Some of the most highly-regarded guitars in history have many similarities to the affordable and popular LTD EC-256FM. Mahogany body and 3 pc. neck? Check. Roasted jatoba fingerboard and flamed maple top? Check and check. Covered passive pickups, set-neck construction, and 22XJ frets? You get it all, without the massive price tag you’d usually expect from such a well-made single-cutaway electric guitar. The EC-256FM is at home on blues, classic rock, hard rock, progressive rock, fusion, and much more, and it’s available in two terrific vintage-looking finishes: Cherry Sunburst and Lemon Drop.

(U.S. Only)
Flamed Maple
3Pc Mahogany
Roasted Jatoba
Fingerboard Radius
Nut Width
Nut Type
Neck Contour
Thin U
22 XJ
Hardware Color
Strap Button
TOM & Tailpiece
Neck PU
ESP Designed LH-150N
Bridge PU
ESP Designed LH-150B
Electronics Layout
Vol/Vol/Tone(P/P)/Toggle Switch
D'Addario XL110 (.010/.013/.017/.026/.036/.046)
Case Included
Prices and specifications subject to change.

I bought my my EC-256 used on a closeout a couple years back when my music store was moving to a larger location.   Was planning on a guitar from shall we say the value brand of the competitor most known for the single cut solid body.  From the moment I picked it up, it felt like it was almost crafted for my hands.  The fit and finish are far higher than what I was accustomed to in this price range.  Buying my second this weekend as the GC exclusive Cherry Sunburst is on sale for super cheap.

Todd B. ESP

Hey Ben, That's awesome! Thanks for sharing your comments here and we're exited to hear how happy you were with this purchase!


I have to say its been interesting the last couple hours checking out the differences between my trusty old '09 256AVB and the newly arrived '18  FM Cherry Sunburst.  I like the change to the tulip-style tuner buttons over the old kidneys both in form and function.  Same with the  speed knobs over the top hat knobs.  Those are both changes I will be making to my '09.  The only change I didn't care for was moving the EC-256 from being part of the 12th fret inlay to the truss rod cover.  I thought it was kind of cool as it was.  There's a bit different feel between the satin and gloss necks, but yet very familiar at the same time.  The finish on the '18 is perfect and I've been looking for flaws.  The veneer top has some 3Dness to it.  You'd be forgiven for thinking this is a far more expensive instrument than it is.  I paid $299 both times.  Now I just need to get my hands on a 256 Gold Top to complete the collection.

Todd B. ESP

Hey Ben, Thanks for pointing out all those details. Glad to hear about the changes you like as well as the ones you don't like. Hope you can finish your collection!

Vladimir P.

I bought 256FM LD as my first guitar after very-very long pause. I was thinking about Epiphone LP or Yamaha, but I'm here! Sure, this is the right choice.

Todd B. ESP

Hi Vladimir, Thanks for sharing your story. That is great to hear and we are so happy you chose one of our products. We really hope you like it!


I just bought a new see-thru dark cherry sunburst ec-256fm. Since that color is no longer on the website here, I assume it's been discontinued. I'm just curious when LTD stopped making them. I'm just trying to date which year mine was made. Is there a way to see what year my new AXE was made?  Just curious.

Todd B. ESP

Hi Phatmanswingin, please contact our customer service team and they can help you if you give them some photos and serial number. THeir email is . I believe this model is an exclusive that we make for GC, so it is not on our site but you can still purchase them from GC.

Carlos H.

Hi, I saw a ltd ec-256 similar as this one, but it looks like orange. I found that guitar is a special edition to UK. I want to know if is possible to get that guitar now

Carlos H.

Like the Apettite for Destruction Les Paul Slash

Todd B. ESP

Hi Carlos, We don't produce an orange model for this series currently. The only available colors are on our website.


I bought my 256FM and its been a dream come true. I was at the time debating between an Epiphone Les Paul and the 256FM and boy did i made the right choice! The thing looks awesome and plays excellent. I definitely will be buying another ESP guitar in the future. 

Todd B. ESP

Hi Fuzzface2018, Thanks for posting your review here. We're happy to hear how much you like your new guitar! Thanks for choosing ESP!

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