Eclipse-I CTM review by ESP

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  • Sound: 10
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 10
  • Features: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 10 Gem
  • Users' score: 9.1 (76 votes)
ESP: Eclipse-I CTM
2

Price paid: $ 1927.8

Purchased from: Dragon Music

Sound — 10
I play metal, metalcore, hardcore(not so much), and all the music styles that starts with "metal-". Unluckyly, I'm using a totally crap Fender 85 amp, that sound a bit too much empty.For the dist I'm using a Boss Metal Zone pedal(which is pretty good, but not miracoulously). The beast is quiet, but when you turn on the volume knobs it turns to a hell-yeah metal beast, due to a fantastic constuction, premier quality woods and EMG pickups. Actually I'm saving to get the true metal beast, the Peavey 5150 II, and after that my neighboors will be forced to use earplugs! The sound is powerful, 100 times better than LTD EC 1000 deluxe, that I also played at the shop. I'm sure that with the right amp this guitar will become the true metal deal, more than Jacksons or Gibson with EMGs.

Overall Impression — 10
I play metalcore, death metal and metal, and for me is the perfect guitar, just like a custom guitar, but builded in the series factory. I'm playing for about 4 years, and I've already owned a Epiphone SG '61 Standard, and a Fender America Deluxe Stratocaster 50th Anniversary. Both were reviewed in this site.

Reliability & Durability — 10
I haven't used it Live yet, but I'm sure that it can withstand it very well. It's light on shoulders, but powerful as hell, and the hardware is well finished and solid. The strap buttons are the biggest I ever seen on a modern guitar (strange fact) and I haven't replaced them yet. I definitely depend on it, and I wouldn't use it with a backup. The only fact is that when you play Live, you must have a reserve battery, for the pickups.

Action, Fit & Finish — 10
The guitar was setted up perfectly at the factory, the action is low an super fast. The PU were adjusted well at the factory, and in the whole guitar weren't flaws at all. The fingerboard is perfect, as the neck, and the body is solid as hell. The body is light, but powerful, and the finish is the best I ever seen.

Features — 10
This nice baby was born in 2006, out of japan ESP factory. It features a solid mahogany body with arched top, a mahogany neck with ebony fretboard, 22 Extra Jumbo frets; oh, it's a thin you profile. The electronic part is composed of 2 EMG humbuckers, the 81 in the bridge, and the 60 in the neck position. Actually they are the best pickups I've ever heard for metal: they're bright, clear and powerful as hell. The bridge is a deluxe Gotoh Tune-O-Matic with tailpiece, and the tuners are Sperzel Trim-Lok. The whole guitar is finished with a stunning satin black finish, and a silver binding around the body, neck and headstock. It comes with a black hardshell case, with black plush interior, and a socket wrench for the truss rod. It's not so much, but the guitar is really astonishing.

