ESP Japan Factory tour

Discussion in 'Sevenstring Guitars' started by Zado, Mar 30, 2020.

  1. Zado

    Zado SS.org Regular

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    Thought some here would appreciate
     
  2. AkiraSpectrum

    AkiraSpectrum SS.org Regular

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  3. HeHasTheJazzHands

    HeHasTheJazzHands greg rulz ok

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    50 employees total. 4 that work the custom shop.

    Jeez.

    Although from what was said at the beginning, that works to their benefit. 50 employees that have at least 2 years of training in a school. Several of them also have decades under their belt. Seems like things could be streamlined.
     
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  4. Ikke

    Ikke A Dream Cartographer

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    Dope!!!! Thanks for sharing.

    I met Joji at Big Boss when I was in Japan. He’s an awesome awesome dude and taught me a lot about ESP.
     
  5. ikarus

    ikarus SS.org Regular

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    I NEED more ESPs in my life. Hopefully my Axe Palace special run arrives soon!
     
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  6. crg123

    crg123 SS.orgLocalArchitect

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    That was awesome. Thanks for sharing. I had no idea they were such a small operation.
     
  7. Crash Dandicoot

    Crash Dandicoot » Supra-ise!

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    Very illuminating! Four guys running the custom shop? Does that mean all custom orders, artist models, exhibition and original series? That's a wild level of output and consistency / quality.

    Also saw a Killer branded model being built in the background around 8:07.
     
  8. narad

    narad Progressive metal and politics

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    "Wow, wow. So cool. And after that?: My Journey to the ESP Japan Factory"
     
  9. MaxOfMetal

    MaxOfMetal Likes trem wankery. Super Moderator

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    This is how most custom shops work. You have a small core staff that plans out and executes the more intensive parts of the build while a larger support staff does the "nuts and bolts" stuff. Obviously depending on complexity the line between the two can be blurred.

    For decades Fender had only half a dozen Master Builders, and they each had something like a dozen Assistant Master Builders that would do a lot of the prep work, cut the bodies, etc. Gibson had maybe three equivalent builders for a long time, but they had a huge support staff and could pull help from the floor if needed.
     
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  10. sunnyd88

    sunnyd88 SS.org Regular

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    Funny how during these factory tours we only see Original Series and Custom guitars in the process of being built and never see E-II or Edwards guitars actually being built, they're always at final assembly getting pickups installed and QC'd, almost like that's the only part of the E-II manufacturing process that takes place in Japan ;) (chill, don't shoot me) I'm also quite surprised that ESP Japan only has 50 people and only 4 of them work in the custom shop (is that why the custom shop wait time and cost is so high?), definitely seems like there is or should be way more. Anyways, I still like watching these ESP factory tour videos, love the Big Boss stores, and it's no question that ESP/E-II/Edwards guitars all play freaking fantastically (I've owned/own four of em). Just not a big fan of the questionable business practices.
     
  11. MaxOfMetal

    MaxOfMetal Likes trem wankery. Super Moderator

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    ESP operates multiple facilities in Japan, then some of those factories are broken down into sub-facilities. There were something like six at one point, but I think they're down to four now.

    We never see Fender America Standard models on racks in the Custom Shop, but I don't see folks questioning those, and they're under the same roof. :lol:

    You'd figure if they were really producing supposed MIJ guitars in Korea or China we'd have more information/proof by now than the same couple of sketchy pics and hearsay.

    It's not that I'm overly opposed to the idea, I wouldn't be shocked if they had the body/neck/board blocks assembled elsewhere for the cheaper production sub-brand stuff. I just want a little more proof before calling it.
     
  12. Walter W.

    Walter W. SS.org Regular

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    Thanks for posting!
     
  13. sunnyd88

    sunnyd88 SS.org Regular

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    I totally get that, for Edwards I'm 100% sure is Chinese made cause a couple of Big Boss Staff in Japan confirmed this to me, one of them I became pretty good friends with and he went to ESP's craft academy. They have the option of working in ESP's factories or to work in one of the Big Boss stores, he chose the latter because he said the factory workers don't get paid very well. Either way I'm just super jaded about the way people do business so I'm super skeptical about everything. I honestly wouldn't be surprised at all if Fender America Standard is actually made in Mexico and then QC'd in America cause Mexican-made Charvels (like the DK24 roasted maple) play like butter hahaha
     
  14. sunnyd88

    sunnyd88 SS.org Regular

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    Also does that mean the four facilities (Technical House, Custom Shop, Craft House, Guitar Work Shop) only have like 4-5 craftsman/luthiers each and only 1 custom luthier at each location, going by the staff numbers? I swear it seems like ESP should have way more staff lol PRS has like 293 staff and I feel like ESP Japan pumps more stuff out than PRS.
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2020
  15. narad

    narad Progressive metal and politics

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    That's true but it's been known for a long time. You'll see "pre-china" listings for Edwards to try to rake in a higher value, etc. It's not exactly secret, though I'm not sure if they're 100% made there etc. (roughing the bodies / finishing / fretdress and electronics and setup).

    I mean, even a bunch of Waza pedals aren't made in Japan anymore.
     
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  16. MaxOfMetal

    MaxOfMetal Likes trem wankery. Super Moderator

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    What do folks think goes into building guitars? Honest question.

    You really don't need that many folks in modern manufacturing. Like anything else the process is broken down and assigned to individual stations.
     
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  17. sunnyd88

    sunnyd88 SS.org Regular

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    I'm sure electronics and setup is definitely done in Japan. The fretwork is so nice that it definitely could be from Japan. For me, the suspicion for E-II comes from the fact that Edwards and E-II pretty much play exactly the same and have like 99% the same quality.
     
  18. _MonSTeR_

    _MonSTeR_ SS.org Regular

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    Incantations, sacrifices, rituals...

    Or is that just Daemoness?
     
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  19. Merrekof

    Merrekof SS.org Regular

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    Don't forgot, you must sacrifice 5 years in waiting.
     
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  20. KnightBrolaire

    KnightBrolaire bring out your dead

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    more like 7 years because of 2 years on the wait list
     

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