ESP LTD EC-258 Review & Prices

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ESP LTD EC-258 Review
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  • From ESP LTD's 2017 EC series
  • Made in Indonesia
  • 8 strings
  • 26.5"'' scale
  • 15.75" Fretboard Radius
  • Mahogany body
  • 3Pc Mahogany neck
  • Roasted Jatoba fretboard
  • Bridge pickup: ESP Designed LH-308B (Humbucker/Passive)
  • Neck pickup: ESP Designed LH-308N (Humbucker/Passive)
  • 2 volume and 1 tone Speed knobs
  • 3-way Switch
  • LTD Fixed bridge
  • Thin U Set neck
  • 22 XL Jumbo frets
  • LTD tuners
  • Compare Specs >
  • From ESP LTD's 2017 EC series
  • Made in Indonesia
  • 8 strings
  • 26.5"'' scale
  • 15.75" Fretboard Radius
  • Mahogany body
  • 3Pc Mahogany neck
  • Roasted Jatoba fretboard
  • Bridge pickup: ESP Designed LH-308B (Humbucker/Passive)
  • Neck pickup: ESP Designed LH-308N (Humbucker/Passive)
  • 2 volume and 1 tone Speed knobs
  • 3-way Switch
  • LTD Fixed bridge
  • Thin U Set neck
  • 22 XL Jumbo frets
  • LTD tuners
  • Compare Specs >

Our Scores and Tone Evaluation

Playability 75
Sound 64
Build quality 54
Value for money 69
Overall Score 64
Tone Evaluation
  • Heavy Metal
  • Hard Rock
  • Jazz
  • Blues
  • Funk
  • Country
Strengths & Weaknesses
ESP LTD EC-258
  • Expensive Wood
  • Cheap Fret Wire (NS)
  • No Locking Tuners
  • Made in Indonesia
  • No High-Quality Nut
  • No Top Brand Pickups
  • No Neck-Through Build
  • No Push Knob or Extra Switch Option
  • No Weight Relief
  • No Tremolo
  • No Luminescent Inlay
  • No Compound Radius Fretboard
  • No 21:1 Tuner Ratio
  • No Strap Lock

Videos

ESP LTD EC-258 - DEMO [Metal]
ESP LTD EC-258 - Playthrough and Review
ESP LTD EC-258 review
ESP LTD EC-258 8 string guitar over view 1
Metal Riffs | LTD EC-258 | Eight String
More Videos

Price: is the ESP LTD EC-258 a Good Deal?

Its average competitor's price is $1020, which means that the ESP LTD EC-258 is around 38% cheaper than the competition. This takes into account all guitars of the same category in our database with 8 strings and Fixed bridge that are made in Indonesia.

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Your feedback

Not all guitars are created equal, and there are many important things they won't tell you about the guitar you're buying. That's why it's important to have different opinions. Here's what our visitors who have played this guitar say. If you've played it before, help others by voting for your experience below.

Weight

Vote
Heavy
0
Slightly heavy
0
Lightweight
0
Very lightweight
0

Tuning stability

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Won't stay in tune
0
Sightly unstable
0
Not bad
0
Holds tune well
0
Won't get out of tune
0

Neck speed (thickness)

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Chunky
0
Slightly chunky
0
Balanced
0
Fast
13
Herman Li fast
0

Neck access to high frets

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Very Hard
0
Hard
0
Normal
0
Easy
0
Very Easy
0

Neck profile shape

Vote
Baseball / U
0
V
0
Asymmetrical
0
C
1
D
7

Fret edges

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Very sharp
0
Slightly sharp
0
Smooth
0

Pickups noise

Vote
Noiseless
0
Slightly Noisy
0
Noisy
0

Pickups power

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Clean
0
Slightly Hot
0
Hot
0

Explore All ESP LTD Guitars >

Is The ESP LTD EC-258 Easy to Play?

The ESP LTD EC-258 meets 4 out of our 8 criteria items for beginner friendliness, which means that it's not bad for beginners, but it could be better. This takes into account the type of frets, scale length, nut width, bridge type, fretboard radius, and neck profile to determine the easiest combination for new players to get used to.

ESP LTD EC-258
New Player Friendliness
  • Comfortable shape
  • Easy-to-use bridge
  • Tall frets
  • Comfortable neck
  • Locking tuners
  • Comfortable fretboard
  • Wide nut
  • Short scale

Hand Size Comfortability

After taking into account the neck profile, scale size, fretboard radius, and nut width, we can conclude that the ESP LTD EC-258's construction favors people with relatively big hands.

Nevertheless, this comes down in the end to personal preference. Make sure you test this guitar—or another one with similar characteristics—before buying.

Big Hands
Small Hands

Scale Length

Scale length is the distance the strings will span between the bridge and the nut. It can tell you a lot about the overall playability and tone of the instrument. A longer scale length means longer distance between frets, brighter tone and more string tension—which means lower action, but more difficult bending of the strings.

