Here’s the next instalment of my history of gear acquisitions. Interestingly, 2015 was a somewhat “productive’ year as I actually bought *KOFF* seven *KOFF* guitars then. This is the second guitar of 2015, preceding the purchase of マミマスター. Enjoy!

ESP has a series of Les Paul-styled guitars called the Eclipse (which interestingly started as a Tele-shaped guitar) for some time now, but due to its similarity (not a facsimile, though) to the Gibson Les Paul, ESP for some years had modified the Eclipse’s specs a tad – a shallower cutaway and just three control knobs instead of the usual four. I prefer the older version of the Eclipse, and a couple of them on eBay caught my eye 5 years ago. I can’t remember much why I chose this one but here she is:

This is an Eclipse 1 CTM[1] that had a serial number that began with SS05xxxx indicating that this was made in 2005[2] at the ESP Standard (non-custom shop) factory in Saitama. Finished in vintage black, she looks a bit worn and I have a feeling she was kept in the attic/cupboard for some time as the plush interior of the hard case (genuine ESP) had a smell to it.

She came with EMG pickups (81 at the bridge, 60 at the neck) and while there was nothing wrong with them, I had planned for an upgrade with the EMG “Het” Set. Just because I am a fan, and here’s what Jaymz has to say about these pups:

The “Het” Set arrived from the US a month later following which I traipsed over the Peaks to get her set up and rewired by Steve Robinson.

One thing I hadn’t considered when buying the new pups were the pots – which were available as either a long or short (for Strat-styled guitars) shaft. The CTM comes in either as a full or non-full thickness version, where a full thickness model is indicated by the name CTM (FT), and, more obviously, by eyeballing the guitar! The pups had long shafts which meant the volume and tone knobs stick out (slightly more than) a tad, but I had to live with it. I have to admit that wasn’t made clear in the description on eBay but I guess any EMG lover worth his/her salt should know. Lesson learnt!

Another thing to add about her is that the Eclipse label on the headstock is worn out a shade. Come to think of it now this was apparent in the eBay description but I was happy to choose this over the other one for reasons I can’t remember.

Playability was excellent. “Easy” to play as a Les Paul but then again I’ve never had any issues with any ESP/LTD guitars I own. Despite the mahogany body, the half thickness meant this was light and would do well in my *koff* later years[3]. Staying in tune is never an issue in ESP as they almost always have locking tuners installed – Sperzels were installed on her. Just to reiterate, there was nothing wrong with the original 81/60 set but the “Het” Set sounded more natural yet remaining tight. I already have[4] an ESP with an 81/60 set up so this adds some tonal variety to the arsenal.

I’ve been hankering to do a cover (of a cover) for some time now, but have a look/listen to her after the full set up and pickup change. No, this is not the cover I intended lol, so please use headphones as it’s NSFW/K/GP[5]:

I named her ASAMI-chan 「あさみちゃん」. A lovely cup of coffee brewed in a café in Omotesando, but I digress.

BODY Mahogany with Custom Binding/Maple Top
NECK Mahogany with Custom Binding
SCALE 24.75″
TUNERS Sperzel Locking Tuners
BRIDGE Gotoh Tune-o-Matic
CONTROL 2 Volume, 2 Tone, 3-way toggle switch
COLOUR Vintage Black

[1]CTM – custom traditional model.
[2]True for ESP guitars made before 2015.
[3]Which is now.
[4]At the time or writing but not when I bought this Eclipse. Post coming soon, so watch this space.
[5]Work/kids/general public.