#1
So after a bit of a wait on back order, my new guitar has finally arrived via UPS. I really wanted something with a Floyd and nothing used really fit my $1600 budget so I went ahead and ordered a ESP E-II Horizon III FR (not that LTD elite shiz) when I went to Guitar Center on the 28th of June. I have a friend that works there and he was kind enough to hand me a 20% off coupon That, in addition to my PRS SE custom 24 trade in, brought the total from $1689 to $1118!

Enough talk, here she is:










Carved top^



I made a (very underwhelming) sound clip but can't upload it to soundcloud (IMG file). Any other sites you guys use? (Photobucket won't let me upload it either)

Back to the guitar, I'm not 100 percent sold on it quite yet. I find the tone of it to be generally dark/dull, and I had to drop the bass to my amp to compensate for a better tone. Also the neck is alot thicker than I imagined, very reminiscent of a Les Paul or SG thick neck. It has a fantastic frets and a SMOOTH fretboard in addition to the perfectly setup Floyd. I think it's a great instrument, but not necessarily worth $1700 with tax if you get my point. I will give it 10 days and if it doesn't turn out I will head back to GC and try everything under $2000 and hopefully find something better, if not.... well I'll cross that bridge when I get there. Hopefully it works out well, I'll give it my best shot.
Last edited by JGM258 at Jul 15, 2014,
#2
Same guitar I was looking at. I'm just not sold on the E-II branding. I'm sure it plays nice though.
#4
I have never seen a Horizon III and thought they weren't in ESP's catalogue outside Japan. Cool guitar.

The "Thin U"-shape neck profile of ESP's isn't exactly thick, but I guess it is more the fairly round profile you're reacting to. Especially if you're used to the "Wide Thin" of PRS SE's, a profile which is also round but unlike the ESP does not have much shoulder at all. I see where your Gibson-comparison comes from, but I guess it is actually much thinner than that even though it may be similar in feel.
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#5
Nice
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#6
Makes sense that it feels kinda Dark. Not a big fan of the Custom 5 for that very reason.
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Quote by Anonden
You CAN play anything with anything....but some guitars sound right for some things, and not for others. Single coils sound retarded for metal, though those who are apeshit about harpsichord probably beg to differ.
#7
Those Horizon III's come with a TB-14 in the bridge position - no wonder it's a little dark. Everything else about the guitar - maple, ebony, Floyd Rose - screams brightness. Drop a Dimarzio in there, and it'll fix it right up.
#8
Im still unsure on the newer ESP's they make these days. Some of them dont look right to me, this one included.
Just the shape but the rest of the guitar looks very very nice.

Maybe cause im so hung up on owning a DBSB Horizon II
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#9
Quote by Harmosis
Those Horizon III's come with a TB-14 in the bridge position - no wonder it's a little dark. Everything else about the guitar - maple, ebony, Floyd Rose - screams brightness. Drop a Dimarzio in there, and it'll fix it right up.


I figured that was the likely reason, I'll probably throw a Dimarzio in the bridge sometime but the neck pickup (SH-2) is fantastic.

The guitar is starting to grow on me more, I'm very sure it's a keeper now.

Quote by Carrot
Im still unsure on the newer ESP's they make these days. Some of them dont look right to me, this one included.
Just the shape but the rest of the guitar looks very very nice.

Maybe cause im so hung up on owning a DBSB Horizon II


What turns you off, the modern styling, lack of ESP logo on the E-II guitars(which sucks) or maybe the new Horizon II headstock?
Last edited by JGM258 at Jul 16, 2014,
#10
Quote by JGM258


What turns you off, the modern styling, lack of ESP logo on the E-II guitars(which sucks) or maybe the new Horizon II headstock?


The body mainly. Its a more curvy and weird? Not sure tbh
The missing ESP logo is annoying me though.
Mainly the upper horn thing I think more than most of the body.

But im glad you are enjoying it!
I shouldn't post when drunk..



