ESP LTD Eclipse '87 NT Review & Prices

ESP LTD Eclipse '87 NT Review
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  • From ESP LTD's 2020 '87 Series Guitars series
  • Made in Indonesia
  • 6 strings
  • 24.75"'' scale
  • 13.78" Fretboard Radius
  • Mahogany body
  • 3pc Maple neck
  • Macassar Ebony fretboard
  • Bridge pickup: Seymour Duncan JB SH-4 (Humbucker/Passive)
  • Neck pickup: Seymour Duncan '59 SH-1N (Humbucker/Passive)
  • 1 volume and 1 tone Dome knobs
  • 3-way Switch
  • Tonepros Locking TOM & Tailpiece bridge
  • Thin U Neck-Through neck
  • 24 XL Jumbo frets
  • LTD Locking tuners
  • Weight between 8.1lbs (3.7kgs) and 9.45lbs (4.3kgs)
  • Compare Specs >

Our Scores and Tone Evaluation

Playability 87
Sound 76
Build quality 64
Value for money 76
Overall Score 76
Tone Evaluation
  • Heavy Metal
  • Hard Rock
  • Jazz
  • Blues
  • Funk
  • Country
Strengths & Weaknesses
ESP LTD Eclipse '87 NT
  • Locking Tuners
  • Expensive Wood
  • Top Brand Pickups
  • Neck-Through Build
  • Coil Split Pickups
  • Cheap Fret Wire (NS)
  • Made in Indonesia
  • No High-Quality Nut
  • No Weight Relief
  • No Luminescent Inlay
  • No Tremolo
  • No Compound Radius Fretboard
  • No 21:1 Tuner Ratio
  • No Strap Lock

Price Overview

Its average competitor's price is $850, which means that the ESP LTD Eclipse '87 NT costs around 29% more than the competition. It might be due to it having additional features, but know that you can find cheaper similar alternatives. This takes into account all instruments of the same category in our database with 6 strings and Fixed bridge that are made in Indonesia.

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Videos

This is a Weird-Looking Single Cut Guitar... || ESP LTD Eclipse Eclipse '87 NT
HIGH GAIN TELE (...and other tones): ESP LTD Eclipse '87 NT Turquoise Electric Guitar Demo
ESP Guitars: LTD Eclipse '87 NT Demo by Pat Heath
ESP Guitars: LTD Eclipse '87 NT Demo by Pat Heath
An up close look and play through of the ESP LTD Eclipse 87'!
More Videos

Your feedback

Not all instruments are created equally. That's why it's important to have different opinions. Here's what our users who have played this instrument say. If you've played it before, help others by voting below!

Weight

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Tuning stability

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Neck access to high frets

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Is it Easy to Play?

The ESP LTD Eclipse '87 NT meets 6 out of our 8 criteria items for beginner friendliness, which means that it's a good guitar to start with as a complete beginner. This takes into account the type of frets, scale length, nut width, bridge type, fretboard radius, and neck profile to determine the easiest combination for new players to get used to.

New Player Friendliness

ESP LTD Eclipse '87 NT
  • Comfortable shape
  • Easy-to-use bridge
  • Locking tuners
  • Tall frets
  • Narrow nut
  • Comfortable neck
  • Comfortable fretboard
  • Short scale

Hand Size Comfortability

After taking into account the neck profile, scale size, fretboard radius, and nut width, we can conclude that the ESP LTD Eclipse '87 NT's construction favors people with relatively small hands.

Nevertheless, this comes down in the end to personal preference. Make sure you test this guitar—or another one with similar characteristics—before buying.

Big Hands
Small Hands

How Lightweight is it?

We found that the ESP LTD Eclipse '87 NT weighs between 8.1lbs (3.7kgs) and 9.45lbs (4.3kgs). This was recorded from some online retailers that publish the weight of the instruments they sell.

Scale Length

Scale length is the distance the strings will span between the bridge and the nut. It can tell you a lot about the overall playability and tone of the instrument. A longer scale length means longer distance between frets, brighter tone and more string tension—which means lower action, but more difficult bending of the strings.

