• vector350

    Wtf???

    Been reading up on a few posts in the custom shop forum and I'm slack jawed. Really? How the f--- does ESP get away with charging that much for a guitar? I wince when I see/hear these boomers and schlub collectors dropping 5- 6 K on an old Gibson or Fender whatevers but I've read CS costs in the 6 - 7 K . I'm not questioning the workmanship, materials, etc. ESP puts out and I certainly understand how the market determines worth but some of the prices I've read are off the f---ing charts. I've got 4 custom order axes by US builders and I've never cracked the 4.5 K mark in price. How does ESP make money in that end of their business? :eek:

    • Frank W.

      It's called the exchange rate. Yen is a lot more expensive than say 10 years ago.

    • guitarsatbmusic

      Been reading up on a few posts in the custom shop forum and I'm slack jawed. Really? How the f--- does ESP get away with charging that much for a guitar? I wince when I see/hear these boomers and schlub collectors dropping 5- 6 K on an old Gibson or Fender whatevers but I've read CS costs in the 6 - 7 K . I'm not questioning the workmanship, materials, etc. ESP puts out and I certainly understand how the market determines worth but some of the prices I've read are off the f---ing charts. I've got 4 custom order axes by US builders and I've never cracked the 4.5 K mark in price. How does ESP make money in that end of their business? :eek:

      Your guitars are built by whom? Their expenses include what?

      • vector350

        Your guitars are built by whom? Their expenses include what?

        My custom shop guitars were built by Hamer, Charvel, Jackson, and Gibson, here in the US.

        True, I didn't factor the exchange rate between USD & Yen, nor the shipping costs from Japan or Australia ;-)

        They must be some amazing axes for folks to drop (by my comparison) 2 K over what they would pay for a comparable US CS.

        I have some experience with this as I wanted something between a Roope RS-II and the Anchang Star real bad but the cost of both STD and Artists Series alone were so prohibitive that I ended up ordering a comparable custom version from Jackson with neck thru, my own custom graphics & a sustainer in the neck pos. for under 1 K less than the RS-II and 3 K less than the Anchang.

        Please understand I'm NOT slagging ESP or their product. I obviously own a few and like 'em. But I am just nonplussed by the staggering price to get a CS when compared to a similar US build.

    • Frank W.

      If someone wants something, they buy it, even a brand name etc. It's ones own decision and it is based on their financial capacity to own it etc. Gibsons don't appeal to me, Jacksons did when I was 16, not any more etc. The only guitars I search for on a regular basis are ESPs. If I want a Gibson, one can buy one for 600 euro. That's a good holiday in the Canary Islands -- which in my opinion is better than any owning of a Gibson for me personally . Whereas an ESP to me is more valuable than a holiday. That's my fucked up logic :D. Some stranger musician came up to me in a nightclub last week and said "you have a big ESP collection don't you?". I replied, a few, and turned away from him to chat to my friends. I don't own ESPs to get attention or to show off, they are for me personally, because after a long hard day of work, it's nice to come back and see something of the fruits of my labour, something I dreamed of when I was a teenager and thought, "I'll never ever be able to afford one", never mind the few that I have!.

    • dsquared

      How do they get away with it? People keep buying them.
      /thread

    • Metlupass2

      So when you order your Gibson Custom Shop can you choose body shape, neck shape, custom finish, custom inlay, type of fingerboard, pickup config, etc?

      • Geetarguy70

        So when you order your Gibson Custom Shop can you choose body shape, neck shape, custom finish, custom inlay, type of fingerboard, pickup config, etc?

        I can answer this for you. NO. They won't even make a lefty explorer even if you offered them 10k. Gibson "customs" are made the same whereas ESP is customized to the owners specs

    • Metlupass2

      I knew the answer....

    • vector350

      Outside of the disparity between the Yen and the USD & maybe shipping costs, nothing concrete has been cited as the reasons for ESP CS costs.

      Tone woods, electronics and craftmanship? Really? Have you done a side by side comparison? EVERY guitar builder swears they use the finest tone woods, components, craftsmanship etc.

      I agree that Gibby & Fender (though my Gibby listing was a response to the question posed by Guitarsatbmusic) are not true custom shop axes & are bad examples in comparing "apples to apples" Hence, the citing of my choosing Jackson CS. Little more of fair comparison IMO. But if we put aside fanantical brand loyalty and the like subjective preferences, what does ESP do to warrant the sizable difference in price of their CS axes?

