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ESP Eclipse II

A modern take on one of the most famous classics. The ESP Eclipse II is a Japanese made, all mahogany, set neck guitar (with optional quilted maple top) that comes equiped either with two EMG 81's, or a Seymour Duncan JB and '59 set. The cosmo black hardware is all Gotoh; locking tuners and Tunematic bridge with an LP style tailpiece; and you get either 2 Vol. 2 Tone,...

Price: $691 to $1599 at 11 stores
Searched ESP Eclipse II in Reviews


Not your average Les Paul Copy... featured

Sound This is what won this guitar over for me. The neck joint is superb and a great combination of woods mean this guitar sounds full and you really hear a lot of depth from the mahogany. I use two Seymour Duncan '59s and this is the only one of my guitars which produces a really powerful mid range which is great for your average rock'n'roll sound as well as taking on the modern metal likes of bands like Lamb of God.

Mine came standard with EMGs, which I'm not a big fan of for reasons I won't go into. If you like the sound of EMGs, you'll like the sound of this guitar. While I had the EMGs I found the guitar handled drop tunings well, and gave a deep, balanced sound; no shrill top end or overpowering bass. If I were ever going to play in a band that used drop C, I'd put the EMGs back in without hesitation, but then it would be soley a metal guitar.

With the '59s, the sound is rich and use this is my go-to guitar for light rock sounds, blues and cleans. I don't use effects, but I use a Mesa Roadster, which obviously has plenty of gain on tap - if you're considering this guitar and have a high gain amp, I strongly recommend trying some PAF style pickups. I've tried a JB in this guitar and I felt I lost that richness that one would tend to want from an LP style guitar - i.e. if you're buying the guitar purely for the aesthetic, brand loyalty or playability and don't want to sound like an LP (not necessarily a Gibson, but a big lump of mahogany), the JB makes the sound brighter and thinner, as well as the obvious increase in output.

Action, Fit, & Finish The setup with this guitar was a bit disastrous. It wasn't the end of the world, and the fundamentals were set (truss rod etc), but the EMGs were a mile from the strings when they should be as close as possible, and the action made it play more like a harp. Why did I buy it? I played the Willie Adler signature that the shop had set up... The quality on this guitar isn't quite perfect, but you really get what you pay for. It's not bad by any means, but there are tiny little things that just make you wish they'd spent more time on it. The finish is very hard but apparently more brittle than my other guitars, there's not a scratch on my guitar but watch those points, because it'll chip. Put it this way, I have a Jackson rhoads with all the points fully in tact...

I have the quilted maple top. This alone makes you forget all those little things. I've had so many compliments on the top, because it looks great, photos on the internet do it no justice. I've seen PRS quilted tops that aren't even in this league.

The machine heads... Oh, the machine heads. Locking tuners are supposed to save you time, but the Gotoh locking tuners (with the lock mechanism on the front) are a nightmare. You're meant to be able to pull the string through tight and turn the peg and it self tightens while tuning - no it doesn't. It takes forever to get a string on or off because it takes so long to wind the peg that much and the strings slip. Thankfully I had a spare set of Sperzels. I've also changed the hardware to black. I have very dry hands and still the nickel came off the cosmo black hardware within months, very disappointing.

The Eclipse as it comes (price considered) is a 3.5-4 star guitar for this, but as a basis for modification into a Super LP, 4.5-5.

Reliability & Durability Built like a tank, but the finish seems quite brittle. Worry more about chipping the paint than scratching it. The finish on the hardware is really bad, that lasted a couple of months just from regular playing, I changed it off for black Gotoh hardware. I'm yet to have a problem with the Seymour Duncan pickups, CTS pots or Sperzel tuners. I wouldn't gig this without a backup because if I had the gotoh tuners, it'd take me the whole gig to change a string if I broke one, so I'd have to have a spare.

Customer Support ESP UK are a nice bunch of guys, helpful, and pretty laid back.

Liked about it The quilted maple top is unbelievable, this guitar has a slightly thinner neck than an LP so love the playability (this was why I didn't buy a Gibson) and the overall construction (neck joint etc) makes this guitar sound really full and rich.

Didn't like Horrible machine heads, annoying cosmo black hardware (which I generally like, but my 20 year old Ibanez still has most of it's cosmo finish) and the clearcoat makes me nervous.

Overall satisfaction:

By Fun111
Mar 12, 2010
Last updated: August 08, 2010
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