Here's the ESP LTD Eclipse '87 NT's 24.75" scale length compared to other common sizes:

ESP LTD Eclipse '87 NT Scale Length Comparison
ESP LTD Eclipse '87 NT's scale length (at the top) compared to other popular sizes

This is the scale length used in most Gibson guitars. If you like the playability of a Gibson, this guitar will feel pretty similar. It's a lot shorter than the typical Stratocaster (25.5'')

As you can see from the picture above, a shorter scale length also means shorter separation between frets. If you got really small hands, you probably will feel more comfortable playing this guitar than a Fender Stratocaster.

This scale length also allows for easier bends and vibratos because the strings will have lower tension due to the shorter scale.

Finally, another thing affected by scale length is tone. A shorter scale will give less room for the harmonics, thus resulting in a warmer, more 'bassy' tone.

Still, remember that you string gauge plays an important part in all of this. A lighter gauge will make it easier to perform bends, vibratos and will also give you a brighter tone.

More with the same scale length:

Neck Profile

ESP LTD Eclipse '87 NT Neck Profile
ESP LTD Eclipse '87 NT's neck profile

The neck profile tells you the thickness (neck depth) and shape in cross section. Every difference will completely change the feeling and comfortability of the neck. This is a highly subjective thing, but most players indeed prefer certain types of necks (like Cs and Ds) because they feel nice in most hands.

The ESP LTD Eclipse '87 NT's neck thickness is approximately 0.787'' (20mm) at the first fret, and 0.866'' (22mm) at the twelfth.

These measurements were taken either from the official ESP LTD website, or, in case this information wasn't provided, by researching multiple online marketplaces and forums where owners of this model have posted their measurements.

It has a U type neck. This shape usually has more 'shoulders' than a C neck. It's great for guitarists who love the feel of a vintage neck. Most of them are thick, which makes it better for people with big hands. However, some of them can be thin like a C neck but with more mass to the sides for a better grip.

More for different hand sizes

Fretboard Radius

When it comes to fingerboard radius, personal preference will dictate which one is better for you. However, most people seem to agree that a more curved (lower) radius will make it easier to play chords while a less curved (higher) radius is better for soloing and bending.

The ESP LTD Eclipse '87 NT has a 13.78" fingerboard radius.

Here's an image comparing this fretboard radius to other popular choices:

ESP LTD Eclipse '87 NT Fretboard Radius Comparison with Fender Stratocaster and Gibson Les Paul
ESP LTD Eclipse '87 NT's fretboard radius compared to others

This makes it more similar to Gibson guitars (12'') than Fender (9.5''). It's slightly flatter than most modern Gibson fretboards though, which makes it more comfortable for single notes, bendings and vibratos, but less comfortable for chords.

Compound radius fingerboards give the best of both worlds. Unfortunately, the ESP LTD Eclipse '87 NT has the same radius across the board.

More with the same fretboard radius:

Playability compared to main competitors

24.75'' Scale Length
U Neck Profile
1.654'' Nut Width
13.78'' Fretboard Radius
24.75'' Scale Length
U Neck Profile
1.654'' Nut Width
13.78'' Fretboard Radius
25.5'' Scale Length
U Neck Profile
1.654'' Nut Width
13.78'' Fretboard Radius
25.5'' Scale Length
C Neck Profile
1.693'' Nut Width
13.78'' Fretboard Radius
25.5'' Scale Length
C Neck Profile
1.693'' Nut Width
13.78'' Fretboard Radius

Nut Width

ESP LTD Eclipse '87 NT Nut Width
ESP LTD Eclipse '87 NT Nut Width

The ESP LTD Eclipse '87 NT has a nut width of 42mm (1.654''). This is considered a narrow width for a 6-string guitar. This means that this guitar will have a narrower string separation at the nut, which will affect your fretting hand.

If you are a player with big hands, you might find it difficult to play chords without muting strings. However, this is good for players who have smaller hands, as it will allow them to reach each string more easily at the nut.

Frets

The ESP LTD Eclipse '87 NT has 24 frets. A lot of people mistakenly believe that having more frets will always be better because it gives you a higher octave. This is certainly an advantage, but there's also a disadvantage to this.

Since the fretboard will be longer, the neck pickup will need to be placed closer to the bridge. And as you may know, the further away the neck pickup is from the bridge, the warmer it sounds. This means you'll have a brighter-sounding neck pickup when using a 24-fret guitar, even if you use the same pickup on a 22-fret guitar.

