ESP vs LTD: Difference and Comparison

Often one may get confused between ESP and LTD. Why is that so? Both being guitar company that was initially part of the same company can be quite hard to differentiate when their product is similar.

So what differentiates them? They both started from the same company but went into different lines for the guitars.

Key Takeaways

  1. ESP (Electric Sound Products) is a Japanese guitar manufacturer known for producing high-quality, custom, and handcrafted electric guitars; LTD is a subsidiary brand of ESP, offering more affordable, mass-produced guitar models.
  2. ESP guitars cater to professional musicians and collectors with premium components, craftsmanship, and custom options; LTD guitars target a broader market, including intermediate and budget-conscious players.
  3. ESP instruments have higher price points due to their quality and customization options; LTD guitars provide a more cost-effective alternative without sacrificing playability and performance.


LTD guitars are high-model guitars with different customizable options. They are made of high-quality raw materials with premium features. They are used by people who want the highest quality tone. ESP guitars are simple and have enhanced features. They are more affordable with superior functions.

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ESP was started in Tokyo in 1975 but later had a headquarters in America in 1983. The store in America was opened as a guitar part replacement shop that, with time, expanded to many parts of the country and started making electric guitars.

These guitars are manufactured in Korea, Indonesia, etc., depending on the series of the guitar being talked about.

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Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonESPLTD
OriginTokyo in 19751995
ProductInitially guitar parts replacement, but later produced their lines of the guitar.Manufactures electric guitars
ManufactureHandcrafted in Japan and have bases in New YorkManufactured in Korea, Indonesia etc.
Quality of the productHigh-end quality productComparatively cheaper quality
CostVery expensive since shipping is hardCheap and affordable prices
ProductionSince it is expensive only one of a kind is produced.A bulk of the same type of guitar is produced.

What is ESP?

ESP Guitars is a Tokyo-based company that started in 1975 and had a branch in New York, America, in 1983. their primary business was making customized guitars with parts made from handpicked woods from Japan.

Once they opened a store in America, they served as a guitar part replacement company until they opened other stores nationwide.

The quality of the product and the shipping from Japan made these guitars quite expensive. A rock band or metal players brought most.

The acoustics of the ESP guitars are said to be noticeably better than any other guitar.


What is LTD?

Since they were not always affordable, another line of guitars called LTD emerged 1995 from the same company. They sold high-end guitars for affordable prices and had their guitars produced in bulk rather than customized.

They produced and manufactured various lines and a series of electric guitars at affordable prices.

Depending on the series, they were shipped from different countries. For example, the 100 LTD guitars were shipped from Korea, while the signature line was manufactured in Indonesia.

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Since they were cheaper, they had more market than ESP guitars.

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Main Differences Between ESP and LTD

  1. ESP emerged in Tokyo in 1975. It was later introduced in
  2. Even though they were originally the same company, they had to separate because they went into different lines. While ESP made signature line guitars when introduced in Tokyo and later went on to make replacement parts for guitars after opening in America, LTD made high-end guitars and sold them for affordable prices.

Last Updated : 11 June, 2023

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24 thoughts on “ESP vs LTD: Difference and Comparison”

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