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KH-4, STC-Shaped Guitar from ESP in the Kirk Hammett series.

2 user reviews
Find it in the classifieds starting at $1,800 Avg used price: $1,800Warning, this average price is older than 6 months
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ESP KH-4 tech. sheet

  • Manufacturer: ESP
  • Model: KH-4
  • Series: Kirk Hammett
  • Category: STC-Shaped Guitars
  • Added in our database on: 04/05/2008

We have no technical specifications for this product
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ESP KH-4 user reviews

Average Score:5.0( 5/5 based on 2 reviews )
 2 reviews100 %

Hatsubai's review"Harder to find KH"

You don't see this guitar come up too often. Awhile back, during the Load era, Kirk made a guitar that's a bit closer to a strat. Instead of the normal pickups with rings, it has a pickguard on it. It also has a much less flashy inlay setup. Aside from that, it's the same as any other of his M series guitars. The guitar features an alder body, a maple neck with a rosewood fretboard, 24 extra jumbo frets, dot inlays with a 12th fret inlay, an original floyd rose, a pickguard, EMG pickups, two volumes, one tone and a three way switch.


The guitar is put together very nicely. It had a bit of wear on it since it was a used guitar, but it was mostly cosmetic. The frets were still in great condition, and you could see how much attention was paid to them when the guitar was first built. Like I said, there were a few clear coat scratches on this, but it was nothing major. The neck felt great, and I especially liked how much more resonant this was when compared to the normal KH2. This is mostly due to the natural chambering that occurs when you use a strat style rout instead of the rear route like you find on the normal model.


The guitar had two EMG 81s in it, and this was Kirk's combo for probably 20 or so years. He recently switched to using the EMG 60 in the neck, but if you're looking for his older tone, you'll want the 81 in the neck. The 81 in the bridge is nice and cutting. It is great for a busy mix, and there are tons of harmonics that just jump out at you when you start adding some gain. The 81 in the neck is a bit bright for me. It can be great for those who want a sharp and bright lead sound, but I'm much more of an EMG 85 fan, personally. The 85 is fatter, and it helps with getting those fatter lead lines. It all boils down to personal preference and what you're looking for in a guitar.


The guitar is great, and considering how rare this is, I think it's one of the better signature buys. The pickguard helps give it some class and break up the standard boring black finish on the guitar. The rosewood pops out quite a bit on this, too. It's a high quality guitar, and if you find one for a good deal, it's worth jumping on.
Audiofanzine FR03/15/2009

Audiofanzine FR's review

(Originally written by yungsoo/translated from Audiofanzine FR)
First of all, I don't own this guitar but I had the opportunity to play it for half an hour at a shop.

ESP Custom Shop made in Japan.

24 frets with "Fuck You" inlay at fret 12. EMG 81 on the bridge (sure) and neck (not sure).

Original Floyd Rose tremolo. It stays perfectly in tune.

Two volume controls, tone control and 3-way toggle switch.

Very slim and pleasant body-through neck (I guess). 3-mm inlays!

Perfect finish.


Very pleasant, slim and comfortable neck...

Very easy access to the upper frets.

Ergonomically shaped body. I believe the guitar is heavier than the KH-2.

You'll easily get a good sound if your a heavy metal player.


I play metal so this guitar is perfect for me.

I tested it with a Peavey Bandit 112 (2007 version). It's not a tube amp but the sound was accurate and sharp... awesome.

With a a V-shaped EQ you get a great Mesa sound (think Master of Puppets), but the guitar sounds good with any kind of distortion.

With a lower gain and another EQ setting you can get a nice soft distortion.

The clean sound is not very good. Only the neck pickup sounds ok in clean mode. (but you'll buy this guitar to play heavy metal!)

You'll definitely get the best sounds with a heavy distortion (Metallica sound)!

I give it a 10 for heavy metal.


As I already said, I don't own this guitar.

It's a Japanese custom shop guitar (Hammett's signature model)!

It's very difficult to find it in a store.

That's certainly one of the reasons why it's so expensive. But it's also a high-quality guitar... ESP's "haute couture"!!!

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Other names: kh 4, kh4

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