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Discussion Starter #1
I hate it. It's stupid, and I hate it. Because this is awesome:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/ESP-Guitar...e=STRK:MEBIDX:IT&_trksid=p2060353.m1438.l2649

And if it said ESP on the headstock, I'd buy it. I know it's a ridiculous reason not to buy a guitar, but ever since I was like 13 years old I wanted an ESP. They were the guitars that young Chris's guitar heroes played. Lynch, Hetfield, Hammett, etc.

No kid ever dreamed about someday getting an E-II. It sucks and I hate it, and everyone at ESP should feel bad for this stupid fucking idea. Because it sucks. Unlike this guitar, which would be fucking awesome if not for the headstock. :mad:

/rant
 

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I think too much
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I get it.

There aren't many guitars I'd want to own from my impressionable years, but a Jackson Soloist is one of them (Black, HSS, 3 toggle switches, light rosewood fretboard, with a Kahler no less). If I saw one that said J-II on the headstock, I would definitely dry-heave once or twice before the rage set in.
 

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No one's ever explained that to me. I've seen those E-II guitars for years and years and years now, but I'd assumed they were higher grade than "LTD" but lower than "ESP." If they're NOT lower than "ESP," then what's the reasoning for the E-II on the headstocks?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
The way I understand it is that aside from just existing to make me have to add "-LTD" and "-E-II" to all of my ebay searches, they're the higher end Japenese spec ones. So I think it's it's LTD then E-II then ESP is the USA stuff. Or maybe ESP is the Japanese stuff?

Or something like that. :mad:

The good Eclipses used te be ESPs but now they're E-IIs. The LTD ones (which I'm not trying to shit on here) aren't bad but they're like Schecter C1s. Decent wood, mediocre rosewood neck, etc etc. I'd like a white Eclipse but I don't want an LTD or an E-II, so the actual ESP ones are harder to come by now.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I get it.

There aren't many guitars I'd want to own from my impressionable years, but a Jackson Soloist is one of them (Black, HSS, 3 toggle switches, light rosewood fretboard, with a Kahler no less). If I saw one that said J-II on the headstock, I would definitely dry-heave once or twice before the rage set in.
:dillon:

Exactly. Nobody who grew up idolizing Hendrix ever said "someday I'm gonna grow up and get myself a sweet Squier". And nobody who grew up on 80s thrash wants a fucking E-II.
 

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Señor Member
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I hate it. It's stupid, and I hate it. Because this is awesome:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/ESP-Guitar...e=STRK:MEBIDX:IT&_trksid=p2060353.m1438.l2649

And if it said ESP on the headstock, I'd buy it. I know it's a ridiculous reason not to buy a guitar, but ever since I was like 13 years old I wanted an ESP. They were the guitars that young Chris's guitar heroes played. Lynch, Hetfield, Hammett, etc.

No kid ever dreamed about someday getting an E-II. It sucks and I hate it, and everyone at ESP should feel bad for this stupid fucking idea. Because it sucks. Unlike this guitar, which would be fucking awesome if not for the headstock. :mad:

/rant
I like that it says ESP at the 12th fret but no, can't put it on the headstock.
 

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The way I understand it is that aside from just existing to make me have to add "-LTD" and "-E-II" to all of my ebay searches, they're the higher end Japenese spec ones. So I think it's it's LTD then E-II then ESP is the USA stuff. Or maybe ESP is the Japanese stuff?

Or something like that. :mad:

The good Eclipses used te be ESPs but now they're E-IIs. The LTD ones (which I'm not trying to shit on here) aren't bad but they're like Schecter C1s. Decent wood, mediocre rosewood neck, etc etc. I'd like a white Eclipse but I don't want an LTD or an E-II, so the actual ESP ones are harder to come by now.
It looks like my interpretation of E-IIs being above LTDs but below ESPs is accurate. I looked it up both in Japanese and English, and the English explanation on ESP's website says:

"GUITARS
ESP E-II
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.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
It looks like my interpretation of E-IIs being above LTDs but below ESPs is accurate. I looked it up both in Japanese and English, and the English explanation on ESP's website says:

"GUITARS
ESP E-II
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.
What a nonsensical marketing cluisterfuck. For example, just picking one from the first page of their lineup...

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.

USA version said:
Neck-Thru, 25.5" Scale, Mahogany Body, 3Pc Maple Neck, Ebony Fingerboard, 24 XJ Frets, Floyd Rose Original Bridge, Sperzel Tuners, EMG or Seymour Duncan pickups
vs the Japanese version: Here.

ESP Japanese version said:
Made in ESP's Tokyo factory by our expert luthiers, the ESP E-II M-II is a neck-thru-body speed demon that can handle the most intricate solos and punishing riffs you can create, and come back for more. This guitar is designed for serious players and professional recording/touring musicians who need excellent quality and reliability for studio and stage. Available in See Thru Black finish over its flamed maple top, the E-II M-II combines a pair of aggressive EMG 81 active pickups with a Floyd Rose original tremolo for your best metal, hard rock, prog, and any other style where expressive virtuosity is a requirement. Includes form-fitting hardshell case.
So 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?
 

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CA Manager / RHLC
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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 :lol:
 

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The E-IIs are the standard series guitars with a dumb logo.
That's exactly the situation. It's just a rebadged version of the ESP Standard Series. Chris, those satin black M1s have been around for a long time, you should be able to find an ESP-logoed one if you look for a little while. It'll be identical other than the logo.

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.
 

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Turd Furguson
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It’s horrible marketing for sure but EII is what used to be standard series ESP. Fantastic guitars. Then there is USA ESP that didn’t exist at the time of the standard series and then ESP CS. I still don’t like it, but if that holds you back you’re missing out on great guitars.
 

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המרחב וה
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Man...

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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OldSchool Blacksmith
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That sure is one purdy geetar. Buy a sticker. Love it in spite of its flaws.
 

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Agreed, they are just the standard series, I own a 2005 standard horizon II and itsca great guitar, my first really nice guitar. I've considered a few e-IIs since then but the logo is a real turn off. The reality is that it's just ESP making sure that if you want ESP on the headstock you need to put up 3.5k minimum.
 

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I have no idea what ESP is doing from a marketing perspective. :shrug:

I will say, judging by the last few I've played, that the LTDs from Indonesia have passed the Korean ones. I played the new Buz-7 (Indonesian) that was every bit as good as the E-II I played a few minutes later, and maybe just a touch below the ESP I played after that - but it was close.
 

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Tune It Lower
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I have no idea what ESP is doing from a marketing perspective. :shrug:

I will say, judging by the last few I've played, that the LTDs from Indonesia have passed the Korean ones. I played the new Buz-7 (Indonesian) that was every bit as good as the E-II I played a few minutes later, and maybe just a touch below the ESP I played after that - but it was close.
I JUST bought a new (old) guitar, but also have SG hunger from going off on recent a psychedelic/stoner/sludge binge (but I won't touch a post early '80s Gibson SG), and this looks here looks sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo sick at that price point: https://www.espguitars.com/products/21751-viper-7-baritone-black-metal-2nd :booty: Baritone scale and everything, so I don't smash my hand into the headstock as it's been forever since I played any child-sized guitars. Satin neck too. ESP are on it, IMO.
 
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