Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Kitchen/Laundry Room
ME: Ironing Board
MA: Laundry Mangle
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Rig: Washing Machine
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Join Date: Oct 2008
ME: Ibanez RGIXL7-ABL
MB: Ibanez SR505
Rig: Fractal Audio AX8
Built in Japan by ESP’s luthiers, the ESP E-II Series represents a new standard in high-quality guitars and basses. ESP E-II bridges the gap between our premium ESP and LTD models, with great looks, sound, and craftsmanship built into each instrument."
So as far as I can see, "bridges the gap between ESP and LTD" means better than LTD but not as good as ESP.
THE CONFUSING THING, THOUGH, is that if I search for "ESP E-II" in Japanese, the Japanese ESP website describes E-IIs as planned and developed by ESP USA. So I'm guessing this means that E-II were designed, planned, and developed by the US branch of the company, but then built by the factory in Japan.
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Boston, MA
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LTD Eclipse Evertune. $1000: Here.
E-II Eclipse Evertune. $1999: Here.
ESP USA Eclipse. $3500: Here.
They also have their "signature series", which sounds good, right? I mean, clearly Alex Skolnick warrants a top end fiddle. But no, his signature series is an LTD and is $1100. Here.
So 3 different branded base versions of the same guitar (the Eclipse) plus one signature model that isn't even from their middle of the road lineup, it's from their entry level moniker. WTF?
Now let's look at the classics... There's an E-II version of the M1 and M2, but no LTD that I can find. There's also ESP USA versions of the M1 and M2. The USA M2 starts at $3500: Here.vs the Japanese version: Here.Originally Posted by USA versionSo a black USA M-II is $3500, but a black E-II M-II is $1800. They're both neckthrough, 2-hum, 25.5 mahogany guitars with EMGs. Why is the USA version twice as much?Originally Posted by ESP Japanese version
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: San Diego, CA
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I think the USA version is produced in ESP USA custom shop (somewhere in LA?) and the Japanese E-IIs are produced on their standard Japanese production line, like the old standard ESPs. The E-IIs are the standard series guitars with a dumb logo.
I could also be talking out my ass, but that's what I remember reading a few years ago
Love Charity Esteem
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Herndon, VA
ME: Jackson Soloist
Rig: Fractal Audio Axe-FX II
iTrader: 4 (100%)
As I recall, the thinking was to reserve the ESP name for the ultra-expensive stuff coming out of the custom shop or the new USA shop. It was just as confusing when the Standard Series was around, since there wasn't a clear indicator why one guitar was $1500 and another with the same logo was $4000.
The ESP USA line makes it even more confusing. The USA shop isn't a custom shop, per se. They have a bunch of options to choose from and build to order, but for an actual custom you have to go with a Japanese custom and pay way more than $3500 for anything interesting.
Itís horrible marketing for sure but EII is what used to be standard series ESP. Fantastic guitars. Then there is USA ESP that didnít exist at the time of the standard series and then ESP CS. I still donít like it, but if that holds you back youíre missing out on great guitars.
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: North Carolina
ME: EBMM JP 13
MA: Yamaha Classical Guitar
Rig: Mark V w/ 2x12 V-30 Cab
Let me put in my two cents.
I have played these E-II's (I hate the name and thinks it's ridiculous) and I have played ESP USA Guitars as well. These guitars were sold at a Guitar Shop I worked at.
Neither one of them has lived up the quality when I have played ESP's before this move was made.
The best ESP I ever played hands down was a Hanneman w/daggers from several years ago when Jeff was still around. I couldn't believe how well it played. It was stupid.
I also was able to play a Kirk Hammett and it was a very solid guitar as well. I had a Kiko Loureiro ESP that I owned and it was a solid build with impeccable work, I just couldn't get used to the neck, sadly.
Then my friend let me borrow his late 80's ESP Mirage and I loved that guitar. Loved it. Also. I got play a custom painted Eddie Meeks ESP M-II that was fairly solid as well. Loved all of those guitars.
Anyway, I recently was able to play a ESP Gary Holt Signature. Yes. The $5600 guitar. In no way, shape or form did it feel or play like a $5000 guitar.
I don't know why anyone in their right mind would buy one for that price, it's just crazy.
I've played Framus Custom Shops that were $6000 and I could see every reason why someone would be tempted to buy it, but even still I'm not dumb enough too.
The necks, frets, pickups and wood crafting were impeccable. This ESP I didn't feel the same way, it was a really nice guitar but not $5000 nice.
I don't know what has happened with ESP or who messed everything up. But there definitely is a quality gap and things were much better when those guitars were just LTD Deluxe's.
At least you didn't feel like you were getting swindled and you knew were getting a less quality guitar. Where as opposed to now, you feel as if you are getting fooled into something that isn't what is being portrayed to be.
And to a lot of people, the name means everything. It doesn't matter. Why do you think Heritage isn't more popular than Gibson aside from that semi-hideous head stock.
If anybody is interested, here is a clip of the Holt I made. It looked amazing more than anything else.
The floyd was semi out of wack, so forgive the out-of-tune playing at the end.
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God Bless, Venator
Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: Corpus Christi
ME: LTD H7, S540LTD
That sure is one purdy geetar. Buy a sticker. Love it in spite of its flaws.
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Donít expect much, itís not like Iím a rocket surgeon.