It comes with nickel silver frets, so they won't last as long as stainless steel frets. If you use your instrument a lot, you might need to replace the frets after a few years. But this is unlikely as most people change instruments before this happens.

More with the same amount of frets:

Fret Size

ESP LTD Eclipse '87 NT Fret Size Comparison
ESP LTD Eclipse '87 NT's fret size (in orange) compared to other popular sizes

Finally, let's talk about fret size. Some people prefer tall frets because it's easier to press the strings and perform bends since there's less friction against the fretboard. On the other hand, some people like shorter frets because they like to touch the fretboard when playing, or because they got heavy hands and tend to press too much on the string and alter the of the note pitch accidently.

The ESP LTD Eclipse '87 NT's frets are XL Jumbo size. These are extra-large frets, which are perfect for people who truly want the least resistance for techniques like vibrato, bending, tapping, and just playing fast in general. You won't be able to feel the fretboard with these frets, so if you press too hard you'll get the notes out of pitch. It might take a while to get used to them because of this.

More with the same type of frets:

Playability Score

Bending & Vibrato Ease 95
Chord Playability 75
Solo Playability 90
Playability 87

Tone Analysis

Wood will have little influence in the final tone of an electric guitar or bass. Instead, the hardware, especially the pickups, will be the most important thing to look at. Bur first, let's see the quality of the wood.

Wood

Mahogany wood pattern used for guitar building
Mahogany Body
Maple wood pattern used for guitar building
Maple Neck
Ebony wood pattern used for guitar building
Ebony Fretboard

Mahogany Body: This is the type of wood found in many top-of-the-line guitars, so that's a positive point for the build quality. This red-looking wood Mahogany is found in Africa and Central America and has great sustain and a warm tone due to its high density. The downside about this type of wood is that it's relatively heavy.

Maple Neck: This is one of the most popular types of wood used in all kinds of guitars. It's heavy, strong and compact, which makes it great for necks. However, it's also used for fretboards, bodies and tops due to its light color, resistance and beautiful patterns. When it comes to tone, it highlights the mid and high frequencies.

Ebony Fretboard: This is one of the most expensive woods there is, which is why it's mostly used for fretboards. It is dense, heavy, highly resistant and comes in a really dark color that gives any guitar a classy touch. Tone wise, it helps the high side of the spectrum and provides good sustain.

More made with the same wood:

Pickups

This guitar comes with pickups from one of the top brands: Seymour Duncan. So you can expect well built pickups with great sound that shouldn't need an upgrade anytime soon.

These are passive pickups, so you can expect a rounder sound and a moderade level of output.

The ESP LTD Eclipse '87 NT's configuration is HH. With this pickup combination, you'll get warmer tones and more output than using single coils. Humbucker pickups cancel the noise that single-coil suffer from, which also results in a warmer tone. This pickup combination isn't only for high-gain music like Hard Rock or Heavy Metal. Their warmness is also popular for Jazz, Indie, R&B, Blues and more.

More with the same pickups

24 Frets
Fixed Bridge
Seymour Duncan JB SH-4 Bridge Pickup
Seymour Duncan '59 SH-1N Neck Pickup
22 Frets
Fixed Bridge
Seymour Duncan JB SH-4 Bridge Pickup
Seymour Duncan Jazz SH-2 Neck Pickup
24 Frets
Floyd Rose Bridge
Seymour Duncan JB SH-4 Bridge Pickup
Seymour Duncan '59 SH-1N Neck Pickup
24 Frets
Evertune Bridge
Seymour Duncan JB SH-4 Bridge Pickup
Seymour Duncan Jazz SH-2 Neck Pickup
24 Frets
Floyd Rose Bridge
Seymour Duncan JB TB-4 Bridge Pickup
Seymour Duncan '59 SH-1N Neck Pickup

Versatility

It comes with the popular 3-way switch that is present in most guitars. For more versatility, players tend to prefer a 5-way switch, although it all depends on what you want to use your guitar for.

It has a Coil Split option. It allows you to 'split' or turn off pickup coils to get even more tones in combination with the pickup selector. When used with humbucker pickups, it'll reduce the output and increase their clarity, turning them essentially into single-coil pickups.

Diagram

ESP LTD Eclipse '87 NT pickups switch and push knobs diagram
ESP LTD Eclipse '87 NT's switch options

What music genre is it good for?

