What's going with ESP?

Discussion in 'Sevenstring Guitars' started by behemoth4ever, Aug 22, 2017.

  1. jl-austin

    jl-austin SS.org Regular

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    I would say no because there are very few collectors of ESP guitars (yes, I am sure they are out there, but not like the other brands (without generic logos).

    $1600 will buy you a real American Fender, a real American Gibson. Definitely a nice Japanese Ibanez. Or a generic labeled E-II that people are going to ask "what is an E-II". It's one of those things that I think their success over the past few years has gone to their heads, and they think people will buy a generic $1600 guitar.
     
  2. JD27

    JD27 ESP Cult Member

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    Well thank Satan they put the ESP logo on the 12th fret and rear of the headstock or we would all be sitting around wondering what this generic $1600 made in Japan guitar was.
     
  3. Dineley

    Dineley SS.org Regular

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    if price is the same I'd take an E-II over 90% of MIJ Ibanez any day... not sure why E-II is "generic" anyone who actually cares, would know.
     
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  4. Sermo Lupi

    Sermo Lupi SS.org Regular

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    It's all of the artists. I'm sure there's guys on the roster that aren't big enough to get LACS guitars, but it's not due to any sort of geographic restriction or anything.
     
  5. couverdure

    couverdure No Gear Day

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    Ibanez also has a custom shop in Japan: the IGDC (Ibanez Guitar Development Center). They built the RGCTM1, which only six of them exist, and some customs for endorsers like this left-handed FR.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
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  6. Velokki

    Velokki GAS station

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    I've owned many LTDs, and they were always THE brand for me for many years. But I really think the offerings got stale, I think they just stopped innovating. They were on the top of their game in 2003-2008, but ever since then I feel it's been a continual contraction for the worse. In 2013 some of the Elite models were ace, and the Andy James sig was classy. As well as all Reindeer Blue finished guitars.

    I think just about any company is more interesting than them these days. Even though if they lived 95% off their bread and butter models, like the EC1000, M-series etc, they should continue to craft radical creations that would make me laugh or have my pupils dilate upon sight. That's a purely branding type of thing.
     
  7. oc616

    oc616 Control Deck Wins

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    I owned 2 LTDs in the past, were easily the 2 worst guitars I'd owned in terms of finish, fit and fretting and we aren't talking £300-£400 range either. Those were the 7 string version of Steph's signature model, which I had when I was 16 and obsessed with Fear Factory but hated fixed bridges over TOMs, and an EC-1000.

    The 7 string was awful in retrospect, turned out the bridge was not filled/fitted correctly when I took it for a set up years after purchase where I actually knew what I was doing with guitar. The bridge was so far forward it would cause the higher strings to cut and snap early and often, not what you'd expect from a then £850 guitar (now £930 I think?).

    The Eclipse I kept for about a week before returning it. Then frets were awful, one of the pickup screw cavities had been over bored, and the connections loose somewhere inside after a few days. After that I was convinced never to bother with their product line again, let alone consider ever investing in a £2000+ ESP version. Schecter just did what they did for me with better quality control (although nowadays they've slipped too). The kicker for me, was a £300 RG7 was more solid in its construction than guitars 3 times its price, so I stuck with Ibanez and just got used to the fixed bridge instead.

    My experiences aside, I can see other reasons for their current state. Whereas Ibanez has a healthy Jazz and Acoustic customer base, can ESP say the same? Sure, they MAKE acoustic guitars, but I can't recall ever having met someone with one or in brick and mortar stores. Given the electric's decline in popularity vs the acoustic, with ESP having so firmly lodged themselves in the Metal and Hard Rock bracket, its not hard to see why they're pulling back on some of their £1000-£1500 LTD lines (especially in extended range guitars, which have seen their offerings reduced across most of the big names too). Dean and BC Rich are other examples of why going so ham on Metal and Hard Rock in their current waning popularity isn't paying off. How many kids getting into their first metal bands are going to know who Karl Sanders, Batio or Vinnie Moore are? Signature artists are so important for pulling in first purchases of a brand. In fact lets take a look at what I'd guess would be "entry point artist sigs":

    DEAN:
    - Dimebag
    - Dave Mustaine
    - (maybe) Jacky Vincent

    BC RICH:
    - Kerry King, that's it.

    ESP:
    - Brian "Head" Welch
    - James Hetfield
    - Kirk Hammett
    - Will Adler
    - Stephen Carpenter
    - Jeff Hanneman, although not sure if this will count for much longer.

    There's a lot of artists that seem really niche, or have questionable relevancy nowadays (Mille Petrozza is a boss, but is he big enough anymore to carry a product line?) Come to think of it, Ibanez and Schecter have very popular Bass lines too, does someone have more knowledge regarding ESPs basses? Always struck me as BC Rich-lite.

