Gear talk for the GAS-afflicted.

ESP Guitars to axe the WHOLE of the Standard Series?!



I’d heard whispered rumours, and I didn’t know when I’d be able to confirm… but it looks like the news is out on the web. 

ESP Guitars are going to stop producing the Standard Series (or Export Series as it is sometimes called).

Epsylon on posted this from a French retailer:


Dear friends, an important message for our ESP clients.In January 2013, ESP is gonna take a serious turn. Indeed, the whole export catalog currently availableElectric Sound Products will disappear almost completely. Only 16 models (colors included) will remain. A few Eclipse, Horizon, HRF, NT7, M-II and nothing more.As a consequence, if you wish to order one of the currently available models, you’ll have to do it before the beginning of December 2012. After that, it won’t be possible anymore.Additionaly, the “semi-custom” orders (small changes on Standard Series) cannot be made anymore, starting immediatly. No more color changes, pickup, hardware or anything. The slightest modification requires a custom shop quote.Now you know !
Additionally : the signature series will disappear. The signature models will only be available through the custom shop starting January 2013.

Now, you’re asking yourself: what the actual fuck?!!?

Here’s the thing – in Japan, all the ESP guitars are done through the Custom Shop. The Original Series are handmade in small batches, while Custom Shop instruments are, well, one-off customs.

The rest of the world gets the Standard Series, with the option of small batches with small spec changes.

Apparently, Japanese dealers have been getting unhappy about the backlog in production due to Standard Series guitars, in part due to these small production runs which take more time to setup for tooling etc.

I’ve also heard that ESP feel that they want to go back to their Custom Shop heritage, and thus axing the standard production line and bring in the LTD Elite line to fill that void seems to be the plan.

Further info from the BMusic guys here:

PS – just to add some context, I have heard this news from my own local dealers in Australasia – so I’m not going on unsubstantiated internet rumours. Unfortunately though they haven’t released official statements so I couldn’t quote them directly.

Is this a good business decision long term? I don’t know. And nothing official has been announced yet – but maybe it’s time to buy that ESP you always wanted…

What’s your take on the situation?



Edit: Here’s more info, though this is unsubstantiated at this time.


A few Horizon NT-II, FR-II, Eclipse MIJ models remain, but with very few options left

Horizon FR27 remains

All the other models are gone like the SV-II, V-II, Phoenix, Viper, M1-NTB (M-II remains)”

Pretty much what I thought was going to happen. The Horizon 27 is staying, which is surprising, but I am VERY happy with that decision. The Horizon FR-27 is an awesome guitar. No surprise the SV-II, V-II, ect are gone.

Well the Horizon FR-7 and NT-7 are staying, that is good news.

Full List from Zimbloth-

Eclipse II FR: BK
Horizon FR-II: RDB, STR
Horizon NT-II: DBSB
Horizon 27FR: BK
Horizon HRF: BK
Horizon NT-7: BK
Horizon FR-7: BK
M-II Maple: BK



  1. […] ESP Guitars to axe the WHOLE of the Standard Series?! | Six-String Samurai Check us on FB for mehtulz m/ […]

  2. Pedrin says:

    Glad they keep the horizon fr7. There aren’t much options out there when it comes to high end 7 string guitars with floyd rose…

  3. […] recently there was uproar in the guitar community when we heard rumours that ESP were discontinuing the ENTIRE Standard Series, to concentrate on Custom Shop creations. Fortunately, this turned out to be not entirely true […]

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