51 comments sorted by best / new / date

    N_I_N-621
    jincasa wrote: lespaul knockoff
    Too bad ESP can kill Gibson for hundreds less.
    dj600
    esp's are hand crafted in japan, and ltd's are made a little cheaper in places like indonisea, korea, but ltd are still ****ing kick ass
    p5Ych0
    my goood. i want it. looks better than my epi lp goth
    franc0ph0bic wrote: this review wouldve been great if i didn't have to read every sentence 3 times to find out what you meant, maybe think about taking some 5th grade English.
    **** u. not everybody's english or american
    Minivirus2
    The difference between a Japan made ESP and Korean made LTD is HUGE. This is coming from some who owns one of each. The LTD is still a great guitar, but it's a total bust compared to my ESP. Granted, they two completely different models and the setups are totally different, but the way the ESP sound, plays and feels is altogether more satisfying that the LTD. I can quite honestly say, I feel like I got the best deal possible on my ESP. A like new M-II NTB w/OFR for $1200 with a hardshell. This would have easily cost over 2K anywhere else and the best part is, the guy bought it and left it in it's case until he decided to sell it. Aside from a few finger prints (from when he originally purchased it I assume), I doubt I could have found a better guitar at a better price. DON'T underestimate the quality between the two makes. I'm not looking forward to diversifying my guitar collect going forward, because it's going to be damn near impossible to match the M-II, but that's also why I'm looking at an ESP Eclipse
    Dark_Iran
    thanks very much.I like ESP guitars through best quality. is sound esp horizun fr II seymour duncan nice? I dont know why signature andy james is make korea (LTD AJ-1) why is not esp japan?andy james is best master shred
    Y00p
    Nice guitar. But I doubt that the sound is indeed 100 times better than the LTD counterpart, since both have the same bodywood and pickups. (Yes, there is bound to be a difference, but no way is it 'a 100 times.) Also, quite nice review.
    Aadieu
    Wood quality, precision assembly, mojo of "craftsmanship" (=made by guys who know what theyre doing and sense how to get it just right....perhaps matching up somehow better matching, sound not lookswise, planks for the body - like perfect fit or similar density etc - or taking the extra time to match necks and bodies well. or just having the eye to get it right) What it translates to is easily getting single-pick-thickness action on all strings w/o buzz (11-54 dr ddts in DropD, single Dunlop Heavy pick gap at 12th fret), more durable finish (trashed and thrashed gouged in chewed up clearcoat, deep scars in it really, from many previous owners - yet NOT A SINGLE SPOT OF CHIPPED PAINT! none of it visible from 10ft away lol), better glue ups, better lil things that no lists as specs like better metals on truss rod, expensive screws that last forever and never lose the "+" shape, harder wood that doesnt mind each screw getting adjusted or unscrewed dozens and dozens of times without any stripping.. TOLERANCES AND QC, man. All the diff in the world. PS btw, even cheaper japanese stuff than the super popular ESP brand usually has that best-in-the-world precision and attention to detail. Way neater work than Gibsons (i should know i teched a bunch and modded em both for ppl, often), and built to last so much that 30-40 year old mij will always be in better shape than 10yo korean (where glues shift screws strip wood warps, everything just barely and imperceptibly most of the time - but it adds up to guitars you cant get a true note on in the 20something frets, messed up harmonics, losing sustain etc)... While with japs, only the pots ever die, and only on the ones from the 70s. Simply drying up. For those that dont know - thats like changing brake pads, normal service, sometimes even done as "scheduled maintenance" after decyphering a serial number or browsing catalogs tells you how old your axe is. Everything else only ever needs cleaning (isopropyl alcohol for metal surfaces and clearcoated stuff, lemon oil for fretboards unless maple, tung oil for satin finishes, lube/wd40 for roller saddles if present, special electronics sprays into stuck pots). Nobody builds better. You might like a diff model or brands wood choice, layout, design, or pickups more, but its not a "better guitar" just a better suited to your taste guitar... For any given specs (and you can give their custom shop ANYTHING, as long as you got the dough), the guys at ESP japan will build you The Ultimate Achievable Guitar. Only other place in the world can do the same today is FujiGen. Also puuuurfect implementation of any design theyre given, always built everything so nice and neat. and if anything is less than ideal in their builds (bad woods on 90s Fender/Squier mijs by them, Duncan Designed pm, bland basswood and soso pups or boring paint on Ibanez Prestyiges they nakeige models etc) - thats all from the specs, and the costcutting suits at Fender/Jackson/Ibanez, not FGNs fault. They just did some lower spec models than ESP ever released, for waaaay cheaper tho, is all. Only other was Matsumoku, but it's nearly 30 years closed now. Alas.
    BornToRun
    i've got one of these and its just amazing. neck is pretty fast and the pick ups give great sound for any music from Cream to Megadeth through my peavey vk112
    iktpq666
    jincasa : lespaul knockoff
    awwww yeah its a single cutaway guitar so it has to be a les paul rip off. fact: esp is made for metal - gibson is made for rock aside from the look they have nothing in common
    DeathByStereo23
    i have to make a correction in this review....my esp isn't the regular eclipse I CTM...it's the Paul Landers Model
    HomerSGR
    I tried this today (or was it the Eclipse II?) and I've never played anything like it. Give me one!!!!! I'm saving for it now...