      I rather suspect that the much of their success stems from a combination of a solid product and very effective marketing via the endorsements. That, and the market determines what worth is. i.e. ESP can get away with it because people keep buying them.
      Kind of a tricky validation. The very same can be said about Gibsons and Fenders.
      ;-)

      • Pushead

        I rather suspect that the much of their success stems from a combination of a solid product and very effective marketing via the endorsements. That, and the market determines what worth is. i.e. ESP can get away with it because people keep buying them. Kind of a tricky validation. The very same can be said about Gibsons and Fenders.
        ;-)

        Seems as though you've answered your own question.

    • Pushead

      But, to further on the discussion of currency conversion:

      An ESP Truckster here in the states lists an MSRP of $3,570.00.

      Using today's exchange rate, that works out to roughly ¥283,500.

      In the summer of 2007, ¥283,500 would work out to about $2,300. That's almost $1300 worth of exchange rate, right there. Granted that's MSRP, but there is a lot of price increases in just exchange rate.

      • imprinted

        Also, go look at the custom Wyvern Claw bought - can you see even Jackson making something like that if one of their customers came in?

        I'm glad to see more people are finally seeing how much of a dent in your finances that exchange rate is making.

        I managed to score a Caparison TAT-I Frozen Sky from Japan for about £900 a few years back and now I can only dream of that.

    • dsquared

      ^^^^^^ totally outrageous and awesome, never sell that

    • Wyvern Claw

      Thank you! I once considered selling it if I could get the right price out of it, but I've essentially given up on that. I doubt I'd ever sell it, the only way it's leaving me is MAYBE if I get offered some sort of awesome trade for it. And even then, it's unlikely, it's just too unique and has almost every feature I could ask for in a guitar, with the exception of a trem. But having a fixed bridge guitar as nice as this one is good too.

    • T.L.

      Personally, I don't think ESP really wants to build custom guitars, so if you want them do do it, you're gonna really PAY.

      Their Standard, Signature, and LTD lines are where the real profit is, and they know it...

      • Pushead

        Personally, I don't think ESP really wants to build custom guitars, so if you want them do do it, you're gonna really PAY.

        Their Standard, Signature, and LTD lines are where the real profit is, and they know it...

        Every guitar they build for the Japanese market is a custom. The ESP stores there are walk-in, sit with a builder, and order exactly what you want.

    • JSHRED

      Too bad the exchange rate to Yen would still be sexual assault.
      But I will say this, that Japanese experience sounds much more desirable than the ESP custom shop process I've been dealing with in the US. I just fill out the form, I don't get to talk to anyone or ask any questions about options or upcharges, I hand the form to my dealer, and a month later get told, hey, that will be $9K USD.

      • ESP 348

        Too bad the exchange rate to Yen would still be sexual assault.
        But I will say this, that Japanese experience sounds much more desirable than the ESP custom shop process I've been dealing with in the US. I just fill out the form, I don't get to talk to anyone or ask any questions about options or upcharges, I hand the form to my dealer, and a month later get told, hey, that will be $9K USD.

        It sure does, sounds like a VERY nice and interesting experience.

      • vector350

        Too bad the exchange rate to Yen would still be sexual assault.
        But I will say this, that Japanese experience sounds much more desirable than the ESP custom shop process I've been dealing with in the US. I just fill out the form, I don't get to talk to anyone or ask any questions about options or upcharges, I hand the form to my dealer, and a month later get told, hey, that will be $9K USD.

        I submit the above as a good illustration of what I initially posted about. 9K? For a custom? Even with the exchange rape and the shipping, that's obscene. There's NOTHING I can think of that would justify that amount short of it being made out of clubbed baby seal skins, banned exotic woods and precious metals. :lol

    • JSHRED

      Hell, the one that I was quoted $8K to $9K was just a Horizon II NT with some small changes. I mean I know assembly line manufacturing cuts costs significantly, but I didn't think it would be over 500% drastic.

      Anyone know if it's true that your custom shop order goes to ONE MAN who does your whole guitar from start to finish? Granted, there are multiple builders on the team, but your guitar is completely built by one single person? Anyone else hear this?

    • Sutekh

      OP would lose it if he knew the cost of some PRS customs

      • vector350

        OP would lose it if he knew the cost of some PRS customs

        But we're not on the PRS forum(s) are we?:lol
        I DO know what PRS customs go for & rest assured, I wouldn't fork over that kinda cash for a PRS either.


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