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.
Man, that should NEVER have happened with a real ESP.
That's something Gibson does and that's why I don't want a Gibson, you never know what you're going to get. Even if a Gibson looks decent on the outside the internals are flawed. I just read post on another forum of new Gibson LP Traditional owner. He too was surprised at how good it looked on the outside given his experience with Gibson. But, after playing it he found the neck pup sounded awful. After opening it up he saw shoddy workmanship with solder splattered everywhere and the pup was wired backwards. The shop he bough it from redid it to fix it.
A hole filled with wood plaster should have been a factory 2nd not a first. And then a cracked inlay. NOT acceptable. People need to post these things so that ESP can hear about it and so potential owners can read it too. Then, ESP needs to correct things and stop sending out factory 2nds as first quality. These are the kinds of issues that will dull the brand and lower first sales and resale for owners.