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A Brief History of ESP Guitars

Aug 17, 2007
ESP, short for Electric Sound Products, started as a shop in Japan by Hisatake Shibuya in 1975. At first they just sold replacement parts for the guitar but in 1976 they started making guitars. These products were only found in Japan until the 80s when the replacement parts found their way to the U.S.

The company was pretty much obscure in the United States until 1983 when these replacement parts line was introduced. Then in 84 and 85 ESP began creating custom guitars for certain artists such as Bruce Kulick of KISS, Ron Wood of the Rolling Stones, and Vernon Reid of Living Color. In 1986 George Lynch discovered the shop in Japan while searching for a replacement guitar part. The end result of this encounter was his Kamikaze model. The Kamikaze was ESPs first signature model.

Over the years, the company has evolved. They have gone from an exclusive producer of replacements parts for the guitar to a high quality electric guitar manufacturer. In the early 90s the company faced some changes to their United States division. At the same time that they discontinued the replacement parts for the U.S., they started expanding their guitar line. Also, ESP moved their headquarters a few times before settling on their Los Angeles, CA location in 1993.

Now, ESP is a fast growing company in the guitar industry. Their current line of guitars boasts many celebrity endorsees. These include Lynchs Kamikaze and James Hetfields Truckster model, created in honor of the companys 30th Anniversary. Other models include the AX series, the Standard Series, the Mirage Series, the Xtone Series, and the Signature Series.

ESP boasts a really long list of artists who play their guitars. In fact, the nature of ESPs popularity is tied into the fact that many renowned artists love their guitars. These artists include James Hetfield and Kirk Hammet or Metallica, Ron Wood of the Rolling Stones, Dave Mustaine of Megadeth, Jeff Hannemen and Tom Arraya of Slayer, and Richard z Kruspe of Rammstein. For more information on the artists, visit their website.

It isnt just famous artists who love the guitars. ESP guitars receive great reception from guitar players of all ages. Heres what one person has to say about ESP guitars (Source Harmony Central):

Concerning the ESP B-154

The sound is just awesome. I play hard rock and metal and have played for 5 years now. I am just happy with this. I use a Behringer V-Amp Pro Pre-amp, with a Behringer BX4500H amp and a 1500 Watt slave amplifier.
It is impressively noiseless!!! It has a bright sound, but it depends on what EQ settings i am using. With setting it correct, you can get a "thick" sound like the one in the Metallica track Enter Sandman.

The sound generally is very good. Definitely worth all money!
About the Author
Guitar Warehouse is your place to Buy Guitar and other musical gear. We also offer a wide range of ESP Guitars and offer Free Guitar Lessons.
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