Horizon NT-II Review

manufacturer: ESP date: 11/15/2012 category: Electric Guitars
ESP: Horizon NT-II
A superstrat with 24 frets, maple neck-thru (and fast as anything), mahogany body, see-through blue finish a la PRS complete with carved quilt maple top.
 Sound: 10
 Overall Impression: 9.5
 Reliability & Durability: 10
 Action, Fit & Finish: 8.5
 Features: 9
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 Reviewer rating:
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reviews (2) pictures (2) 20 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 9.6
Horizon NT-II Reviewed by: unregistered, on november 15, 2012
3 of 3 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 1400

Purchased from: Samash.com

Features: I got this guitar brand new a week ago, so it's a 2010. It's a Japanese ESP, so you know the construction is going to be good. A superstrat with 24 frets, maple neck-thru (and fast as anything), mahogany body, see-through blue finish a la PRS complete with carved quilt maple top. Gotoh tune-o-matic bridge with string-thru in place of a stop-tail. It's one of the few ESPs without active EMGs. It has a Seymour Duncan JB (bridge) and 59 (neck), 1 volume, 1 tone, push-push volume pot for coil tap, 3 way toggle switch. Locking Gotoh Magnum tuners. Came with the truss-adjustment tool. Didn't come with a case, but I bought one. Rated 8 for no case, and could have had a tonepros bridge. All in all, much better features on a Standard model than you'd get from any other well known company. // 8

Sound: I write and play live in a post-hardcore/progressive group. The Horizon is perfect for my style. It's big, crunchy, and has consistent tone all along the fretboard. The JB in the bridge can get great metal tones for detuned breakdowns, smooth saturated lead sounds (although the overtones get a little more wild than on my DiMarzio equipped axes), pristine harmonics and roaring power-chords. I'm not so sold on the JB in the neck. It's a bit too crunchy for a neck pickup in my opinion. I can't get the smooth articulate sweeping sound I do with Satriani's FRED (in the neck of my SG) and Vai's Evo-Neck (in my strat). I may Switch it out for a Jazz, or a DiMarzio PAF. The coil tap in the bridge position is bright and spanky. Not as cutting as a real Strat bridge SC, but close enough. The neck position, however, is great. Nearly perfect SRV tone. Never would have expected that out of a shredder guitar. 10 for versatility and quality. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: The great thing about this guitar's setup is the neck-thru. I ordered it from an online dealer and was shocked and appalled to find that they were shipping it from their Florida location all the way to Washington state. But when I got it, the action was perfect. It was even nearly in tune. All thanks to the best thing since humbucker pickups; neck-thru construction. I made absolutely no adjustments to the pickups or anything else before playing. It was as if the guitar had been pampered by a previous owner. The top is a sight to see. The quilt is beautiful, and perfectly bookmatched. I was worried about ordering one of these online, as I had seen a lot of tops I didn't like on this guitar (like the one on the ESP website...eww...). This one looks like the tops you see on custom-shop guitars. No flaws at all. // 10

Reliability & Durability: This guitar is a high-end axe. It has high end hardware. High end electronics. High end craftsmanship. It'll hold up to what you need it to. If I was going to gig without a backup, this would be the guitar I'd use. It restrings faster than any guitar I know, thanks to the gotoh magnums. I've only had the guitar for a week, so I don't know about the finish, but I expect it to last a long time. // 10

Overall Impression: I play prog rock/metal, post hardcore, hardcore punk, ska, reggae, classic rock, blues, and jazz. I've been playing in bands for 6 years, and have owned a lot of Fenders and Gibsons in that time. This guitar is the best of both of those worlds. If this stick were stolen, I'd buy it again, but of course I'd have to do something terrible to the thief first. I think the best thing about this guitar sound-wise is the neck-thru construction. It really makes the guitar. I considered Ibanez S prestige, custom Warmoth guitars, ESP Eclipses, and others. This stick just had the best features for the best value, and an awesome look. Metallica or other ESP endorsers had nothing to do with my decision. // 10

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overall: 9.2
Horizon NT-II Reviewed by: unregistered, on november 15, 2012
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: £ 1000

