ESP USA Horizon II

ESP updates the USA made Horizon II electric guitar for 2015, now featuring a sharper six-a-side headstock shape.

ESP USA Horizon II

This guitar is part of the company's new line up of instruments for 2015, and is included with their 40th Anniversary celebration releases. It comes in three different finishes that feature either EMG or Seymour Duncan pickups.

The ESP USA line started in 2013 and has since been producing the company's top-of-the-line instruments. They are meant challenge the other USA made guitars from other manufacturers and are aimed at a the upper tier market in terms of quality, material and pricing. Now ESP is raising the bar yet again, introducing improvements into their USA line for 2015.

The ESP USA Horizon II is one of the instruments that has been updated for 2015, and it is the model that had the biggest cosmetic change. The most prominent change is the headstock, which replaced the curved three-a-side headstock of last year with a more angular six-a-side shape.

To justify its premium price tag, the company gave this guitar a nicely contoured maple top, which is paired with a mahogany body. The body is carved into a double cutaway contoured superstrat shape that allows for easy access to the upper frets. You can choose between three finishes, two of which are translucent finishes (Vintage Natural, and See Thru Black Sunburst) that come with hand-picked quilted maple tops, while the third one is a more straightforward solid (Sapphire Black Metallic) finish.

Another interesting feature of this guitar is its "Set-Thru-Neck" construction, which means that more of the neck is set into the body. This design improves structural strength and allows for a thinner more elegant sculpt at the neck joint, resulting in improved playability and accessibility of the upper frets.

The guitar has a maple neck with ebony fretboard, and comes with the familiar 25.5" scale length. As expected from ESP, the neck is shred friendly with a fretboard radius of 12" and a thin U profile. The nut width is 1.654" and it comes with 24 extra jumbo frets. It has a distinct looking set of fretmarkers including a big ESP USA logo at the 12th fret.

ESP wants to cater to both passive and active pickup players, so you can pick between a Seymour Duncan SH-16/SH-2 passive configuration or an EMG Metalworks 57/66 active pickup set. The pickups are wired to a traditional control setup that includes a 3-way pickup selector, a volume knob and a tone knob. Ideally, the Seymour Duncan set would be more well rounded and versatile, while the EMG set is for modern rock and metal players, but ofcourse you can do with them as you please.

Other hardware features include Sperzel Locking tuners, Tonepros Locking TOM Bridge, Schaller Straplocks, and the guitar comes with a string-thru-body design.

I've seen the ESP USA Horizon II retailing online for around $4300. Head over to ESP Guitars for more information.

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