I have been offered a trade that looks pretty good. 200$ cash and some of my old solid state amps.
The guitar in questions is from craigslist and it is described as a ESP viper custom, black gloss finish, EMG pickups , brown ebony fretboard. tone pro's bridge, the Tuners say ESP which usually is on their low end gear, i found it kinda odd that it did not have gotoh or schaller tuners.
The guy says he paid 1000$ for it on ebay. I had thought maybe it was just the standard viper so i asked him for a serial number. He says it is custom shop and has no serial number. Hence i am here to see if i can get the 411 on this guitar.
The seller does not seem to know alot about it. And even if he did, you can never be sure that people are honest anyway. Seems like a good guy. But the last time i bought a custom assembled project strat i found some inconsistencies in the specs that were told to me.
does this look like a ESP custom shop? Would these generally have set neck thru like the standard? Does anything look dodgy or sketchy about it? What is the street value approximately. I would be in this for about 500$ including my trade items.
Let me know what you think. Thanks in advance :)
also it has no flag inlays, just looks like dots. I am thinking maybe this is an older model. 7-8 years old or so.
That definitely doesn't look like an ebony fretboard to me, looks like rosewood... So there's one inconsistency already with what he's telling you (unless my eyes are just bad tonight, since it's 3:00am and I'm still at work). Other than that, I don't know a lot about the old ESP models. It looks right, I once had an early 90's ESP George Lynch Skulls & Snakes guitar, and it had the "Custom Guitars" stamp, but no serial number, if I recall. Unless it was on the neck plate, but I know there was none on the headstock. My current custom, also from the 90's has no serial number or even a stamp on it, so it's entirely possible it could be legit and well worth $500. I'd wait for others to give you better information though.
If this is a late 90's standard would it have the set neck thru construction that the current ESP vipers have? And by the specs is that actually brown ebony and not rosewood?
Was this a good era of guitar building for ESP? My concern is that if it is traditional set neck, and a rosewood fretboard and 14 years old then it is no better than a current LTD 1000 or even 400 series. On the other if the standard build quality on is good then it could be considered a steal for a japan made ESP standard. I may disclose to him that it is not custom shop and that it is old and slightly lower the negotiation price because 500$ is not a terrible price but i would not say this is THE guitar for me. No one has bought it yet and the back market for guitars is super slow right now. So i at least want a get a deal because i will may later trade the guitar.