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In 1975 Hisatake Shibuya founded ESP (Electric Sound Products). The Tokyo brand produced guitar parts, but over time it began to take individual orders for the production of assembled guitars, becoming one of the first companies engaged exclusively in custom production, and at the highest level. The quality of ESP conquered not only the Japanese music scene, but the entire world as well. Anyway it happened a little later. The brand hit the US market in the 80's, merged into a wave of hard rock and confidently occupied its own niche as an authoritative Japanese guitar manufacturer. In the mid-80s, the ESP 400 series was released. It was the first time the brand got introduced on the international market. The ESP 400 guitars were considered high-end reproduction of the standards of classical models of electric guitars and basses. However, even today they are not inferior to any other producers. ESP offices appeared not only in New York, but also in Dusseldorf. In 1986, the brand released its essential M-I Standard, M-I Custom, Horizon Custom and bass guitar Surveyor. In 1987, Kirk Hammett ordered a guitar, which in 1989 would become his signature model KH-2.

In the 90s the company did not resist the mainstream. The flow of mass production of pretty much anything of the nineties era swept ESP into serial, but proud mass production. So there a subsidiary brand LTD appeared. The new sub-brand produced guitars of a moderate price category, not subjecting quality to doubt, which allowed many musicians to purchase ESP LTD, without spending time choosing their first guitar. In addition, in the early 1990s, the company ceased production of parts, focusing on the production of a line of standard products (which included the signature series ESP) and custom-made guitars. Kirk Hammett and James Hetfield of Metallica, Stephen Carpenter of Deftones, Max Cavalera of Soulfly, Ron Wood of Rolling Stones, Jeff Hanneman and Tom Araya of Slayer, Kai Hansen of Gamma Ray, Alexi Laiho of Children Of Bodom, Michael Amott of Arch Enemy, Gus G. of Firewind, Richard Z of Rammstein, Michael Wilton of Queensryche, Will Adler of Lamb Of God, Kiko Loureiro from Angra among those who participated in the creation of their own guitars, entrusting a delicate matter to the masters of the Japanese company. ESP Custom Shop, making custom models, is located in Japan. Also Japan is responsible for 4 series of guitars: Standard, Original, Signature and Custom. In USA there is a management that controls the production of ESP LTD, which is located in the eastern countries - South Korea, Indonesia, China and Vietnam.

In the beginning of the 2000s ESP got into the top 10 rated developing music brands and represented a new Xtone brand.