late 80's "The Mirage Custom"

Updated
late 80's "The Mirage Custom"

I dug out my old ESP i bought from Craigs list in 1990and have yet to find a similar one come up since.  I bought this for $ 300 back then and it must be a special order since the shark fin inlays are rare on these with the ebony fret board.  The matching color headstock is also a bit unusual as the Mirage i see most had black head stock.  The neck is set and the ESP trem broke and i had it replaced with a floyd.  I also replaced the pickups with active EMG's and added the middle control knob for volume to SC.  The guitar is in 95% condition and plays really well.  VERY HEAVY.. as I am not sure but wonder if this is ASH or ALDER body?  Anyone ever find a specimen like this in the past?  Just curious as i am guessing it is an 87 or 88 model MIJ.  I will get more pics but its hiding behind my 62 reissue when i got it out of its case recently.  I will get some more pics shortly..

ESP 348

Cool guitar, I would like to see more pics if possible.

Ruster1

well, did some research.. my "The Mirage Custom" must have been special ordered.. and born on date of Jan 20, 1989.. more to follow..have not had it out of the case in 5 years.. good to restring it and get ripping on it.. 

mehegama

If that is the case then this might be one of the first to have the "new" ESP style 6 in line headstock. I was under the impression they first were introduced in 1991 and I can see this one in the 91 catalog but with a black headstock. All the guitars before 91 have the jackson headstock. Are you sure it is form 89? My custom shop horizon form 90 has the jackson style one.

Ruster1

Just now learning about these fine ESPs of old.. your horizon has the headstock "point" on the lower portion of the headstock angling back to the top.. i thought of this as the "jackson" style.. my Mirage does the opposite.. which points at the top of the headstock angling back to the bottom.. I just have not seen the shark fins on many of these with ebony boards.. but then again i just got into researching these..   Fantastic shape Horizon btw.. !!

Ruster1

Based on my research i have an 8 digit serial.. and it was the #25 guitar built in 1989!  Here are more pics of it.. I got this from a guy who played in a local band via an add he placed.. He was looking for a Les Paul and wanted to thin his lineup.. I think i got a winner here.. and thinking back i must have purchased this in 1991 as it was in my new home at the time.  It has one ding on the lower left side..and a small one on the upper horn but otherwise quite mint other than my upgrades or replacements.. the FLOYD did not fit well and i need to get a shorter brass block as the back plate no longer fits.. but having FU TONE available that will not be a problem and i can get a substantial chunky one that will fit the cavity better.  

Does anyone know where this guitar was built/factory at the time? it has NO OTHER markings other than the serial stamp.. ?? As i mentioned i have it set up for a single TONE and volume for the bridge and SC separately..  middle pot was added..

Ruster1

The only details in a catalog i could find was an image for the Mirage Custom in the 1987 CAT, listing the model at 200,000 Yen.. (looked up exchange rate in 1987 and was about 150 to USD.. would have made this a $ 1300+ guitar back then?  maybe my math is off a bit.. but that was the asking price for a sunburst Les Paul Standard in the day.  If this guitar was truly 200,000 yen.. exchange in 1989 was 125 which makes this close to $ 1600.. 

 

Ruster1

Finally found the FULL CATALOG for 1989.. and here is the reference to the Mirage Custom.. I have to look and see if i have the original pickups and trem.. my only issue is that my headstock shape is different.. (Pointed at top of headstock.. not bottom) as well with matching paint on headstock and shark fins.. ?? more mystery but must have been ordered as such..  still 200,000 Yen.. was big money back then.. 

 

mehegama

Indeed, yours seems to be a custom order (although back then their models were all like the current original series-very manual/custom, not the standard series production models) and indeed one of the first to use the current pointy headstock. You can see it in the full 89 catalog on that that japanese guy Shoyo is holding and later down in the custom orders pics. It is a rare piece!

ESP 348

Thanks for the pics man, that's a great guitar.