    Sorry for the essay. This is not intended as a bash on the brand despite my experiences, just not really my cup of tea anymore. There are plenty of current models with great specs I would otherwise love to try out, such as Ken Susi or Head's models, but (and this is another factor I fear) brick and mortar stores near me just do not stock ESP lines. Lots of Ibanez and Schecter, some Jackson, no ESP. Could be related to their pricing and lack of consistent sales based on my conversations with some of the staff, although they're still happy ordering ones you want to buy.
     
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  8. Millul

    Millul SS.org Regular

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    Buy this - the awesomeness is off the charts, and almost nothing plays like and ESP neck!
     
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  9. Edika

    Edika SS.org Regular

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    I know, I was just making a joke of the situation we've seen too many times with various brands and models. Truth be told this mainly happens with Gibson that when a specific model slightly different comes out, nobody likes it then goes for dirt cheap in the used market for the first few years and after a longer while people realize they're the holly grail of that model and sell they're beat up crap for more of what they paid new.
    It won't happen with E-II of course but I've already seen people hyping ESP models before the E-II moniker as real, genuine ESP that are better when everyone that has tried E-II says they're the same as ESP standard in feel, sound and playability.
     
  10. Rawkmann

    Rawkmann SS.org Regular

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    Trust me it's been a huge temptation!
     
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  11. marcwormjim

    marcwormjim SS.org Regular

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    If ESP is to be taken to task for anything, it's that their product lines are utterly lacking in extrasensory perception - At that price point, no less!
     
  12. skewkus13

    skewkus13 SS.org Regular

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    The whole "Eii" thing was so disappointing for me, back in 2006 i got the ltd Michael Armott ninja 600 and loved it, then later the Esp sv urban camo, everyone wanted to play esp back then and black pointy guitars were the shit and every bigger metal band had an artist with esp. When they took esp off the headstock it kind of took all the magic away, when i look at one it doesn't make feel anything. You have to remember too, that the whole "boutique builder" explosion happened and everyone wanted burled timbers with oiled finishes. Esp sales must have taken hit here.
     
  13. feraledge

    feraledge Black Walnut Pounding Bragger Contributor

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    You haven't felt my custom. It just... really gets me.

    You start out talking about an ESP that has LTD on the headstock and how it lead you to the magic. If you think what the headstock says is the magic, I don't get the magic.
    And I think the major brands have probably felt just about zero impact from the boutique builders other than having forums like this that will convince people-who-aren't-rich that dropping anything over $2000 on a guitar is acceptable. In which case, the custom bug is legit and anyone who follows the fly-by-night "boutique" schemes will ride out the storm with builders who are reputable and reliable, which, for the most part, are companies like ESP.
    So if they're saying they want to strengthen their brand by focusing the ESP logo on customs only and then open a second custom-built shop in another country, you can probably assume that the custom orders aren't on the decline.
     
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  14. dirtool

    dirtool SS.org Regular

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    first,take off the 12th inlay
     
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  15. Zado

    Zado SS.org Regular

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    This is serious matter.
     
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  16. feraledge

    feraledge Black Walnut Pounding Bragger Contributor

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    "E-IIs are garbage."
    "LTDs are serious junk, total fire wood."

    Andy James with production LTD sigs:
     
  17. theicon2125

    theicon2125 Midwest Metalhead

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    I know I haven't owned as many as a lot of the guys here but I've owned 3 "ESPs" and have a 4th on the way. To me the logo on the headstock means nothing. It's a quick way of seeing the price range of the guitar. I definitely do agree that just because it says E-II it's generic. Like Dineley said, anyone who actually cares will already know that E-II is an extension of the ESP brand like LTD. You don't see people (at least in my experience) saying, "What is a LTD?" You're more likely to have someone come up and say, "that's a nice Les Paul," while you're playing an Eclipse.
     
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  18. silverabyss

    silverabyss _(:3 」∠)_ Contributor

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    I think esp will be ok as long as they're the guitar company that makes Metallica's guitars.
     
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  19. FitRocker33

    FitRocker33 My tone is tighter than my hamstrings

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    I can't speak for anybody else's experiences but my e-II Horizon IIIs quality easily exceeds that of some other pricier guitars I've tried recently.

    The fretwork and fit/finish is top shelf and unplugged it is quite lively acoustically, which is often an excellent gauge of how it's gonna sound plugged in.

    I've played older era ESP standard series guitars that were nice but didn't meet the level of quality in my eII.

    Take that FWIW
     
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  20. eightsixboy

    eightsixboy あなたのお母さんを犯さ

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    Of which he would of been given a good one, its not like they would just give him any old LTD of the production line.

    LTD's are like any cheaper guitar, you have to try before you buy and in most cases seek out a good one. I had an older LTD back in the 2000's that was great, but I have seen and played many poor ones in later years.

    The E-II's I have had have been better then any Prestige I have had, ESP really have there s**t together when making guitars, even an LTD elite (pre E-II) was awesome quality, for the price $1200 aud that it was its absurd that it was MIJ and of such high quality.

    I think the only thing that lets ESP down is there model range, its very bland. Quite a few models I wanted to get were only available with EMG's or certain bridge types, really wish they would do multiple color, pup and brigde options for more models.
     
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