Electric Sound Products, known as ESP, began in Tokyo Japan in 1975 as a corporation that supplied custom substitute parts for electric guitars. Nonetheless, the first ESP guitar wasn’t constructed until 1976. ESP Guitars and replacement components continued to be sold solely in Japan for nearly 10 years prior to moving into the U.S. marketplace. In 1983 their replacement accessories ended up being made obtainable in the U.S.. At last, in 1984 their electric guitars made their American arrival.
In 1984 – 1985 ESP Guitars were attracting some attention from remarkable musicians including Bruce Kulick (Kiss), Ronnie Wood (The Rolling Stones) and Vernon Reid (Living Colour).
The next important name to encounter ESP Guitars was George Lynch of Dokken, whilst shopping for guitar components as he was on tour in Japan. When George discovered that ESP made custom electric guitars, the prototype “Kamikaze” was crafted for him. The Kamikaze was the original signature model to be made.
Soon after, other guitarists started to take notice of ESP and began playing their guitars in the late 1980’s. Kirk Hammett and James Hetfield of Metallica were 2 of the superior names.
In fact, talking about James Hetfield, an ESP electric guitar that he used during Metallica originally began to turn into widespread, got the ESP Company into some legal issues. The electric guitar he played, called the EXP, was a reproduction of the Gibson Explorer. Even though guitar companies were selling reproductions of their guitars for years, Gibson chose to sue ESP Guitars. The craftsmanship of the EXP guitar was so excellent that people were buying them up and this was allegedly slicing into the revenue of Gibson’s guitars. In the end, ESP lost the lawsuit and altered their design to the now known ‘EX’ design.
In mid 2002, ESP sales started to produce at a rapid rate making them one of the fastest developing companies at that period. This increase in sales was directly linked to Fender Guitars buying out Jackson Guitars. Jackson was the company that ESP was competing with back in the 1980’s and 90’s the buy-out of Jackson Guitars, most of the big profile musicians jumped ship and went over to ESP. Players like Dave Mustaine of Megadeth, discovered it was an easy transition to change over to ESP Guitars due to the prime quality and similar thrash-metal aggresive designs.
ESP guitars are still extremely popular today. During the 08 Winter NAMM show, ESP Guitars launched over fifty all-new guitar and bass models. In addition they have an excellent number of high profile guitar players on their roster including Kirk Hammett and James Hetfield of Metallica, Wayne Static of Static-X, Alexi Laiho Children of Bodom, Will Adler of Lamb of God, Ron Wood, George Lynch, and the latest member, Richie Sambora of Bon Jovi. With the good quality that ESP manufacture, its a no-brainer to know they’re going to be around for several more years to come.