ESP are previewing several new instruments for the 2017 model year. The most eye-catching model of the whole bunch is probably the ESP LTD Cult 86 Limited Edition, a reissue of the guitar that Vernon Reid played when he rocketed to stardom with his band Living Colour during the 1980s. But are the specs up to scratch? We take a first look at this, ahem, uniquely finished guitar.
Back in the late ’80s, Living Colour was just exploding onto the music scene. According to the official version on the ESP website, Vernon Reid went into ESP’s New York offices on 19th Street and managed to persuade them to make him a guitar. He finished the guitar himself and the connection between Vernon and ESP was forged.
His instrument is is being reissued by ESP in 2017, and is due to premiere at the Winter NAMM Show later this month. For Living Colour fans, this is a big deal as this model will be remembered fondly. The original guitar was all over their debut album Vivid.
The Cult 86 Limited Edition guitar has a bolt-on neck and features an ebony fretboard attached to a three piece neck. The swirled body is made from alder and loaded with EMG active pickups, with two EMG SA single coils in the middle and neck positions and an EMG 81 humbucker in the bridge position.
A Floyd Rose Special locking tremolo seals the deal and makes this a nicely specified shred guitar that will surely appeal to many players that grew up that era. The bolt-on neck and tight grain of an ebony fretboard will give this guitar have some serious spank and help it cut through a mix. The paint job will no doubt divide opinion. I grew up listening LC around this time and so I love it, it really looks the part.
Head over to ESP’s main site here for full details on the Cult 86
Check the video below to see the man in action back in the late ’80s!