ESP Snapper CTM Overview and Best Prices

ESP Snapper CTM Review
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  • From ESP's 2020 Snapper series
  • Made in Japan
  • 6 strings
  • 25.5"'' scale
  • 9.5" to 12" Fretboard Radius
  • Burled Poplar top
  • Swamp Ash body
  • Maple neck
  • Maple fretboard
  • Bridge pickup: Seymour Duncan 59/Custom Hybrid (Humbucker/Passive)
  • Middle pickup: Seymour Duncan Vintage Hot Stack Plus (Single Coil/Passive)
  • Neck pickup: Seymour Duncan Vintage Hot Stack Plus (Single Coil/Passive)
  • 1 volume and 1 tone Dome knobs
  • 5-way Switch
  • ESP Flicker-III bridge
  • Thin U Bolt-On neck
  • 22 XL Jumbo frets
  • Gotoh Locking tuners
  • See all specs and compare >

Our Scores and Tone Evaluation

Playability 73
Sound 83
Build quality 82
Value for money 64
Overall Score 79
Tone Evaluation
  • Heavy Metal
  • Hard Rock
  • Jazz
  • Blues
  • Funk
  • Country
Strengths & Weaknesses
ESP Snapper CTM
  • Locking Tuners
  • Made in Japan
  • Expensive Wood
  • Bone Nut
  • Top Brand Pickups
  • Coil Split, Capacitance Selector Pickups
  • Tremolo
  • Compound Radius Fretboard
  • Cheap Fret Wire (NS)
  • No Neck-Through Build
  • No Weight Relief
  • No Luminescent Inlay
  • No 21:1 Tuner Ratio
  • No Strap Lock

Price Overview

Its average competitor's price is $2350, which means that the ESP Snapper CTM costs around 104% 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 Tremolo bridge that are made in Japan.

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User 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 speed (thickness)

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Neck access to high frets

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Neck profile shape

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Fret edges

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Pickups noise

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Pickups power

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Videos

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【4K】Sundown w/ESP SNAPPER-CTM-FM(Demonstration at ESP CUSTOM SHOP OSAKA)
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Playability

The ESP Snapper CTM meets 7 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 Snapper CTM
  • Comfortable shape
  • Easy-to-use bridge
  • Locking tuners
  • Comfortable fretboard
  • Tall frets
  • Narrow nut
  • Comfortable neck
  • 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 Snapper CTM'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

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 Snapper CTM's 25.5" scale length compared to other common sizes:

ESP Snapper CTM Scale Length Comparison
ESP Snapper CTM's scale length (at the top) compared to other popular sizes

This is the same scale length used in Stratocaster guitars, and it's one of the main reasons they have such a bright sound. It's considered a long scale when compared to most non-baritone guitars.

Since the distance between bridge and nut is relatively long, you'll need to give the strings more tension to get them in tune. This higher tension will allow for a couple of things. First, you can get a lower action (get the strings closer to the fretboard) because the strings won't 'wiggle' too much when pluck and won't cause fret buzz. This can allow you to use lower tunings without increasing your string gauge, and it will make it easier to press down the strings fast.

However, the frets will also have a wider separation between each other, which can make it harder to play, especially if you got small hands. The higher tension will also make the strings feel stiffer, so bending will require more strength.

More with the same scale length:

Neck Profile

ESP Snapper CTM Neck Profile
ESP Snapper CTM'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 Snapper CTM'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 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.

ESP Snapper CTM Fretboard Compound Radius
ESP Snapper CTM's Compound Fretboard Radius

The ESP Snapper CTM has a compound fingerboard radius of 9.5" to 12".

A compound radius is the best you can get because you'll get the best of both worlds. It starts curved at the nut, but it flattens as you get closer to the body. This means that you'll get great comfortability for chords on the first few frets, but also a flatter fretboard for playing solos without problems on the higher frets.

More with the same fretboard radius:

Playability compared to main competitors

ESP Snapper CTM
This model
25.5'' Scale Length
U Neck Profile
1.654'' Nut Width
Compound Fretboard Radius
25.5'' Scale Length
U Neck Profile
1.654'' Nut Width
12'' Fretboard Radius
25.5'' Scale Length
U Neck Profile
1.654'' Nut Width
12'' Fretboard Radius
Ibanez LM1
Compare
25.5'' Scale Length
C Neck Profile
1.654'' Nut Width
Compound Fretboard Radius
25.5'' Scale Length
C Neck Profile
1.654'' Nut Width
12'' Fretboard Radius

Nut Width

ESP Snapper CTM Nut Width
ESP Snapper CTM Nut Width

The ESP Snapper CTM 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 Snapper CTM has 22 frets. Even though 24 frets has become really popular, there's still a good reason to get fewer frets; the pickup at the neck position will be further away from the bridge. This makes the neck pickup achieve a warmer tone. You might want this if you're playing Jazz or similar genres.