Ruster1

It's over 9 lbs..could be ASH..very dense hardwood..hangs like a Les Paul

Derk M.
Ruster1 wrote:

I dug out my old ESP i bought from Craigs list in 1990and have yet to find a similar one come up since.  I bought this for $ 300 back then and it must be a special order since the shark fin inlays are rare on these with the ebony fret board.  The matching color headstock is also a bit unusual as the Mirage i see most had black head stock.  The neck is set and the ESP trem broke and i had it replaced with a floyd.  I also replaced the pickups with active EMG's and added the middle control knob for volume to SC.  The guitar is in 95% condition and plays really well.  VERY HEAVY.. as I am not sure but wonder if this is ASH or ALDER body?  Anyone ever find a specimen like this in the past?  Just curious as i am guessing it is an 87 or 88 model MIJ.  I will get more pics but its hiding behind my 62 reissue when i got it out of its case recently.  I will get some more pics shortly..

I recently bought a ESP Mirage Custom, it's a dam heavy guitar. Must be made out of alder or mahogany for sure. These are going for a bit of money now and sort after. There is one on reverb for 4K.

Ruster1

I was guessing ash body as they can be hit or miss on weight.. alder tends to be lighter overall.. i will get my scale out and try to weight this thing.. do you have any pics of your Mirage?  do you know what year it is? mine being an 89...

Ruster1

Thanks to the guy on Reverb selling the NOS red custom..his info states that the custom was set neck and the guitar was 100% USA hard maple..no wonder it's so heavy..

Pete F.

Hello, I am currently looking for one of these 1987 Mirage Deluxe guitars to buy. I dont care what the condition is. Ive looked everywhere. Does anyone know of someone selling one or give me some hints on where to look?

Freddy S.

I've got a Mirage 87 in excellent condition, fiesta red, that I maybe will sell for the right price and buyer. Unfortunatly I live in Sweden... 

Hassle
Freddy S. wrote:

I've got a Mirage 87 in excellent condition, fiesta red, that I maybe will sell for the right price and buyer. Unfortunatly I live in Sweden... 

Hey Freddy I'm interested. How much are you looking for?

Thanks

Pete F.
Freddy S. wrote:

I've got a Mirage 87 in excellent condition, fiesta red, that I maybe will sell for the right price and buyer. Unfortunatly I live in Sweden... 

Can you tell me a little bit about it or PM me?

Freddy S.
Hassle wrote:

I've got a Mirage 87 in excellent condition, fiesta red, that I maybe will sell for the right price and buyer. Unfortunatly I live in Sweden... 

Hey Freddy I'm interested. How much are you looking for?

Thanks

Hey! I see now that I forgot to mention that the guitar is a lefty, sorry for that! So it´s a extremely rare Mirage  I suppose you are a righty player.

Freddy S.
Pete F. wrote:

I've got a Mirage 87 in excellent condition, fiesta red, that I maybe will sell for the right price and buyer. Unfortunatly I live in Sweden... 

Can you tell me a little bit about it or PM me?

I forgot to mention it´s a lefty! Sorry for that. But I can of course pm you some info if you still are interested.

Hassle
Freddy S. wrote:

I've got a Mirage 87 in excellent condition, fiesta red, that I maybe will sell for the right price and buyer. Unfortunatly I live in Sweden... 

Hey Freddy I'm interested. How much are you looking for?

Thanks

Hey! I see now that I forgot to mention that the guitar is a lefty, sorry for that! So it´s a extremely rare Mirage  I suppose you are a righty player.

Unfortunately I am, yes! I think you should keep it as you would regret selling

Ruster1

I have an NYC custom shop ESP, and it dates at similar time and specs as yours, I’m curious to know the specs as well...good luck and nice guitar 

According to the catalog..the mirage contemporary had 1 5/8 inch but while the Metal Series had the 1 11/16" nut and thin shredder neck  The word "Custom" refers to neck thru construction.  They were made with only the hardest North American maple which explains the heavy weight. The pups in the mirage custom were 1 x LH500 humbucker and 2 x LH 850 stacked singles.  Glad I kept those..colors were black, pearl white, pearl pink, turquoise, fiesta red and pearl gold..did not know what I had to be honest... A classic 80's shredder than weighs 10 lbs..lol

Freddy S.

I´ve got a lefthanded ESP Mirage 87, Fiesta Red. I think I bought it in 2004, a fantastic guitar. Heavy as hell! I think this is a extremely rare piece because it´s a lefty. I have never seen anyone else before...

Pete F.

Its a beautiful guitar. Too bad I'm right handed. But you should keep it. You wont find another one like that.

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