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ESP LTD EC-1000 Deluxe – Classy Barbarian

4.8 out of 5 stars

While ESP’s LTD branch is well-known for its respectable range of affordable guitars, you shouldn’t bypass them in the higher-end category – as the EC-1000 is out to prove. This beautiful model shows off a true deluxe design with plenty of bling and a bold tone to match. For a guitar under $1000 there’s a lot on offer, so let’s take a closer look.


Body and Neck

We promised bling and bling it delivers! The attention-to-detail on the EC-1000 makes it feel like a real luxury model, although it remains elegant and not too garish. Starting with the body and this features ESP’s take on the classic Les Paul shape, with a solid mahogany construction and 24.75” scale length. You have a few color choices to go for, but we’re reviewing the standard glossy black model, of which the fit and finish feels very high-end, especially factoring in the striking abalone purfling around the top.

This body is fitted with a three-piece mahogany neck that’s capped with a pau ferro fretboard and 24 extra jumbo frets, for great grip and easy string-bending. This neck continues with the deluxe body design by offering abalone inlays and purfling running the entire length. It looks great and plays just as well with its thin U profile – comfortable, smooth and fast, like any good ESP-designed guitar should be.


The electronics and hardware of the EC-1000 impress just as much. This model is voiced by two aggressive active EMG humbuckers – a 60 at the neck and 81 at the bridge, which is a classic pairing built for metal. These come with simple controls comprising an individual volume control for each pickup, a master tone knob, and a three-way toggle switch.

There’s a TonePros Locking tune-o-matic bridge and tailpiece offering solid tuning stability and sustain, as well as a little extra glamour with its gold finish. The same finish is present on the sealed LTD locking tuners, which are lovely to use. A shame there’s no case included at this price, but you can’t win ‘em all.


This is certainly a guitar built to go heavy, although don’t be fooled – the EC-1000 can still produce some superb clean tones with good balance and clarity. But stamp that distortion pedal and you’ll be blown away with power. The EMGs provide huge output with great intensity and detail, cutting through any mix. The EMG 60 is a great fit for the neck – solos sound articulate with great sustain and bags of character, while pinch harmonics just scream.


With an LTD like this, you probably don’t even need to consider an original ESP! There’s very little wrong with the LTD EC-1000 – for the price it shows great value. It’s a reliable and consistent stage performer that has killer looks, a luxury feel, pro-grade sound, and butter-like playability.

More info about the ESP LTD EC-1000 Deluxe, click here.
More electric guitars under 1000$, click here.

Reader Interactions


  1. Bill says

    Recently bought the EC-1000 with the beautiful abalone inlay March of 2018. Love the look and the versatility of genre you can play on this guitar. The fret board is smooth for fast riffs. I love the locking bridge and tuners that keeps the pitch even in hard bends. The price is great, in light of all the features this guitar has. I’m very satisfied and will keep it a long time.

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