ESP Truckster
ESP Truckster

Truckster, LP-Shaped Guitar from ESP in the James Hetfield series.

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All user reviews for the ESP Truckster

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Average Score:4.6( 4.6/5 based on 5 reviews )
 3 reviews60 %
 2 reviews40 %
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tjon901's review"When James wanted something different."

ESP Truckster
It seems that every other James Hetfield guitar is an Explorer. So when it isnt an Explorer you get something different. This time it was time for something different. This is the James Hetfield Truckster guitar. It is based off the ESP Eclipse model but isnt as classy as the old JH-3. This is the ESP version so it is made in Japan and has Custom Shop level fit and finish. It looks exactly like the LTD version but if you pick them both off the rack and play them you will feel a difference in factory setup. This guitar has the typical Hetfield sound and modifications. The guitar has a mahogany body and neck with a rosewood fretboard. The frets are 22 xtra jumbo ESP frets. It has dual EMG pickups with an 81 in the bridge and a 60 in the neck Hetfields traditional setup. It has tone pros locking bridge system also. The pickup selector is down by the rest of the controls and takes the place of one of the tone controls. The upper pickup selector does not do anything. The paint job is a unique relic finish that doesnt look real at all. You can feel the transitions between colors on the body. That is kind of cool.


Back when these were new all the other ESP guitars came with Earvana compensated nuts but this one didnt and I thought that was strange. This guitar has a pretty traditional feel. The neck is pretty big for an ESP and it is nice and wide. Having the pickup selector down by the rest of the controls are cool but leaving a useless one in the traditional spot is silly. Just get rid of it. Since this guitar has active EMG's they need batteries to operate. ESP is smart and provides a battery compartment so you can quickly change batteries without having to open up the entire guitar.


The sound on this guitar is classic metal with the classic EMG set in the guitar. It will be interesting to see if future models have the new EMG HET SET Hetfields signature pickups. They are quite different sounding. They have a lot more high end bite but are not as thick sounding overall. The pickups in this guitar like I said are classic. The 81 in the bridge is the benchmark for metal pickups. The 81 gives you great high end crunch and clarity even in the lowest of tunings. With the 81 harmonics pop right out and you get a nice searing high end tone. This high end is what keeps the sound nice and clear. The 60 in the neck is a pretty much neck only pickup. It is not super high output and is best used for clean tones. In the neck position I personally prefer an 85. The 85 has about the same output as the 81 and I think it is better for dirty solos in the neck position than the 60 is. If you prefer the idea of an 85 in the neck it is easy to swap out EMG's and try what you like since they use solderless connections now.


This guitar is alright if you are a Hetfield fan. The paint job is pretty distinctive and some people may not like it. It is also instantly recognizable to anyone who knows Metallica. I personally would just take a normal Eclipse or EC1000 over this guitar. They have pretty much the same specs and hardware but with a more traditional paint job. If you are a big Hetfield fan and are looking for one of the guitars he plays most nowadays this is one of them along with the Snakebyte.

Hatsubai's review"James Hetfield's newer sig"

ESP Truckster
James Hetfield has yet another signature model out for the masses. This time, he has an older Eclipse style body with a unique paint job going on to mimic how hot rods look when the paint is sanded off. Those spots are supposed to be various layers of primer that have been sanded back or something. The guitar features a mahogany body with a maple top, mahogany set neck, rosewood fretboard with the standard flag style inlays, a hard tail bridge, 22 extra jumbo frets, two volumes, one tone, one three way switch and a dummy switch at the very top.


The guitar itself is built extremely well. The frets are nicely crowned, they're even to allow for super low action, the finish itself is well done, the electronics are of high quality and the inlay work is clean. However, I'm just not a huge fan of that finish. I'm into the whole hot rod thing like he is, but the finish just seems overly fake on a guitar for whatever reason. This is purely a personal preference thing, so keep that in mind.


