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Difference Between LTD and ESP

LTD vs ESP

ESP and LTD are the names of a guitar company which makes electric guitars. They are the same company with the only difference being the lines they have created. ESP is the custom guitar line which is upscale, and LTD is the cheaper Standard Series line which is more affordable.

ESP
“ESP” stands for “Electric Sound Products.” It is the name of an electric guitar company which is located in North Hollywood, California. The company is Japanese owned but America based. ESP started in Tokyo in 1975 as a company which produced replacement parts for custom guitars and was introduced in America in 1983.

Once introduced in the U.S. as a replacement parts company, it started branching out as a company which started producing custom guitars for artists based in New York like Page Hamilton, Ronnie Wood, etc. in 1984-1985. Other than the custom guitars ESP developed, it also produced a series called the 400 Series which was distributed all over the U.S. as the first production line.

ESP started producing two different lines, the Signature Series as well as the Standard Series line. Both productions started between the years 1990-1992. By this time, the company stopped making replacement parts for custom guitars and focused completely on the production of its own series. The cost of bringing the Japanese-made guitars to the U.S. was very high. Thus, after the introduction of the LTD Series, ESP discontinued selling Japanese handcrafted models in the U.S. except for the artist signature line which was sold at exorbitant prices and primarily purchased by hard rock and metal players. In all, there is a series of 41 Signature guitars.

LTD
LTD was started in 1995 so that the high-quality guitars could be sold as a more affordable product. These guitars were cheaper and more affordable because the hardware used and the material used for their production was cheaper than the Signature line.
Many different Standard LTD models have been produced since the introduction of the Standard Series. One of the series, the 100 Series LTDs, is made in Korea, and the 401 Series is produced in Indonesia.

Summary:

1.ESP and LTD are the names of a guitar company which makes electric guitars. They are the same company with their only difference being the lines they have created. ESP is the custom guitar line which is upscale and LTD is the cheaper Standard Series line which is more affordable.
2.ESP started in Tokyo in 1975 as a company which produced replacements parts for custom guitars and was introduced in America In 1983; LTD was started in 1995.
3.ESP guitars are still handcrafted in Japan; Standard LTD models are made in Korea, Indonesia, etc.


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7 Comments

  1. Just purchased a 2008 ESP LTD EC-1000 Deluxe and I love it. Not sure what the hardware exactly is, but so far so good. It’s a beautiful finished and trimmed guitar. Evidently Koreans are putting out a descent product. The Seymour Duncan JB/59 Pickups are awesome!

  2. Can you repaint a LTD AP Bass?

    Les

  3. I have theec1000m ltd out of my collection it is one of favorites to play if this is lower end i beg to differ

  4. So, I recently purchased s solid black KH-602 which is a neck through solid body design then, swapped the pickups out for EMG 81’s from the bone crushers (). Installed an original Floyd Rose in place of the Floyd Rose 1000 tremolo. Then finally, I changed the LTD tuning pegs out for Gotoh locking tuners. This thing sounds real good. The only difference I can think of between my newly created & most cherished LTD-EMON & the ESP version is the neck radius. ESP is 305mm where the LTD is 350mm. Really not much of a difference at all. I still can’t believe I own one of these things. Sometimes I just stare at this beauty as it hangs gracefully on my wall.

  5. I’ve been playing guitar and bass for over 48 years, started playing in bands 11 years old in Michigan with my father then with friends and other musicians along the way. Became first chair bassist in high school and started teaching guitar and bass in high school up untill the mid 90s. I have lived a lot of places between Queens New York, San Francisco & Daly City California, Tampa Florida, Nashville Tennessee and Ft. Wayne Indiana as well so I’ve seen and played a countless number of low to high end instruments as I own about 30 guitars and basses myself and recently purchased an ESP LTD B-205 see-through black 5 string bass with the (roasted jatoba fretboard)and was totally astonished by the craftsmanship, play ability, sound versatility, over all charismatic attributes as well as cosmetic embellishments all for while under $600 as I can only wonder how in the hell can the make an instrument so fine for that price but I am truly honored to say the least that I purchased the instrument.

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