ESP Horizon NT-II
ESP Horizon NT-II

Horizon NT-II, STC-Shaped Guitar from ESP in the Horizon II series.

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tjon901 07/09/2011

ESP Horizon NT-II : tjon901's user review

« Hardtail shred guitar with classic Duncans »

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The Horizon is a series of guitars ESP has been making for a long time. They have the traditional superstrat shape like the M-II but have an arched top body and are made of different woods. This guitars are made to give a thicker sound than the M-II. These guitars are full bore ESP guitars so they are made in Japan and have custom shop level fit and finish. This Horizon features neck through construction. It has a maple neck with an ebony fretboard. It has 24 jumbo frets. On top it has Gotoh locking tuners. The inlays are offset so you can really see the fretboard wood. The body is mahogany with a maple cap. Instead of the usual EMG pickups you get you get a classic set of Seymour Duncans. The Duncans you get are the 59 in the neck and the JB in the bridge. The guitar has a tune-o-matic bridge with string through tail piece for more sustain. The controls are standard with a master volume and master tone with a 3 way toggle.


I prefer playing this guitar over the M-II because of a few things. I prefer the hardtail bridge on this guitar. You do not have to fuss with allen wrenches and stuff whenever you want to change tunings or strings and it will stay in tune no matter what. I also liked the arch top body. Being use to playing Les Pauls with the arch top I have some where to put my arm. On flat topped guitars I am always searching for where I should rest my hand when im playing. The ebony fretboard on this guitar is great. I wish all guitars had ebony fretboards. Locking tuners on a hardtail guitar is something I also wish every guitar had. Passive pickups means this guitar is dead simple and reliable.


With the Seymour Duncan pickups you get a wide array of tones. The string through bridge with the neck through construction means the strings are anchored on the same piece of wood the neck is. This gives great resonance to the tone and every note that you play just sings. A set of EMG pickups would limit this guitar to a metal only role but with these you can do pretty much anything. With the Seymour Duncan pickups the guitar already comes with some of the best pickups you can get so the tone is there out of the box. This pickup combination is something that Edwards uses in a lot of its Gibson copies. The 59 has a great PAF style tone. It has a good amount of sag and the mids are nice and pronounced. The JB in the bridge is the jack of all traits and can be used for just about anything. You can get great overdriven tones all the way to searing high gain with it. Many Jackson guitars come with this pickup set so you know it can hang for metal too. But of course if you just want a metal only guitar there are similar ESP models that will do that very well.


This guitar is pretty expensive and that is a big downside. ESP's LTD line of guitars is like half the price and the quality is really good. If you want a guitar like this I suggest you try out the LTD version first and see if you can save a bunch of money. The only outside difference between the model is that the LTD comes with a rosewood fretboard. I prefer ebony but its not a 1000 dollar difference. If you are looking for a hard tail shred guitar with an arch top and neck through construction you do not have many options but this is probably the best of them.