Premier Guitar features affiliate links to help support our content. We may earn a commission on any affiliated purchases.

ESP Announces New Models for 2012

ESP expands the Horizon line, debuts a new design with the HRF, adds new signature models for Kirk Hammett, Jeff Hanneman, Rob Caggiano, Frank Bello, Richard Z (Rammstein), and Michael Wilton (Queensryche).

North Hollywood, CA (January 17, 2012) -- ESP Guitars has announced the additions to their line for 2012. The company has added a number of new colors to their Eclipse-II and Horizon line. In addition they've expanded the Horizon line, debuted a new design with the HRF, added new signature models for Kirk Hammett, Jeff Hanneman, Rob Caggiano, Frank Bello, Richard Z (Rammstein), and Michael Wilton (Queensryche).

Horizon FR-27 and FR-7
The Horizon FR-27 is a new model that features a 27-fret neck (with scalloped frets from 12-27), and neck-thru construction, Seymour Duncan Custom 5 (bridge) and Hot Rails (neck) pickups, and an original Floyd Rose bridge. Also new is the Horizon FR-7, which, like the name implies, adds a Floyd Rose bridge to this seven-string beast.

The HRF is a new design from ESP that combines the body styling of the Horizon with the headstock of the F-Series (aka Forest) guitar. Available in Black, the HRF NT offers neck-thru construction, ebony fingerboard, and Seymour Duncan Blackout AHB-1 active pickups. The HRF NT-II adds a great-looking quilted maple top, and comes in See Thru Black Cherry (STBC), Black Aqua (BLKAQ), and Reindeer Blue (RDB).

Kirk Hammett Signature Models
Celebrating his 25th year as an ESP player, Metallicaʼs Kirk Hammett has three new models. The ESP KH-DC and LTD KH-DC are a brand new double-cutaway body style based on the Eclipse/EC, with a set neck design at 24.75” scale, and an attractive STBC (See Thru Black Cherry) finish on its flamed maple top. Like other EC models, the guitar offers a mahogany body and mahogany neck, with a rosewood fingerboard. The KH-DC features gold hardware, including gold-covered EMG 81 (bridge) and EMG 60 (neck) active pickups, and a Tonepros locking TOM bridge and tailpiece. The ESP version of the new Kirk Hammett model includes Sperzel locking tuners, while the LTD version offers ESP locking tuners.

The limited-edition LTD KH-25 has black distressed finish and graphics designed to emulate Kirkʼs famous KH-2 Vintage model. The KH-25 has bolt-on construction at 25.5" scale, with a basswood body, maple neck, and a Floyd Rose Special bridge. The guitar also features ESPʼs new ALH-200 active pickups.

Jeff Hanneman Signature Models and Slayer-2012
Another long-time ESP player, Slayerʼs Jeff Hanneman, is getting new signatures as well. The ESP Jeff Hanneman EC and LTD JH-600EC are customized versions of the Eclipse model, with a traditional thick body, black finish, and custom red upside-down star inlays on the neck. Also, a new limited edition model, the LTD SLAYER-2012, is being offered this year only, with graphics celebrating the 25th anniversary of Slayerʼs “South of Heaven” album. Itʼs a must-have for players and collectors alike.

Anthrax Signature Models
Based on his customized ESP Horizon, the ESP Rob Caggiano and LTD RC-600 are being offered in a STP (See Thru Purple) finish. The guitars use a bolt-on construction at 25.5” scale, and have an ash body, maple neck, and rosewood fingerboard with custom inlays and glow-in-the-dark side markers. The instruments also feature two DiMarzio humbucking pickups, Tonepros locking TOM bridge and tailpiece, and Dunlop straplok hardware (the ESP version also includes Sperzel locking tuners, while the LTD version comes with ESP Locking tuners).

Anthrax bassist Frank Bello now also has ESP and LTD Signature Series basses! The ESP Frank Bello and LTD FB-4 are both based on the ESP Vintage-4 model, customized to Belloʼs specifications with a Black Satin finish and black anodized aluminum pickguard, ebony fingerboard with black pearloid block inlays, EMG PJ-X active pickups and a Gotoh bridge. The basses feature bolt-on construction at 34" scale, an alder body, and maple neck with 21 XJ frets.

Richard Z (Rammstein)
The new Richard Z Kruspe (Rammstein) model is available! The ESP RZK-II Burnt is a true one-of-a-kind guitar with an outstanding distressed/burnt finish. Features include neck-thru-body construction, an alder body, mahogany neck, Gotoh tuners, Floyd Rose original bridge, and EMG 81 active pickups. 

Michael Wilton (Queensrÿche)
Queensrÿcheʼs guitarist Michael Wilton gets the honor of having the first Signature Series acoustic model from ESP with the LTD MW-DC1E. Itʼs a cutaway dreadnought shape with a spalted maple body top, back & sides, a B-Band T-55 4-band preamp with onboard tuner, diamond abalone inlays and a custom abalone/pearloid inlay at the 12th fret.

Additional Signature Models
In addition, ESP announced new LTD Signature Series models for the members of Whitechapel, LTD Signature Series models for the members of Suicide Silence, an LTD Signature Series model for Unearth guitarist Buz McGrath, and an LTD Signature Series bass for War and PHILM bassist Pancho Tomaseli.

For more information:
ESP Guitars

Alex LIfeson, Victor

Anthem Records in Canada and Rhino Records will reissue the first-ever solo albums of Rush's Alex Lifeson and Geddy Lee. Lifeson’s 1996 album Victor and Lee’s 2000 offering My Favourite Headache will be re-released on August 9, 2024.

Read MoreShow less

The "Sandblasted" SE Series features a swamp ash top with a unique sandblasted finish in five color options.

Read MoreShow less

We’re unpacking Reid’s playing—from his early days in the NYC jazz underground through his work with Living Colour and into supergroup superstardom—and his longstanding gear-acquisition-syndrome.

Read MoreShow less
Fall Out Boy Rig Rundown [2024]
Fall Out Boy Rig Rundown with Patrick Stump, Joe Trohman & Pete Wentz Guitar & Bass Gear Tour

The string-section trio for the iconic Chicago pop-punk band has gone digital, but Patrick Stump, Joe Trohman, and Pete Wentz still aren’t afraid to get weird—and sometimes, downright dangerous.

Read MoreShow less