1990 / 1999 - ESP MX-250 - Guitars Collector

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ESP MX-250


called also MX-250II or MX-250-2 or later MX-II --> ESP M (Metallica) X (eXplorer) - 250 (price in yen) II (2 pickups)
To the new design of the MX-220 was given the name MX-250II (, when the price was raised from 250,000 yen)
It appears officially in the 1993 catalog.

- year: from 1991 to 1999 (2015 in Japan only for Japanese market), Japan Custom Shop - Special/Custom Order
- MSRP:
Y250/270 ~ $3000/3300
- shape: respect MX-220 have more sharp points (no banana headstock), slightly longer body (bottom strap button to tip of headstock), switch moved further away from the volume pots, no step in the neck. Gibson style single screw bell shaped truss rod cover changed in 1996 to bullet style truss rod cover
- construction: set neck (no step)
- neck: mahogany
- body: mahogany
- fingerboard: ebony 22 frets XJ with pearl dot inlays, 24.75" scale (628mm)
- electronics: active EMG 81 (bridge) / 81 (neck), Volume, Tone, Toggle 3 way selector
- hardware: Gotoh tuners, ABR-1 Tune-O-Matic bridge and stopbar
- logos and serials:
-- front of headstock: "ESP Custom" light grey/gold glittered logo for black guitars, black/gold glittered for white guitars
-- back of headstock: XXXXXXXX (8 digits) serial number stamped in white or black (NO "ESP Custom Guitars" circle logo).
The production date is not written anywhere, only if you still have the papers you can know it.

BELL truss rod cover was changed to BULLET after 1996
1991 --> (the first made only for James Hetfield, had no serial)
1992 -->
(the first made only for James Hetfield, had no serial)
1993 --> 250230XX (bell);
19033XXX (bell); 24043XXX (bell) (first year of official production)
1994 -->
1995 --> 150352XX (bell);
1996 --> 150464XX (bell); 231067XX (bell) (hereafter BULLET truss rod cover)
1997 -->
1998 --> 161080XX;
1999 --> 271090XX; 050392XX;
2000 --> 17020185; 080100XX; K00XXXXX (new serial code)
2001 --> K01XXXXX
2002 --> K02XXXXX
2003 --> K03XXXXX
2004 --> K04XXXXX
2005 --> K05XXXXX
2006 --> K06XXXXX
2007 --> K07XXXXX
2008 --> K08XXXXX
2009 --> K09XXXXX
2010 -->
K10XXXXX; T10XXXXX (custom shop in Takada)
2011
--> K11XXXXX
2012
--> K12XXXXX
2013
--> K13XXXXX
2014 --> K14XXXXX (start "ESP Custom" world gold logo in back of headstock)

2015 --> K15XXXXX
If you have other records please help me!!

- colors and other features: Black, Olympic White, Snow White, .... etc...
- notes: This is the most famous model that James Hetfield use.


The body style of the old ESP Explorer (MX-220, MX-250, EXP) was retired due to Gibson Lawsuit, and a new body style was introduced in 2000 (EX models). Only in Japan you can still find (if you're lucky) or order the old shape called now MX-2. It's hilarious that Gibson in 2012 release the "Epiphone 1984 Explorer EX" copying control pot configuration of ESP MX-250, a sort of revenge...


Example of MX-250 early version with BELL style truss rod cover

Example of MX-250 version with BULLETT style truss rod cover


LIMITED EDITIONS - Called in Japan "Special Interest Group"
They are all custom orders, no production series.
In the early 90's if you want a guitar like one used by James, you have only to ask at the custom shop.
So at today only few are available, the ones built as custom order from rich metallica fans on early 90's...

"man to wolf" inlays, about 5/10 pieces?

Until now I've tracked 5 of them (including the original owned by James Hetfield):
N.1 - made in 1991, now in U.S.A., the first and original owned by James Hetfield, now retired from action
N.2 - made in ????, now in Japan at the ESP Museum above the ESP Craft House in Shibuya, Tokyo. Looks to be original run Special Interest Group
N.3 - made in 1992, in Japan, Special Interest Group owned by Tetsuya of Metallica Japan Official Fan Club
N.4 - made in 1992, now in Singapore, owned by "ezguitars.tk"
N.5 - made in 1995, now in Europe, custom order, owned by Erick-KKV
N.6 - made in ????, sold some years ago by MAEGuitars (I don't know if this one is one of other 4 tracked)

Thanks to: ezguitars.tk
Back in 1991-92, when James was using this guitar extensively on the Roam tour, ESP in Japan made a special limited run of these guitars called the Metallica Special Interest Group. Today, 25 years later, how many were actually made is unknown, but I'm guessing that it's about 10... max. Apparently some that were made were recalled before they were sold. If you wonder, "why on earth did they not make more in all that time?" I can think of a few reasons. Firstly, it was extremely expensive for its time. The casual guitar fan would not be expected to buy it (hence 'special interest group') and guitar snobs with the dough would never touch such a heavy metal-looking guitar. The "signature guitar" market as we know it today did not really exist, and the ESP guitar company itself, was much smaller. Secondly, they were available to the domestic Japan market only. Thirdly, as was the case with the MX220 Eet Fuk, it may have offended James to know that his creations were being sold to the masses and so ordered ESP to desist.

N.1 - made in 1991, now in U.S.A., the first and original owned by James Hetfield, now retired from action



N.2 - made in ????, now in Japan at the ESP Museum above the ESP Craft House in Shibuya, Tokyo. Looks to be original run Special Interest Group



N.3 - made in 1992, in Japan, Special Interest Group owned by Tetsuya of Metallica Japan Official Fan Club




N.4 - made in 1992, now in Singapore, owned by "ezguitars.tk" - SERIAL: XXXX2177

no white glittered circle logo in the back of the headstock

This guitar was found and sold to ezguitars.tk by Erick-KKV. It is in very good condition for it's age though it shows some playwear. The body is lightweight compared to later MX builds. The EMG lettering on the pickups have faded. It has an older type TOM style bridge. The serial number points to it being a 1992 original and is in sequence just days apart from the one currently privately owned in Japan.



N.5 - made in 1995, now in Europe, custom order, owned by Erick-KKV0 - SERIAL: 240XXXXX

custom order with white glittered circle logo in the back of the headstock (like the EXP) and Sperzel tuners



N.6 - made in ????, sold some years ago by MAEGuitars




"snake" inlays (220 body) - ONLY 3-4 pieces ? (not sure).

Never seen anywhere over the James one.

LEFTY

[only custom order, 3 pieces made]

 
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