Regarding new E-II series, while I've become an owner of E-II Horizon NT BK (Alder one, SD "hot rodded" set), I will leave some comments and comparisons to ESP Standard models.
First of all, I would like to say, that craftsmanship of current instrument is great, especially binding (definately better than on ESP Horizons).
If we will compare it with old ESP Horizon NT BK (Alder, SD "hot rodded" set), which I've played several years ago, there is no noticable differents in sound (obertones have been saved, alder sharpness feels almost same, sustain and attack features on the same level), comfort playability remained the same. In general, there is no difference, just rebranding of the whole line.
I'm happy with it, cause current instrument fit all my needs, is universal, sounds and plays great. Price range for E-II Horizon has remained at the level of ESP Horizons level.
In my opinion, E-II is the successor of ESP standard series.
That's why, there is no reason for Holy Wars on this issue, just enjoy playing and making music with ESP guitars))
I agree with you
I played a ESP Standard Horizon FR II for several month and now I bought a new EII Horizon FR.
I can say that I don't notice any difference in sound and playability, but I do in finishes.
Mine came with a little flaw in the neck at the 15th fret that has a little hole filled with wood plaster and the inlay at 17th fret is cracked.
Nothing to say about the sound and feel. The neck is great.
I want to say that after spending 1750€ I pretend to have a guitar flawless though.
So I'm really sure that this is my last experience with ESP.