The guitar sounds absolutely amazing. The EMG 81 in the bridge works so nice with this guitar that it's scary. It has the perfect amount of thickness and bite with harmonics galore. Extremely fast staccato riffs are no problem with this pickup, and it remains super tight even under the most obscene amounts of gain. i was never a huge fan of the EMG 60 in the neck. It delivers a great clean tone, but the gain tones always sounded a bit odd to me. It has an almost single coil quality at times, but if I wanted a single coil, I'd get the SA instead.


If you're a fan of Hetfield, I'm sure you'll be looking into getting one of these models. They're built extremely well, and they sound even better. It plays like butter, and I'd put it against any LP out there, even though it doesn't sound exactly like one. The finish kinda turns me off of it, but that's a personal preference thing more than anything else.

asbedo's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)" just perfect"

ESP Truckster
Previous comments ... mine was filed on Christmas Day in 2005, bought new in 2008, RAS to date, it does not move in time, the quality is excellent (even breads have class and n do not change, that was my fear at the time)


soloists, go your way, there's no floyd, "only" 22 cases, and the last force to twist the strands. For rhythm, however, perfect: it "reads" extra jumbo Braille, the handle slides relatively well (I weighted to "cause" jumbo we can not forget), but even sweaty, it really is playable. Attention to the shape of the handle which could confuse some (it's not a Fender), but which one is very fast.
For sound quality, bein ... it sounds good, very good!
NB: I liked playing seated until the truckster which requires me to play up ... all the weight is on your ass, so on the thigh it tends to be the trunk, slowly but surely.


EMG 60/81 ... everything has been said, typed metal, it remains my eyes very versatile for this type of shovel. If I have to choose between different combos based EMG 60/81/85, the handle 60 is just gorgeous, warm and round, giving more versatility in the sounds two competitors 81 and 81/85.
Its clear I often rotates with the 60 + chorus & equalizer (MXR KFK 10 band, which I recommend to sculpt YOUR sound!), The 81 being reserved for distos (for its cutting / clarity) for fast riffs, harmonics and PM (much less draft in this config as 60).
Because it is scratched JH, it is not optimized for the Satriani, sure, but you can really tap into different things Metallica, without making porridge! the top!


I use it as main guitar since 2009, with no regrets about purchasing it ... there's nothing I do not like about this guitar. I tried such models LP / LTD, but this time with qques grievances; the quality of an LTD Truckster, although very good in its price range, is really a tone below her big sister ESP (and I'm not talking about the samurai version made in Tokyo by the Jedi masters at ESP) both in terms of materials (paint a bit greenish, less soft touch varnish, quality wear as "stencilled" on LTD, etc ...) that sounds;
Incidentally, the "spent" effect that made me hesitate to start on its purchase (1600 € for a new shovel with lots of bread ... it must be assumed), is one of the details which I do not divide them today (in taking normal care, you will not add impact, the decor remains is solidly painted / protected!).
hindsight (and other guitars viellissant less) I would do this choice without hesitation
Mikl O01/22/2010

Mikl O's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)

ESP Truckster
Guitar made in Japan, tested in the USA, bought in France.

Level features are those of most models of ESP Eclipse: mahogany body, mahogany set neck 22 frets, 24.75 pitch, "maple table (not present on the model LTD), rosewood fingerboard, pearl inlays form" flag " , neck profile Thin U ESP 42mm bone nut, jumbo frets, Sperzel locking mechanical, Stop Bar tailpiece and bridge type TonePro, micro EMG 81 bridge and EMG 60 neck, with 2 volume and 1 tone.

Level aspect, I have the Black, so black finish with satin underlay gray, red and white satin chrome mechanical. Note that the frames are metal micro "distressed" and that to scrupulously follow the config Hetfield, guitar comes with Schaller strap-locks. Like all Truckster, the second switch at the top of the guitar body is inactive, but may eventually be wired.

The Truckster is "all options" (Stop Bar tonepro, Mecas Sperzel, violin in set top nickel chrome, bone nut, micro metal frames, etc. ...), and in a trim level (I will return) absolutely impeccable . We do not see too what more could a guitar type Les Paul, hence my high rating.


