$1,249.00 with case

The LTD Iron Cross is a Signature Series model of James Hetfield, the frontman of Metallica and one of the world's most highly respected rhythm guitar players in any genre. The Iron Cross is based on James' personal custom instrument design, and features set-neck construction of a mahogany body with maple cap, and a three-piece mahogany neck with ebony fingerboard and 22 extra-jumbo frets with an Iron Cross inlay at the 12th fret. The LTD Iron Cross is powered by James' own EMG JH SET active pickups, and includes a TonePros locking TOM bridge and tailpiece. Available in Snow White finish with black stripe graphic and iron cross fixture. 

(U.S. Only)
3Pc Mahogany
Macassar Ebony
Fingerboard Radius
Nut Width
Nut Type
Neck Contour
Thin U
22 XJ
Hardware Color
Strap Button
LTD Locking
Tonepros Locking TOM & Tailpiece
Neck PU
Bridge PU
Electronics Layout
Vol/Vol/Tone/Toggle Switch
D'Addario XL110 (.010/.013/.017/.026/.036/.046)
Case Included
Prices and specifications subject to change.
Jim S.

I have this guitar it was made in Korea. Took it into the shop where I bought it to have some work done on it and they damaged it. So bad they ordered me a new one. Today the new one came in and I went to look at it and it was blemished so they are returning it and getting another on from ESP. But the new one was made in Indonesia. My question is, is my original Korean better quality than Indonesian?  What’s the chances of getting another Korean one?  Should I care? What are the differences from Korean to Indonesian?


I think maybe they should upgrade me to the ESP one for all of this, maybe ESP could work with them on it for pricing. I don’t mind paying a little more but not 4K more especially at this point when ESP sent a guitar that should have never passed QA. Now I have to wait another 8 days to get a new one. Hope it comes worthy. 

Carl N.

Hey Jim, We are currently manufacturing this model in both Korea and Indonesia. However, we constantly monitor production standards at our various factories in Asia where we produce LTD models. Should we determine that a certain facility is capable of manufacturing an instrument to ESP's required standard or better, we may decide to shift production, or in some cases share production of a model, wherever that factory may be located. The guitar should be of excellent quality regardless of where it's made, so it shouldn't be cause for concern that your instrument is coming from another factory.  Sorry for the inconvenience you had to go through on this one but it is a little unrealistic to replace your LTD with an ESP, hope the new one is to your liking!

Jim S.

Thank you Carl, you only directly answered one question directly, actually not even a question more of a tongue in cheek comment about the upgrade to an ESP. Of course I know that in unrealistic but I would be willing to pay the difference if the dealer and ESP moved on some points. 

my direct question was is there a difference is quality between Korean and Indonesian? I was not asking if you manufacture them in both or if you monitor quality in both. I want to know if both are exactly the same in quality and value?  Are they made the same?  Are there ANY differences?


thank you for getting back to me so quickly. It just sucks real bad to have a beautiful, expensive guitar that you love damaged and now have to go through this process. Then to have ESP ship a guitar to the dealer that is not sell worth and now I have to wait another 8 days to see if they send me one worth bringing home. 

Carl N.

My apologies Jim, I should have been more specific.  There will be no differences between these instruments except for the country of origin.

About your situation, sorry to hear you were put in such a position but we currently do not offer any kind of trade up program in order for you to pay the difference for another instrument.  It seems you took your guitar to a shop for work, during that time your instrument was damaged, the shop acknowledged this and moved to replace your instrument, then you received a replacement not up to your standards and another is currently on the way.  Am I understanding this right?  Not sure if this shop is one of our authorized dealers or not but if so they should be able to purchase a new ESP Iron Cross if that is the instrument you were wanting.  You would need to work with them regarding this though.  Just a heads up, the ESP versions of this are made to order and take about five to six months to produce.

Jim S.

Thank you Carl. Yes you’re correct the shop is working with me for sure and another on is on its way. They are a huge national store and an authorized ESP dealer and working directly with you guys.  I mainly just wanted to make sure that my original one will not be replaced with one that is a lessor quality. Thank you for answering my question. Love your guitars. 

Carl N.

Hope you enjoy the new one!

Bill D.

What is the difference between the ESP Iron Cross and the LTD Iron Cross?

Carl N.

Hey Bill, the ESP Iron Cross will be made one at a time in Japan whereas the LTD version is produced at one of our overseas factories in a production line manner.  There are many nuance differences but I would say the best way to see the differences between these two would be to visit your local ESP dealer and try them out!

Alexis K.

Is this model still manufactured in Korea? 

Carl N.

Hey Alexis, we are currently manufacturing this model in both Korea and Indonesia, hope this helps!

Turtle m.

What is the recommended pickup height settings for these guitars do I set them as close to the strings as possible like the standard emg pickups like my ec1000 or should they lower like typical non active pickups

Carl N.

Hey Turtle, active pickups can be set as close to the strings as possible, be careful not to set them too high as to hit the strings as they are played.  You can fret the instrument at the last fret and use this as a guide for setting your pickup height.

Turtle m.

Thanks is carl

robert k.

Can I order an esp neck for and Ltd guitar 

Todd B. ESP

Hi robert, sorry we do not sell necks separately.

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