ESP Company Ltd. is a Japanese guitar manufacturer with headquarters in Tokyo, Japan and a branch in the United States. They started with the production of parts and necks for other guitar brands but at some point decided to release their own electric guitars and basses.
ESP stands for Electric Sound Products. It was the name of the shop started by Hisatake Shibuya in 1975 in Tokyo and providing custom replacement parts for various guitar brands. Thanks to high quality of their replacement parts the shop became very popular. Very quickly Hisatake came to an idea to start manufacturing his own branded guitars. The first guitars by Hisatake were introduced to Japanese market under the brands of ESP and Navigator. In 1983 ESP opened a branch office in the United States.
In addition to their own guitars ESP manufactured bodies and necks for Kramer Guitars and provided details for Schecter Guitar Research, Robin Guitars and DiMarzio. Such musicians as Vinnie Vincent and Bruce Kulick (Kiss), Dave Mustaine (Megadeth), Ronnie Wood (The Rolling Stones), James Hetfield, George Lynch liked this brand. George Lynch discovered ESP for himself in 1985 and started cooperation with ESP. As a result ESP released their first signature model ESP Kamikaze signed by Lynch. James Hetfield also contributed much to general promotion of ESP brand in the United States and all over the world.