ESP and LTD 2016 NAMM Show releases. Something for everyone it would seem and lots of choice. · Source: http://www.espguitars.com
Glenn Tipton Signature with Kahler is very eye-catching this year! · Source: http://www.espguitars.com
New George Lynch LTD models and Ales Skolnick ESP & LTD Signature models! · Source: http://www.espguitars.com
ESP’s NAMM show lineup for 2016 is looking to be huge, with lots of new guitars and basses to check out. The company was 40 years old in 2015 and made a big deal of it with lots of limited models being released. But it looks as though they haven’t lost any momentum at all in 2016 though.
I own a few ESP and LTD guitars myself, and find that their quality is pretty much impeccable. In fact, my main guitar for gigging last year was an LTD ST-203FR which is part of ESP’s budget LTD range from a few years ago. It smokes a lot of guitars which are four or five times its price and so I have a lot of respect for a company that takes care with their quality control across their different ranges. The fret work on my LTD puts a lot of Custom Shop guitars to shame in fact – and my guitar was built in China!
ESP have a reputation for making metal guitars, while also catering for the likes of Ronnie Wood from the Rolling Stones, who also has had a signature guitar named after him for a long time. Whatever your thoughts on them, they are loved by a lot of players, so have a look at what they have in store for us all. They will be broadcasting live from their stand throughout the show; there is lots of discussion over on their Facebook page about the new range, while there are details of the new lineup on the main ESP site.
My favourites so far are some of the signature models. I like the look if the new LTD Deluxe SN-1000FR. There is a good demo of Jack Fliegler from the band Singularity playing it over at the ESP site. He looks like a total metal geek, but this boy sure can play. The guitar is loaded with Fishman Fluency pickups. These are interesting as they have two voices on each pickup and are charged up using a mobile phone charger, so no 9v batteries or need to route the guitar for a battery holder either!
It looks like ESP are bringing more signature guitars to the LTD range this year. Personally, I like that ESP are adding more George Lynch signature models, including the LTD Burnt Tiger and GL-200 Sunburst Tiger to this range, as well as the more expensive ESP Alex Skolnick FR. But there’s also a cheaper LTD AS-1FR FM version, too.
The new Glenn Tipton (Judas Priest) signature LTD GT-600 caught my eye as well. It is based on a Gibson SG shape or a Viper (the official ESP name for that shape). It features 24 frets, two custom EMG Glenn Tipton 81 active pickups, a chrome pickguard and a Kahler tremolo. It’s got interesting specs, and the striking red, chrome and black combination looks really cool, I reckon. I’m not a fan of Kahler trem systems myself, so I would like to see how well this will actually work.
Also, I like the look of the ESP Snapper range, which is being offered in some great colours this year, and looks like a great Super Strat build. I will have to get my hands on one of these and see if they play as good as they look. The colours are as follows: Snapper AL (Brass Red), the Snapper AS (Burner), the Snapper AL FR (Ice White), the Snapper CTM (Aqua Marine), and the Snapper CTM24 FR (See Thru Black).
The new LTD AP-204 basses look really good, too, and could be a good alternative to your regular Jazz Bass if the price is right. Plus, a special mention goes out for the new Rocco Prestia (Tower Of Power) RB-1004SM signature model (there is also a RB-1005SM not shown on the site yet). I think they look really good in the new see-through red finish, which also caught my eye in the lineup. I think it contrasts really well with that maple neck.
The core ESP Arrow, Eclipse, E-II and Horizons all have refreshes this year as well, it seems. So, it looks as though they will be very busy with their stand over the weekend, with lots of new stuff for NAMM visitors to try out.