NGD...ESP E-II Horizon Sugizo CTM...amazing guitar comes with a warning

Discussion in 'Standard Guitars' started by Trashgreen, Oct 20, 2018.

  1. Trashgreen

    Trashgreen SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    367
    Likes Received:
    639
    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2013
    Location:
    Europe
    So after returning the E-II RZK-II guitar I wanted to find another guitar for my 20 years celebration of playing guitar. I needed to find something cheaper do to my economy and I decided to get something that would make a great addition to my collection in terms of both look and sound. The main criteria was maple neck thru with ebony fingerboard cause I love that hard edge on the single notes specially when soloing. So I looked high and low at the current ESP offerings, I wanted it to be a standard series guitar cause that is where my heart belongs and my fingers just love the ESP necks.


    At first I did not pay much attention to the Sugizo model when it was released at NAMM earlier this year but I did notice it coming in stock at music stores recently. The more I looked at the specs. and the more I googled different pics of this guitar the more I knew this would actually fit the deal perfectly and soon the gas was going through the roof!! I just had to get it..


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    I absolutely love this guitar!!!

    The look of the Sugizo horizon is drop dead gorgeous in person and it has an amazing smooth see thru black finish and comes with an awesome quilted top. So far all the tops I have seen on this model looked awesome, just a hint for those who might be tempted to get one..

    I like that it is based on the shape and tone woods of the ESP original horizons from a few years back, probably why the CTM is used in the model name. It has a thin U neck profile which feels awesome to play and the finish is super smooth, definitely on pair with my ESP Formula which also has really smooth gloss finish.

    Sound is just awesome, the horizon weighs 3,4 kg and has a nice balanced resonance with great low-end and eminent sustain. Notes sound articulate and the TB6 fits perfectly in the bridge position to capture the tone woods in this guitar.


    So here comes the warning for everyone how might want to get one of these..

    After I had unpacked the guitar and made the first overall look at the guitar I started to play this beauty and I quickly noticed that something felt different, my fingers was closer to the fretboard than usual! I double checked with one of my other guitars and it turned out that this horizon had indeed smaller frets. So I looked up the ESP USA website and it said XJ frets, I looked at the ESP Russian website and it said XJ too. So I decided to check out the ESP Japanese website and guess what, it said #23!! So I checked one of my ESP catalogs to find out what that is exactly, turns out the Sugizo model comes with Vintage frets!!! width 2.0mm height 1.0mm. Just be aware of this if some of you might want to get one. Link to Sugizo artist page at Japanese website:

    https://espguitars.co.jp/artists/7178/

    It will challenge me a little but I'm still in love with this guitar!


    I made this video that not only shows me playing the Sugizo Horizon, it is also my first video using the Hughes & Kettner coreblade, the Synergy Syn-1 preamp and the Randall MTS 1086 module. Also included at the end of video is the first sound clip of my recently acquired KHDH Unicorn blood FUZZ pedal, more to come..

     
    narad, MikeH, mlp187 and 14 others like this.
  2. Trashgreen

    Trashgreen SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    367
    Likes Received:
    639
    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2013
    Location:
    Europe
  3. HeHasTheJazzHands

    HeHasTheJazzHands SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    29,699
    Likes Received:
    15,711
    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2011
    Location:
    Louisiana
    Like, I don't know jack shit about Sugizo, but that guitar is probably one of the cooliest Horizons I've seen. Plus being a huge Queensryche fanboy, I love that variant of the H-S configuration.

    [​IMG]
     
    setsuna7 and Trashgreen like this.
  4. Bdtunn

    Bdtunn SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    1,278
    Likes Received:
    1,002
    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2014
    Location:
    Canada
    I had vintage frets on a guitar years ago. It felt weird at first but I got used to them pretty fast.
     
    Trashgreen likes this.
  5. Dawn of the Shred

    Dawn of the Shred Melodic Smooth Solos

    Messages:
    6,636
    Likes Received:
    1,614
    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2012
    Location:
    Parts Unknown
    Congrats on a beautiful NGD!
     
    Trashgreen likes this.
  6. Kyle Jordan

    Kyle Jordan Ace of Knaves

    Messages:
    617
    Likes Received:
    700
    Joined:
    May 25, 2008
    Location:
    Karakura Town
    I love when a Transparent Black guitar just has the slight hint of purple. Makes it look like a cloudy night sky. Congrats on the guitar.
     
    Masoo2, AkiraSpectrum and Trashgreen like this.
  7. Soya

    Soya Poor person

    Messages:
    979
    Likes Received:
    1,119
    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2014
    Location:
    Illinois
    Forget the vintage frets, that middle single coil would drive me absolutely bananas.
     
    Wolfhorsky and Trashgreen like this.
  8. AkiraSpectrum

    AkiraSpectrum SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    6,320
    Likes Received:
    2,244
    Joined:
    May 30, 2010
    Location:
    Ontario Canada
    Congrats!!
    Love the look and colour.
     
    Trashgreen likes this.
  9. Trashgreen

    Trashgreen SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    367
    Likes Received:
    639
    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2013
    Location:
    Europe
    Thank you so much for that info! I'm still investigating the idea behind this pickup configuration. What is the purpose of just having a middle pickup and not a neck pickup. I know from my older ESP catalogs that Sugizo used to have it in the neck position on some of his other signature guitars like the Floyd Rose Brilliant, now even the Floyd Rose Brilliant has it in the middle position, so why did he move it?