    solo_freak
    peever wrote: The only thing similar to a les paul is the shape... Otherwise, they are totally different guitars. what are you talking about? other then the pickups and the tuners barely anything is different and yes its a les paul knockoff, BECAUSE ITS THE LES PAUL SHAPE dummy
    The shape is actually different. The body is much thinner and the cutout is slightly shrper. Anyway, it is built in a different way, the pickups are different and the neck is different. This guitar was built for more metal and rock music, which explains the EMG's (I know they are versatile but they are especially suited to metal and rock). Les Pauls are traditionally blues guitars. The only thing that is remotely similar to a gibson is the shape.
    grandmarshall
    I would say that this guitar is much better than a les paul but thats my opinion...there is much different betwen those guitars eclipse don't even look like a les paul to me it's sais METAL!!!
    up4anything
    I would like to order a one that have orange or gold binding instead silver-white offer. Looks very mighty with its gunmetal body, like M-16! Problem is damn impudent and high customs in my state
    MesterJacob Dk
    Is there a big difference between the eclipse II and this one?? And what is the difference between Esp and Esp Ltd??
    6-Lucky-6-13-6
    Anything ESP or high quality LTD is amazing for metal, and besides the fact it looks like a WAY BETTER looking les paul they have nothing really in commom, cept esp rapes.
    Draiman
    I like this model... Well... the body is a bit thinner than the LP... And a little bit lighter... I tried one at my local dealer the other day... And i said to myself... I gotta get me one of those *GG*
    SMÆRTEHELVETE
    Has anyone tried the eclipse 1 with Seymore duncan? I had an esp viper that I sold because the body was so light, the neck tilted so hard against the floor that it hurted my left wrist. Otherwise the built quality was great. So now I just hope the les paul model is balanced the way it should. And also I found out active pickups was not for me.
    GenerationKILL
    peever wrote: The only thing similar to a les paul is the shape... Otherwise, they are totally different guitars. what are you talking about? other then the pickups and the tuners barely anything is different and yes its a les paul knockoff, BECAUSE ITS THE LES PAUL SHAPE dummy
    The ESP version is so much more than a standard les paul rip-off. For one thing the ESP variant has a WAY WAY nicer feeling neck. True les paul necks feel like sawed in half telephone poles. Also the cut away on the ESP ones is alot better for accessing the higher frets, unlike a gibson les paul. The true difference is that ESP makes a "metal les paul" better than Gibson could ever dream, and for less than half the price.
    Lefty27
    GenerationKILL wrote: peever wrote: The only thing similar to a les paul is the shape... Otherwise, they are totally different guitars. what are you talking about? other then the pickups and the tuners barely anything is different and yes its a les paul knockoff, BECAUSE ITS THE LES PAUL SHAPE dummy The ESP version is so much more than a standard les paul rip-off. For one thing the ESP variant has a WAY WAY nicer feeling neck. True les paul necks feel like sawed in half telephone poles. Also the cut away on the ESP ones is alot better for accessing the higher frets, unlike a gibson les paul. The true difference is that ESP makes a "metal les paul" better than Gibson could ever dream, and for less than half the price.
    Hellz yes!
    mantism
    hey i want to buy this guitar but i dont like the pickups so i wanna change them!! i prefer passive seymour duncans such as invader duncan distortion is it a right thing to do ?!!
    peever
    The only thing similar to a les paul is the shape... Otherwise, they are totally different guitars.
    what are you talking about? other then the pickups and the tuners barely anything is different and yes its a les paul knockoff, BECAUSE ITS THE LES PAUL SHAPE dummy
    Aadieu
    Design wise, early Eclipses were more of a rounded off Telecaster. Bolton too... And since the Les Paul was originally a setneck archtop "singlecut design" (read: telecaster knockoffincorporating acoustic guitar aesthetics and traits from earlier Gibby jazz guitars), well.... Who copied who lol? Flat mahogany body (no archtop on orginal) =/= lp knockoff Tunamatic and Floyd = standard bridge options, built by other companies for both =/= knockoff of anything Neck, headstock, neck mounting system = all original ...cant really call putting a cutaway on a classical guitar "hourglass lady" figure a copy of anything. All stringed instruments considered guitars share that heritage. As to bolton w/ plate, thats an ingenious Leo design, but it's: a) ubiquitous, b) updated and improved w/ asymmetrical sculpted heel by ESP, which is their own original innovation there. The second gen USA market model did move towards LP territory, but can be considered a parallel evolution traceable to their own original design. Fair game.
    INDUSTRIALMETAL
    I actually prefer the lighter and thinner body. I've always felt uncomfortable playing with a Gibson Les Paul, too much weight.
    DeathByStereo23
    Oh,the Hetfield model sucks a little,in both ESP or LTD editions. I haven't tried out yet the Hammett model.
    natasha071
    Ummm.... I have an Esp Eclipse CTM FT SW.. Thats the full thickness four pot in snow white with black binding.I put the black chrome hardware kit on it cos I am not really a fan of the gold stuff. It is a very nice guitar to play...but...im less than impressed with the 81 and 60 pickups....I also have an Esp G Spec Horizon Fr which has HZ pickups and to be honest I think the passives sound better...crisper and yet very balanced and full. I have owned a Lp...about a '99 STD in trans cherry. I replaced the pups in that with a Seymour D George Lynch and a DiMarzio Evolution (Mesa RECTOVERB)...improved the tone a lot but still didnt feel as nice as the Esp. Does anybody have any experience with the Hz pickups? Can someone tell me if they all sound as good as the ones I have? Ps...my white eclipse is the sexiest axe I have ever owned...the black pinstrip binding is killer... \m/