07 LTD MH400NT SD SH2/SH5
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Engl Powerball
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Pedals
#12
looks like a great guitar. not sure i would have paid more than 1700 either but im sure its nice. would it be worth it to you to change the pups?

if i wanted a guitar of that style, your getting into music man territory on the low end starting ar about 1500. approaching 1800 you can do some work with music mans especially used.

i would also throw out carvin. a majority of money sptend on carvins is the customizable features, whereas the guitar layouts themselves are all static and a cheap one (start at around 800) will most likely play as good as the best one (1800-2000+). so really if you get a modest configuration for about 800-1000 i would imagine you have a guitar that can smoke this ESP....but you would most definitely need pups unless you really like the carvins. so factor in at least another 180-200 +.

if you want the custom paint, SS frets, custom choices then a carvin with a floyd can easily run 1700 no sweat. mine was about 1400 with a carved top model and with no floyd (which adds about 200 bones).
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#13
Throw a regular Custom in there and see if it can manage to sound dark after that...
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#15
It'll take a couple of days to get your head around that neck, so to speak.

As long as the body contours don't make it uncomfortable to play, nothing else matters.

Congrats: she's a beaut.
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#16
Quote by ikey_
looks like a great guitar. not sure i would have paid more than 1700 either but im sure its nice. would it be worth it to you to change the pups?

if i wanted a guitar of that style, your getting into music man territory on the low end starting ar about 1500. approaching 1800 you can do some work with music mans especially used.

i would also throw out carvin. a majority of money sptend on carvins is the customizable features, whereas the guitar layouts themselves are all static and a cheap one (start at around 800) will most likely play as good as the best one (1800-2000+). so really if you get a modest configuration for about 800-1000 i would imagine you have a guitar that can smoke this ESP....but you would most definitely need pups unless you really like the carvins. so factor in at least another 180-200 +.

I did consider a JP, but the fact that it didn't have a Floyd bothered me, I know the peizo stays in tune well but I really wanted the FR.

if you want the custom paint, SS frets, custom choices then a carvin with a floyd can easily run 1700 no sweat. mine was about 1400 with a carved top model and with no floyd (which adds about 200 bones).


I actually would have definitely gotten a Carvin, but since I couldn't trade in my old guitar or gotten that 20% discount was a deal breaker for me. Shame how the flamed maple and quilt prices on the Carvins doubled and if you want a complete flame or maple top (no nek thru wood stripes visible), you are out $700...
#18
That's exactly the guitar I'm considering right now. How I envy you!

Since I'm in Japan for a few weeks, I was able to get my hands on the ESP Horizon III in a shop for a good 20 minutes, and I loved the shape of the neck. I hope you get used to it too. Assuming the ESP and the E-II have the same neck, of course.
Guitars: Music Man JP7 2009 (piezo) and JP6 2013, Fender Stratocaster US 1991
#19
Quote by JGM258
I actually would have definitely gotten a Carvin, but since I couldn't trade in my old guitar or gotten that 20% discount was a deal breaker for me. Shame how the flamed maple and quilt prices on the Carvins doubled and if you want a complete flame or maple top (no nek thru wood stripes visible), you are out $700...


I don't think that's accurate -- I'm seeing that price at $400 for a quilted maple top in the "Builder." Mind pointing out where that information comes from? I think you can request whether or not to see the neck show through on the top of the guitar; it doesn't cost you extra to have a full coverage top.
#20
Quote by dspellman
I don't think that's accurate -- I'm seeing that price at $400 for a quilted maple top in the "Builder." Mind pointing out where that information comes from? I think you can request whether or not to see the neck show through on the top of the guitar; it doesn't cost you extra to have a full coverage top.


