First E-II, dissapointed

Updated
MIchael K.

Hi all!

First post on this forum, looking for some opinions.  Several months ago i ordered an ESP E-II SV from an online vendor.  The guitar that arrived at the vendors first had to be sent back because the case was shaped wrong and the finish was damaged in shipping.  The next guitar made it to my home.  It plays and sounds great but has several issues that i feel should not be present on a near $2K guitar.  Below are some photos of whats going on.  Am I being rediculous for expecting better than this?

 

All of the inlays have this ring of glue around them, some are worse than others.

The distance between the low E and the fretboard edge is greater than the distance from the high E and the fretboard edge.  The nut is positioned closer to the bass side to compensate.  With the frets being VERY rounded on the ends, string slippage can become an issue if im not careful.  These first two pictures are the only things the company i ordered from refused to repair.  In all fairness the tech said the alignment is 1/64 of an inch away from where it should be.

This one is a bit hard to tell by the picture, but the saddle screw for the high E and D strings are a different color than the others and the heads were stripped right out of the box.  There was also a stripped screw hole on the control cavity panel right out of the box.  There was also a bur on the fine tuner of the D string that made a nasty click at a point in its rotation and forced the pitch too far up when it happened.  These were all fixed by the vendor.  Almost feel like i got the floyd leftovers that happened to be laying around the factory.

Maybe im being too critical and please feel free to tell me if I am.  As it stands though, I feel like a guitar that costs this much shouldnt have issues like these and given that the first one was sent back to ESP it makes me none too confident in E-II.  Im also aware this could have been avoided by trying out the guitar in person but no store anywhere near me stocks this kind of stuff.  Thanks for any and all replys!

Pushead

I'd be disappointed by that, if I'd purchased the guitar as new

MIchael K.

Well just wanted to post an update,

i recieved the guitar a day ago.  the vendor fixed the hardware issues with the floyd bridge and fast (listed above) which i am grateful for hence why their name is left out of this.  they also said they changed the action so i wouldnt have the issue with pull offs/ alignment i was having, although this truely did nothing to change it, to be honest im not sure they understood what i was talking about in regard to the specific issue i was having, and i kept talking to different people people.  the specific issue is pull offs to open on the high E string around frets 7-13 are impossible to do without sounding off and/or performing the pull off incorrectly.  ive been playing for close to 20 years i know how to do a pull off.  the only way it doesnt sound bad from the string slipping off the fret is to literally just lift the finger off the note at a 90 degree angle which gives no energy to the open note.  again i wouldnt think this would be as much of an issue if the frets were not so rediculously round on the end.  theres just literally nowhere else for the string to go if it is pushed ANY amount towards the fretboard edge.

the tech said the alignment was within 1/64 of an inch of where it should be(where on the guitar he checked that i have no idea guessing the bridge) which is all well and fine but i doubt they take into account overdone fret-work.  the high E string gets closer to the fretboard edge the closer you go up towards the nut (down by the pickups the alignment looks perfect).  this is making me consider that the wrong nut size could have been used/defective?(this one in particular is starting to pop in my head as a possibility given all the issues the bridge piece itself came with)  or its possible its installed wrong?  if anyone has any insight into this specifically the advice would be much appreciated.

 

either way this purchase has been a total headache from the start.  absolutely no more online guitars for me.  dont get me wrong the materials used, especially the fretboard, are incredible.  the guitar sounds great and plays great excluding the aformentioned issue.  this guitar came riddled with issues brand new tho which i think is crazy considering it was a damn near $2k guitar and ive played many cheaper with far fewer problems, albeit many issues were fixed. and it sucks because i want to love this guitar so very much...  also the amount of time ive spent on the phone and emailing is becoming frustrating.  sry for the long winded rant, would love to hear what ESP has to say about this, is it even worth contacting them? i figure they would direct me back to the vendor.

just considering options here any input is welcome, thanks for reading my rant =D

 

MIchael K.

well now im pretty sure the neck has a crack in it, as i was playing tonight i noticed a creaky sound/feeling coming from the neck when i would completely slack the strings with the trem.  lightly wiggling the headstock while holding the neck makes a similar sound that i can only describe as wood cracking little by little, wonder if this was from the shipping or a flaw that didnt show itself till stressed.  this really freaking sucks i hope i can get this replaced so done with this guitar right now, this issue may have never been a thing if i didnt have to send it in to get fixed in the first place when its supposed to be a brand new guitar blah just getting craby now

ESP Admin
MIchael K. wrote:

Hi all!