Here's the ESP LTD EC-258's 26.5" scale length compared to other common sizes:

ESP LTD EC-258 Scale Length Comparison
ESP LTD EC-258's scale length (at the top) compared to other popular sizes

This scale is close to the popular 25.50" length, but adding an additional inch allows you to tune your strings lower while keeping the action low without causing fret buzz. This is useful for lower tunings, 7-string, or even classical guitars.

You want to avoid such a long scale if you don't plan to play in low tunings since the longer scale also means the frets are more separated, making it harder to play fast, especially for small hands.

More guitars with the same scale length:

Neck Profile

ESP LTD EC-258 Neck Profile
ESP LTD EC-258's neck profile

The neck profile tells you the thickness (neck depth) and shape in cross section. Every difference will completely change the feeling and comfortability of the neck. This is a highly subjective thing, but most players indeed prefer certain types of necks (like Cs and Ds) because they feel nice in most hands.

The ESP LTD EC-258's neck thickness is approximately 0.787'' (20mm) at the first fret, and 0.866'' (22mm) at the twelfth.

These measurements were taken either from the official ESP LTD website, or, in case this information wasn't provided, by researching multiple online marketplaces and forums where owners of this model have posted their measurements.

It has a U type neck. This shape usually has more 'shoulders' than a C neck. It's great for guitarists who love the feel of a vintage neck. Most of them are thick, which makes it better for people with big hands. However, some of them can be thin like a C neck but with more mass to the sides for a better grip.

More guitars for different hand sizes

Fretboard Radius

When it comes to fingerboard radius, personal preference will dictate which one is better for you. However, most people seem to agree that a more curved (lower) radius will make it easier to play chords while a less curved (higher) radius is better for soloing and bending.

The ESP LTD EC-258 has a 15.75" fingerboard radius. Here's an image comparing this guitar's fretboard radius to other popular choices:

ESP LTD EC-258 Fretboard Radius Comparison with Fender Stratocaster and Gibson Les Paul
ESP LTD EC-258's fretboard radius compared to other guitars

It's a radius that makes playing single notes (and bending, vibrato, sliding, etc) easier than on a classic Les Paul guitar. However, it's still more curved than some baritone and 7+ strings guitars.

Compound radius fingerboards give the best of both worlds. Unfortunately, the ESP LTD EC-258 has the same radius across the board.

More guitars with the same fretboard radius:

Nut Width

ESP LTD EC-258 Nut Width
ESP LTD EC-258 Nut Width

The ESP LTD EC-258 has a nut width of 54mm (2.126''). This size is found mostly on Baritone or 7+ strings guitars since they need the extra space on the fretboard. It gives your fingers the extra space you need to play without muting accidentally, but this also makes bar chords harder to perform, so bear in mind that Baritone guitars aren't for every playing style.

More guitars with the same nut width:

Frets

The ESP LTD EC-258 has 22 frets. Even though 24 frets has become really popular, there's still a good reason to get fewer frets; the pickup at the neck position will be further away from the bridge. This makes the neck pickup achieve a warmer tone. You might want this if you're playing Jazz or similar genres.

However, if you don't care about the warmer neck pickup, more frets will always be better. It's always nice to have the option to play higher notes if you want to.

It comes with nickel silver frets, so they won't last as long as stainless steel frets. If you use your instrument a lot, you might need to replace the frets after a few years. But this is unlikely as most people change instruments before this happens.

More guitars with the same amount of frets:

Fret Size

ESP LTD EC-258 Fret Size Comparison
ESP LTD EC-258's fret size (in orange) compared to other popular sizes

Finally, let's talk about fret size. Some people prefer tall frets because it's easier to press the strings and perform bends since there's less friction against the fretboard. On the other hand, some people like shorter frets because they like to touch the fretboard when playing, or because they got heavy hands and tend to press too much on the string and alter the of the note pitch accidently.

The ESP LTD EC-258's frets are XL Jumbo size. These are extra-large frets, which are perfect for people who truly want the least resistance for techniques like vibrato, bending, tapping, and just playing fast in general. You won't be able to feel the fretboard with these frets, so if you press too hard you'll get the notes out of pitch. It might take a while to get used to them because of this.

More guitars with the same type of frets:

Playability Score

Bending & Vibrato Ease 85
Chord Playability 70
Solo Playability 70
Playability 75

Does the ESP LTD EC-258 Sound Good? Tone Analysis

Wood will have little influence in the final tone of an electric guitar. Instead, the hardware, especially the pickups, will be the most important thing to look at. Bur first, let's see the quality of the wood.

Wood Used in the ESP LTD EC-258

Mahogany wood pattern used for guitar building
Mahogany Body, Neck
Jatoba wood pattern used for guitar building
Jatoba Fretboard

Mahogany Body and Neck: This is the type of wood found in many top-of-the-line guitars, so that's a positive point for the build quality. This red-looking wood Mahogany is found in Africa and Central America and has great sustain and a warm tone due to its high density. The downside about this type of wood is that it's relatively heavy.

Jatoba Fretboard: It's an exceptionally hard and dense wood that emphasizes the mid-lows, giving a fuller, more round sound than, for example, Mahogany. However, it also has a lot of clarity in the top end.

More guitars made with the same wood:

Pickups

Unfortunately, it doesn't come with pickups from one of the top brands. This doesn't mean you will get bad pickups, but you might want to consider a pickup upgrade after some time.

