2014 ESP James Hetfield Signature Iron Cross Snow White Guitar Detail Specs

ESP James Hetfield Signature Iron Cross Snow White Guitar 2014 Detail Specs

Electric Sound Products, better know to guitarists as ESP, started humbly enough in Tokyo, Japan in 1975. The company rose on its reputation for high-quality, custom-made replacement guitar parts and components, but it didn’t take long for ESP to start crafting their own instruments. Hetfield has been a major endorser of ESP Guitars since the 1980s, and is best known for playing custom-made Explorer-style guitars with an EMG 81/EMG 60 set for pickups.

Metallica’s James Hetfield, who began using their guitars extensively in the late ’80s while in the twilight of the band’s thrash-metal era, often championed ESP’s quality, playability, and tone. And in the years since, ESP has produced a plethora of Hetfield signature models. And now in 2014 they make new James Hetfield Signature Series model ‘Iron Cross’ in Snow White finish. This guitar has the Eclipse body shape; Snow White finish with black hardware, with a black racing stripe and a black Iron Cross on the body. It is based on the design of his 1970s Gibson Les Paul Custom. Let’s see the detail specs of this guitar.

ESP James Hetfield Signature Iron Cross Snow White Guitar 2014Image source: espguitars.com

  • Construction : Set-Neck
  • Scale: 24.75″
  • Body: Mahogany
  • Top : Maple
  • Neck : Mahogany
  • Fingerboard : Ebony
  • Fingerboard Radius : 305mm
  • Finish : Snow White w/ Stripes Graphic
  • Nut Width : 42mm
  • Nut Type : Bone
  • Neck Contour : Thin U
  • Frets/Type : 22 XJ
  • Hardware Color : Black
  • Strap Button : Schaller Security Lock
  • Tuners : Sperzel Locking
  • Bridge : Tonepros Locking TOM Bridge & Tailpiece
  • Neck PU : EMG JH SET
  • Bridge PU : EMG JH SET
  • Electronics : Active
  • Electronics Layout : Vol/Vol/Tone/Toggle Switch


The ESP James Hetfield Signature Iron Cross Electric Guitar is designed to the meet the performance demands of its namesake. It features a mahogany body with a maple top, distinctive graphics and set-neck construction. mahogany is a classic ingredient in both slab and multi-wood (or laminated) bodies. mahogany’s characteristic tone is warm and somewhat soft, but well balanced with good grind and bite. There is usually good depth to the sound, with full but not especially tight lows, and appealing if unpronounced highs. Mahogany has a completely different weight and stiffness with a unique dampening factor.

On the neck this guitar has made from mahogany which a thin U-shape profile, 24.75″ scale and smooth ebony fretboard. The material combination of neck and fretboard on this guitar is popular upmarket pairing, the ebony fretboard contributes to a little more tightness, clarity, and definition, as compared to the mahogany/rosewood neck. A very dense, hard wood, ebony makes for a fast attack from the instrument—all else being equal—and it offers a muscular, controlled bass, and snappy, sizzling highs. With a mahogany back contributing some warmth and openness to the brew, this can be a very appealing pairing. Ebony also wears very well, and it doesn’t divot under years of finger-and-string pressure nearly as easily as rosewood does. This guitar has a neck thin U-shape profile. If it compare with Wizard II neck, the Thin U is quite a bit larger than a Wizard II. It’s slightly thinner than a Schecter neck. Even the Thin U is a lot more curved and slightly fatter than a Wizard II. The esp neck is very comfortable for me. Fingerboard is equipped with 22 jumbo-sized frets, with flag and cross inlays.


ESP James Hetfield Signature Iron Cross Snow White Guitar’s be armored with EMG JH SET on the bridge and neck position. This pickup are sleek Diamond-like carbon (DLC) plated caps and EMG’s Solderless Installation System components, the JH Set consists of the JH-N (neck) and the JH-B (bridge). Both pickups were patterned after the pickups James has used for 30 years but the end result was a completely different animal. The JH-N has individual ceramic poles and bobbins that feature a larger core and are taller than the 60. This produces more attack, higher output, and fuller low end in the neck position. The JH-B uses the same type of core but has steel pole pieces, unlike the 81 that uses bar magnets. This produces the familiar tight attack with less inductance for a cleaner low end.

Honestly the best sounding pickups i’ve ever heard. They can handle all the distortion you can throw at them and still have note definition and clarity. That goes for Clean tones as well, Very clear, big beautiful sounding chords and clear leads. There’s a vol knob for each pickup, and a master tone knob. There are 2 switches on the guitar, one, the lower one, controls pickup selection. The other, near the neck, on top, does nothing, just like James Hetfield’ s very own guitar.


All Hardwares color of this guitar is black. Bridge section features a Tonepros Locking TOM Bridge & Tailpiece. A TonePros bridge will stay in place and not wiggle at all (even thread play is reduced). As a result, the instrument stays in tune better, has improved sustain, and harmonics will seem to jump out of your guitar. The tuners are Sperzel locking tuners. Not much to be said. They re known for being awesome, and Mega stable.

Watch the review video of ESP James Hetfield Signature Iron Cross Electric Guitar

Overall the guitar sounds EPIC. Sounds amazing. Its James Hetfield’s signature guitar, its made for metal, and i’m pretty sure when it comes with EMG JH SET provides all the killer tones that metal players seek. provides all the killer tones that metal players seek. If you’re looking for an axe that can withstand the brutality of metal shredding, this guitar is worth a try. The price of ESP James Hetfield Signature Iron Cross Snow White Guitar 2014 is about $4,899.00 (it has also available a more budget-conscious LTD version)


  • emgpickups.com
  • espguitars.com