No more ESP in USA?

    Well, I didn't know whether to start this here or in General Discussion. I figured it might be safer here, and more relevant.

    I was going through the NAMM 2013 thread looking for any mention of ESP rebranding and didn't see anything. Then again, it's a fairly beastly thread, and the topics are all over the place.

    So here's the meat and potatoes of this question: Is there any publicized discussion of ESP pulling the ESP brand from the US market? I've heard from more than one reputable source that ESP is working on withdrawing ESP from this market, and offering only LTD and LTD Elite. The only way to get your hands on real ESP will be a custom shop order.

    To be clear, I don't know if this is true or accurate, I'm only asking if anyone else has heard this as well.

    • TheSixthWheel

      Today it was revealed that the only models remaining will be:

      Eclipse II FR: BK
      Eclipse II STD: ACSB, BLKAQ, SSB, SSP, SW, VB
      Horizon FR-II: RDB, STR
      Horizon NT-II: DBSB
      Horizon 27FR: BK
      Horizon HRF: BK
      Horizon NT-7: BK
      Horizon FR-7: BK
      M-II NTB: BK
      M-II Maple: BK

      Via Nick @ The Axe Palace

    • DanieLibuy

      I don't think I want all my guitars black.

      Fuck this shit.

    • ProfessorExp

      So after the "E-II" rebranding in 2014, the only way to get an ESP that says "ESP" in the US will be through the custom shop? That seems foolish.

    • JSHRED

      So it sounds like LTD Elite and E-II will be two separate things. ESP will disappear from everything but custom shop. And it sounds like the only way to get an artist (aka Signature) model will be by ordering one from the custom shop and paying 200% price.

      It sounds like the ESP name will carry even more exclusivity and status than ever before, but man, get ready to sell your car or take out a second mortgage to get that Lynch or that Snakebyte you've always wanted.

    • Helldogg

      If all this is true ESP can pound it. Glad I have my M2 guess I will only buy used so these jackasses don't get my money. Later ESP it was fun. Way to spit on customers can't wait until this idea blows up in faces.

    • NeedsMoreBlueBell

      I feel like the only person here who doesn't care about the name change.

      If we still get some guitars made by ESP, I'm fine. I don't care if they called the guitar LTD Elite, E-II, or BumFuckYourMother, it's going to be the same goddamn guitar.

      If you care this much about image, go play a Schecter or something.

      • Geetarguy70

        I feel like the only person here who doesn't care about the name change.

        If we still get some guitars made by ESP, I'm fine. I don't care if they called the guitar LTD Elite, E-II, or BumFuckYourMother, it's going to be the same goddamn guitar.

        If you care this much about image, go play a Schecter or something.

        If what you say is true then there would be no 200% price increase so it's not the same goddamn guitar. It's a 200% more expensive version of it. My ESP Snakebyte could be in no way $2,000 improved. I got some interesting background on how certain sigs are made and my SS shitty sig was made by the same dude who would otherwise build it at the CS. So you will pay 2k more for a 2cent stamp that reads CS rather than SS and it will in no way have an impact on the quality or sound of the guitar in regards to the Sig. It's not about image man, it's about making your guitars unaffordable and alienating your customers.

    • Tondog

      I wish them the best of luck...but that is a bad marketing strategy for sure.

    • mihnea

      Am I seeing this wrong or they're moving more towards low-cost options for broke teenagers? saying this, I think that M-I with ebony fretboard looks killer!!!

    • JSHRED

      I liked this comment from Rig-Talk.

      OK, I can be positive. I'm positive that this move does nothing to make me consider ESP for my next guitar. To me, this is similar to a Fender announcement that read "OK, you chumps, if you want a REAL Fender Stratocaster, the only way to get one is through the Custom Shop Master Built program. Everything else will be a Squier." I wouldn't pay $1K for a Squier "copy" of the real thing, either.

      This has nothing to do with the dealer network - you guys are the ones that will have to deal with ESP's decisons. But to me, LTD is the ESP Squier. I'm not buying a copy of the real thing. And having to go to the Custom Shop to get it won't move me to get the real thing, either. What this does is make ESP similar to Hamer in my eyes. An "aspirational" guitar from a company that was really cool and is now only available on the used market.