Emerging from ESP Jeff Hanneman, the handle was a little weird: the Hanneman has a handle "extra thin U" (verrrrry end), the Truckster a "thin U". The handle is a little thicker, but still enjoyable. It is late, but still has the U-shape that makes it feels good in the hand. I am not at all adept sleeves flat type D Jackson or Ibanez, much less triangular sleeves that can be found on a lot of Dean Dimebag, so the profile fits me very well run. It is thinner than most Fender, and thinner than many Gibson LP. In addition, the satin finish varnish that is slid very well, and the handle quickly becomes a highway.

Level weight, ESP Truckster is lighter than the LTD, probably because of the maple top and mahogany species used for the body and the neck (of higher quality, more "noise" and light on ESP). Ergonomics standard, if you like the LP, you will not be disoriented. Note that the guitar is very well balanced when standing with a strap. Seated, the body tends to be a little heavier than the head.

The treble is good access to ... for LP. The perfectly painted slides, Never hang even with the sweat and the junction sleeve / body is made so that one reaches rather well treble. However, nothing to do with the neck thru kind Hanneman ESP M-II, Horizon and other Viper, which are made for the Shredder and provide access to acute absolutely unparalleled. Here we are on the LP on the rhythm guitar instead, and usability suffers.

Sound level between the EMG and sounding violin on top perfectly adjusted to the shop, it comes out right away, and easily. It addition, it mounts the volume, we scratch, and ....

In short, good ergonomics for an LP, but still the access to treble could be improved (yes, I know it would change many things, but good).


I play rock and metal, and I will sometimes take on the blues. What I love about this guitar (this is true for most Eclipse ESP) is its extreme versatility, I had lost with Hanneman. The latter is a razor, a beast of ergonomics and sound quality, but it has a micro tandem that I dislike: EMG 81/85. Yes, I know is the guitar Jeff Hanneman, cut to thrash, Kerry King and use it as 81/85, as Zakk Wyldde and all ... but I find the 85 too aggressive for a neck pickup. The concern of the couple 81/85, is that it leads directly to the guitar sound entirely metal, "nag" violent. 81/60 The couple, on a mahogany guitar, lets go tease her ranges much wider. The 81 will release a powerful sound, square, sharp, incisive and distortion with a precise, perfect for anything that requires the potato. The 60, it is very round, smooth, warm, sweet, and allows the same to get sounds much more peaceful and warm, ballad, blues, etc ... There is less grain than the 85, yes, but it extends the range of possibilities significantly.

I loved my Hanneman, we understand each other. But I was always yours to the flange when they rose from the distortion. Even in the neck position, I sound extreme (too) powerful, aggressive. With Truckster, I can switch between rhythmic and heavy metal to a very smooth and warm. Clearly, spending clean sound of Nothing Else Matters (a massacre with Hanneman) to the heavy rhythmic Enter Sandman or Angel of Death.

My Hanneman was a gem, but unfortunately not necessarily suitable for my use. The Truckster, meanwhile, met my specifications perfectly of the moment. The sound is strong, beautiful, whatever the microphone used, and the alchemy of EMG 81/60 and mahogany works perfectly well (qu'Hetfield was recognized early, since he did know the Tandem 81/60). In short, very high note, because guitar that perfectly meets my expectations.


I have this guitar for roughly 1 month. Before her, I had an ESP Jeff Hanneman (jewelry), an LTD Truckster, a Gibson Explorer. I think I found a guitar I'll keep a long time (although good, I love change ^ ^): the Explorer, I wanted to keep the powerful sound, but the weight was too high. The LTD, I wanted to keep the quality of finish ESP, ergonomics (raaaaahhhhh whore, the Sperzel !!!). The Hanneman made me realize, however, that I was not necessarily made for a guitar shredder, and that the alliance without a compromise alder body with EMG 81/85, I preferred by far acajou-81/60 alliance.