However, if you don't care about the warmer neck pickup, more frets will always be better. It's always nice to have the option to play higher notes if you want to.

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 Snapper CTM Fret Size Comparison
ESP Snapper CTM'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 Snapper CTM'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 70
Chord Playability 80
Solo Playability 70
Playability 73

Tone

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

Ash wood pattern used for guitar building
Ash Body
Maple wood pattern used for guitar building
Maple Neck, Fretboard

Ash Body: The most popular Ash wood for guitars is swamp Ash. It has a really light color with beautiful patterns, which makes it perfect for a natural-looking finish. It's not as lightweight as Alder, but also not as heavy as Mahogany. It's known for producing a bright tone with solid mids and lows.

Maple Neck and Fretboard: 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.

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 Snapper CTM's configuration is HSS. If you play a lot with humbuckers in the bridge position, but would also love to have pristine cleans, this is a great configuration to have. The bridge humbucker will give you tons of output for playing distorted rhythm parts, while the single coils will give you a lot of tone options.

Versatility

It gives you a good amount of tone options with its 5-way switch. You can use it to choose at least 5 different pickup combinations.

It has Multiple switch option. The first one is Coil Split. 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.

It also has a Capacitance Selector option. A capacitor is a piece of hardware that allows you to control the tone of the guitar. There are many types of capacitors with different ratings that will give you a brighter or warmer tone. A capacitance selector lets you choose between multiple capacitors for additional tone options.

Diagram

ESP Snapper CTM pickups switch selector and push knobs diagram
ESP Snapper CTM's switch options

What music genre is it good for?

As a 6 strings, Solid Body guitar with HSS 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 90
Sustain 80
Versatility 85
Tuning Stability 75
Sound 83

Build Quality

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 Snapper CTM is made in Japan. You should expect a high-quality guitar with excellent quality control. It can be compared to guitars made in the US, which is why they're also expensive.

Bridge

ESP Flicker-III: This type of bridge allows you to change the pitch of the notes by pulling the bridge with the attached bar, which gives you better versatility. Also, since the bridge is not fixed to the guitar body, the bridge will move as you bend the strings. So you'll have to increase the distance of your bends to reach the same tension (note) compared to a fixed bridge. This allows you to perform smoother bends but will also make you slower. Finally, remember that this type of bridge requires a bit more maintenance than fixed ones, especially when changing strings.

More with the same type of bridge:

Tuners

The ESP Snapper CTM 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 Snapper CTM has a Bone nut. This material is one of the highest quality you can get. It provides excellent sustain and tune stability if cut well. The only disadvantage is that it's an organic material, so it's not consistent. Two different bone nuts, even if made from the same bone, will probably sound slightly different. However, bear in mind that this is only relevant when playing open strings.

More with the same nut material:

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 Bolt-On neck joint. Even though this type of neck was looked down upon for a long time, nowadays bolt-on necks are well built and provide just as much sustain as any other join method. First of all, it's cheap to make because it consists of simply 4 bolts that attach the neck to the body. And you can travel with the guitar more easily, swap out the neck if you damage it, or upgrade to a more comfortable neck later on.

More with the same build:

Build Quality Score

Quality of materials 65
Features 80
Quality Control 100
Build Quality 82

All Specs

ESP Snapper CTM
General
Brand: ESP
Year: 2020
Configuration: HSS
Strings: 6
Made in: Japan
Series: Snapper
Colors: Blue Burst, Black Burst, Natural, Pink and Purple Burst, Blue Patterns, Brown Batterns, Purple Patterns
Left-Handed Version: No
Body
Top: Burled Poplar
Type: Solid Body
Body Material: Swamp Ash
Bridge: ESP Flicker-III
Neck
Neck Joint: Bolt-On
Tuners: Gotoh Locking
Fretboard: Maple
Neck Material: Maple
Decoration: Dots
Scale Size: 25.5"
Shape: Thin U
Thickness: 1st Fret: 0.787'' (20mm) - 12th Fret: 0.866'' (22mm)
Frets: 22 XL Jumbo
Fretboard Radius: 9.5" to 12"
Nut: Bone
Nut Width: 42mm (1.654'')
Electronics
Switch: 5 Way
Knobs: Dome
Pickup Mods: Coil Split, Capacitance Selector
Volume Controls: 1
Tone Controls: 1
Bridge Pickup: Seymour Duncan 59/Custom Hybrid (Humbucker / Passive)
Middle Pickup: Seymour Duncan Vintage Hot Stack Plus (Single Coil / Passive)
Neck Pickup: Seymour Duncan Vintage Hot Stack Plus (Single Coil / Passive)