It is that time, at the start of a New Year and with NAMM on the horizon, when guitar companies start to release PR material about new models they will be launching over the year. It was therefore with some excitement that I recently received an ESP press release in my inbox. I was even more excited to see that they are launching, in 2017, the ESP LTD Cult 86 a tribute to one of my favourite guitarists Vernon Reid.
Vernon Reid, for those who don’t know, is the founder, principal song writer and lead guitarist for the band Living Colour. Living Colour gained popularity in the mid to late 80s with their unique brand of guitar rock. When I say unique it truly was just that. Living Colour fused Metal, Funk, Punk, Jazz, Blues in fact there perhaps isn’t a musical genre that they wouldn’t draw on for inspiration. At the core was Vernon Reid and in the early days his instrument of choice was an ESP Mirage fitted with EMG pickups.
It is therefore only fitting that for 2017 ESP are launching the ESP LTD Cult 86 as a tribute to the swirling multi coloured ESP Mirage that Reid first used when Living Colour were starting out.
What can you expect from the ESP LTD Cult 86?
The 2017 ESP LTD Cult 86 has an alder Strat style body finished in an extremely eye catching paint swirl finish. The bolt on neck is made from maple and is topped with an ebony fingerboard. The pickups are in the classic rock configuration of a humbucker in the bridge position and two single coils in the neck and middle positions. The pickups themselves are EMGs, as per Reids original ESP Mirage. The humbucker is an EMG 81 and the single coils are EMG SA pickups. The pickups are accessed through a 5 way blade selector and there are master tone and volume controls. The guitar is finished off with a Floyd Rose Special locking tremolo unit which is essential if you want to re-create some of the Vernon Reid whammy bar antics.
All in all this looks to be a truly exciting addition to the ESP range and should please the Vernon Reid fans out there. Even if you are not a particular fan the eye catching look of the guitar, as well as the high end specification, certainly makes it a guitar to look out for.
For more details about the ESP LTD Cult 86 and other 2017 releases visit the ESP website.