    • Durethia

      I have a question. Didn't ESP do this before? I'm under the impression that for some time, the only thing available in America was LTD offerings.

      The Japanese have historically made poor decisions in regards to brand names. For example? Let's point back to the 1960s and their branding decisions for their "Grand Seiko", which are still sold today. (At the end of the day, you spent thousands of dollars on a cheap Seiko, it doesn't matter how good it is).

      The Japanese did eventually do it right for the car market (Lexus, Acura etc.), but from a co-worker who lived in Japan he tells me that there are no Lexuses in Japan that everything is stamped Toyota; I would never pay Lexus prices for a "Toyota", nor would I want to drive a car bearing the same brand that someone in a lower economic class is also driving around in.

      They have a big thing to preserve name over there, so if a Japanese business decides to change route, then you end up with stupid, unrelated and confusing stuff like... Yamaha Guitars and Yamaha Dirt Bikes. All in an effort to preserve the original name, in disregard to laws governing brand name recognition, consumerism, prestige and status quo. Mitsubishi is an absolute huge monstrosity in Japan, they even have a huge financial sector, one of the largest banks in Japan is Mitsubishi... it's crazy.

      There is some benefit I admit. In America you have to uncover who is a subsidiary and who is a parent company, at least in Japan all of that would be painfully obvious. But, then you end up with a disregard to brand name prestige, and decisions are made like what we are facing today. All I know, is that I'm so glad I finally bought my ESP M-II and I'm only that much more snooty about the fact my headstock says "ESP" rather than "LTD"; aside from the other factors such as higher quality hardware.

      *Added for clarity; my snootiness for ESP stems from the laws of brand name recognition, growing up and seeing ESP on the headstocks of many famous guitarists who I idolized. Their relative inaccessibility had a role in it, but not that much becuase their costs would naturally rise due to increased demand from rock fans galore (supply and demand dynamics). However, my snootiness is only confined to my personal perspective and without kindling this fundamental aspect of consumerism, ESP will not be sought after by upcoming musicians as much, especially since many "professional" guitarists are playing "LTD" branded guitars (Alexi Laiho, Andy James etc.). In ten years, only people my age would give a hoot if the used guitar says "ESP" and younger guitarist might have an adversed reaction to the label as over-priced fodder.*

    • Mr.Dahl

      That's true... Guitars Rebellion told me that last year that 12 models will remain of the ss series...

      • rcs

        Will the M1 be available in 2013? Or was 2012 it?

      • Stephen D.

        Looks like I picked the wrong time to get my 1st electric as an ESP...


      • MajorTom

        It seems like a lot of people are missing the part of the post that says they're going to rebrand their guitars with another name, but all the specs will be the same. So you can still get Standard Series quality, it just won't say ESP.

        Sucks because I like ESP guitars and like to show that I own one. I would buy them either way.

        The thing about Toyota and Lexus. They do that for Americans. Because Americans think just like the guy who brought this comparison up. The Japanese clearly see it as "I'm paying good money for a really good car". The Americans see it as "I'm paying good money for a Lexus and I want everyone to know". Status symbol blah blah.

    • JSHRED

      Yeah, but in 2014 even those will go away.

    • Mr.Dahl

      from guitars rebellion..... that fucking sucks.....

      'Dear friends, an important message for our ESP clients.

      In January 2013, ESP is gonna take a serious turn. Indeed, the whole export catalog currently available: Electric Sound Products
      will disappear almost completely. Only 16 models (colors included) will remain. A few Eclipse, Horizon, HRF, NT7, M-II and nothing more.

      As a consequence, if you wish to order one of the currently available models, you'll have to do it before the beginning of December 2012. After that, it won't be possible anymore.

      Additionaly, the "semi-custom" orders (small changes on Standard Series) cannot be made anymore, starting immediatly. No more color changes, pickup, hardware or anything. The slightest modification requires a custom shop quote.

      Now you know !

      Additionally : the signature series will disappear. The signature models will only be available through the custom shop starting January 2013. '

    • JSHRED

      I want an M-II in Zebra in the worst possible way.

      I have to put together the ~$3K for one in 2013 before they disappear or something too.

      That Zebra finish just makes me want to get on stage and play Winger all night.

    • 1point8t

      It is quite awesome