Ltd Rainbow Crackle 87 Re-release
Todd Simpson
Aug 27 2021, 08:16 AM
Posts: 23.646
Joined: 23-December 09
From: Atlanta, Georgia, USA
As the saying goes, “everything old is new again”. This has never been more true than recently if guitars are any sort of indicator. Not to long ago, Ibanez reissued their legendary RG565 guitar which has been one of the most coveted Ibanez guitars ever built. They had previously reissued the RG550 line in the form of the “Genesis” versions of these guitars. Both RGs were very popular in the late 80s. As if to presage things, these guitars were well received. Also, ESP / LTD released several of the George Lynch guitars popularized in the 80s. Then the “Crackle” paint job started to show up on guitars from nearly every vendor imaginable. The crackle pain job was wildly popular in the 80s as it was a very visual design. A bright under color beneath a broken/crackled black paint job. One of the most striking crackle designs was the “Rainbow Cracike” which featured a rainbow of colors under the crackled black paint. Recently, the fine folks at ESP decided to release a spate of rainbow crackle guitars and even a bass. Let’s take a look at these “New Retro” designs.

These guitars are “Era Correct” and aimed squarely at the Shred Head guitar virtuosos that so often play this type of instrument. Shredding as well has seen a big revival in recent years. It certainly seemed dead around the time of Grunge Rock. It has since sprung back and now has a new following of younger players who shred it up on youtube. The guitars in the LTD line here are based on the ECLIPSE/MIRAGE DELUXE/M-1 CUSTOM and SURVEYOR 87. These were offered in the 1987 catalog.


This was a telecaster based shape, features a mahogany body with a 3 piece maple neck with an ebony fingerboard with 24 extra jumbo frets. The pickups are both Duncan humbuckers with a JB in the bridge and 59 in the neck. Individual volume and tone knobs for tone control and you get push pull for coil splitting. All this can be yours for $1,200.
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This double cutaway shredder has a single Duncan distortion TB6 pickup in the bridge. As was the custom in the late 80s, it’s only got the one pickup. After all, when all your doing is shredding at full tilt, who needs a neck pickup? As an added bonus, it’s got an EMG PA-2 active boost switch which adds a second dose of monster gain on top of what the pickup is already putting out. I’ve tried this boost system with the kerry King pickup set and it’s a blowtorch. The guitar has an alder body and 3 piece maple neck with ebony fingerboard and 24 jumbo frets. It has a locking floyd trem, of course, and can be yours for only $1,100.
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This is the more complicated brother of the M1. They share similar features in many ways, except that this one has two pickups. It has the same Duncan Distortion in the bridge but adds a Duncan Hot Rail in the neck. You get a 3 way switch and coil splitting via push pull knobs. You also get 2 fewer frets on this one. It can be yours for $1,100.
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To round things out, you can also get a rainbow crackle bass guitar! It’s got an alder body and maple neck with ebony fretboard with 21 extra jumbo frets. It has a duncan vintage jazz pickup in the bridge and duncan vintage p in the neck. All this 80s glory can be yours for $1,000.
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For more info, check the ESP/LTD web site

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This post has been edited by Todd Simpson: Aug 27 2021, 08:19 AM
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