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ESP offers its retro-shred LTD '87 Series in the ultimate retro-shred finish

ESP LTD '87 Series Rainbow Crackle
(Image credit: ESP Guitars)

ESP Guitars, which celebrates its 45th anniversary this year, has updated its LTD '87 Series of shred-ready electric guitars and the high-performance P-style Surveyor Bass in Rainbow Crackle finish.

It really couldn't get much more 80s and to paraphrase the famous anti-drugs campaign of the era, Rainbow Crackle is like a visual representation of your brain on shred. With a full spectrum of colour – hi-viz yellows, hot pinks, red, green and blue lightning – on black, this is not the sort of thing one would rock up at Newport Folk Festival with.

Spec-wise, the LTD '87 Series rolls the clock back to some of the most seminal designs in the ESP lineup. The new Rainbow Crackle finishes are now available on the M-1 Custom '87 and Mirage Deluxe '87 and Eclipse '87 electric guitars – the latter offered with the choice of a Tonepros Locking tune-o-matic bridge or a double-locking Floyd Rose 1000 vibrato. 

The Eclipse has a neck-through build on a T-style mahogany body. Its three-piece maple neck is topped with a Macassar ebony fingerboard and it has a Gibson-esque 24.75" scale. A Seymour Duncan JB humbucker occupies the bridge position and is complemented by a Seymour Duncan '59 humbucker at the neck. A push-pull function adds to the versatility, offering some single-coil tones on tap.

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ESP LTD '87 Series Rainbow Crackle

(Image credit: ESP Guitars)
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ESP LTD '87 Series Rainbow Crackle

(Image credit: ESP Guitars)
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ESP LTD '87 Series Rainbow Crackle

(Image credit: ESP Guitars)
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ESP LTD '87 Series Rainbow Crackle

(Image credit: ESP Guitars)

Both the Mirage Deluxe and M-1 Custom models assume a souped-up S-style profile, with alder bodies, maple necks and and Macassar ebony fingerboards, and come equipped with double-locking Floyd Rose 1000 vibratos and locking tuners. 

But there are some crucial differences, with the Mirage Deluxe having a bolt-on construction, a Seymour Duncan Distortion humbucker at the bridge and a Seymour Duncan Hot Rails at the neck. The M-1 Custom, meanwhile, has a neck-through build and a single Seymour Duncan Distortion at the bridge position, and a noticeable contoured scoop on the lower cutaway. All the humbuckers have a push-pull coil-split function. 

ESP LTD '87 Series Rainbow Crackle

(Image credit: ESP Guitars)

Finally, the Surveyor '87 is a P-style bass with a 34" scale length, an alder body, bolt-on maple neck and a Macassar ebony fingerboard, and it is equipped with Seymour Duncan's P/J set. 

Of course, if Rainbow Crackle is a little loud for your tastes – perhaps you even lived through 1987 the first time around and don't fancy repeating it – there are a number of retro finishes that are a little more demure, with Candy Apple Red, Turquoise, Black, Pearl White and Dark Metallic Blue all options. 

The Surveyor 87' bass is priced £/$899 street, the M-1 Custom '87, Mirage Deluxe and Eclipse with no tremolo are priced £/$999, while the Floyd-equipped Eclipse retails at £/$1099. 

See ESP for more details.

Jonathan Horsley

Jonathan Horsley has been writing about guitars since 2005, playing them since 1990, and regularly contributes to MusicRadar, Total Guitar and Guitar World. He uses Jazz III nylon picks, 10s during the week, 9s at the weekend, and shamefully still struggles with rhythm figure one of Van Halen’s Panama.