These are passive pickups, so you can expect a moderade level of hot output instead of the overwhelming output that distinguises active pickups in metal.

The ESP LTD EC-258's configuration is HH. With this pickup combination, you'll get warmer tones and more output than using single coils. Humbucker pickups cancel the noise that single-coil suffer from, which also results in a warmer tone. This pickup combination isn't only for high-gain music like Hard Rock or Heavy Metal. Their warmness is also popular for Jazz, Indie, R&B, Blues and more.

More guitars with the same pickups

ESP LTD EC-258
This model
22 Frets
Fixed Bridge
ESP Designed LH-308B Bridge Pickup
ESP Designed LH-308N Neck Pickup
24 Frets
Fixed Bridge
ESP Designed LH-308B Bridge Pickup
ESP Designed LH-308N Neck Pickup

Versatility

It comes with the popular 3-way switch that is present in most guitars. For more versatility, guitarists tend to prefer a 5-way switch, although it all depends on what you want to use your guitar for.

Unfortunately, it doesn't come with more options for coil split or coil tapping. This makes it less versatile than some competitors.

Diagram

ESP LTD EC-258 pickups switch and push knobs diagram
ESP LTD EC-258's switch options

What music genre is the ESP LTD EC-258 good for?

As a 8 strings, Solid Body guitar with HH configuration and Passive pickups, we'd recommend it for genres like Heavy Metal or similar. However, you can use almost any guitar for any genre. This is just the typical type of music for this kind of guitar.

Sound Score

Pickups 60
Sustain 80
Versatility 52
Tuning Stability 65
Sound 64

How well is the ESP LTD EC-258 Built?

Where is the ESP LTD EC-258 Made?

Knowing where the guitar is produced is a good way to know how well it's built. Some manufacturing countries are known for having higher quality standards. For example, most expensive guitars are made in the US or Japan, but there are some exceptionally great countries—like South Korea—that are building a good reputation.

The ESP LTD EC-258 is made in Indonesia. Many people prefer the quality of an Indonesian guitar over a Chinese. Respectable brands like Epiphone, Ibanez and Schecter are building in this country because of the great quality and lower price. Some people like to compare them to the ones built in Japan during the 80s, when Japanese guitar makers made a name for themselves.

More guitars made in Indonesia

Bridge

LTD Fixed: The advantage of fixed bridges is that they don't require any kind of set-up. This makes it extremely easy when changing strings because you don't need to adjust anything besides tuning the guitar. Also, the fact that the bridge is directly attached to the body will help to increase sustain. The disadvantage is the lack of versatility since you can't create the same vibrato effects as with tremolo bridges.

More guitars with the same type of bridge:

Nut Material

Another important thing to analyze is the nut material, as it's one of the most important aspects that can affect the sound and playability of your guitar. A well-cut nut will make sure the guitar stays in tune and will make it more comfortable to play.

In this case, the ESP LTD EC-258 has a Plastic nut. This is a low-quality nut that you might want to consider upgrading soon. Bone and TUSQ nuts are the best for guitars with a fixed or simple tremolo bridge.

Neck Joint

The neck joint is the part where the neck of the guitar meets the body. There are three main techniques to attach both parts together: Set-In, Bolt-On and Neck-Through. The latter two provide different advantages, although neck-throughs are the most expensive.

This guitar has a Set neck joint. This type of neck joint consists of using different pieces of wood for the neck and the body of the guitar. Both pieces are then glued together. This is more expensive to make than a bolt-on neck, but it's cheaper than a neck-through guitar. Some people believe that this gives more sustain than a bolt-on neck due to both pieces having a 'better connection' than with bolts. Still, it's something difficult to prove.

However, this type of neck joint does have the disadvantage of not allowing you to easily swap the neck for another. This makes this type of neck joint less mod-friendly.

More guitars with the same build:

Build Quality Score

Quality of materials 41
Features 50
Quality Control 70
Build Quality 54

Most Popular Comparisons With The ESP LTD EC-258

ESP LTD EC-258 Specs

General
Brand: ESP LTD
Year: 2017
Configuration: HH
Strings: 8
Made in: Indonesia
Series: EC
Colors: Black
Left-Handed Version: No
Body
Type: Solid Body
Body Material: Mahogany
Bridge: LTD Fixed
Neck
Neck Joint: Set
Tuners: LTD
Fretboard: Roasted Jatoba
Neck Material: 3Pc Mahogany
Decoration: Flag
Scale Size: 26.5"
Shape: Thin U
Thickness: 1st Fret: 0.787'' (20mm) - 12th Fret: 0.866'' (22mm)
Frets: 22 XL Jumbo
Fretboard Radius: 15.75"
Nut: Plastic
Nut Width: 54mm (2.126'')
Electronics
Switch: 3 Way
Knobs: Speed
Volume Controls: 2
Tone Controls: 1
Bridge Pickup: ESP Designed LH-308B (Humbucker / Passive)
Neck Pickup: ESP Designed LH-308N (Humbucker / Passive)

User Reviews of the ESP LTD EC-258

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