One of the new ESP LTD releases that has caught our eye is the new Bill Kelliher Sparrowhawk. You’ll recall that Bill left Gibson for ESP last year and was rewarded with a new signature single cut guitar. ESP have now designed the Mastodon guitarist a cool Firebird-esque model: Enter the Sparrowhawk!
After leaving Gibson, Bill was taken ‘under the wing’ of ESP in Japan, although I’m sure they pay him for his endorsement. ESP’s offshoot LTD – which makes quality guitars but offers them cheaper than the ESP-branded models – sources its production in Korea, China and Vietnam to keep labour costs down.
This new Sparrowhawk model comes in Military Green Sunburst Satin finish, and it looks pretty badass! Although I am sure it won’t be for everyone, I kind of like it. Gibson might be fuming over this one, as it looks very much like a non-reverse Firebird, to my eye.
The Sparrowhawk is a set-thru neck construction, so I imagine it’ll sustain like crazy. I own an ESP LTD Phoenix 1000 (which looks like a regular Firebird rather than a reverse one), and it has the same construction and sustains for days. The Sparrowhawk has a three-piece mahogany neck with an ebony fretboard, which is also similar to my LTD Phoenix 1000, although the Phoenix has a three-piece maple neck.
As usual, this model uses TonePros hardware for the bridge and tailpiece. This seems to be standard on the ESP LTD ranges at the middle and upper price ranges. It certainly is nice to have quality hardware on a guitar like this. If nothing else, it makes it a lot easier to change strings, as the tailpiece locks to the posts and won’t fall off mid string change and damage your finish!
The best thing about this guitar, though, is that it is loaded with Bill Kelliher’s Lace Sensor Divinator humbucker pickups, so it should produce a tone near to Bill’s sound. The guitar is a 24.75″ scale length and has a mahogany body, which I imagine will sound pretty classic, just like a certain US-built guitars…
Check out the official video below in which Bill talks about how he came up with the Sparrowhawk and what influenced him. I really like what I’ve seen of this guitar, and as I already own a few LTD guitars that have a solid build quality, I’m fairly sure this will on a similar level. Personally, I really like the aesthetics on offer here. I am certainly looking forward to trying one of these out myself!
Go check the new ESP LTD Bill Kelliher Sparrowhawk out over at the ESP main site here