LTD MH-400NT - See Thru Black
+
LTD MH-400NT - See Thru Black

MH-400NT - See Thru Black, Chitarra Corpo tipo Stratocaster from LTD belonging to the MH-400NT model.

content in English
feraledge 28/05/2012

LTD MH-400NT - See Thru Black : Recensione di feraledge (content in English)

"Reliable, comfortable, solid guitar."
5

  • Like
  • Tweet
  • +1
  • Mail
I trust this guitar so much that I've owned three of them. Toured with a pair for some time and bought another one after selling both off. Two were made in Korea (one in 06, one in 08) and one (MH401QMNT) in Indonesia (09). All had 24 fret, set through maple necks with ESP's thin neck contour, mahogany bodies and active EMG 81 (bridge)/85 (neck) pickups with a master volume, master tone and three way selector switch. All had a tune-o-matic bridge and were string through body.
The 06 had natural binding and I think it looked a lot better than the white binding on the later models, but the quality between the 06 and 08 was really close. The Indonesian model suffered from some minor finish flaws, but sonically didn't stray very far.

UTILIZATION

The set through neck gives way to the contoured heel that ESP and LTD have made their reputation with. The reason is simple, excellent access down to the 24th fret without feeling awkward or bulky.
I'm a big fan of flat thin necks, but the thin U neck contour is comfortable and really easy to get around. This guitar has enough heft to it and a mahogany body to add depth to your tone without losing the shred lineage that ESP built it's foundation upon. You can shred and riff easily and you won't compromise on either end of the spectrum.
The tuners on the three models that I had were all Grovers. Starting in 2010, they started using ESP branded tuners on the 400 series LTDs and those are unquestionably lesser quality. The Grovers get the job done, but I opted for Sperzel locking tuners on all three.
Earavana nut on all three of these, no problems there. I had to switch one to graphite years later and that was a definite improvement. Also combined with Graphtech string saddles, gave my strings considerably more life.
The tune-o-matic bridge was good, but definitely one area that I wasn't too excited about. The cosmo black is prone to oxidization very quickly and it begins to look old beyond it's year/s very quickly. I went for the Tonepros locking bridge instead and it adds a touch of sustain, but the real bonus comes in quicker and easier string changing and polishing. The high gloss finish will show every fingerprint or sweat streak, so I would start wiping after every show and end up polishing between every string change, but that's OCD talking, it's not necessary.
My one real qualm with the design has more to do with the archtop, the volume and tone knobs dropped into the top a bit and there's a dip surrounding them. It looks fine, but if you're getting sweaty while playing and killing the volume between songs, it's really easy to get the area under the knob sweaty enough to corrode those pots far quicker than you would want to imagine. I thought about swapping the volume pot with a killswitch, but never got around to it. Seems a tad unnecessary.

SOUNDS

The standard EMG 81/85 set sounds excellent in this guitar. Great resonance from the mahogany body and the maple top gives it some added punch.
I play death metal, and any kind of metal or core is going to sound really great from this guitar, but it doesn't lose out on the clean side of things. The active pickups are definitely geared towards heavier music, but if you wanted to have a bit more versatility and less heaviness, you could easily swap out for passives and get a bit more range.

OVERALL OPINION

Overall, this is a great guitar. If I had to start over, I would stick with one of these. The later models don't have the same features, so I would stick with a used one. I have played newer models off the shelf and they sound good, but it seems like there was a mid-00's peak in the production that's hard to surpass. Just to add to that value, they're fairly easy to find with a hardshell case between $400-500.
If you get this as a first or early guitar, you'll have a really hard time parting ways with it.
For me, these were solid workhorse guitars that played and sounded great. They made a perfect place holder until I got enough money up to upgrade to the ESP Horizon NT II which these were largely modeled after.