My new ESP LTD GB-4. It has a pair of Seymour Duncan SSB4 humbuckers, as well as an SD STC-3M3 3 band EQ. The EQ also has a switch to contour the EQ for slap, which is implemented on the bass as a push/pull switch on the volume.

When I got the bass it had two issues. First issue, treble knob is sticky for part of the rotation. Doesn’t seem to have any effect on function.

Second problem, which I am trying to understand. I got the bass, and checked it out. Tuned it, intonation, setup, usual stuff. Played it a bit, and then tested the electronics. Set everything to zero.

Turned the bass all the way up. Check.
Turned the mids all the way up. Check.
Turned the treble all the way up, no change.
Changed the battery, no effect.
Took the cover off, checked the connections, all seemed solid. Checked the switches on the EQ (I can adjust the countour of the slap function), put it back together, everything is as I found it.

Picked up the bass tonight to play, because its a really sweet bass. Went through the process again, this time engaging the push/pull switch

Bass knob check.
Mids knob check.
Treble knob - check!

Pushed the volume back in, treble knob, still works. Something I did fixed it. Either the switch on the EQ, which I put back and is only supposed to effect the slap contour, or turning on the slap function.

So I have a perfectly functioning GB-4, except the sticky treble knob. And I don’t know why it works.

Observation - LTD quality is sooo much superior to Fender, Squier, or Ibanez. Opening up the cavity, the wires are much neater and have ties on them. Soldering is really well done. The cover has a layer of metal tape on it, and the shielding paint is well applied. Intonation was spot on.

LTD does a nice job. The fingerboard also feels great. It’s Pau Ferro, and I was not a fan of it on my Player Jazz, but it feels much nicer here. The bridge is much nicer, a Gotoh, than other basses except the SRMS805. Nut is 38mm. It’s light. I really like this bass.

Certainly will keep ESP in mind. I am a fan now.


ESP is solid across the board; LTD is their second lowest tier and they are still fantastic. Easily on par with Yamaha and Ibanez as you noted.

The Indonesian ones are made in the same factory as the Yamahas, IIRC.


My white ESP-LTD EC-401 was a top notch guitar made in Indonesia. Wouldn’t perse say the brand is superior to the others but it is good quality for sure.

You could have moved the wires a bit when opening the cover. Sometimes they are an in a twist. I had something similar.

I was going to say same thing. Sounds like a flaky solder joint.

What are the ESP tiers? I know there’s ESP, and LTD - what else?

From low end to high end, it’s

Grassroots < LTD < Edwards < ESP

There might be one more in there but those are the main lines I know of. Some have models not offered in the other tiers as well so it’s not strict vertical overlap.

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If only GrassRoots and Edwards were sold in the states.

Took the GB4 to my lesson today and the treble broke on the way, must be a wiring issue. Still haven’t heard back on the warranty :frowning:

The Grassroots actually look really good, definitely on par or nicer than Squiers. And there’s even a Grassroots F-series :slight_smile:

Still haven’t heard from the warranty guy, called them up and they said it might be a few more days.

So it’s Tuesday which means Jerome the Luthier is in town. So took it to him to check out the wiring and connections. They’re all solid, he says it’s bad electronics, probably a bad pot.

So, what to do…

Personally? I’d replace all the pots with CTS, and, while he’s under the hood, put in a Switchcraft output jack. Screw the warranty. It’ll be more hassle and expense in shipping than just getting your local guy to do it. But that’s just me.

Get the warranty guy to let you fix locally and do what @LeftyChad says.

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This is a Seymour Duncan preamp, should be Duncan pots. If that makes a difference

Well I don’t mean to be a jerk, but what you described in this thread sounds to me exactly as “good” as what I experienced with my two Fenders

Aren’t warranty returns free of charge over there?

I’m completely off topic but I couldn’t help but notice that the Duffs are back in stock with Thomann. Third time lucky? :wink:

And yes, I only noticed because it’s still on my “wish list” too. :innocent:

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Haha yeah I saw it, it’s on mine too. :slight_smile: Stay tuned, I was just about to post something to that topic.