    nik_I
    Y00p wrote: Nice guitar. But I doubt that the sound is indeed 100 times better than the LTD counterpart, since both have the same bodywood and pickups. (Yes, there is bound to be a difference, but no way is it 'a 100 times.) Also, quite nice review.
    yeah seriously pretty much the only difference is the tuners and the country where it was built.
    rykoff sexton
    I tried some ESP's a while ago, the kirk hamet and James Hettfield editions. I must say I was severely disappointed. They felt really cheaply made and light. I prefer a more solid feel in the gutiar. Based on this review I might have to give ESP another chance. The guitars look so cool, and for metal, I guess it is the benchmark.
    ConfusedBirdman
    I'm with rykoff. I can't stand light guitars. I feel like I'm going to rip the neck off. Hence why I hate basswood. Sounds ok, but it just feels so brittle.
    DeathByStereo23
    Trust me,the ESP tonewood is really better than LTD. Before owning this baby,I tried the LTD with a Krank Krankenstein,and after,I tried the ESP with the same amp setup. I was hooked by the power of the ESP instead of the LTD
    ldnovelo
    DeathByStereo23 : Oh,the Hetfield model sucks a little,in both ESP or LTD editions. I haven't tried out yet the Hammett model.
    I havent seen Hetfield using his ESP signature, as I know he continous with his explorers(even in st anger), in the webs wich document his equipment, there isnt any of those guitars
    N_I_N-621
    ldnovelo wrote: DeathByStereo23 : Oh,the Hetfield model sucks a little,in both ESP or LTD editions. I haven't tried out yet the Hammett model. I havent seen Hetfield using his ESP signature, as I know he continous with his explorers(even in st anger), in the webs wich document his equipment, there isnt any of those guitars
    Just another money making venture.
    nik_I wrote: Y00p wrote: Nice guitar. But I doubt that the sound is indeed 100 times better than the LTD counterpart, since both have the same bodywood and pickups. (Yes, there is bound to be a difference, but no way is it 'a 100 times.) Also, quite nice review. yeah seriously pretty much the only difference is the tuners and the country where it was built.
    The country where its made makes a world of difference.
    Aadieu
    Strangely... NOT QUITE. Hammetts signatures really ARE different, and not just in visuals. HUUUGE change in key specs. Example: KH3 looks just like a 90s Eclipse I FR w/ EMGs - ...NOT! 90s Eclipse I / TheEclipse FR EMG specs: *mahogany body *maple bolton with rosewood *emg 81-85 afaik (the 85 in mine miiiiight just be a mod) KH3 Kirk Hammett sig: *ALDER body wings *NECKTHRU * (not 100% sure) ebony fb *81-81 emgs ...other than the shape, the only thing besides the floyd that's the same is the bridge pup. Its a whole different guitar. And itll sound like a shortscale M-ii, not like an LP special as the looks might suggest.
    sum41freak8733
    i tried the esp one but not the ltd one i really do hate the lightness of it though i would also like it becuase during gigs heavy guitars can be a pain untill you get used to them but for some reason i didnt care for this one i dont know what it is its just something about it
    franc0ph0bic
    this review wouldve been great if i didn't have to read every sentence 3 times to find out what you meant, maybe think about taking some 5th grade English.
    metal_666_man
    i tried this guitar out and i found noting special about...didnt really hear any special sound....in my opinion ive found jackson guitars to have good quality and sound especially the jackson kelley
    Tones
    The only thing similar to a les paul is the shape... Otherwise, they are totally different guitars.
    Aadieu
    The Full Thickness version of the Eclipse, with passive Seymours option, is actually very LP-ish in design....especially the Japan-market version, which unlike the Eclipse USA (stillmij, its a ForAmerica model npt by America) copies the cutaway and the 4-pot layout. It is, in fact, so close a copy their marketers decided not to sell it in America and Europe, for copyright reasons. Now the classic Eclipse I, with its bolton maple neck and thin mahogany slab body - thats a totally different design. Setneck Eclipse ii USA model - halfway inbetween them. Though the neck alone is pure genius and lightyears ahead of any profile Gibby ever cooked up. Sooooo good in fact that they intentionally do NOT let their LTD department copy it, not even Signatures and Deluxe 1000 models. (The 2004, afair, limited edition EC-500 model came close and was quite nice...too nice. So they cancelled it after like one or two years. Better than the Deluxes, I kid you not. Closest thing, by feel and sound, that LTD made to a real ESP Eclipse II. Management wasnt happy lol)
    Subliminal_Daze
    Sounds great. How's the action? Also, EMG's are all good and well in the realm of screaming output, but if you're more than just a shredder or metalhead then passive pickups are the way to go. Much more sensitive to the subtleties of the player's technique. To each their own, though. I'd just trade out for the duncan destroyer pickups (passive w/ ceramic magnets for high output) or the Iommi pickup from Gibson (same deal)
    nik_I
    peever wrote: The only thing similar to a les paul is the shape... Otherwise, they are totally different guitars. what are you talking about? other then the pickups and the tuners barely anything is different and yes its a les paul knockoff, BECAUSE ITS THE LES PAUL SHAPE dummy
    so wat it's a hell of a better guitar.