A Look Inside the LTD ST Series
"The LTD ST-213 has such incredible workmanship and attention to detail, it is hard to believe that it is not a custom shop guitar."
- Jerry Cortez, guitarist of Tower of Power
It was 1975 when a little guitar shop opened in Tokyo called Electric Sound Products. For most of the almost 40 years since then, ESP has been known as a designer and builder of high-performance guitars and basses. However, we got our start by taking existing instruments and making them better. World-famous artists who came through Japan on tour all stopped by the ESP shop to see how their classic guitars could be improved in both feel and sound with improved necks and components.
That philosophy still stands true today, and is embodied via instruments like the LTD ST Series. They all offer the same classic great-looking shape that has helped define rock music for decades, but with the feel of a guitar designed for today’s playing styles. Below is a look at some of the details of our current ST Series.
Beautiful, Broad-Grained Ash
Several of our recent ST Series models have ash bodies, and employ translucent finishes so the gorgeous grain of the tonewood can be seen. Ash came into play as a guitar wood back in the earliest days of electric guitar, and offers a magical combination of light weight (for comfortable playing) and high resonance (allowing for strong lows, nice highs, and good sustain). The ST Series ash models use the most musically desirable form of the wood — swamp ash that comes from wetland trees with roots below the water surface. Our ash-based ST-213 models have finish/fingerboard combinations that include Burnt Orange/Maple, Natural/Maple, See Thru Blue/Maple, and Natural/Rosewood (which also has an outstanding-looking black pickguard). All of these feature an ESP Designed LS-120 pickup set with individual voicings for neck, middle, and bridge pickups, and a 5-way selector as well as volume and two tone controls.
The ST-213 is also available in great traditional alder bodies with opaque finishes. Again stemming from guitars made in the ‘50s and ‘60s, alder helps produce a clear sound with string midrange and excellent low end. Our ST-213 models with alder bodies include finishes and fingerboard combinations such as Candy Apple Red/Maple, Olympic White/Maple, 3-Tone Burst/Rosewood, Olympic White/Rosewood, and Seafoam Green/Rosewood. They also utilize ESP Designed LS-120 pickups, as well as an ESP Vintage tremolo.
HSS = Humbucker/Single/Single
Sometimes, you want the power and fury of a humbucker pickup to augment the clear and bright tone of single-coil pickups. The ST-213FR and ST-213 Maple/BLK come through with an ESP-Designed ESP Designed LH-150B bridge pickup along with two LS-120 single coils in the middle and neck positions. The standard model offers a vintage tremolo, while the FR model features a Floyd Rose Special bridge.
Distressed for Your Pleasure
Finally, the ST-203 is the LTD ST Series model that comes to you with the look and feel of a guitar that’s been played in for years. It has an alder body and maple neck with rosewood fingerboard, and is available in a 3-Tone Burst finish that is pre-distressed for a completely vintage vibe.