2017 Product Preview

2017 New Guitar & Bass Preview

2016 has been a terrific year at ESP. Over the last twelve months, we’ve added great new instrument technologies to more and more of our guitars and basses, expanded the capabilities of our ESP USA Shop, and formed relationships with dozens of today’s most talented musical artists around the world. But ESP has never been a company to sit back and rest on our laurels. Instead, we’re putting the pedal to the metal and starting 2017 with some of the best new guitar and bass products in our 42-year history. Here they are.

Get Ready for New Signature Series Models

ESP has always been known as the company who creates great custom instruments for our family of artists, and in some cases, allows people to get the guitars and basses that the artists design. For 2017, we have some great new Signature Series choices.

Bill Kelliher of the widely-respected American rock band Mastodon joined the ESP artist family in 2016. For 2017, we’re proud to debut the LTD Bill Kelliher Sparrowhawk, which offers set-thru construction at 24.75” scale, with mahogany body, 3-piece mahogany neck, ebony fingerboard, a TonePros locking TOM bridge and tailpiece, and Kelliher’s Lace Sensor Divinator signature pickups. The Sparrowhawk is being offered in Military Green Sunburst Satin finish.

Brand new to the ESP endorsement roster is Brian “Head” Welch, a guitarist and co-founder of the influential nu-metal group Korn. His signature model, the LTD SH-7ET, is a 7-string guitar providing the latest in technologies that include the innovative EverTune constant tension bridge and Fishman Fluence pickups. The neck-thru-body design has a flamed maple top over its basswood body, a 3-piece maple neck with ebony fingerboard and glow-in-the-dark side dots, and it comes in See Thru Purple finish. Another recent addition to the ESP roster is Lars Frederiksen of the seminal punk rock band Rancid. His first ESP Signature Series guitar is the LTD Volsung, a set-neck model based on the Viper body style. It includes the artist’s own Seymour Duncan Lars Signature pickups, Gotoh tuners, and TonePros locking TOM bridge and tailpiece, and comes in a killer Danish Camo Satin finish.

We’re also announcing new and updated signature models for other musicians on the roster. These include the LTD GH-600NT, a new version of the popular model for Gary Holt (Slayer/Exodus) with a TonePros locking TOM bridge and tailpiece. Frank Bello, bassist of Anthrax, has updated his Signature Series offerings with the ESP Frank Bello Jazz and LTD FB-J4. Rob Caggiano, guitarist for the popular Danish metal band Volbeat, has updates for his signature guitars with the ESP Rob Caggiano QM and LTD RC-600QM. Both models feature quilted maple tops and silver accent colors. Finally, another ESP artist getting his first-ever signature bass is John Campbell of Lamb of God, whose LTD JC-4FM is based on the Stream body style.

LTD Deluxe: Keeps Getting Better

Thousand of musicians around the world have turned to our LTD Deluxe Series for serious professional work, using them for big recording sessions and live shows. Our new additions for 2017 continue the tradition of LTD Deluxe offering way more than people expect.

The LTD EC-1000 PIEZO offers what might be the most flexible variety of tone-shaping ever offered on an ESP model of any kind. In addition to a set of standard magnetic pickups in the form of a high-quality Seymour Duncan ’59 and JB set, the EC-1000 PIEZO also includes a Fishman Powerbridge and Tailpiece system with a piezo pickup. A mini toggle switch lets you select between the sources to use the magnetic pickups, piezo pickup, or both. As if that wasn’t cool enough, you also get dual output jacks for flexibility in routing for recording and live performance. The EC-1000 PIEZO also offers a mahogany body with quilted maple top in See Thru Blue finish.

Our popular M and MH Series are expanding in 2017 with three new LTD Deluxe guitars. The M-1000HT is a beautiful Hawaiian Koa-topped, neck-thru-body guitar with Seymour Duncan Jazz and Pearly Gates pickups. Unlike most M Series guitars, this new model implements a Hipshot hardtail bridge instead of a vibrato. In the MH Series, the new MH-1000ET provides the innovative EverTune bridge along with set-thru construction, a mahogany body with flamed maple top in See thru Black finish, and an EMG 81/85 active pickup set. The MH-1007ET is a 7-string version of this guitar, also featuring the EverTune bridge. It’s available in Black finish.

LTD “400 Series” Rocks

It’s the world’s worst-kept secret that our LTD “400 Series” guitars give you the best bang for the buck, with high-quality components and excellent design at a price that most musicians can afford, which is why they’re so popular with working guitar and bass players around the world. For 2017, we’ve added four more models to this popular and exciting product line.

The LTD H-401 is a beautiful guitar with set-thru construction, offering fast and smooth access to the highest frets. It employs a mahogany body with a mahogany top in Natural Satin finish. This guitar’s relatively low price is belied by such high-end features as its Seymour Duncan Custom-5 and Jazz pickup set. Also new for 2017 are the LTD M-400 in Black Satin finish, and the LTD M-400M in Natural Satin finish over a mahogany top. Both guitars offer extra thin flat U-shaped maple necks with 24 extra-jumbo frets, and Floyd Rose Special bridges. The M-400 Black Satin includes EMG 85 and EMG 81 pickups, while the new M-400M comes with Seymour Duncan Jazz and Custom-5 pickups.

