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ESP Unveils 2014 Models—Including James Hetfield and Alex Skolnick Signature Axes

January 13, 2014
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Los Angeles, CA (January 13, 2014) -- Some of ESP’s most high-profile endorsees have helped create new ESP, E-II, and LTD Signature Series guitars and basses that are making their debut at the 2014 Winter NAMM Show.

Matt Maciandaro, ESP President, says “ESP’s artist endorsees are among the most respected and influential musicians in contemporary music, and our Signature Series models offer the look, feel, and sound that they specify in their own instruments.”

Perhaps the most highly anticipated new Signature Series model for 2014 is the James Hetfield (Metallica) Iron Cross in Snow White finish, available as both an ESP model and a more budget conscious LTD version. Metallica’s other guitar player Kirk Hammett, along with ESP and Lugosi Enterprises, adds his name to the LTD KH-WZ White Zombie, a new limited edition addition to the LTD Graphic Series. Acclaimed multi-genre virtuoso guitarist Alex Skolnick (Testament, AST) has helped design the ESP Alex Skolnick and LTD AS-1 guitars, making their debut at NAMM. Both guitars are available in Silver Sunburst finish, while the LTD version is also available in Lemon Drop with a flamed maple top.

ESP is now offering the signature guitar of legendary Rolling Stones guitarist Ron Wood in an affordable LTD version for the first time with the LTD Ron Wood, available in 3-Tone Burst and Black finishes. Dillinger Escape Plan guitarist Ben Weinman gets his first LTD Signature model for 2014 with the BW-1, a semi-hollow guitar with a flamed maple top and an EverTune bridge. An EverTune bridge is also on the 7-string LTD signature model of Ken Susi (Unearth), the KS-7. ESP player Will Adler (Lamb of God) has had updates to the finishes of his signature models, the ESP Will Adler Warbird and the LTD SE Warbird, and Frédéric Leclercq of DragonForce has a new signature bass, the FL-204.

ESP’s new E-II brand is coming out of the shoot with new Signature models. Bassist Doris Yeh and guitarist Jesse Liu of Chthonic have new signature models with the E-II DYD-5 and the E-II JL-7 respectively. Elias Viljanen (Sonata Arctica) also has an E-II signature model, the 7-string EV-7.

ESP’s popular line of LTD guitars and basses got a multitude of new additions for the 2014 NAMM Show.

“Since its introduction in 1996, LTD has become the bread-and-butter of many ESP dealers across the country and around the world,” says Jeff Moore, ESP Senior Vice President. “While many players aspire to own our higher-end ESP brands, our LTD models for beginning, intermediate, and advanced musicians offer the pricing that they can afford, with very little compromise in tone or playability.” For 2014, ESP is offering 20 new LTD models. The ARC Series, brand new for 2014, offers chambered bodies for acoustic/electric players, and includes the ARC-12S (12-string), ARC-6S (6-string), and ARC-6N (6-string nylon) models. The EC-200 is an affordable single cutaway model in the popular EC Series offered in Tobacco Sunburst, Black Satin, and Vintage White Satin finishes. The new EC-331 and EC-331FR models are now available in popular finish choices of Black, Snow White, and Black Satin, and include ESP-Designed active pickups. The EC-401VF and EC-1000T/CTM now include DiMarzio PAF 36th Anniversary pickups, the first time that DiMarzio pickups are being offered on a standard production LTD model.

In more LTD news, the new TE-406 and TE-407 models are modern updates on a classic shape, both offered in an exciting Black Satin finish with all black components and EMG active pickups. The new MH-207 and MH-337 (Black Satin finish) offer affordable choices in 7-string guitars. Finally, a big batch of new left-handed LTD models including the EC-407 (7-string), H-308 (8-string), MH-417 (7-string), EC-1000FM, MH-103QM, MH-350NT, ST-213, and V-50 are available for the first time.

ESP Guitars has announced that their new ESP Original and E-II brands will become available in the US in 2014. The availability of ESP Original and E-II brands in the USA also allows the company to have a consistent set of products available around the world, something that ESP customers have requested for years.

“We now have five tiers of product lines for our customers,” says Eric Oppenheimer, ESP Product Manager. “On top are our famous ESP Custom Shop guitars. Our new ESP Original line is for customers who want the level of quality found in our custom guitars, but at a price point possible with production model instruments. Our new ESP USA line is built in our new North Hollywood factory. ESP EII is a new brand built in our Japan manufacturing facility, featuring some of the new designs used in the Original line along with some classic ESP shapes. Finally, our wide range of LTD guitars and basses offer amazing value in high quality instruments.”

Nine new ESP Original models are being announced at the 2014 Winter NAMM Show: the Eclipse CTM (See Thru Black Sunburst and Reindeer Blue), FRX (Liquid Metal Silver and Black), FRX CTM (See Thru Black Cherry Sunburst and See Thru Black Sunburst), Horizon NT CTM (Tea Sunburst), Horizon FR CTM (Faded Blue), Mystique FR (Black), Mystique NT CTM (Tea Sunburst, Marine Blue, and See Thru Black Cherry), Stream (Black and 2 Tone Burst), and Stream CTM (See Thru Black Cherry and Marine Blue).

The E-II Series includes 36 new models of guitars and basses in a wide variety of finishes. Many of the E-II models offer premier-quality features and components, such as quilted and flamed maple tops, Seymour Duncan, DiMarzio, and EMG pickups, and original Floyd Rose bridges. Many of the E-II models are being offered in finishes that were previously only available in ESP’s international markets.

ESP has added new models to their line of high-quality basses for 2014, debuting new 4-, 5-, and 6-string instruments under their ESP Original, E-II, and LTD brands. The debut of the new ESP Original line includes the Stream and Stream CTM basses. The ESP Original Stream is a bolt-on bass at 34” scale with a white ash body, a maple/walnut/paduak neck, and rosewood fingerboard. It includes Hipshot tuners and bridge, EMG 35J (bridge) and EMG 35P4 (neck) pickups, and is available in Black and 2-Tone Burst finishes. The Stream CTM adds a flamed maple top and comes in Marine Blue and See Thru Black Cherry.

ESP’s new E-II brand, also debuting at NAMM 2014, includes several new basses. The AP-4 (4-string) and AP-5 (5-string) are bolt-on basses at 34” scale, and offers a white ash body and maple neck with rosewood fingerboard. Components includes Gotoh tuners and bridge, and Seymour Duncan SMB-4d (AP-4) and SMB-5d (AP-5) pickups with active EQ. Available finishes for the AP-4 include See Thru Black, See Thru White, and Tobacco Sunburst. The ESP Stream bass is also being offered in an E-II version, with a similar specification at a more affordable price, and is available in Black and Snow White finishes. Also, the E-II Stream FM provides the bass in a flamed maple top with See Thru Black finish. The E-II Vintage-4 PJ/M (maple fingerboard, black finish) and E-II Vintage-4 PJ/R (rosewood fingerboard, 3-Tone Burst finish) are a classic bolt-on basses with alder bodies and maple necks. They includes Gotoh tuners and a Seymour Duncan SPB-2 pickup set.

In the LTD range, ESP is releasing the RB-1004, RB-1005, and RB-1006 (4-/5-/6-string, respectively) basses. Designed with the advice of legendary bass player Rocco Prestia (Tower of Power), these are affordable basses with high quality and excellent versatility for almost every style and genre of music. LTD’s new Stream-204 is the most economical version of the stylish Stream bass series. LTD is also making their B-205SM and B-206SM available in left-handed versions for the first time.

For more information:
ESP Guitars