Well quilt tops are $400, flames are $250. It's the neck options (first thing on page four of the guitar builder) that I'm talking about, it has the options for the neck and stripes, but the last option is quilted/flamed maple neck through($300). I assumed that this was an option for those who would rather have a quilted or flamed neck on the top of the guitar as opposed to to having the pattern interrupted by the neck through. So that would be $700 for an all quilt top or $550 for an all flame top no?
#21
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#22
Quote by JGM258
Well quilt tops are $400, flames are $250. It's the neck options (first thing on page four of the guitar builder) that I'm talking about, it has the options for the neck and stripes, but the last option is quilted/flamed maple neck through($300). I assumed that this was an option for those who would rather have a quilted or flamed neck on the top of the guitar as opposed to to having the pattern interrupted by the neck through. So that would be $700 for an all quilt top or $550 for an all flame top no?


No -- that's for those who want a neck made of flamed maple.



The above is an old custom V (Moonstone) from the '70's (and I don't know if Carvins are multipiece like this one), but it has only to do with the neck itself and nothing to do with the top. I have a DC-145 with a mahogany body/neck and a quilt top from 2006 that covers the entire top of the guitar. In those days the pricing was a bit different; you paid for the quilt top (about $300) and an additional price for the finish you wanted (mine is a Deep Sunsetburst). These days, they've simply combined the price of the quilt top with the finishes for $400. I don't think the actual price has gone up more than about 10% for a finished quilt top.

FWIW, I completed the "Builder" and duplicated the specs for the DC-145 I bought in early 2006. The price is just about $140 higher (about $1540 then, $1680 now). The "streak-free" ebony board was standard, is now about $30 extra. The case is more expensive now ($20?). Standard radius is 14" now, was 12" then. And so on. So over the course of 8-9 years, prices have gone up a bit under 10%.

Meanwhile, inflation has gone up 3% per year, compounded. According to one of the inflation calculators online, they would suggest a price more like $1817.29.
Last edited by dspellman at Jul 17, 2014,
#23
well...i mean the quality of Carvin wood is about as good as it gets, easily on par with PRS plus you get to pick the finish. so yeah, i mean 300-, 400, 700 seems sorta ball park accurate for like "top of the line 10 top' type stuff.

i mean, a majority of guitars have no figured woods or its fake laminates etc.

____

edit
OH SNAP - that carvin. yeah. thats what you pay 700 for. holy cow.
Carvin CT624
Walden G630ce Acoustic
Carvin V3M, Avatar 2x12 WGS Reaper, vet 30
(crybaby, Fairfield circuitry Comp, GFS tuner, Vick Audio 73 Ram's Head, Xotic AC booster, lovepedal trem, TC Flashback, PGS Trinity Reverb, Walrus Audio Aetos power)
Last edited by ikey_ at Jul 17, 2014,
#24
Quote by dspellman
No -- that's for those who want a neck made of flamed maple.

The above is an old custom V (Moonstone) from the '70's (and I don't know if Carvins are multipiece like this one), but it has only to do with the neck itself and nothing to do with the top. I have a DC-145 with a mahogany body/neck and a quilt top from 2006 that covers the entire top of the guitar. In those days the pricing was a bit different; you paid for the quilt top (about $300) and an additional price for the finish you wanted (mine is a Deep Sunsetburst). These days, they've simply combined the price of the quilt top with the finishes for $400. I don't think the actual price has gone up more than about 10% for a finished quilt top.

FWIW, I completed the "Builder" and duplicated the specs for the DC-145 I bought in early 2006. The price is just about $140 higher (about $1540 then, $1680 now). The "streak-free" ebony board was standard, is now about $30 extra. The case is more expensive now ($20?). Standard radius is 14" now, was 12" then. And so on. So over the course of 8-9 years, prices have gone up a bit under 10%.

Meanwhile, inflation has gone up 3% per year, compounded. According to one of the inflation calculators online, they would suggest a price more like $1817.29.


Well could you explain exactly where you can add the option of getting a fully flamed top without the flamed maple neck please?

Seems like their trying to keep prices relatively low regardless of inflation, they must be good guys at Carvin.