if they do like gibson, ESP must have a really highly qualified luthier-sound engineer-electrical engineer with some very good ears that test the woods with spectrometers, wood density meters or whatever..maybe they just knock on the wood to listen how it sounds...the best ones they keep in japan to build esp's, the second best ones they send to korea for high end ltd's, and then malaysia, and then china.
let's take the eclipse VB vs. ltd ec-1000 VB for example, theyre the same thing, same woods, only differences are the bone vs. earvana nut, the brand of the bridge , the kind of tuners (both stay in tune just as long and yes ive tried both)...and last difference is the neck pickup is further down the body to have 24 frets for the ec-1000...yes you will sacrifice a bit of tone for that extra not-even-an-inch, but you will gain easier high fret access if you play on those frets
so i think its possible to have an equal tone between both guitars if they are set up properly...you pay more for the esp because japanese workers are simply paid more
lets not forget im talking about esp standard here, not custom
high end of cheap brand + - = ~ low end of good brand (no matter what product)
so yea ford gt-40 + - = ~ ferrari testarossa
epiphone les paul elitist + - = ~ gibson les paul studio ( or even standard)
top sony or panasonic home audio speakers (cheap brand) + - = ~ lower end Bowers-Wilkins or DynAudio
in life you will always find better for an extra 100$....the question is, when do you stop?
dont be a purist fanatic audiophile unless youre a millionaire or you will go thru life always saving up for something better and will die unhappy
I disagree in a way. They may be made from the same wood, but the ESP graded wood is a shit ton better. As for hard wear I'm not sure but more then likely ESP ALWAYS uses better grades wood and hard wear. As for the country location quality scale, how do you know it's in that order? Do you work for them?