    I didn't know about Sugizo either, while I was waiting for the guitar I checked out countless videos on YouTube, I might have heard about X-Japan which started out as hard rock/ metal band back in the days. Juno Reactor I have known about for 22 years since my second passion in music is Psy-Trance. Luna Sea I just learned about from YouTube, some of it sounded quite good indeed, this trip brought to some other great Japanese artists as well!
     
  10. Trashgreen

    Trashgreen SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    367
    Likes Received:
    639
    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2013
    Location:
    Europe
    Normally I'm not that much into middle pickups because I hit hard when I pick and usually hit the pickup underneath. I did some pre-testing on my ESP Vintage plus before ordring and decided that it would not stand in my way from getting this guitar. After shooting all these pics I lowered the pickup as much as possible and under the first jam session it didn't bother me at all. My first impression is that the middle pickups has more sustain than the bridge pickup, still need to test this properly to verify though.
     
    AkiraSpectrum and Soya like this.
  11. HeHasTheJazzHands

    HeHasTheJazzHands SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    29,699
    Likes Received:
    15,711
    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2011
    Location:
    Louisiana
    I can't tell you why Sugizo does it, but a big part of Queensryche's clean sound is the 2nd position on a Strat. The bridge bucker and middle coil combining. I don't think they used the neck bucker a lot, which is why Chris got rid of it on a lot of his guitars and stuck with only the middle and bridge.

    I have heard some X-Japan, and it's some pretty good music. Might delve into them more another time. Them and Luna Sea.
     
    Trashgreen likes this.
  12. Trashgreen

    Trashgreen SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    367
    Likes Received:
    639
    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2013
    Location:
    Europe
    I did notice the middle position on the pickup selector with the two pickup combined has it own sound, just like the 2 position on a Strat. Whether the pickups are coil split in this position I have to investigate with some clean sound tests. However I did find that using the tone control on the middle pickup does create a similar effect as having a neck pickup, or at least take you in that direction. Then again the hole purpose of getting the Sugizo Horizon was to get something different and it sure delivers!
     
  13. chunmusic

    chunmusic SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    93
    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2015
    Location:
    "hongKong"
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Hi , friend .. this guitar is cool !
     
  14. Crash Dandicoot

    Crash Dandicoot ยป Supra-ise!

    Messages:
    985
    Likes Received:
    1,524
    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2010
    Location:
    Alberta
    Nice score! Glad to see some of Sugizo's sigs being offered in places other than Japan.
     
    Trashgreen likes this.
  15. Trashgreen

    Trashgreen SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    367
    Likes Received:
    639
    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2013
    Location:
    Europe
    Woow!!! The top on yours look amazing!!!! These are such cool guitars indeed!
     
  16. AdenM

    AdenM Illuminaughty

    Messages:
    872
    Likes Received:
    443
    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2011
    Location:
    NC, USA
    Congratulations - definitely an amazing sleeper model from ESP this year. Sugizo's JP sig Eclipses are great, but I love the spec on this one.
     
    Trashgreen likes this.
  17. Bloody_Inferno

    Bloody_Inferno Silence is Violence

    Messages:
    12,805
    Likes Received:
    4,684
    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2009
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    Beautiful axe! :drool:
     
    Trashgreen likes this.
  18. khanate7

    khanate7 SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    150
    Likes Received:
    149
    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2009
    Location:
    mega city five
    Daaaamn son the top on yours is killer. The only reason i havent bought one of these so far has been the MEH tops on all of the ones ive seen.

    You should really look up his solo stuff. Amazing work. Alot of psy-trance and 90s techno and world beat influence.

    Heres my favorite track, Lucifer:


    And a full show:


    As for Luna Sea, they can be somewhat hit or miss with some people, as they really arent a "heavy" band at all.

    A great starting point is the mother album and their signature track, Rosier. Heres an amazing cut from the "capacity" concert:
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2018
    Trashgreen likes this.
  19. Bloody_Inferno

    Bloody_Inferno Silence is Violence

    Messages:
    12,805
    Likes Received:
    4,684
    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2009
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    I've honestly been trying to figure that out since he started using the prototypes. Seriously, the vintage frets are the only thing about the Horizons that are as close to Sugizo's other sigs (not counting the Floyd).

    All I know is that these and the new SIIs with similar specs are used exclusively for X-Japan. Everything else (non metal based) Sugizo ends up using his more vintage oriented 3 P90 models. That and the Queensryche config style may not be far off as the first 4 Luna Sea albums is mostly that position 2 single coil sparkle tone. I can only guess he wanted something new and liked the result. The single coil does look closer to the neck than it's usual spot so there's that.

    I suppose I could ask Yuki and the Free The Tone guys who built his rig about the pickup config choice, but I can't help but feel terrifyingly shy about it. :lol:
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2018
    Trashgreen likes this.
  20. khanate7

    khanate7 SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    150
    Likes Received:
    149
    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2009
    Location:
    mega city five
    Dude yeah he changes his config up so often I'm not surprised the websites cant keep up with his specs. Its crazy the amount of work that they put into each one, too. The talked about having to redesign the headstocks for the new eclipses to accomodate the vintage frets and get the right string tension to make it feel like a strat. I have a bunch of gear magazines about him, i'll look in the most recent and see if it has anything to say about the X Japan pickup config.
     
    Trashgreen likes this.

Share This Page