NuGD: ESP E-II Mystique (Marine Blue) 2014

NuGD: ESP E-II Mystique (Marine Blue) 2014


Recently found this used Mystique on a local classifieds site (Kijiji) for a good price. After playing a handful of E-II Horizon's and Eclipses at a music store a few months ago I got bit by the E-II bug and had to have one. While the Mystique always looked interesting it was never on my radar, but seeing it up for sale was enough for me to meet the guy and try it out. I can honestly say that I think I prefer the Mystique to the Horizon and Eclipse models.

One quick note before my brief review, after purchasing it I did have an issue with some semi-dead notes on the 14th and 15th frets. A tech told me it had a very slight hump (hardly visible) and he was able to easily level some frets and now you'd never know there was a problem. One other thing is I noticed that the fretboard at the 10th fret has a small dent/chip on the bass-side of the neck, but its quite small and isn't an issue in the least. It is my assumption that these issues were a result of the original owner's negligence, so this (likely) isn't something you can knock ESP for.


Absolutely love the guitar. Feels and plays fantastic, build quality is very very good. The tech I took it to to fix the small hump said he really liked the guitar and thought it was great (without me asking him what he thought).

The overall feel is similar to a Horizon III model, however, the neck feels a touch smaller to me on the Mystique--which I like. Not sure if it feels smaller because the Mystique uses Jumbo frets instead of typical XJ frets on Horizons and Eclipses, but either way it feels nice. I was surprised that the neck wasn't as thin as I was expecting, not just on the Mystique but on the Horizons and Eclipses I played; this isn't a bad thing and the difference is very slight, but I was just surprised that it wasn't as thin as LTD Deluxe guitars I had played.

After doing some research I found out that the Mystique was inspired by a mixture of a PRS and Gibson LP. Visually, it looks a lot like a PRS, and I think the inspiration for the Mystique is largely stemming from a Custom 24 (which I like).

The Marine Blue is a great looking colour and the (brown?) stain on the back of the neck and body look gorgeous.

The guitar sounds amazing, and even though I've never seen a guitar come stock with a Duncan JB and Alnico II Pro Neck I have to admit I am loving the combo for its versatility. The JB gives a great versatile tone, especially for high gain applications. It isn't muddy and it sits really well in the mix with a defined low end and slightly pushed midrange. The JB doesn't have the 'note-clarity' that a lot of contemporary pickups have, but it isn't a muddy mess either. Even though I wouldn't say the AII Pro matches the JB super well, I will say that it does provide a nice tonal variety. High gain leads and clean tones are warm, sweet, and rich.

- the build quality is great and the fretwork is indeed quite nice.
- feels like an expensive instrument
- I find the asymmetrical shape to fit quite nicely against my body too.
- looks aesthetically pleasing
- really like how Schaller strap-locks come pre-installed
- sounds great

- Quilt Veneer over maple top. This is largely aesthetic, but I would like to see a real quilted maple top on an instrument in this price range. To my knowledge most instruments in this price range (new) have real figured tops, and not a real top+veneer.
- Case. The handle is uncomfortable and when walking with it it squeaks with the plastic rubbing against the metal hinge. The latches are flimsy/loose.
- No coil-tap, and only a 3-way switch.


Mahogany Body (w/ Binding)
Quilted Maple Top (Maple top + Quilted Maple Veneer)
Mahogany Set-Neck
Rosewood Fretboard
25.5" Scale Length
Marine Blue Finish
12" Radius
Bone Nut [42mm]
Thin ‘U’ Neck Profile
24 Jumbo Frets
Gold Hardware
Schaller Straplocks
Gotoh Locking Tuners
Tonepros Locking TOM with Gotoh Tailpiece
Seymour Duncan JB/Alnico II Pro Pickups (Gold Covers)
Vol/Tone/Toggle Switch


I haven't been able to clean the frets, body, or fretboard since buying it so forgive the dirt. Sometime soon I'll give it a nice cleaning to really make everything pop. Excuse the low-end iPhone quality pics.


Very nice.  Great color.  Congrats.

Michael S.

Thanks! Really busy lately so haven’t been able to play it as much as I’d like but I’m loving it whenever I’m able to pick it up!

Nas L.

¡Muy hermoso! Lo principal es que el sonido también debe ser apropiado)

Post to Thread