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ESP Help/Info

Question

I just picked up an ESP tele via a Craigslist trade deal, and was hoping to learn more about it.  Info out there is sketchy, and so I just wondered if anyone here has experience/knowledge of these?

Serial is 207XX with ESP embossed neck plate, and neck pocket has a faded "NY" written in it.  Bridge is embossed with "ESP" but looks different than most I've seen from 90s era - traditional plate w/vintage style brass saddles.  Looks like the tuners were originally vintage style Kluson, but replaced with a set of Rotomatics.  No markings at all on the neck heel.  Not sure whether they are replacements, but current pickups are a set of Duncans - STR-1 and STL-1.

I was thinking this might be mid-90s Japan market model, given the headstock shape and the previous owner's mention that he bought it in Japan. I've read that some of the earlier ESPs assembled at 48th St had "NY" markings and that just got me curious about its origins.

Thanks

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Edited by chromium
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Very cool piece, love double bound teles!

 

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Didn't they come through St. Louis Music as distributor?  I had a couple of the Strats and they were really great guitars.  The pickups were really good too.

That's all I have...

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Thanks guys- hard to find info on these, and just trying to learn more about 'em. Traded a more-prevalent 400 Series strat for this one, and happy that deal worked out- more of a tele guy, and it plays great. Action was ridicuously high, but almost have it dialed in perfectly. One of these days, I might even learn how to get the neck shim thickness right on the first shot... :)

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Received a helpful message from Velorush (Thank you!!!!!).  Despite digging around the ESP forum, I hadn't come across this info.  Sharing it back here in case any others might benefit from it in future searches.

Quote

I've searched the internet but was unable to find any really good data regarding the ESP 400 Series, so I searched thru my extensive collection of old Guitar Player & Guitar World magazines.
Here's what I found.

There were 2 batches: The 400 Series, and The Traditional Series.
ESP (Electric Sound Products) 400 Series guitars were manufactured in Japan during the 1980’s.
The 400 Series were named for their suggested list price: $400.00.
They made excellent copies of vintage Stratocasters, Telecasters, Jazz, and Precision basses.

The earlier batch of 6-string (400 Series) guitars had:
Black & gold ESP decal on the headstock.
21 frets.
ESP stamped on the saddles.
The headstock had a ‘rounder’ profile than the later models.

The later models had:
Solid black ESP decal.
22 frets.
Blank (non-stamped) saddles.
The headstock had a ‘sharper’ look/shape.

The Fender copies might not have been produced beyond 1987-1988.
There is no evidence that they were manufactured in the 1990’s.
The first batch (of strats) was:
S454 - 2-tone sunburst w/maple neck & single-ply pickguard.
S465 - 3-tone sunburst w/rosewood neck & 3-ply ‘green’ pickguard*.

Telecasters were: T453 (blonde, maple board), T463 (3-tone sunburst w/rosewood board). Precision basses: P457 (2-tone, maple) and P464 (3-tone, rosewood): and the J464 Jazz bass (3-tone, rosewood.). The S454 and T453 had one-piece ‘V’-shaped necks. The later Traditional Series had ‘U’-shaped necks. Other standard (no extra charge), appropriate-vintage ‘Custom Colors’ offered were: Black, Olympic White, Lake Placid Blue, Surf Green, Candy Apple Red, etc., and J464’s in Metallic blue or red w/matching headstocks. Prices around 1986 were $495.00 for guitars and $550.00 for basses.
Double-bound ‘Tele Custom’ bodies cost an extra $75.00. They all featured period hardware, vintage replica bridges and saddles. They feel, play, and sound like the real things, and aside from the headstock shape, the only noticeable difference from a vintage Fender was an extra fret, 22 instead of 21. Locking tremolos, locking nuts, and Humbucking pickups were neither standard, nor optional, on the 400 Series models.

 

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