with case

Perhaps no other guitar is as closely associated with Metallica's massively influential lead guitarist Kirk Hammett than the ESP KH-2 Vintage. A special adaptation of Kirk's standard ESP KH-2 model, the KH-2 Vintage is based on one of Kirk's personal guitars that saw duty in the studio and on stages around the world during Metallica albums and tours. The resulting "lived in" vibe, including distressed paint with small chips and pitting, lightning-fast neck, and famous "CAUTION HOT" sticker and "KIRK'S GUITAR" label, are perfectly recreated by the luthiers at the world-class luthiers at the ESP Custom Shop in Japan. But the KH-2 Vintage is more than just its cool looks. It's a neck-thru-body shred machine, with a comfortable alder body, extra-thin U-shaped maple neck, rosewood fingerboard with 24 extra-jumbo frets and Kirk's skull & bones inlays, and high-end components including Gotoh tuners, a Floyd Rose Original bridge, and a set of EMG 60A (neck) and EMG 81 (bridge) active pickups, just as Kirk's own guitar uses. Available in Black finish, the KH-2 Vintage comes with a premium hard shell case and a Certificate of Authenticity from ESP.

Construction Neck-Thru
Scale 25.5"
Body Alder
Neck 3Pc Maple
Fingerboard Rosewood
Fingerboard Radius 305mm
Finish Distressed Black
Nut Width 42mm
Nut Type Locking
Neck Contour Extra Thin U
Frets/Type 24 XJ
Hardware Color Black
Strap Button ESP Strap Lock
Tuners Gotoh
Bridge Floyd Rose Original
Neck PU EMG 60A
Bridge PU EMG 81
Electronics Active
Electronics Layout Volume/Volume/Tone/3-Way Switch
Strings Elixir Nanoweb Super Light (.009/.011/.016/.024/.032/.042)
Case Included Y
Controls Kh
Acclaimed Knives

I was able to follow up and Auston confirmed that you are correct. Thank you for the clarification and reply!

Todd B. ESP

Glad to hear that.

david M.

Hi Acclaimed Knives, i got the same response from the same person at customer service, although i showed him the comments and screenshot where he would have agreed to do those changes. 

Could you please tell me which Dealer or distributor did you buy your guitar with? i want the same as you wanted for your guitar, nothing that makes it look damaged or worndown
Thank you for your reply. 

Acclaimed Knives

Thank you for your answer. 

In order to increase the chances of receiving a reply, I sent the same question to a number of sources at ESP.

Unfortunately, I received a different reply from Auston at ESP customer service. He told me that "Unfortunately, this is a production model that is already set to certain specifications. No modifications may be made when they are produced."

I emailed him using the form available on this website and I told him it was the kh-2 vintage guitar that I was asking about. My inquiry was copied word for word from the one in this comment section.

I was just wondering, do you know which answer is correct, yours or his?

By the way, I have sent the link to this page to him to show him that you had told me it should be possible.

Todd B. ESP

Please follow up with customer service email to continue this discussion. Yes our normal answer is that signature models come as is but sometimes we are willing to make a slight change, it all depends on which artist model and the requested changes. So the answer I gave you is correct in this case.

Acclaimed Knives


If I wanted this guitar as is WITHOUT the following: paint chips, pitting (or anything that makes it look damaged/worn down) would that be possible?

I like the sticker, label, inlays, signature and everything else EXCEPT for whatever makes it looks damaged/worn down.

That would be less work for your custom shop/luthiers and I'd STILL be WILLING TO PAY THE SAME PRICE regardless.



Todd B. ESP

Hi, Yes this should be no problem. Normally we don't allow changes to signature models but in this case it is doable. Please contact your favorite dealer if you wish to set this up.

Thomas H.

Acclaimed Knives - did you ever receive the KH2 distressed you wanted without the wear options??? 

Nathan O.

When did lefty production of this end? Found a few online but all are sold

Carl N.

if you have any questions you may reach out to our customer service team at or         

Renato M.

This model doesn't has scalloped frets? I've been watching "Metallica: Live in Salt Lake City, Utah - January 2, 1997" and it seems that kirk has scalloped frets, also on the kh-3

Carl N.

if you have any questions you may reach out to our customer service team at or 

More Comments