First post on this forum, looking for some opinions.  Several months ago i ordered an ESP E-II SV from an online vendor.  The guitar that arrived at the vendors first had to be sent back because the case was shaped wrong and the finish was damaged in shipping.  The next guitar made it to my home.  It plays and sounds great but has several issues that i feel should not be present on a near $2K guitar.  Below are some photos of whats going on.  Am I being rediculous for expecting better than this?

 

All of the inlays have this ring of glue around them, some are worse than others.

The distance between the low E and the fretboard edge is greater than the distance from the high E and the fretboard edge.  The nut is positioned closer to the bass side to compensate.  With the frets being VERY rounded on the ends, string slippage can become an issue if im not careful.  These first two pictures are the only things the company i ordered from refused to repair.  In all fairness the tech said the alignment is 1/64 of an inch away from where it should be.

This one is a bit hard to tell by the picture, but the saddle screw for the high E and D strings are a different color than the others and the heads were stripped right out of the box.  There was also a stripped screw hole on the control cavity panel right out of the box.  There was also a bur on the fine tuner of the D string that made a nasty click at a point in its rotation and forced the pitch too far up when it happened.  These were all fixed by the vendor.  Almost feel like i got the floyd leftovers that happened to be laying around the factory.

Maybe im being too critical and please feel free to tell me if I am.  As it stands though, I feel like a guitar that costs this much shouldnt have issues like these and given that the first one was sent back to ESP it makes me none too confident in E-II.  Im also aware this could have been avoided by trying out the guitar in person but no store anywhere near me stocks this kind of stuff.  Thanks for any and all replys!

Hey Michael,

We are sorry to hear about your recent experiences with your new E-II. We will be forwarding this information to our customer service department, but we ask that you email them with the following information so that we can provide assistance as soon as possible. We will be glad to work with you to have these issues resolved, and again regret to hear about the inconveniences you have experienced. 
Please send to customerservice@espguitars.com:

First and Last Name

Copy of your purchase receipt

Serial Number

Link to your post


Thank you,

MIchael K.

email sent

Hypnotoad6969

Simply put, the "E" series are just LTD's that cost almost 2 grand. Return that kindling and look on Reverb for a used ACTUAL standard series.  In more depth...  - 

The "E" series is just a re-branding of the LTD deluxe. LTD's were getting a bad wrap on forums and youtube because of imperfections off the line (such as the ones you pointed out), and the price point was too high, so, the suits did a re-brand. PRS and Gibson did the same thing with their lower models. I own a number of ESP Standards ranging from 1995 to 2007 and the "E" models (AKA LTD's) are complete crap in comparison. Well, that's a bit harsh, but they are overpriced, re-branded LTD's that will almost certainly have imperfections off the line, but still pass inspection whereas Standard ESP's would be fixed, scrapped and parted out, or labeled B-Stock with ANY imperfection. I got a killer deal on one of my M2s because a little bit of glue leaked out when they glued on the fretboard. Few hours of playing and the glue flaked right off. This tiny bit of glue got it labeled B-Stock and several hundred bucks off the price.  Just an example of the standards, no pun intended, that the ESP Standard line had for their products. The "E" series has no such standards, at, ALL.

Standard ESP's came out of the exact same Japanese factory and were made by the exact same luthiers that would make the custom shop ESP's.  Now that the "E" series are just LTD's re-branded, some parts come from China and are assembled in Korea or some BS before everything actually reaches Japan and ESP's best luthiers. ESP standards were built to last. Find a second hand one, it'll be light years better than a new LT"E".  Or, go with a Jackson standard series, they are still making their standard series in the same shops by the same luthiers as their custom shop guitars. A Jackson USA soloist, or RR1, or V will blow any E series out of the water.

They aren't horrible guitars, but they should cost 7-800 bucks at the most. Kinda shady marketing honestly, people think it's just a new name and new logo for the Standard Series, when it's actually just an LTD Deluxe. Nice guitars for 800 bucks, but for 1800? Come on ESP.

MV-CTM

This post is false information.  E-II introduces no new issues that haven't existed in the standard series for a long time.  My ESP standard viper and E-II Arrow 7 are both the same quality and several years apart.

 

Also it is funny you bring up Jackson, the company which made the famous 23 fret custom shop guitar.

Martyn R

Totally agree, the Chinese Tokais are better made than the E-IIs, not necessarily better materials but overall workmanship has more attention to detail. 