The M-403HT is a new hardtail version of the M style guitar, with a three-pickup configuration that includes two Seymour Duncan stacked single-coil STK-4 pickups along with a Seymour Duncan Custom-5 humbucker in the bridge position. This classy-looking guitar has a flamed maple top on its mahogany body in Natural Satin finish.

CULT ’86: A New Guitar with Personality

Back in the ‘80s, when we opened our first offices in the USA, they were in New York on 19th Street. We were pretty unknown back then, and were grateful when a local hero by the name of Vernon Reid started blowing minds while using a totally unique ESP guitar. Starting a band called Living Colour, Vernon became identified with a model he’d customized in a swirling multi-colored finish. For 2017, we’re debuting the LTD Cult ’86, a tribute to the guitar that helped put Vernon and Living Colour on the map. Much like the original version, the Cult ’86 offers bolt-on construction with an alder body, a three-piece maple neck, and an ebony fingerboard. It uses a three-pickup configuration, with two EMG SA pickups in the neck and middle position, and an EMG 81 at the bridge. A Floyd Rose Special locking tremolo is provided to allow for the kind of uninhibited and expressive playing for which Vernon Reid is world renowned. Much like the Vernon’s original ESP, the Cult ’86 is based on the ST body style, and features the distinctive multiple swirls of color that immediately make it identifiable with its original designer.

New from ESP Original and ESP E-II

Our Japan-made guitars have always represented the pinnacle of quality for guitarists around the world, and we have a few really great new models being made available for 2017. The ESP Arrow Rusty Iron is a new finish for the bold Arrow shape that, as the name implies, has the look of weathered metal. It’s a neck-thru-body design at 25.5” scale, with an alder body, three-piece maple neck, and ebony fingerboard with 24 extra-jumbo frets. The Arrow Rusty Iron features a Floyd Rose Original bridge, and Seymour Duncan Blackout active pickups. Like other instruments in the ESP Original Series, the Arrow Rusty Iron is made by hand at ESP’s Tokyo, Japan-based custom shop.

Three new models are being introduced in our ESP E-II Series. These guitars, which replaced the former “ESP Standard” series, are produced in ESP’s wholly-owned factory in Japan. The ESP E-II Arrow-7 Babymetal is a limited-edition guitar that commemorates ESP’s relationship with the sensational Japanese pop metal band of the same name. It’s a 7-string guitar that features neck-thru-body construction, EMG 707/81-7 active pickups, a Floyd Rose Original bridge, and a great-looking red finish on the body’s bevels.

The EverTune constant tension bridge has been one of the most highly acclaimed new innovations in guitar technology in recent years. With the new ESP E-II EC EverTune and Horizon-7 EverTune, the special bridge, which uses mechanical springs inside the body cavity of the guitar to create precision tuning and intonation under almost any condition, is now available for the first time in ESP E-II models. The EC EverTune features set-thru construction with a mahogany body and one-piece mahogany neck with an ebony fingerboard, Gotoh locking tuners, and a uniquely powerful set of Seymour Duncan Sentient and Seymour Duncan Pegasus pickups. It comes in Black Satin finish. The Horizon-7 EverTune is a 7-string, neck-thru-body design. Its sound is powered by active EMG 85-7H and EMG 81-7H pickups in brushed black chrome.

Let’s Get Low with New LTD Basses

The LTD AP-4 and AP-5 take traditional bass body styles and add high-performance components and build quality for contemporary players in all music genres. Using bolt-on construction over alder bodies and maple necks, the AP-4 and AP-5 basses feature ebony fingerboards with 21 extra-jumbo frets, Grover tuners, Babicz bridges, and EMG P/LJ active pickups. They are available in Black finish.

Our LTD TL Series “Thinline” chambered-body instruments have received accolades for their uniquely cool combination of “electric feel and acoustic tone”. Two new bass additions have been added for 2017 with the TL-4Z Fretless (a fretless version of their popular Zebrawood-topped model) and the TL-5SM, a 5-string version of the bass with a Spalted Maple top. Both basses offer set-neck construction, using three-piece mahogany necks with rosewood fingerboards, and are powered by Fisherman SONICORE pickups and TL-3 preamps with onboard tuners.

The LTD bass offerings slated toward beginning bassists and budget-conscious musicians has new choices as well. The B-154DX, B-155DX, and F-155DX all offer a completely surprising level of quality and detail considering their affordable stature, with features like flamed maple tops, and ESP-designed passive pickups with 3-band active EQ. The bass series designed by the legendary Rocco Prestia (Tower of Power) has been updated with the RB-1004SM and RB-1005SM basses now being offered with ebony fingerboards and Seymour Duncan Quarter Pound pickups.

And That’s Not All…

We have some great news for guitar and bass players on a tight budget (which, let’s face it, is many of us these days). New models and updates to finishes and more are being announced that include the LTD EC-256, TE-254, and even the beginner’s model EC-10. We want to be sure that people who are getting started in music strongly consider being part of the ESP family, and then staying with us as they get more advanced as players.

One final note: at the 2017 NAMM Show, which starts on January 19, we’ll have even more to show. Like the past few years, our expert luthiers in Japan will be sending over a number of instruments in our Exhibition Series. These are one-of-a-kind, hand-made guitars and basses that show off the incredibly detailed workmanship that’s possible at the ESP Custom Shop. More info on these special guitars will be available after the NAMM Show.