ESP has just launched its 2024 range of guitars, and its single-humbucker Eclipse flat-top models are quick to stand out from the pack. The single-cutaway designs feature ESP-exclusive Seymour Duncan pickups and are built “for players seeking the most hardcore performances imaginable”. The drop comes on the eve of NAMM 2024.
There are four guitars in question here, three comprising the EC-01FT range and one EC-201FT. These flat-top guitars look like simple and streamlined builds on the surface, but the Japanese luthier has packed them with a host of special features.
The range benefits from a minimalist kit-out, which adds in only the bare essentials so that “there’s nothing in the way” of the riffs and lead lines it’s been built to play. As such, you’re left with just a bridge humbucker and single volume pot which, apart from its fixed bridge and angular pickguard, are the only things found on the body.
They consist of a mahogany-centric build, with all these guitars featuring mahogany bodies and three-piece mahogany necks. They pack a 24.75” scale length, 350mm fretboard radius with 43mm nut width and thin U-shaped neck contour.
When it comes to the fretboards, ESP has opted for Macassar ebony for the EC-01FTs, whilst the EC-201FT offers some diversity with a gorgeous roasted jatoba fretboard. A wood perhaps more accustomed to acoustic builds, it is known for its bright top-end, round midrange and clarity when used for fretboards.
The EC-01FT offers a set-thru neck, 22 extra-jumbo stainless steel frets, a recessed Tune-O-Matic string-thru bridge and LTD locking tuners. In the other corner, the more affordable EC-201F is a set neck, with 22 extra-jumbo frets and string-thru Tune-O-Matic bridge with standard LTD tuners. Both ranges are completed with pearloid block inlays.
The single humbucker set-up, however, is where much of the intrigue lies, with the ESP-exclusive Seymour Duncan Custom 14 the weapon of choice for the EC-01FT. Designed specifically for these models, the pickup delivers chimey cleans and “crushing modern chugging and articulate, angular rhythm lines” in equal measure.
The push-pull control of the volume knob allows players to switch up the pickup’s personality. The single-coil channelling result is what ESP is calling “the most wide-ranging single coil bridge territory we've ever offered”.
The EC-201FT, meanwhile features an own-brand ESP LH-150B, but still features the push/pull split on the master volume.
Aesthetically, there are three EC-01FT finishes to choose between. If the sleek black gloss isn’t to your liking, the woody Vintage Burst or bright Olympic White may just be. The EC-201FT, meanwhile, comes with a See-Thru Black Cherry finish or just black.
The EC-01FT is available to preorder for $1,099, while the EC-201FT is $499.
The new guitars come part of ESP’s newly announced 2024 range. One of the crown jewels of the release is its latest “heavy, thick and unique” signature with Mastodon riff-slinger Bill Kelliher, which is the Silverburst Royal Shiva guitar he’s been spotted putting through its paces on recent tours.
For more information on the new single-humbucker guitars, head to ESP Guitars.
To stay in the loop with all gear releases ahead of NAMM 2024, head over to our guide to the latest NAMM 2024 news.