Instantly recognisable iconic styling, radical, yet oh-so-familiar, yet somehow different, may be the best way to describe the Fret-King Black Label Esprit.
The distinctive reversed six-a-side in-line peghead and striking asymmetric body add up to a statement of style with individuality and attitude to spare.
The three pickup Esprit III is a rock monster in disguise with its feet firmly rooted in tradition, and a flair and versatility which belies its looks.
The long tenon set-neck construction, combining a three-piece centre block agathis body with fast-playing maple neck creates a solid platform for you to build your Esprit III's tone.
The distinctive reversed six-a-side in-line peghead, asymmetric body and WP90s, vintage '60s 'Long Tail' vibrato and signature oversized pickguard all add up to a real statement of style with attitude.
The reverse string tension and three stacked Fret-King WP90s give the Esprit III a huge range of core sounds. Master volume and master tone add to the dynamic and tonal range, while the Fret-King Vari-coil allows each of the stacked pickups to be rolled progressively back to single coil.
The Vari-coil and five-way switch offer endless permutations such as classic neck P90, that definitive bridge single coil, hot bridge humbucker, and then some. Can you imagine neck and middle, with the Vari-coil half way back, mid-tone and volume backed off a little, sweetness and power like no other guitar, or a middle position humbucker, swept back to a neck and middle `out of phase' setting in the flick of a switch?
The smooth-as-silk Wilkinson, vintage `60s 'Long Tail' vibrato and the Wilkinson roller bridge, which features superb return to pitch, add even more dynamic and performance opportunities to the Esprit III a guitar which never fails to surprise, with a huge range of sounds, some very familiar, some a surprise, all exceptionally useable.
Unconventional? Possibly. Versatile? Certainly. A strong statement of individuality? Most definitely!
• Body: Agathis
• Neck: Maple set neck
• Scale: 25"/634mm
• Frets: 22 medium jumbo
• Inlays: Pearl dots
• Nut Width: 1.67"/42.5mm nominal
• Nut: Graphite
• Tuners: Wilkinson WJ04
• Bridge: Wilkinson roller bridge with vibrato
• Pickups: 3 Fret-King stacked WP90s
• Controls: Volume, tone, Vari-coil, 5-way selector
• Includes: Luxury Fret-King carry bag
The Esprit III is an original Fret-King® Black Label Series™ guitar created by Trev Wilkinson and the UK Fret-King design team.
> Read the review by Music Radar and Guitar Interactive Magazine.