#1
My next guitar is probably going to be the LTD les paul copy in emerald green. I've played on several of them, and I love everything about it. That being said, this morning I was looking on musicians friend and comparing the LTD version to the real ESP version, and when the two are compared, every one of their specs are the same, the only difference being that the ESP is a 22 fret, the LTD a 24 fret. Kind of weird, the cheaper version being a 24 fret. The wood is the same, pickups the same, unless the hardware is silently much better on the ESP, what justifies the $600 price difference. I just don't see that the ESP is that much better of a guitar, but that's why I'm asking.

Here is a link to both, musician's friend has more info that ESP's website does.

ESP Eclipse II

LTD EC-1000

Pictures of the two



It's not like there is a visible difference like an epiphone vs a gibson. In fact, if you didn't know what you were looking at, the LTD looks nicer with the pearloid inlays and binding and color matched headstock.

Anyways, comments? I'm legitimately curious about this.
#2
The ESP has a Gotoh TOM and tailpiece, the LTD has a tonepros bridge. The ESP has Gotoh locking tuners, LTD doesn't specify.

So ok, for 200 dollars the LTD can have the same bridge and tuners as the ESP. That is the only difference I've found.

This issue doesn't really bother me, but rather re-affirms my choice of the LTD as my pick for guitar-in-waiting.
#3
besides the bridge the only difference i see is the binding on the LTD... where there is none on the ESP
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#4
I think the main difference is, that the LTD is made in Korea, whereas the ESP is made in Japan.
#5
well the ESP's have a better QC than the LTD's not to say LTD's are bad but the ESP's do win in that department if that justifies the extra $ thats up to you
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#6
Wood, finish and construction quality. You can have cool binding all day but in the end it comes down to wood and finish quality.
#8
With the ESP a bulk of what you pay is to have ESP on the headstock.
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#9
Esps is alot better quality then the ltd and that's what your paying for. Honestly is it worth the price increase that's for you to decide. IMO it is.
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#10
Quote by CapnKickass
the $600 extra is so you don't get stuck with ugly binding (no offence to whoever).


See though, I like the binding a lot. It looks good to me on the emerald green version, my favorite color.


I appreciate the responses, I was just wondering if there was some ground breaking, major difference between the two that would justify the extra money.
#11
The emerald green one does look sexy. I'd much rather have that one to the ESP
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#12
Quote by Oosh.
The emerald green one does look sexy. I'd much rather have that one to the ESP


Oh yeah, with that black chrome hardware. If I could build a guitar custom aesthetically-wise, it would look just like that, or a double cutaway, PRS style.
#13
With guitars, after a certain point (around $1000), the difference in quality is very small. On top tier guitar brands, you are paying mainly for the name. I've played plenty of ESPs and LTDs and on the 400 series and above LTDs, the difference is relatively minimal. That being said, don't trust the spec shield completely. I've played both the Eclipse II and EC1000 series and the ESP just feels a tad higher in terms of fit and finish. For someone like me, it's tough to justify x2 the price for the ESP name when you can find 1000 series LTDs for half the price.

Everyone is different though. Many people just won't be completely satisfied unless the headstock says ESP, even if the sound quality is minute.
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#15
ESP's are overpriced, end of story. All you're paying for is better QC and the fact that it is made in Japan. An LTD with a pro setup is way cheaper and will probably play better than an ESP straight from the factory. Try the guitar before you buy, you don't need QC because you can do it yourself. In my opinion.
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#16
The LTD is covered in abalone binding, its seriously nasty, makes the fretbaord look like a Christmas tree.

The ESP is higher quality, and has none of that sparkly abalone crap, it looks alot better in person, trust me.
#17
Quote by EndTheRapture51
The LTD is covered in abalone binding, its seriously nasty, makes the fretbaord look like a Christmas tree.

The ESP is higher quality, and has none of that sparkly abalone crap, it looks alot better in person, trust me.


Yeah, like I said in the OP, I've played quite a few of the LTD's, and I love them, especially the abalone binding. Everyone is different though.

Thanks for all the responses guys, I really appreciate it.
#18
Quote by falconthefirst
ESP's are overpriced, end of story. All you're paying for is better QC and the fact that it is made in Japan. An LTD with a pro setup is way cheaper and will probably play better than an ESP straight from the factory. Try the guitar before you buy, you don't need QC because you can do it yourself. In my opinion.
Yes, because QC only means setup.

I don't believe that QC matters on an individual guitar basis, only if you are blind buying. If you play the guitar in the store, and nothing bothers you about the guitar then it's fine. But the ESP will almost undoubtedly use higher quality wood, higher quality hardware, higher quality electronics, subject to higher quality standards all around. These are not trivial differences like some of you guys make it seem, they are the same differences between a Fender and a Squier, or a Gibson and an Epiphone.

And I agree with Endtherapture, abalone binding is hideous and looks seriously tacky.
Last edited by al112987 at Aug 30, 2009,
#19
There isn't a massive difference I think the ESP has slighty better wood quality and electronics quality, past taht you are just paying for then name and slightly better quality control.
#20
The key differences are the much higher grade wood used in actual ESP models, and the fact ESPs are made in Japan using some of the most advanced modern techniques such as laser cut inlays, while the LTDs are made in Korea and China using more standard production line equipment as you'd expect for any Squier/Epiphone/etc and of course the aforementioned lower quality wood.
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#21
Quote by MrFlibble
The key differences are the much higher grade wood used in actual ESP models, and the fact ESPs are made in Japan using some of the most advanced modern techniques such as laser cut inlays, while the LTDs are made in Korea and China using more standard production line equipment as you'd expect for any Squier/Epiphone/etc and of course the aforementioned lower quality wood.


+1 to all of this. Basically, while the LTD is a good guitar, the ESP is simply better crafted overall, so since the difference in price isn't THAT much for what you get (IMO, the ESP Standard series is pretty fairly priced).
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#22
Here are some things to consider. The ESP inlays are pearloid, not just white. They look much better in person. I've also heard that the LTD Deluxes are just Standards with abalone. If anything, the LTD Deluxe is overpriced. With ESP, you get much better craftsmanship and quality. Like everyone else said, it's like Gibson vs. Epiphone or MIM Fender vs. MIA Fender. The ESP is not overpriced when you compare it to other high end companies like Fender, Gibson, PRS, Ibanez, and Caparison. The quality can stand up to those companies but it's on the cheaper end of spectrum.
#23
Quality
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#24
I have both the ESP Stef B-7 (about to be sold) and the LTD SC-607B. The specs are incredibly similar other than the ESP's Sperzel and the LTD's ESP locking tuners, Stef's initials on the LTD's Ebony fretboard vs. none on the ESP, and of course the headstock.

As far as feel/playability, tone (same active PUs), and woods, they sound incredibly similar through my amps.

Is the premium for the ESP worth it? Absolutely! Specially for the price I paid in Japan and what it's going to sell.

#25
I appreciate all the input guys. When new guitar time comes I'll just have to force myself to sit down at some shops and play the hell out of some guitars (sarcasm), and make sure I get what I'm comfortable and happy with. I do with that ESP came in green though.