Andrew j.

I totally disagree.

I just grabbed a brand new 2019 eii arrow. Firstly...this is the greatest instrument I've ever played and ive owned custom everything from gibson to ESP. Not a single flaw. Tonally superior and resonant in ways i cant describe. Absolutely hands down the best. Ill be buried with it.

Hypnotoad6969

I'm glad you had a good experience with your LTD Arrow, but nothing I said is false, and I'd bet my wife that there are just as many folks out there who got a lemon of an Arrow as there are folks who got a playable one. Anyways glad your arrow is good, but buyer beware, the rebranding of the LTD into their Standard series certainly wasn't done to benefit the customer and I see a heck of a lot more complaints out there than praise, and standard series ESPs are becoming harder and harder to find second hand, people are hanging onto them. I'll take my Jackson USA RR1 over an LTD Arrow any day.  This is a year old post I wasn't expecting any traction, not trying to fight. Enjoy your Arrow. Rock on.  

MV-CTM

I'm not sure if you're just trolling or delusional but go on believing your falsehoods while the rest of us enjoy our guitars.

Cogan C.

He's posted the same information in several forum entries. I get that some players have had issues with the E-II line but it doesn't need to be plastered everywhere on this site. If there's an issue with the guitar line, perhaps contacting ESP directly will help solve it. Hypnotoad6969, we get you don't like the series and you have every right to use these forums to vent your displeasure but please try to contain it in one category if possible. 

EXPcustom

I have a feeling the E-II like is the same as the post 2008 SS series and Edwards line. Jixi China body blanks finished elsewhere because of the outrage in Japan over the Edwards line using Jixi body blanks ESP has been very tight lipped about where the guitars are made.

Korean made guitars from the world guitar factory where the old LTD line was made did not have these type of QC issues.

Sebastian  G.

You was so damn right! Esp produce E-II series with edwards in china on Jixi plant. Is it normal for 2k$ "MADE IN JAPAN" guitar ESP?

ToadLeBG

Hello,

 

I just bought a brand new ESP E-II M-II FM STBLK and I really like it. It plays and sound very good but like Michael K. says two years ago it has several issues that should not be in a 2k € guitars. And I can't return it to factory because in my country this guitar is very rare. Like three months to get my fingers on that.

 

The E-II logo on the headstock is damaged:

 

The 3rd inlay is nearly invisible:

 

 

The ebony fingerboard is kind of brown not totally black (I known ebony fingerboard can sometimes comes with brown streak but all the M-II or Horizons I see on the internet, on music store or the author's ESP E-II Arrow have jet black fingerboard) :

 

 

The gap between the neck and the Low E string is smaller than the gap between the neck and the high E string :

 

 

Don't get me wrong I really like that guitar. But it's sad to see these kind of issues on such expensive and great guitar.

 

PS: Sorry for my rough english, english is not my main language.

Road King

The pearloid sometimes has black spots in it. The fretboard must be macassar ebony and the coloring is normal. Fender is using that as well. If the string spacing is off, then that certainly is an issue.

Hypnotoad6969

"Enony" freatboard lol thats not even rosewood.  Buy a used 95-2005 ESP, or switch to Jackson USA.  EIIs are bs

Jim G.

You’re a tool

MIchael K.

Lol I havnt seen this thread in awhile, looks like esp is about to get bit in the a** sorry to hear about the above guitars, clearly there's some sub-par business practice going on around esp, that fretboard is sad, it would be one thing if it was advertised that way but it is not, they show all jet black, which by the way it left my finger tips dark after playing it, when I asked about this I was told it was "left over polish", could be true could also be dye after seeing all that brown in yours, the rep at esp I talked to said I was being unfair because issues with the creaky/broken neck may have happened in shipping, was also told that the misaligned strings and over filed frets were within tolerance, so it is a mistake but not apparently not enough for them to care even though extremely small errors like that can make the difference between a good guitar and an Ltd for half the damn price, the trem as demonstrated above was clearly not checked well before it left the factory, penny pinching at its finest, was offered no help other than suggesting the USA made guitars are better when I brought it up, funny too how they stopped production of the model I had not long after I purchased, prob got one of the last, half baked, ones that they thought they could sucker me into, I've moved on to a MUCH better guitar, sick of these big companies getting away with making low quality junk advertised as professional grade, never again esp, but remember "e-ii is the same as esp standards" /sarcasm, give ur money to a company with higher standards and more realistic pricing

ToadLeBG

Yeah, i'm kind of disappointed as well. The guitar plays very well, probably the best guitar I have played (and I own 2 MiJ's Ibanez) but like the pictures I have posted above, the fingerboard looks like some kind of low price wood and like you when I play it left some dark ink in my fingertips.