Purchased from: Gak.co.uk

Features: This is a 2011 model made in Japan ESP Horizon NT 2(II). It features a 25.5" scale length, thin you shaped maple neck with an immaculate Ebony fretboard sporting 24 extra jumbo frets, with gotoh magnum lock tuners on ESP's signature pointed Headstock. As for the body its "super strat" solid mahogany body with a flamed maple arch top. I chose the Dark Brown Sunburst Finish and it is probably the best finish for this particular guitar in my opinion. The guitar is a string thru design which I believe adds to the sustain of the guitar. I chose the Seymour Duncan pickup set for this guitar which I believe is the SH-1N 59 model in the neck and the SH-4 JB in the bridge. 3 way pickup selector, A master tone and a master volume control, on this particular version of the guitar the volume pot pops up to split the coils of both pickups, this is NOT featured on the EMG version. I don't know if it was purely because it bought this guitar from gak.co.uk but I received a ESP case for the guitar with nothing more than an ESP label and a manual for changing strings because lets face it Gotoh's magnum lock tuners are a fiddle to change strings with, but get the job done. The overall spread of options possibilities and high end components on this particular guitar are great. // 10

Sound: I Bought this guitar initially intending to put it in drop a# to play The Ghost Inside, Parkway Drive etc. But after receiving it I was amazed by the tone I was getting, this guitar I believe can suit any genre, I Tuned it down a half step from its E Standard initial set-up and started playing Guns N Roses, Extreme, Van Halen and it did them all, even with utilising the coil tap feature I was doing Jimi Hendrix and Stevie Ray Vaughan. At this point I felt it wouldn't do the guitar justice tuning it down so low, so the lowest it goes now is drop c# which isn't very often, its more or less in D# Standard all the time now and I love it, no hum at all. I should also mention I'm playing this guitar through a Bugera 6262 through an Orange 2x12 cab with Celestion V30 speakers, Boss NS2, SD1 a Mxr 6 Band EQ and a MXR Micro Chorus (just to name all my pedals). Overall getting the guitar was a good shock, and it got me into rock again, it just screams tone! // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: The set-up from Gak was great, the action was low with no fret buzz, and the pickups were adjusted fine, no complaints. Right here's where my review might turn a bit sour, For Some reason the coil tap Switch will not stay down in the hum bucking position I have tried everything, adjusting it, Switch cleaner even a bit of blue tac at one point, I have now come to the conclusion that I need a new Switch which is annoying because apart from this the guitar is flawless, Anyways apart from that the finish is top quality and the guitar feels great so overall I'm giving it a 7, it would be a 10 if not for the Switch which is probably a one off. // 7

Reliability & Durability: I'm fairly certain this guitar would withstand gigging but I'm not in the position to gig at the moment as my last band broke up. Hardware seems solid. I never gig without a back up. Overall everything is as good as I could expect it to be. // 10

Overall Impression: I play practically every genre you could think of, rock, hard rock, metal (including all of the "cores"), Djent, Blues and even some jazz. And I'm fairly certain this guitar could do everything, apart from some of the ridiculously low tuned extreme high gain stuff (Chelsea grin being one example). I have been playing roughly about 4.5 years and think I'm a pretty good player. I own a Bugera 6262, Orange 2x12 cab (Celestion V30's), Boss NS2 & SD1, MXR 6 Band EE & Micro Chorus and a TC Electronics Poly Tune guitar tuner, as for guitars I have a ESP Ltd EC 1000 (see thru cherry finish), Jackson DKMG, Tangle Wood Acoustic that I got from my uncle when I started playing which I think he bought in the 1980's, as well as a Gibson Les Paul 2009 Traditional in the Heritage cherry finish (which has now been sold, I really didn't like it). If it was stolen or lost I would definitely get another. Overall impression of the guitar? Best guitar I have ever owned it blows my Les Paul out of the water which is shocking because the Les Paul was 800 more and you get half of the features compared to the ESP. I couldn't be happier with this guitar it is just perfect. However due to the coil split Switch it knocks a point off. // 9

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