ESP- hand made
LTD - manufactured
ESP can use better hardware, more accurate attention to detail, and in some instances I heard ESPs uses better wood vs the LTD. Obviously your paying for high quality hand made stuff vs a manufactured thing. I mean they both are great too but it's a matter of preference/ budget.
From what I've seen ESP hardware isn't better in all cases.
EC1000's get tonepros locking tail and bridge, ESP Eclipse Standard and new E-II's with EMG's get the same hardware. The tuners are different. LTD's get LTD locking tuners, E-II's get Gotoh locking. Passive E-II's don't get locking tail and bridge, and they get the crappy auto locking Gotoh's not the thumbwheel version, and that's a let down. There isn't any good reason for why the passive E-II Eclipse's should get lower quality hardware over an LTD, but they do.
So, ESP hardware is NOT always better.
Another difference is the LTD EC1000's, and other LTD's, get a 350mm radius fretboard. The ESP Standards and new E-II's get the ESP Standard 305mm. LTD fretboards are flatter, ESP's are rounder. Which is better is personal preference, but for me I prefer the flatter fretboard as it feels faster to me.
I had a 2013 LTD Elite, made in Japan, and it had the LTD 350mm radius. I swapped that for a 2014 ESP E-II passive. Same guitar, same parts on everything except the neck radius is now 305mm, and I don't like it as much. I swapped because I wanted the vintage honey burst finish. The LTD Elite was FLAWLESS. The E-II not so much. I returned the first one cause it had issues with wiggly pots, so much so I could hear it coming through my amp when I'd reach for the volume or tone a "tink tink" noise came through. It was the wiggly pots. The low E string nut groove was cut too low, so much so it was a good bit lower than the A and made for an odd feel that I did not like. And there was a circular flaw in the finish on the surface of the cutaway. The replacement E-II also has wiggly pots just not as bad, but still not good. The low E nut groove is also cut too low, just not as bad as the first. And, there is a flaw, noticeable dimple, in the binding on the head next to the nut. Unfortunately, what could be said of previous years ESP's is true, but that's not the case with 2014.
Oh, and the Gotoh auto locking tuners SUCK. They aren't smooth and not accurate. When tuning if I need to undertune to come up to pitch, the amount of turn I give on the tuner to bring it back up to pitch is like 3 times more rotation than when I detuned. It feels very awkward an inaccurate. I'm sure it's got something to do with these stupidly designed "auto locking" mechanisms. I'm changing to Planet Waves thumb wheel lockers on the next string change. The PW's are vastly superior to the auto locknig tuners. PW's are much smoother, tighter, and more accurate. ESP needs to STOP putting those Gotoh auto lockers on their guitars. They SUCK.