Musikmesse 2008: ESP debuts seven new models

The good folks at ESP have been busy little bees of late, and they used the 2008 Musikmesse show to introduce seven new limited-edition models.

Joining ESP's new Graphic Series, the LTD EC-Cobweb and LTD EC-Redburn are based on custom artwork designed by groundbreaking UK artist Sam Shearon (a.k.a. Mister-Sam). His style, often referred to as "dark surrealism", is reflected in the two new models, which will have a limited production run of 100 of each. Each instrument will include a Certificate of Authenticity signed by the artist. The guitar is based on ESP's popular LTD EC-500 model, which has a set-neck single-cutaway design at 24.75-inch scale, a mahogany body, a mahogany neck with rosewood fingerboard, and EMG 81 (bridge) / 60 (neck) active pickups.

There are additions to ESP's popular LTD "aged" models as well. The EC-256 is a singlecutaway 24.75-inch scale guitar with an aged treatment on the respective Aged Honey Burst (with flamed maple top) and Aged Vintage Black finishes. Both guitars offer ESP LH-150 (bridge and neck) pickups.

Also joining the LTD line is the LTD M-200UC, an affordable guitar in the popular M Series with a monochrome Urban Camouflage finish. The guitar has a bolt-on neck at 25.5-inch scale, and features a basswood body, a maple neck with rosewood fingerboard, a locking nut and double-locking bridge, an extra thin flat neck contour, 24 XJ frets, and ESP LH-150 (bridge and neck) pickups.

Joining Children of Bodom bandmate Alexi Laiho, guitarist Roope Latvala and bassist Henkka T. Blacksmith will have new models from LTD bearing their names. The LTD RL-600 guitar and LTD HTB-600 bass will be available from authorized ESP/LTD dealers.

"Both Roope and Henkka have been using ESPs for years," says Allen Steelgrave, ESP director of marketing and artist relations. "We're very happy to give these innovative musicians the recognition they deserve with their own LTD signature series models."

The Roope Latvala LTD RL-600 offers a unique star-shaped alder body with a neckthrough design at 25.5-inch scale. The maple thin-U neck with ebony fingerboard has custom inlays and 24 XJ frets. Black nickel hardware includes a Floyd Rose bridge and Grover tuners, with an EMG HZ H-2 pickup controlled by a single volume knob. The guitar comes in a custom light grey finish.

The LTD HTB-600 signature series bass is Henkka T. Blacksmith's custom bass made available for the general public. Only the second signature bass from ESP (the other being by Tom Araya of Slayer), the HTB-600 features a neck-thru-body design at 34-inch scale. The lightweight and comfortable alder body is adjoined by the maple neck and ebony fingerboard, which has no inlays except the model name at the 12th fret (24 XJ frets total). Grover tuners and an ESP BB-604 bridge are made of black nickel, and the bass' electronics include two EMG 35DC (bridge and neck) active pickups with EMG BQS 3-band active EQ. The bass is offered in a black finish with a "COBHC" graphic on the front.

It's a lot to take in all at once, so sit back and rest your gaze on the pictures one and all. And for more information, visit the official ESP Guitars website.

The MusicRadar team

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