The LTD deluxe series are great instruments, you are not going to gain a lot in playability, however the overall craftsmanship of the ESP is worth the extra cost,you get better wood, better wiring,better electronics and a better assembly. This results in an instrument that sounds a lot better. If you havent played a viper standard in person, I recomend that you do before you buy one, the geometry and balance is a lot different than an eclipse. They are little different if you a sitting down and a lot different if you are standing up, so try it both ways if you can. Also the viper standard is neck thru which is nice.