ESP's EC range of guitars has become very popular among players looking for a modernised, metal-friendly Les Paul style spec.
With a price difference of just under $200, the EC-401 and EC-1000 (Deluxe) are not aimed at guitarists on vastly different budgets. But there are differences that make the EC-1000 the deluxe option.
Hopefully, by comparing the two below, you'll know whether or not to keep that extra $200 in your pocket...
Thin "U" profile
|Frets||24 Extra Jumbo|
|Inlays||Pearloid Flags||Abalone Flags|
|Pickups||EMG 60 (Neck)
EMG 81 (Bridge)
|Bridge||Tune-o-Matic||Tonepros Locking Tune-o-Matic|
|Hardware||Black Nickel, Chrome, Gold||Black Nickel, Chrome, Gold|
Not easy to spot, so let's have a run down...
Both the EC-401 and 1000 are available in a number of different finishes and with the choice of black nickel, chrome and gold hardware.
The only exclusive standout for the EC-1000 is the abalone inlay flags vs the standard pearloid inlays and plain binding on the 401.
The more expensive EC-1000 is equipped with locking tuners which locks the string on to the tuning post, preventing it from going out of tune due to slippage. It also saves time when re-stringing, as there are no winds to worry about.
Also contributing to the EC-1000's price tag is the use of a branded Tonepros locking Tune-o-matic bridge which supports the tuning the stability further and (in theory) maximises sustain. The 401 has a more modest, generic Tune-o-matic variant that you tend to find on lower priced guitars.
Just how much these components really affect tone is debatable, but they are more specialist, expensive parts nevertheless.
With both EC's equipped with a thin, U profile neck and 24 extra jumbo frets, there's no difference here.
A major strength of both the EC-401 and 1000 is in the active EMG pickups. Hot as hell, crisp clarity and a broad tonal range with which to experiment.
With such beefy pickups, any tonal differences between the two axes created by the hardware will be even less noticeable.▲ Compare Sound
While the price difference does fairly reflect the cost of upgraded parts on the EC-1000, the actual result is at most subtle and this is reflected in the mere single point difference in rating.
That's not to say the locking tuners and bridge aren't worth the extra money. But as the 401 is so generously equipped and well constructed to begin with, you're looking at a very small gain for the extra $200.