ESP is one of the O.G. Asian guitar companies and has a long reputation for producing excellent instruments. Even I, your ever-loving Gear-Vault correspondent who is dangerously obsessed with all things Fender, played a cool pink ESP Mirage Custom back in the 80’s and still longs for it at times. These days, ESP is producing a lot fewer pink axes and a lot more that suit the trends of the current guitar market. ESP are introducing a bunch of cool new models this week at the NAMM show and many of the coolest come as part of the easy-to-attain LTD line. As is our norm, your homies here at the Vault have tested, tweaked, and prodded these newbies for your pleasure and ours and are here to give you the lowdown on how these new girls do what they do.
The LTD EC-1000 gets two new finishes this year, Silver Sunburst and Metallic Gold, which makes this classic Kalamazoo-inspired axe even more appealing than it already was. There is also a complete redesign of the H-1001 and H-1001FR that includes ESP’s “F-Series” headstock shape and black binding with abalone purfling. Early comments on these call them out for appearing a bit too Schecter-like, which puts ESP on the back side of the curve rather than the cutting edge, but they still seem to pack the goods that rock and metal players require.
Other interesting models from ESP this year include the ST-203 and ST-203FR, which are variations on the classic three-pickup Fullerton design and, even more interestingly, come in pre-aged “relic” style finishes that will instantly turn any bedroom player into a road warrior. The LTD EC-256, an affordable single-cutaway humbucker guitar, also gets the relic treatment and is available in Aged Vintage Gold. These new models causes one to ponder just big this whole relic thing is going to get and doesn’t anyone want a shiny new guitar anymore? The popular Xtone hollow and semi-hollow guitars have been merged with the regular LTD line for 2010 and this should make them easier for buyers to find at ESP dealers. Lastly, for those who think they have it like that, there is the MH-327 which packs 27 (!) frets and a Floyd Rose. For those about to rock, indeed.
In any event, it sounds like a great year for ESP and we are sure that the company’s new models will make many in our world very happy. Stay glued to Gear-Vault for more up-to-the-minute NAMM news!! Mean time, keep checking here for prices. Keep rock’n.