What I like the Truckster is above all its tone. It is versatile, powerful and smooth, aggressive and calm, short, even if it will not sound Telecaster, you can touch everything that is done from blues to rock without worrying. Second, and something on which I would like to emphasize is the quality of the finish ESP. These are really great guitars. We may not like the distressed black, find the act of buying a new guitar full of scratches a bit stupid, yes, I admit ... but the finish is monstrous. The work wear is superb, light years away LTD. These last are "sanded" not very artificial, and the record is still not great. ESPs, they are scraped, grated, waste, "subject" (for the pets on the tip of the horns, for example), etc. ... The varnish is beautiful, the colors also. You feel the hollows in the paint where the wear is present, it is not just a small job done quickly. Note, too, and it is a sentiment shared by many of my friends, the guitar is much more beautiful in real than in the picture. I do not know what it is, but many people, seeing in real life, had an opinion like "Holy cow! But in fact she is gorgeous! On the photo it was" Milka Cow ", she is superb !!!". Good, bad guitar ESP is really like having a crazy stuff, what ... The flight case arrives in a sleeve felt for not damaging the flight case is rock-solid, the guitar comes well set, with everything you need (keys, manual, certificate authentication, strap lock, etc. .. .), and with a level of finish is absolutely monstrous.

In short, yes 100 times yes, I do it again this election. Maybe not a Truckster (my tastes and my colors are very changeable), but an ESP, for sure. Currently, this guitar is everything I seek in my instrument, and the quality of the ESP material fact that this is on top. In short, a great guitar, I suggest you try and go see "for real" for you to notice a real beauty!

TartifletteMaster's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)

ESP Truckster
Guitar factory in Japan.
Mahogany body, EMG 81 active pickups in the bridge position and 60 EMG in the neck position.
Fixed bridge, no tremolo or floyd.
2 volume knobs (one for mic), 1 Tone and a 3 position micro slecteur. Note the prsence a non deuxime slecteur cbl (look for what!) Prs of the handle.
Al Channel 22 boxes in mahogany, rosewood fingerboard.
Tui fly box sold in ESP.


I quickly adapted to trs round of the Truckster, it is fine and well proportioned. A bit below my ESP "The Mirage" Custom Shop any of the same, which is really well above anything I could get the hands ... May be a matter of getting used too because I played it for 6 years! In any case there are faster trs brands on the Truckster.
Pleasant surprise, the body is relatively lightweight not be tiring standing for a long time. The shape, trs close to Gibson Les Paul is trs enjoyable in all cases.
As for the rglages can not make more intuitive: one volume for each microphone (very practical), 1 Tone gnrale and a slecteur for pickups (bridge / neck / mixed ). We arrive trs quickly find a good configuration regardless of the type of sound research (clean, crunch and distortion that buggers) and I think despite what some say is the EMG has a great versatility this guitar. The knobs are very easy to ACCS.


I play in a thrash group (a little pub;): / atrophid) and the Truckster is perfect this style of music.
- Prampli: Engl E530 Modern Rock
- Amp: Mesa Boogie 20/20
- Cabinet: OUR 4x12 "
Mostly I use a big fat distortion, the bridge pickup (EMG 81) gives the ultra prcis (watch out for bread!), The output level is impressive, and shows great guitar in the mix! It's really enjoyable to hear what is happening in RPET explode without ears ... The tufts are rhythmic in trs sharp, there's nothing to drool ... Like when you go solo, with good sustain and harmonics perantes.
When the sound of the EMG 60 in neck position, it is much warmer, rounder and trs well be to find a good clear sound and more crunchy.


I play this guitar for 2 weeks and I really love it! I love the look but it is purely a story got and the ease of playing is clean I think most of the ESP. All I got is well proportioned.
As for his well it's really terrible for the metal, I do not think either has the IDAL to play jazz or blues (it's a signature even when Hetfield!) Although I think is versatile enough to get by more than respectable.
I pay 1300 NEW (eBay live!) Is 500,600 less than the average price ... At this rate the relative quality price! The normal price, I think it's about average, now have to see APRS 1 year of use it is the quality of components, although I do not make too much trouble knowing ESP (my "Mirage" has a custom fifteen years and takes its GE trs well!).
This choice I would do without hsiter!