ESP is known for producing guitars tailored to look and sound. Many musicians including Metallica and Bullet for My Valentine‘s guitarist, Michael Paget love using ESP guitars for the great heavy edged riffs.
The B-1004 4 string and the D-5 5 string both resemble each other as sleek professional guitars until you get down to the fine details and price. To help bass players decide which guitar may be more suitable for them, here is a brief overview describing the sound both guitars are capable of creating in the studio or on the road.
Weighing in at nine pounds with a scale of 34” is the B-1004 with a solid natural oak colored skin manufactured in Korea. The wood used to construct the bass guitar is a mixture of walnut, mahogany, and maple woods complimented nicely with an ebony fingerboard and black satin Ultranite tuners and a Hipshot bridge.
More importantly, the bass produces a clear resonance sound with a flexible tone, thanks to active pickups and it’s 3-band-EQ. With the guitar’s thoroughly laced active pickups and the body being designed from solid wood, the guitar is able to produce a dark thick tone with a quick catchy zing. It may be harder to produce an anti-climatic chorus hook using this guitar as it seems to produce sounds that relate closer to steady melodic dark tempos.
Overall, the guitar is capable of producing smooth background deeply throated growls continuously, but may not be the best for a band looking to catch listeners with funk popping style (think Michael “Flea” Balzary’s Red Hot Chili Peppers). This extremely attractive bass guitar is highly usable and will be a great investment for a bassist, but it is going to take an accomplished bassist to justify this purchase, as its selling price is set at approximately $1,600. If you have the money, the B-1004 is definitely worth taking a second look.
The second new release by ESP, the ESP D-5, is more affordable it is priced at $639 which is not a deal breaker for musicians who have yet to reach rock star status. Weighing in at approximately the same weight as the B-1004, the D-5 weighs 9 pounds, 8 ounces and also has a 34-inch scale. The design is identical to the shape of the B-1004 with a darker stained natural wood appearance and black graphite nuts and plugs. The ESP D-5’s fingerboard is made of rosewood which nicely compliments the five-piece mahogany and maple body.
The sound is not as full as the B-1004, but it does have a better character sound that would pick up nicely to create a hook right in between two other guitars’ steady tempos. ESP D-5 is easily capable of creating that catchy offbeat chorus line treble transition.
The reason the cost is much lower for the D-5 is because it is manufactured in Indonesia using less expensive and less customized equipment. The parts of the D-5 are standard issued pickups and the wood is not as expensive or durable as the B-1004’s. The design and equipment is excellent compared to most of the guitars that musicians with the same budget would be considering to buy. In this regard, the D-5 is a promising model worth purchasing. In fact, without knowing the price tag, after giving the guitar a solo run, it would be easy to price the guitar at a much higher level due to the quality of sound it produces consistently.
Basically what ESP accomplished with the D-5 for the price is a real achievement. Many efforts have been made to make a lot of bass for a little investment, and few have been successful as the D-5.
ESP LTD D-5 Bass