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Discussion in 'Other Guitars, other instruments' started by chris m., Mar 31, 2020.
Premier Guitar posted this one-- very cool tour of ESP's Japanese factory and custom shop--
My current favourite is from the ESP factory, branded Edwards for the Japanese home market. Thank for posting this.
My first (non student model) "Fender" was an ESP CS Strat I wish I never sold. (Is a Mustang a student model?)
Ultra light swamp ash, bought used circa 1987 long before I ever heard the term swamp ash applied to Fender bodies.
In the early '90s the NYC ESP shop was for some reason closing, I think they had a failed lease negotiation and they were clearance pricing mountains of parts. Management was Japanese and they had a culturally different style I had to get used to, but I was in there every week and bought a lot of MIJ ESP parts.
ESP really focused on ultra light swamp ash, must have gone to a lot of trouble to hunt it down, unless there is swamp ash grown in Japan? I often heard the term "feather weight" or "it's a feather" about random ultra light Fenders but nobody mentioned tonewood or swamp ash.
I bought several clearance priced necks and bodies when they were slated to close, then they worked out the issues and didn't close after all, but I got two beautiful light weight swamp ash Jazz basses, one a fretless with ebony board that the neck had been severely back bowed in the shop and I asked for a discounted price, which the manager refused saying it would be sent back to the factory as a defect. IIRC it had a solid 3/8" back bow, but was the typical slim J bass profile.
I nagged the poor guy for weeks and he finally sold me that beautiful neck for $10 as is.
String tension pulled it into shape as I was gambling it would.
Truly awesome fretless bass, the best I ever had including an Alembic fretless.
Lost that bass to drug addiction.
I have an old ESP P-Bass copy from the 80s era when they were making blatant copies that I bought cheap-- it is an amazing guitar. Will post an image later...
The ESP Strat I had was a lawsuit approved perfect copy, with no logo on the headstock, but the ESP stamps in the pocket on the neck and body.
I had no clue who made it when I bought it for $140, but damn what a great Strat.
Had the EMG SSS set plus the mid boost knob.
The only thing I didn't like about it was the weight as I just wasn't used to such a light guitar.
I wore out the frets and refretted it, my first full refret with some chipping but still a great player.
I ended up selling body and neck separately for some reason, and sold the EMG set years later.
Parted out a lot of guitars in the '90s, just how I viewed "Fenders".
Now that complete guitar would be worth probably $1500+ and a steal at that price.
Live and learn!
I think I sold it before I forget who the NY player that played with Tom Waits used an ESP Tele which put them a little more on the map.
Also Robert Quine might have used ESP's but then went to Fernandes.
Sort of the then electric choice of the "musician's musician".
My first Tele type was an ESP double bound 3 tone sunburst.
It had a fantastic neck and perfect finish.
That's awesome. When I think of Japanese guitar manufacturers I visualize the workers all wearing the same white utility suits and the boss dressed in a business suit and talking endlessly about "efficiency" and "volume," etc. They're just a bunch of dudes and bros. The company spokesman has a tat sleeve and they don't have designers, just a bunch of metal heads. Ha!
I'm also really impressed by how many human hands touch the guitar before it's done. Automation can't build an entire guitar. I forget that all the time.
There is an LTD sunburst telecaster that I seriously am horny for.
I've owned a couple of Series 400 ESP teles over time. Great Guitars! They don't show up too often on the used market.
Here's my P-Bass copy. Might be one of the best purchases I ever made-- an amazing P-Bass and I think I paid about $300 for it back around 2001.
That's a great ESP @chris m. !
It was Marc Ribot I was recalling played those branded post lawsuit ESP Tele's in maybe the '90s and probably with Tom Waits.
That 400 series headstock is the one I was thinking of, seems like maybe Mike Stern played one as well?
When I roll the tone all the way back and palm mute it I just love it for bass lines into my DAW.
I should probably put flat wounds on it but for now just palm muting/muffling seems to work fine. I might try putting a piece of packing foam/sponge under the strings to see if that works well. These same strings have been on here for twenty years so I'm not changing anything until one breaks.
Here's what it sounds like playing it muted with tone rolled back-- no special effects or anything...