ESP/LTD has announced that they are stopping the use of rosewood on many of their guitars. This comes as no surprise, of course, given that recent CITES legislation makes it harder to use such materials. But what will it mean to you ESP/LTD fans?
LTD 200 & 400 SERIES
Fingerboards throughout this series of instruments will use jatoba to replace rosewood. Jatoba is a wood found in the Caribbean, Central America, and South America, and is commonly called Brazilian Cherry due to its appearance.
Some of the current 200 Series instruments have replaced rosewood with Blackwood, an engineered wood made from sustainable pine.
LTD DELUXE 1000 SERIES and LTD SIGNATURE 600 SERIES
Most of the guitars in these series formerly offered with rosewood fingerboards will soon be manufactured with Pau Ferro. While Pau Ferro is sometimes referred to as Bolivian rosewood, it is not actually part of the rosewood genus that is restricted via CITIES regulations.
Other models that had been previously offered with rosewood fingerboards will now come with Macassar ebony. This is a wood native to Indonesia and is a far more sustainable material.
LTD ACOUSTIC GUITARS
All LTD acoustic models that previously used rosewood for fingerboards and bridges, will now be using Blackwood instead. Any models that previously used rosewood for its back and/or sides will now make use of black walnut.
LTD 10 SERIES
The fingerboards on all of the LTD 10 Series have been switched to a manufactured wood material that will (hopefully) act as an acceptable rosewood substitute.
Personally, I have no problem with this move at all and I welcome that such a large guitar manufacturer is making a positive move and being as up front about it as they can. ESP and LTD make some amazing guitars (yes, I do own a few myself), so I think this move to ethical, sustainable models is a good one.
ESP CITES regulations main page here