ESP (Electric Sound Products) was established in 1975 as the guitar repair and customize shop by the persons who worked at Japanese guitar industry. Mr. Hidesato Shiino was the key person for this historical birth of Japanese special guitar garage. When we talk about Japan Vintage guitars, we have to appreciate Mr. Shiino’s excellent works such as developing first Greco EG series, H.S Anderson guitars and other brands as well. He is also known as the founder of Vestax that is well known worldwide as DJ equipment.
ESP was started using small old clinic site in Shibuya Tokyo, where many professional guitar players and guitar lovers exchanged the information and talk about music and guitars. It must be the heart of Japanese rock music genesis in ‘70s, when the players were looking for the best solution and instrument for their music. ESP was the place to develop new technology and brush up the quality of Japanese high-end guitars.
In ’76 they launched the guitar brand “Navigator” as a traditional design guitar and “Edwards” as sub brand. They also developed their own design guitars called Torrocco and Jango which are now legendary guitars.
One of the most famous Japanese guitar hero “Char” started using his original model from ESP in ‘78, which is based on Fender Mustang style design. It was a big success for ESP and they started to expand their business, such as opening the store in NY etc. to be world brand. ESP is known as OEM supplier for Kramer guitars in ‘80s and also acquiring Schecter brand in ‘90s. The “Neal Schon W Neck” is one of typical ESP’s state of arts that shows their high-level capability of custom made guitars.
They established guitar craft school in early ‘80s and still play important role in Japanese guitar industries. Their brand “LTD”, “E-II”, “Grassroots” and so on are well known worldwide now, but their guitars made in ‘70s has unique characters that was only born in the time when the players are looking for something better eagerly.