Even their authorized dealers sell counterfeit ESP's from time to time (possibly not knowlingly). I know because I ended up with 2 fake ESP's from GuitarCenter, they did take them back and gave me a full refund, when I provided proof that they were fraudulent. However they relisted them shortly after, just as they had when I bought them.
The only way to know for sure if yours is the "real deal" is to take it to an ESP collector (like myself), or a dealer that truly specializes in ESP guitars.
This post is great and all, but I dare you to email ESP your SN to see if they will help you verify if you have a fake or not. They will not even tell me where I can get obscure replacement parts that they manufacture for mine. I mean, I can understand the hundreds or thousands of inquiries, ESP must get regarding whether or not a guitar is real or fake and could not possibly hand answer them all, but at least make a resource available for customers to do their own research. An online database of serial numbers or something. It's 2014 not 1991, surely this is possible with little effort. We pay a premium for the instruments you sell, you could at least acknowledge that we respect and are interested in the brand.
I recently saved an ESP 901 from a rececycling centre, exactly the same as the one in the link, description is very accurate except mine has been well played and it's purple, play's great, sounds awesome thru my Blackstar ID:260 TVP but no serial number any where to be found just a sticker " MADE IN JAPAN " on the headstock, does this mean it's a fake or do I have something a bit rare
I checked that electricguitardiscount DOT com site. They have copied most of GC's logo as their own.
On another note, I recently purchased a Ltd B-4Z NS bass and it has tuners and pickups marked ESP. Also, the neck simply has ESP printed on the back. Both of my other Ltd basses have "ESP designed" on the pickups/neck and the tuners are marked Ltd. Is this a counterfeit?
I have an LTD F105 bass and an LTD EX401FM and both has the printed ESP logo. On the bass pickups i have only ESP logo too. I saw LTD guitars with it in shops, so i don't think your bass is a counterfeit.
Hi I love ESP guitars also thats why I carry them at The Music Station, I agree with William A. that its a good idea to go into your locals Authorised ESP dealership however if you must buy online MAKE SURE and i emphasize MAKE SURE they are an Authorized Dealer. You can easily do this buy looking up thier name on this site.
Also any dealer who sells ESP legitametely would love to hear from you either by phone or email so lets get some dialog going buy with confidence. I know i sell with confidence ESP/LTD guitars and Basses are one of the best made guitars on Earth.
I made this mistake on eBay too. It took a month for the guitar to arrive and when it got to my door it was wrapped in some weird box with chinese strapping tape all over. That was my first "uh-oh" moment. Upon opening the box, the guitar looked like the real deal at first glance. But it didn't take long to spot the poor craftsmanship. And the closer you looked at the guitar, the more awful it became. And I wasn't at all that surprised when I plugged it in and found it played worse than it looked. I ripped the guts out of it and replaced the pickups, the electronics, the tuners, the trem, the nut, etc. I dumped a lot of money into just getting it functional. It still doesn't play that well. The fretwork was terrible and the neck is still an issue. "Good from far. Far from good." It now hangs on a wall and never gets touched. Buy the real deal. I bought my ESP from GuitarCenter and it's sucha a bad-ass guitar! I can't begin to tell you how far superior it is to the knock-off I got on eBay. The age old saying that you get what you pay for is sooooooo true. I thought I was saving a few bucks on eBay but in the end, I spent more fixing up that knock-off than if I had just bought the real deal from the beginning!