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James Hetfield Signature Models

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ESP James Hetfield Signature Models Electric Guitars


Spencers Music Olathe, Kansas is an authorized dealer in KC for ESP LTD Electric Guitars


Hetfield has been a major endorser of ESP Guitars since the 1980s, and is best known for playing custom-made Explorer-style guitars with an EMG 81/EMG 60 set for pickups. Hetfield's main guitar from the early days was a Flying V copy made in Japan by Electra, used almost exclusively until 1984 when he switched to the Gibson Explorer model.

During the mid-1990s, ESP produced the first of his signature model guitars. To date, Hetfield has had six signature guitars (may soon be seven) with the company. 

Some of Hetfield's current tour guitars are:

  • ESP Truckster signature models in grey and black finishes
  • ESP "Iron Cross" – Has the Eclipse body shape; distressed black with gold hardware, with a gold racing stripe and a gold Iron Cross on the body. It is based on the design of his 70's Gibson Les Paul Custom.
  • ESP Explorer – distressed black finish with white pickguard
  • ESP Explorer – silver diamond plate
  • ESP Explorer – black diamond plate
  • ESP Explorer "Papa Het" – with a white finish and some drawings by Dirty Donny
  • ESP Explorer – black diamond plate with deer antler inlay
  • ESP Flying V – white finish (replica of his old Flying-V copy)
  • ESP LTD "The Grynch" – signature guitar, black with green flames on both the front and back of the body and neck, used for the song Frantic
  • ESP "Snakebyte"- custom guitars in black and white finishes; feature a custom body and headstock designed by James. The retail model was revealed to the public at the Winter NAMM 2011 show.
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