As a 6 strings, Solid Body guitar with HH configuration and Passive pickups, we'd recommend it for genres like Hard Rock or similar. However, you can use almost any guitar for any genre. This is just the typical type of music for this particular one.

Sound Score

Pickups 85
Sustain 80
Versatility 64
Tuning Stability 75
Sound 76

Build Quality Analysis

Country of Origin

Knowing where the instrument is produced is a good way to know how well it's built. Some manufacturing countries are known for having higher quality standards. For example, most expensive instruments are made in the US or Japan, but there are some exceptionally great countries—like South Korea—that are building a good reputation.

The ESP LTD Eclipse '87 NT is made in Indonesia. Many people prefer the quality of an Indonesian guitar over a Chinese. Respectable brands like Epiphone, Ibanez and Schecter are building in this country because of the great quality and lower price. Some people like to compare them to the ones built in Japan during the 80s, when Japanese guitar makers made a name for themselves.

Bridge

Tonepros Locking TOM & Tailpiece: The advantage of fixed bridges is that they don't require any kind of set-up. This makes it extremely easy when changing strings because you don't need to adjust anything besides tuning the guitar. Also, the fact that the bridge is directly attached to the body will help to increase sustain. The disadvantage is the lack of versatility since you can't create the same vibrato effects as with tremolo bridges.

More with the same type of bridge:

Tuners

The ESP LTD Eclipse '87 NT comes with locking tuners, which helps with tuning stability and makes changing strings a lot faster and easier. As long as they're high quality, these are the best tuning machines you can have. The only disadvantage is that they are a bit heavier than normal tuners.

Nut Material

Another important thing to analyze is the nut material, as it's one of the most important aspects that can affect the sound and playability of your guitar. A well-cut nut will make sure it stays in tune and will make it more comfortable to play.

In this case, the ESP LTD Eclipse '87 NT has a Plastic nut. This is a low-quality nut that you might want to consider upgrading soon. Bone and TUSQ nuts are the best for guitars with a fixed or simple tremolo bridge.

Neck Joint

The neck joint is the part where the neck of the guitar meets the body. There are three main techniques to attach both parts together: Set-In, Bolt-On and Neck-Through. The latter two provide different advantages, although neck-throughs are the most expensive.

This guitar has a Neck-Through neck joint. Many people believe a neck-through build delivers the best sustain because some of the vibrations from the neck aren't lost like with other neck joints. However, no one has been able to prove this. What we know is that a neck-through build is usually the most comfortable when playing the upper frets because there's nothing on your way at the neck-body joint.

More with the same build:

Build Quality Score

Quality of materials 41
Features 75
Quality Control 75
Build Quality 64

All Specs

ESP LTD Eclipse '87 NT
General
Brand: ESP LTD
Year: 2020
Configuration: HH
Strings: 6
Made in: Indonesia
Series: '87 Series Guitars
Colors: White, Green
Left-Handed Version: No
Body
Type: Solid Body
Body Material: Mahogany
Bridge: Tonepros Locking TOM & Tailpiece
Neck
Neck Joint: Neck-Through
Tuners: LTD Locking
Fretboard: Macassar Ebony
Neck Material: 3pc Maple
Decoration: Offset Small Blocks
Scale Size: 24.75"
Shape: Thin U
Thickness: 1st Fret: 0.787'' (20mm) - 12th Fret: 0.866'' (22mm)
Frets: 24 XL Jumbo
Fretboard Radius: 13.78"
Nut: Plastic
Nut Width: 42mm (1.654'')
Electronics
Switch: 3 Way
Knobs: Dome
Pickup Mods: Coil Split
Volume Controls: 1
Tone Controls: 1
Bridge Pickup: Seymour Duncan JB SH-4 (Humbucker / Passive)
Neck Pickup: Seymour Duncan '59 SH-1N (Humbucker / Passive)

User Reviews

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Your Rating:

1 user reviews:

donnydoyle777 profile picture
donnydoyle777
07/01/24 13:38:56

I own one of these and it's my fave axe right now. And, I have many pro level guitars. I got mine for abt $900 and it is worth every cent. Sounds great, plays amazing, looks cool. I love ESP/LTD - and I'm a lefty.