ESP takes great pride in providing instruments for musicians with a more powerful, hard-hitting approach. The company’s artist roster is full of tremendous players that have made a name for themselves in the many subcategories of hardcore and metal, and ESP’s guitars and basses are known for handling these genres (and beyond) with practical design and big tone. Continuing that tradition, ESP recently offered up the LTD GB-4. It’s a 4-string offset monster of a bass that looks like it’s built for just about anything one could throw at it.
Upon opening the (very nice) form-fitting case, I was greeted with a bass that was not what one would expect from ESP. The GB-4’s offset, retro body and seafoam-green finish is a combination made in vintage heaven, and the overall presentation evokes a hint of “come at me, bro” swagger. Unplugged, the bass resonates wonderfully. I did find the GB-4 to be a bit neck dive-y while seated, which made me have to fight it a little. The bass is also a little on the heavy side, clocking in about 10 pounds on the bathroom scale, but that’s nothing a wider strap can’t handle, to save the shoulder.
The engineering of the bass doesn’t necessarily break through any design ceilings. With that said, ESP has carefully chosen the components for the GB-4 to give maximum tonal flexibility and to make it budget and stage friendly. The swamp-ash body is comfy, and I like the belly scoop on the back. Speaking of the back, I was both happy and a little sad when I flipped the bass over. First, the neck has a 5-bolt design, which helps with a rock-solid joint connection as well as sustain. The bass can also be strung through the body, which I love, and the pockets and seams on the ferrules were clean as can be. Then I saw the battery cavity, with its tiny Phillips-head screws. I know we all have these screwdrivers in our kit, but, in my opinion, a clip would have been the way to go. It may sound a little nitpicky, but we are reviewing, right?