10 outrageous builds from the ESP Custom Shop

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10 outrageous builds from the ESP Custom Shop

ESP Amakusa
Words by Lewis Noke Edwards

The ESP Custom Shop produces some of the most show-stopping pieces on the planet.

While they’re all entirely playable, they’re not the most comfortable body shapes to have sitting on your lap, noodling away for an evening. ESP has always pushed the boundaries of guitar marking, and while other manufacturers build masterful version of existing models, ESP’s Custom Shop elevates this, the pieces serving more as statues or gallery pieces than as guitars. Here are ten of the more outrageous and beautiful builds.

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We covered the Godzilla here at Mixdown when it was launched in 2019, and you can see why. Designed alongside Japanese folk rock band The Alfee, the Godzilla is, at its core, an alder-bodied electric with a single EMG in the bridge, Floyd Rose tremolo system and purple, light-up inlays.

ESP Custom Shop Godzilla

Venus Angel

The Venus Angel from the Custom Shop is famous for its incredible woodwork, but also the addition of 12 extra strings above the angel’s head. The main part of the guitar is a dual humbucker electric with a gold Floyd Rose, angel inlays littering the fretboard.

ESP Custom Shop Venus


Continuing on with the angel trend, the Archangel is another build from the ESP Custom Shop. While the additional 12-strings are absent, the angles, woodwork and build are striking. This electric features a massively extended lower horn; the Archangel’s wing extending up to the headstock, the headstock itself exuding another wing as well.

ESP Custom Shop Archangel

Shinigami (“God of Death” Grim Reaper)

Shinigami, “God of Death” in English, is a grim reaper style guitar with a hooded figure, the handle of its scythe passing through the body. The body itself is reminiscent of ESP’s “Arrow” body shape, an offset V, and a single volume controls the output of the single Seymour Duncan bridge humbucker.

ESP Grim Reaper


The loose concept for Amakusa is “European medieval culture” evident in the stained-glass church design and crumbling pillars. The golden hardware compliments the gold border of the cross, split down the middle, as a skull appears in between the single bridge humbucker and the start of the neck. The headstock features the same stained-glass finish as the body.

ESP Amakusa

Rinne (Transmigration)

Another stained-glass inspired guitar is Rinne (Transmigration). A more complete “V” shape, without the offset, the Rinne is masterfully put together, with multiple pieces and exacting inlays to create crosses scattered across the body. Spikes surround the body’s sides, while more stained glass inlays adorn the fretboard.


The Shinobi, at first glance, looks like a somewhat standard, albeit bejewelled, “V” style electric. What it’s hiding though, is a removable sword, hidden in a sheath built into its body. Shinobi, or Ninja, is embroidered with chains and jewels.


A take on ESP’s rare “Star” shape is the Sakoku. Featuring a single Seymour Duncan Invader in the bridge position, the guitar is also referred to as “Dankon” (“bullet mark”), the hole surely making it a B-Stock?!

ESP Sakoku

Ghost Soldier

ESP’s Ghost Soldier is an army-clad fighter, its skull protected by a helmet and armed with two blood-spattered shotguns. Bullets litter the main wings of the body, while the handles of the guns provide a unique body shape.

The fretboard inlays are bullets, and a crosshair signifies the 12th fret, while dogtags adorn the split-V shaped headstock.

RV Snake

Keen-eyed reader will noticed the snake coiling through the neck position humbucker of ESP’s RV Snake. Similar in shape to Shinigami, RV Snake is an offset “V”, similar to the Arrow, with a snake coiling around a branch burst through the guitar. Uniquely, the RV SNake features a HSH configuration, as opposed to the trend of single humbuckers to make way for the unbelievable designs on the other masterful creations.

ESP RV Snake

For local ESP enquiries, visit CMI Music.