ESP finally gives us a glimpse into their new guitar models going into 2021. So far, the 2021 ESP lineup looks awesome, and inspired. Several new artist models litter the bunch, as well as some new takes on older designs. Lets check them out!
The 2021 ESP Lineup: New Artist Models, New Features, And Innovative Designs
ESP/LTD have been a huge company when it comes to guitars specifically built for Metal. ESP has a long roster of Metal artists like Steph Carpenter, James Hetfield, and newer artists like Gojira. The realm of affordable, Metal-focused guitars has been a booming business over the last decade and ESP has been a huge player.
The good news, is ESP seems to be expanding the Artist Model range, while adding more models to their standard range as well. These are all packed with high end features.
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This past year, we have seen some huge upgrades coming standard on ESP/LTD guitars. Many models come with stainless steel frets, and name brand hardware/pickups. The 2021 ESP lineup seems to be following suit, with standard features being upgraded even further.
ESP announced several new models earlier this year, with the promise of “more to come”. We are finally getting a look at some of the new models for the 2021 ESP lineup, and it looks like this is going to be a very good year!
LTD Signature Series Josh Middleton JM-II
Josh Middleton is finally getting his own signature guitar, after being an ESP artist for many years. Josh is known for his work with the band Architects and his own project, Sylosis. The JM-II is a beautiful guitar, and comes in a “Black Shadow Burst” Finish.
Other features include a set of Fishman Fluence Modern Pickups, a recessed Gotoh Bridge, and stainless steel frets. This guitar features a three-piece roasted maple neck with an extra thin U-shaped profile and bolt on construction.
Josh is a killer guitar player, and I’m glad to see him on the 2021 ESP Lineup!
The ESP/LTD MSV-1
Mike Schleibaum of DC-based melodic death metal band Darkest Hour has been an ESP artist for a very long time. This year he finally gets his own signature model, based on the ESP Arrow that Alexi Laiho is famous for using.
The MSV-1 may look a little sparse at first glance, but it is packed with features. The MSV-1 offers neck-thru-body construction, a mahogany body with maple cap, 24 extra-jumbo stainless steel frets, block inlays, Grover tuners, a Floyd Rose 1000 bridge, and a single EMG JH (James Hetfield signature) active pickup.
Currently, the MSV-1 only comes in Olympic White, which I think looks very classy!
LTD MAX-200 RPR
Max Cavalera needs no introduction. He was a founding member of the legendary Sepultura, and his other band Soulfly. Max has been an ESP artist for 20 years, and has many signature models under his belt. The Max 200 RPR is the newest incarnation.
Now available in Military Green Satin finish, this guitar features a basswood body, maple neck, and a set of high-output ESP Designed LH-150 humbucker pickups.
This is a more affordable approach to Max’s guitars, that have often been much more expensive. This would be a great guitar if you are into modifying your guitars, as it is pretty much a blank canvas!
The LTD Sparrowhawk
A Signature Series guitar for Bill Kelliher (Mastodon) that is not entirely new, as it has been in production for a while. But the 2021 ESP Lineup is giving the Sparrowhawk a few tweaks.
The Sparrowhawk is now being offered with Seymour Duncan Distortion set w/ custom covers and is available in a Gloss Black finish. The Sparrowhawk’s gold hardware ties everything together. Bill likes to switch things up with his rig, and his guitar is a reflection of that.
The original Sparrowhawk is still available in other finishes, and pickup combos.
The New EX Black Metal
What can we say about the Black metal series? They are awesome, sparse, and primed for Metal. The 2021 ESP Lineup sees the addition of the popular EX model.
This guitar features an all-black design theme, set-thru construction, 22 extra-jumbo stainless steel frets, a Macassar ebony fingerboard with no inlays and glow-in-the-dark side markers, a TonePros locking bridge and tailpiece, and a single EMG 81 pickup (with special black logo).
The New Arctic Metal Series
ESP had huge success with last years Black Metal series. These were stripped down Metal machines, ready to shred. This year, we see that concept expanded on due to customer demand for a white finished version.
“For the 2021 ESP Lineup, we’ve taken the same concept and flipped the color theme from the darkest of blacks to the coldest of frozen wastelands with the new LTD Arctic Metal Series. We’re launching this series with five new guitar models: the Arrow-NT Arctic Metal, the EC Arctic Metal, the M-HT Arctic Metal, the M-7BHT Arctic Metal, and the Phoenix Arctic Metal.”
The Arctic Metal Series has all the same spartan design choices that made the Black Metal Series so popular, with a few upgrades.
All Arctic Metal Series guitars have Snow White Satin finishes with stainless steel frets, a Macassar ebony fingerboard with no inlays and glow-in-the-dark side markers, and black hardware. They all include a single aggressive-sounding EMG 81TW pickup with a push-pull control for coil splitting.
Brand New Evertune Models
The Evertune bridge has become extremely popular over the last few years, and it is very exciting to see so many production model guitars coming with Evertune as a standard feature. Evertune is a great feature if you are a touring musician, or a studio musician. You cannot get your guitar to go out of tune, no matter what the conditions are.
“In this day where every thing is digital and robotic, it is nice to know that EverTune relies only on Physics and springs. It’s a dependable maintenance-free solution for people who like to play hard and sound perfect, every note.”
First up, we have the H-1000B 8 string guitar. The H-1008 Baritone EverTune is an absolute beast of a guitar, with eight strings, 27” baritone scale, 24 extra-jumbo stainless steel frets, the innovative EverTune constant tension bridge, and a set of EMG 85-8H and EMG 81-8H active pickups for brutally aggressive tones.
The second addition is the gorgeous TE-1000, which blends a classic shape with modern features. The LTD Deluxe TE-1000 EverTune is available in a great-looking Charcoal Metallic Satin finish, and has set-thru construction at 25.5” scale. This guitar includes 24 extra-jumbo stainless steel frets, an EverTune bridge, and a set of EMG 60-RTW (with coil splitting) and EMG 81 active pickups.
If you have yet to try out EverTune, then this is a great time to try it out!
2021 ESP Lineup: There’s A Lot To Look Forward To!
On top of all of these models, there are still some “secret” models that are yet to come. They are teasing an Anniversary Model, and another potential signature guitar. The more, the merrier!
Metal guitar designs have some stiff competition this year, and ESP has stepped up to the plate. It’s nice to see what many people would call “premium features” become the new standard for manufacturers. Things like stainless frets and name brand hardware make a huge difference.
These are guitars that are ready for anything, right out of the box. As I have said before, for people like me… this is ideal.
I don’t like to field-strip my guitar and do tons of upgrades anymore. That ship has sailed for me and I would rather have a great instrument from day one. The 2021 ESP lineup seems to understand this, and more companies have been doing the same, like Schecter and Solar.
I honestly think we are living in the “Golden Age” of guitar. You get more features for the money than ever before. More companies are listening to their customers, and it shows! Head over to ESP Guitars and check out the full range.
When will the new 2021 ESP Lineup be released?
All 2021 models will be available after January 2021.
What is the price for the New Josh Middleton ESP/LTD guitar?
No price has been released yet. But comparable models run between $1099-$1299.
Do any of the new 2021 ESP Lineup guitars come with a case?
No. Case sold separately.