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Old 06-01-2012, 10:05 PM
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Default Questions for the ESP experts...

Trying to figure out the differences between the older (late 1980s early '90s) ESP M1, Mirage and Maverick models....all the ones with the pointy headstocks...

Can anyone tell me the differences and which ones are best of these?

Also, on another ESP topic: the Lynch model guitars, how can you tell the differences between the early run Lynch Skull and Swords and the early model Kamakazi models apart from the newer ones (I hear the early run older ones were a bit better?).


WANTED- '80s BC Rich Gunslingers (and San Dimas Charvels) with:
Matching headstocks, cool graphics, and BRIGHT '80s colors (like pink).


1- BC Rich Gunslinger -Purple Snakeskin with matching headstock
2- BC Rich Gunslingers -Pink, or other flashy '80s graphics or colors!
3- Ibanez WRB-3 ("Winger" graphic)
4- Charvel San Dimas- bullseye graphics

MY GUITAR COLLECTION (more always being added, check back soon) -

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Old 07-23-2012, 01:53 PM
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Late 80's ESP guitars came in two versions, a "Deluxe" model which was a bolt on neck, and a "Custom" model which was a neck through. The models were differentiated as such:

M1: Single humbucker
Mirage: Had a humbucker in the bridge and two singles
Horizon: Had a humbucker in the bridge, a single in the neck, and was an arch-top
Eclipse: Telecaster shaped body with two humbuckers and an arch-top

The Maverick has a humbucker in the bridge and a single in the neck, but is a short scale 24 3/4" instead of 25 1/2" scale of all the other models.
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Old 08-23-2012, 01:08 AM
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I should point out that Early M1's (and perhaps also M2's but I've never seen it), later mirages, and most Maverick Deluxes (the versions with pickguards or custom shops) also frequently came with the ESP "strat" headstock (which I think is just about one of the coolest looking..). Mirage "strat" headstocks are usually reversed it seems.

Later "Eclipse" models went from the tele shape (super uncommon) to the Les Paul shape (super common).

My expertise is only on the Maverick though, that's the one I hunted for a long time.. quick rundown:

ALL MAVERICKS (to save space)
-24 & 3/4 inch scale length
-Trems are always recessed
-Made in Japan (even the production custom and custom shops I'm pretty sure. There are a few "48th Street" custom shop Mavericks but it's safe to assume the main parts such as the neck or body were imported from Japan and simply assembled/painted/configured/routed here in the USA.)
-Primarily alder bodies. Supposedly they did a few in Ash.

Maverick (no model name, standard) c. 1990-1995
-ESP pointy headstock.. I've never seen a reversed one on this model
-Humbucker + Slanted Single
-Stock pickups: SH-4 "JB" and ESP-branded dual rails neck single. Single is direct mounted, Humbucker in a bracket.
-Master Volume, Master Tone, 3-way toggle selector
-three piece laminate neck bolted on (like a USA Kramer), slanted neckplate
-rosewood or maple fretboard
--> rosewood will have offset dot inlays with two side by side on the 12th
--> maple will have offset dot inlays with the "ESP" inlay at the 12th
-Could have one of three bridges, the "Sinclair," a "Floyd Rose" OFR, or an ESP-branded OFR made by Schaller which is almost identical to the real OFR.
-"Canted" body shape (that's what I call it), almost offset looking with the top of the lower horn about even with the scooped out area for the upper horn. The belly cutout is Convex as opposed to concave as on most stratocaster type guitars.
-Solid or metallic. According the the catalog, they could come in transparent but they must not have made very many as I've never seen them.

Maverick Deluxe c. 1991-1994
-ESP "strat" headstock, never seen a reversed one on this.
-Humbucker + slanted single + slanted single on a pickguard
-Stock pickups: SH-4 "JB" and ESP-branded dual rails neck singles. Pickups all mounted in the pickguard.
-Master Volume, Master Tone, 5-way blade selector
-One-piece neck bolted on, slanted neckplate
-rosewood or maple fretboard
--> both now have centered dot inlays with "ESP" inlay at the 12th
-ESP-branded OFR made by Schaller. It's *possible* that they also came with Sinclair's, but I've never seen one.
-"Canted" body shape, almost offset looking with the top of the lower horn about even with the scooped out area for the upper horn. The belly cutout is Convex as opposed to concave as on most stratocaster type guitars. Now has a pickguard and only a tremolo cavity, electronics under the guard.
-Solid, Metallic, or Transparent finishes. Transparent seems reasonably common, but I've never seen a burst finish on these.

Maverick (very early models) c. 1988-1989
-ESP pointy headstock.. I've only seen reversed on this model. Apparently some extremely early examples came with the "jackson" type pointy headstock.
-Humbucker + Slanted Single. I've also seen a "prototype" with a Hum/Hum/Nothing type layout as used on the Nightswan.
-Not sure on stock pickups, but most likely a JB and ESP-branded dual rails. Hum mounted in a bracket, Single is direct.
-Master Volume, 3-way toggle selector. No tone control
-three piece laminate neck bolted on, slanted neck plate
-I've only seen these with the "Sinclair" bridge. It's basically an OFR with a rounded (well, octagonal) base plate. Just as reliable as a real floyd, but parts are very difficult to come by and they don't use normal parts. Also, you cannot swap a Sinclair with an OFR without routing wood from the body top.
-"Nightswan" body shape, with very thick upper horn, sharp-radius body edges, convex belly cutaway. Noticeably different shape than a normal maverick.
-Solid colors. I've never seen one in any type of burst or transparent, though I've seen one claiming to be "natural." It was likely refinished and not from factory.

--Note: Maverick's also came custom shop (as ordered by an individual) or as a "Production Custom" which meant that a music store or group of stores ordered several to be made to a certain specification (I believe there was a minimum order of 5 guitars). These can vary widely since they are made specific using a production guitar but with various changes to the design. Pretty hard to find it seems, I have one and I'll post a picture at the bottom.--
Maverick (standard or deluxe) c. 1993-1995, Custom shop or "Production Custom"
-ESP pointy or strat headstock
-Almost always H/S or H/S/S, but could be different. Could be direct mounted or in brackets.
-Stock pickups: SH-4 "JB" and ESP-branded dual rails neck single. You could also choose EMG's for this, not sure about Dimarzio.
-Could have any neck, fretboard, control combination, etc. (it's made to order). Neck could also be flamed maple (as on mine)
-These will almost always have the ESP branded floyd for "production custom" or the Original Floyd Rose for a real "custom shop." They weren't making these when they had Sinclair trems, but it's possible I suppose. Just extremely unlikely as they'd have to retool the Maverick body shape to fit that trem in. I doubt they ever did that.
-"Canted" body shape (that's what I call it), almost offset looking with the top of the lower horn about even with the scooped out area for the upper horn. The belly cutout is Convex as opposed to concave as on most stratocaster type guitars.
-These could have flamed maple tops as well, though that's not very common.
-Transparent, Solid, Metallic, Pearlescent, or graphical finishes available for these.

Here's a pic of my Maverick Deluxe which I suspect is a "production custom," but could very well be custom shop. I just don't know for sure, and it seems like nobody else does either. Too bad.

Note: direct mount pickups (including the humbucker), flamed maple cap, ESP branded Floyd etc. I'll post a picture of the back later showing the convex body cut. Flamed maple neck as well.

EDIT: I know that was pretty long... I did this for myself as well. I may or may not want to buy another one of these...

lonewolfsx fucked with this message on : 10-11-2013 at 10:05 PM
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