I have that guitar for 2-3 months and now the pickup selector is not working well, when I switch to the neck pickup I can hear a loud scratch in my amp.

I returned that guitar to the seller and I'm waiting for a new one to come in early December. I hope to grab one without flaws this time.

sorry for my poor english

Andrew j.

Ive owned two E-IIs now. A reindeer blue horizon and an arrow. I ALSO purchased an LTD arrow 1000 andromeda for comparison. Firstly...the two eii guitars i have blow everything ive played out of the water. Ive owned a 1990 nyc custom mii, 92 horizon deluxe, gibson custom silverburst, an $8000 custom mirage. The eii arrow is by far the best guitar ive ever played. Comfort wise, looks wise, quality, sustain, you hear EVERY. SINGLE. NOTE. its superb. The eii horizon? Second best guitar ive ever played in 24 years. Coil tapped cleans that I cannot duplicate anywhere else. Not a single issue whatsoever with e-ii. Granted, maybe I got lucky...but things happen. I also NEVER ship guitars. I DRIVE to get them. Never trust shipping. 

 

Lastly. Ive never been a fan of ltds. I found the quality sub par...but the andromeda 1000 i bought in the same week as my eii (both arrows) is actually the reason I bouggt the eii arrow. The ltd is outstanding beyond any other ltd ive played. Those two arrows are just the bees knees. 

A lot of people bash the EII line...but you cant fake tone. And you cannot fake quality. I have owned esp badged guitars and plenty of em. Zero difference.

 

Hope yall find one that makes you as happy as mine

CountGore

I bought the black 6 string E-II Arrow 2 years ago. Visually it was perfect, but playability was bad. String height was way high from factory and when I lowered the action just a bit, i got fret buzz. It was set up really bad from factory. And it took me many hours of adjusting truss rod and the Floyd to get it acceptable. I still got fret buzz but it's not fixable.

 

For about 12-13years ago i bought my first esp. ESP M-II Urban camo, the quality and playability is superb. To this day the guitar plays flawless, never needed to adjust anything.

 

Today I got my second E-II, an Horizon FR-7.

The guitar was set up from factory really well. But it have an very noticable spot /discolor in it's binding.

As an exclusive ESP guitar player, I'm starting to loose faith in ESP, specially the new E-II series. They need to get their quality control together.

 

Jshannon3

I absolutely have faith in the ESP E2 M2 Urban Camo line of guitars, I've received 3 of them(I have 2, 1 got stolen and replaced) from ESP(Zzounds, AMS) and all 3 were flawless, and I nitpicked the hell out of each one of them:  String placement, scale length, factory intonation, radius, string height, the list goes on and on.  I couldn't find a flaw anywhere!  I keep hearing all these bad issues with E2's, maybe I got lucky, cause my guitars are works of art, the paint jobs are incredible!(urban camo, how do they do that???)  I used to be an Ibanez Prestige player but I got sold on these ESP guitars, the playability, the tone, the feel, the active set-up, the tuning stability, I can dump the strings down to flopping around and let go and it stays in tune perfectly, or pull up on the whammy to a squealing high pitch and let go and BAM! still in tune!  I really like the neck thru set-up on the guitars, I can feel it when i'm playing on the upper frets, it's smoother up there!  There was only one thing I noticed different between the three guitars that I've had, was the paint jobs were a little darker on the 2018 model, versus the 2016 model.  The white stood out on the 2018 model more, and the 2016 model, the white had a kinda yellow tint to it, and the black and greys were darker on the 2018 model.  That was the only difference I noticed between them.  When you sit them next to each other is when you can tell the little differences in the paint jobs.  I thought I got a deal on them for 1799.99+tax, they listed for 2878+tax, and with Zzounds 12 month no interest payment plan, you can't go wrong, you won't break the bank buying one or 2.  I plan on getting another one once I get the 2018 model paid off(I still have 6 payments)so I have another one for a different type of tuning(Bb tuning).  I'll put a heavier gauge string on it and tune it down low....

VSC-1

I have also bought a couple of E II's from Zzounds. I have the M II in see thru Black and a Eclipse in the Black Natural burst finish. The E II series of guitars in my experience are great guitars. The build quality, finish and playability of the two I own is awesome. 

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