is available at a special savings.
The ESP LTD Viper 400 features
The LTD Viper 400M is yet another NAMM show piece that caught our eyes and ears. We've always loved the shape of the Viper, and the ESP LTD line has shown us just how much their "budge" line has to offer. The Viper 400M is top of its class in the LTD series, and besides the high quality materials, the fit and finish is remarkable.
This guitar features a two-piece Mahogany body with a classic natural satin finish. Thanks to it's signature shape it's not up in the LP weight range, but it is no doubt a solid cut of wood. The bound 3-piece Mahogany neck also lends plenty of structural integrity and eye-catching aesthetic with its wave-block inlays. All 24 frets are easily accessible and the modern style radius, moderate string tension and low action makes it easy to work up and down the neck at high speed.
The pickups in this beast are the venerable '59/JB combination from Seymour Duncan. The Alnico 5 Seymour Duncan '59 neck pickup has plenty of punch, solid attack and the type of note separation you'd hope for in a neck position humbucker. The low end is reasonably percussive and will please those who would like to play a humbucker guitar but don't want to compromise on a mushy, flabby low end.
The Duncan JB is a go-to bridge pickup for a lot of players, blending a nice combination of output, bite, and harmonics. In the Viper you get what you'd expect with this pickup, with a meaty midrange and plenty of sparkle in the upper end. While the Alnico 5 JB is wound to about 16K, it's more than just snarl. It has ample midrange content and moderate levels of distortion yield tight, full crunch that is thick and harmonically detailed. It's a ubiquitous rock sound that ranges from Journey to Metallica, and it holds its own in high gain situations. Alnico 5 pickups are known for a tighter, more controlled tone than a vintage Alnico 2 pickup like the Seth Lover. Alnico 2 pickups will "sing" a little better, but have less overall attack. If you're in a rock band, the JB packs the type of tone that will cover 70% of your set list.
Getting to know the ESP LTD brand has been a real eye opener. While most players know it by it's hard rock and predominantly heavy metal image, there are many facets to the ESP product lineup that address a wide range of player interests. The Viper 400M is one of them; blending incredibly good playing ergonomics with the flexibility to handle anything from weekend cover band rock to de-tuned metal.