ESP is ahead of the curve in the run-up to NAMM 2020, having already announced a gamut of new instruments in Phase 1 and Phase 2. With one week to go, ESP has launched wave 3, with some classic ’80s ESP models in LTD formats for the new year. Plus new Steph Carpenter, Korn’s Head and Nergal signature models too! Below is my pick of the bunch from the latest Phase 3 assault!
ESP Phase 3
The latest ESP Phase 3 announcement includes a lot of guitars, so buckle up for see the latest ESP/LTD offerings. There is a new LTD ’87 Series Eclipse, LTD M1 Custom ’87, LTD Mirage Deluxe ’87, LTD Phoenix Black Metal, LTD EC-1000 Black Natural Burst, LTD M-1007, LTD Viper-1000 Evertune, LTD AW-7 Baritone, LTD NS-6, LTD JR-208 and JR-608, LTD SC-20 and SC-607 and the LTD SH-207. Phew!
LTD ’87 Series
First up is the company’s LTD ’87 Series, celebrating its 45th anniversary. These are recreations of LTD’s first full set of ESP instruments, making a return of some classic ’80s shredders that we haven’t seen for quite some time. Nice!
I’ve picked a highlights that struck me as standout models from Phase 3, but you can see the full list from my link at the bottom of this page. You may need a few cups of coffee to make it through the whole list!
The original Eclipse returns!
ESP’s original Eclipse model wasn’t really a single-cut guitar design, being more of a T-Style neck-thru-body instrument. This year we get LTD versions of these old school shredders, with both Floyd Rose and hardtail TonePros locking tune-o-matic bridge variations of model offered.
Each one is loaded with a Seymour Duncan ’59 in the neck and a matching JB in the bridge position, with push-pull control to split the coils.
LTD M1 Custom ’87
The LTD M1 Custom ’87 is another neck-thru design and comes fitted with a Floyd Rose 1000 bridge installed without a recess route. The single Seymour Duncan Distortion TB-6 pickup has a push-pull control for coil splitting. Plus, there’s an EMG PA-2 boost switch, to give you a little extra kick when required.
With one pickup and a top-mounted Floyd, this is pure-bred rock guitar that harkens back to the classic model. It comes available in Black, Dark Metallic Blue and Candy Apple Red finishes.
LTD Mirage Deluxe ’87
The LTD Mirage Deluxe ’87 is a bolt-on neck model with an alder body and three-piece extra thin U-shaped maple neck. These guitars come in either Pearl Pink or Turquoise finishes and all are fitted with a Floyd Rose 1000 bridge. Now the pickups: a Seymour Duncan Distortion TB-6 in the bridge, with a push-pull control for splits and a Seymour Duncan Hot Rail single coil in the neck position.
LTD Phoenix Black Metal
Moving away from ’80s classic shred guitars we move into more modern classic ESP designs with the LTD Phoenix Black Metal, a beautiful, stripped-back version of the Phoenix similar to the ones from the Phase 1 announcement. I own a Phoenix 1000 myself, so I have to be honest and say that I love this model.
It comes loaded with a single Fishman Fluence Modern Humbucker that has two voicings accessed via a push-pull switch on the Volume control. It has a Macassar ebony fingerboard with no fret marker inlays, but you do get glow-in-the-dark side markers, so you won’t get lost on a dark stage!
Here comes a new signature model for Nergal! Out of all the new artist models, this one is my favourite. The Behemoth guitarist is now rocking a pair of Fishman Fluence Modern Humbucker pickups with this new 2020 model, with the switch for Modern Active or Modern Passive Attack voicings.
This one has a Black Satin finish, set-thru design with a 25.5” scale length. The body is paired with a three-piece maple neck that comes with a Macassar ebony fingerboard. It has the Behemoth Triumviratus logo inlaid at the twelfth fret position and comes with glow-in-the-dark side fret markers just like the blacked out Phoenix above.
There are way too many guitars to list here, but if you need the details on the whole Phase 3 release then just follow my link below.
I’m a child of the ’70s/’80s and so these LTD 87 models were at the top of my list of favourites. Those two stealth models hit the spot for me. What do you think of the latest ESP announcement? Let us know in the comments below.