ESP Original Snapper Guitar Review

The ESP Original Snapper is a premium electric guitar model crafted by ESP Guitars, a renowned Japanese guitar manufacturer known for producing high-quality instruments favored by professional musicians worldwide.

The Original Snapper is a part of ESP’s Original Series, which showcases the company’s commitment to craftsmanship, innovation, and delivering exceptional performance instruments. Let’s delve into the features, characteristics, and notable aspects of the ESP Original Snapper:

Craftsmanship and Design

The ESP Original Snapper is crafted with meticulous attention to detail, reflecting the high standards of quality associated with ESP Guitars. It features a sleek and sophisticated design that strikes a balance between classic aesthetics and modern sensibilities. The guitar’s contours, body shape, and headstock design contribute to its distinctive visual appeal.


The choice of tonewoods is a crucial factor in shaping the sound of the ESP Original Snapper. While specific wood combinations can vary based on different iterations and custom options, the guitar typically features a mahogany body, known for its warm and resonant tonal characteristics.

The addition of a maple top enhances the guitar’s clarity, sustain, and visual elegance.

Pickups: One of the defining elements of the ESP Original Snapper is its set of custom-wound pickups. These pickups are carefully designed to capture the tonal nuances of the guitar’s tonewoods and enhance its sonic capabilities. The combination of high-quality tonewoods and custom pickups results in a versatile range of tones that can cover genres from clean jazz to high-gain rock.

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Electronics and Controls

The ESP Original Snapper is equipped with a set of intuitive electronics and controls that allow players to shape their sound with precision. This typically includes individual volume and tone controls for each pickup, as well as a pickup selector switch that enables you to choose different pickup configurations. This versatility empowers players to achieve a wide array of tones to suit their musical style.

The electronics and controls of the ESP Original Snapper are thoughtfully designed to provide players with a wide range of tonal possibilities while maintaining intuitive and precise control over their sound. These components play a crucial role in shaping the guitar’s sonic character, making it a versatile instrument suitable for various musical genres. Let’s explore the key electronic features and controls commonly found on the ESP Original Snapper:

Pickups: The ESP Original Snapper typically comes equipped with a set of high-quality pickups, carefully selected and custom-wound to complement the guitar’s tonewoods and design. While specific pickup models may vary based on different iterations of the Snapper, the pickups are strategically positioned to capture the nuances of each string and deliver a balanced and dynamic output.

Selector Switch: The pickup selector switch on the ESP Original Snapper allows you to choose between different pickup configurations. This switch lets you select either the neck pickup, bridge pickup, or a combination of both. The various pickup combinations contribute to a diverse tonal palette, enabling you to switch seamlessly between clean, warm neck tones and brighter, biting bridge tones.

Volume Controls

blankEach pickup on the ESP Original Snapper is typically equipped with its own dedicated volume and tone control knobs. These controls allow you to adjust the output level (volume) and tonal character (tone) of each pickup independently.

This level of customization empowers you to sculpt your sound with precision, whether you’re aiming for a smooth jazz timbre or a more aggressive rock edge.

Some iterations of the ESP Original Snapper may feature push-pull potentiometers on the tone controls. These pots allow you to “split” the humbucking pickups into single-coil mode, effectively giving you access to a broader spectrum of tones. When engaged, coil splitting can deliver brighter and more articulate single-coil sounds, expanding the guitar’s sonic versatility even further.

Active Electronics: Certain versions of the ESP Original Snapper may incorporate active electronics, which can include features like onboard preamps or equalization controls. Active electronics can provide added tonal shaping options and increased signal clarity, making the guitar well-suited for modern playing styles and intricate tonal adjustments.

Output Jack

The output jack on the ESP Original Snapper is where you connect your guitar cable to amplify the instrument through an amplifier, effects pedals, or recording equipment. This component is crucial for transmitting the guitar’s signal to external devices, allowing you to project your sound with power and clarity.

The combination of these electronics and controls empowers you to explore a wide spectrum of tones on the ESP Original Snapper. From velvety jazz cleans to searing rock leads, the guitar’s electronics provide the tools to articulate your musical expression with finesse and precision.

Playability and Neck Design

blankESP is renowned for its exceptional neck designs and playability, and the Original Snapper is no exception. The guitar’s neck profile and fretboard facilitate comfortable and effortless playability, allowing players to navigate complex chord progressions, intricate solos, and dynamic bends with ease.

Quality Hardware: The ESP Original Snapper is outfitted with high-quality hardware components, including precision tuners, a reliable bridge system, and durable knobs and switches. These components contribute to the guitar’s overall stability, tuning accuracy, and long-term reliability.

Versatility and Musical Expression: One of the remarkable aspects of the ESP Original Snapper is its versatility. While it may have a strong association with jazz and fusion genres due to its design and tonal characteristics, the guitar’s dynamic range and tonal flexibility make it suitable for a wide variety of musical styles, from blues and rock to more contemporary genres.

Limited Production and Customization

 The ESP Original Snapper is often produced in limited quantities, showcasing ESP’s commitment to exclusivity and craftsmanship.

Additionally, ESP offers customization options that allow players to tailor certain aspects of the guitar, such as finishes, hardware, and pickups, to suit their individual preferences and sonic goals.

In conclusion, the ESP Original Snapper represents the culmination of ESP’s dedication to creating instruments that excel in terms of design, playability, and sonic performance.

Comparable Guitars

The ESP Original Snapper is often associated with jazz, fusion, and versatile playing styles due to its design, tonewoods, and electronics. Here are some comparable guitars that offer similar qualities:

  1. Gibson ES-335:
    • The Gibson ES-335 is a legendary semi-hollow electric guitar known for its warm, rich tones and iconic design. Like the ESP Original Snapper, the ES-335 features a semi-hollow construction with a center block, providing a balance of resonance and feedback resistance. It’s favored by jazz, blues, and rock players for its versatility and ability to deliver both clean and overdriven tones.
  2. Ibanez AS200:
    • The Ibanez AS200 is a semi-hollow electric guitar with a heritage rooted in jazz and fusion. It’s a signature model of renowned guitarist John Scofield. The AS200 offers a similar semi-hollow design, premium tonewoods, and versatile pickups that excel in capturing expressive and nuanced tones.
  3. Gretsch White Falcon:
    • While visually distinct from the ESP Original Snapper, the Gretsch White Falcon is a large-bodied hollow-body guitar that also attracts jazz and rockabilly players. Its vibrant, twangy tones and vintage aesthetics make it a unique option for those seeking a bold sonic and visual statement.
  4. PRS Hollowbody II:
    • The PRS Hollowbody II is a high-end semi-hollow guitar that blends classic design with modern features. Its versatility, comfortable playability, and top-notch craftsmanship make it a contender for players exploring jazz, blues, and fusion genres.
  5. D’Angelico Excel Series:
    • D’Angelico offers a range of semi-hollow and hollow-body guitars, such as the Excel Series, which are inspired by classic jazz archtops. These guitars combine vintage aesthetics with modern playability and are favored by players who appreciate traditional jazz tones.
  6. Godin 5th Avenue Kingpin:
    • The Godin 5th Avenue Kingpin is an affordable yet high-quality archtop guitar. It’s well-suited for jazz, blues, and roots music, offering warm tones and a comfortable playing experience.
  7. Epiphone Casino:
    • The Epiphone Casino is a classic hollow-body guitar with a long history in various genres, including rock and pop. While it might lean more toward the British Invasion sound, its hollow construction and P-90 pickups can deliver a unique blend of warmth and bite.