PRS Guitars vs ESP Comparison – Which is Better?

Deciding on what brand of guitar is the best and suits your musical demands can be a hassle because each guitar has its specific feature when put up against another. 

To make an informed decision, you will need adequate and detailed information on the brands of guitars, the varieties they offer, and their features. 

In this article, I will be providing you with this information and hopefully help you in making the right choice between PRS Guitars and ESP.

Let’s get into it!

PRS Guitars

PRS Guitars is an American guitar and amplifier company founded by Paul Reed Smith. It was founded in 1985 by Paul Reed Smith and is located in Maryland. Electric and acoustic guitars, basses, and amplifiers are all made by PRS.

PRS is one of the leading and most known guitar brands, with a broad and exquisite guitar range that continues to innovate and strive for excellence.

In 1985, they released their first guitar, the PRS Custom. It became the standard for all of their premium guitars after that. After that came the PRS Standard, a factory-made guitar rather than a hand-crafted one.

They now provide a wide range of series and models, including:

  • PRS Custom 24 Guitars
  • PRS Custom 22 Guitars
  • PRS CE24 Guitars
  • PRS McCarty Guitars
  • PRS SE Guitars
  • PRS S2 Guitars
  • PRS Signature Guitars
  • PRS Limited Edition Guitars
  • PRS Acoustic Guitars


The ESP Company, Limited is a Japanese guitar maker that specializes in electric guitars and basses.

The ESP range is divided into four main series, they are:

  • ESP Ltd
  • ESP II
  • ESP Original

The ESP Original has three other lines of guitars under it, they include The Edwards, Grassroots, and Navigator series. 

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The ESP Edwards Series creates mid-to-high-end guitars of comparable quality to the ESP Standard series, whilst the ESP Grass Roots Series targets a more budget-conscious market and is more analogous to the LTD 200s series, though these can differ. The ESP Navigator Series, on the other hand, is a collection of guitars and basses that are exact reproductions of Gibson and Fender models.

The ESP series includes;

  • Arrow
  • EC/Eclipse
  • EX-Series
  • FRX/F-Series
  • MH-Series
  • SN-Series
  • Viper
  • TE-Series

PRS Guitars vs ESP

PRS Guitars VS ESP

I want to believe you have read this far because you are in search of a good guitar and your options are PRS and ESP, two excellent options by the way, but which brand produces the greatest instruments? In this section, I’ll examine tone, hardware, pickups, and tone woods, among other things, to help you determine whether a PRS or an ESP model is right for you.

I will be focusing on the electric guitars from these two brands.

Take a quick look at where these guitars are made; PRS guitars are made in China, Indonesia, South Korea, and the United States, and ESP guitars are made in China, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, and the United States.

Many people consider the guitar’s origin to be a good indicator of its quality; nevertheless, this is far from the case. Choose the guitar that sounds, looks, and feels the best for you, rather than the country it says on the back of the headstock.

PRS Guitars

Tone – PRS guitars offer a warm, rich tone that works well with a wide range of musical styles. That isn’t to suggest that a PRS can’t play metal. This approach is adaptable, and the amp you select will make a significant difference.

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Neck – A “wide-C” shaped neck is common on PRS guitars. The PRS guitars have a more rounded profile, as evidenced here. PRS necks are known for being universally comfortable, and while they aren’t quite as fast as Gibson’s necks, they suit a wide range of playing styles and are usually easier to hold barre chords.

Pickups – Humbucker pickups are used in most PRS models. Instead, PRS prefers to use passive pickups with a lower output. They can still be used for metal, although the sound is usually not as nice.

PRS primarily uses its own pickups on many of its models in terms of branding.

Wood – The majority of ESP guitars have mahogany bodies. Mahogany is dark, heavy wood with good sustain and a low bass and mid-range frequency range, giving the guitar a full and warm tone. Some models in this category also feature a maple top or cap, which adds some brightness to the tone and gives it a unique finish like quilted or flame.

ESP Guitars

Tone –  Due to its high output, and dark and rich tones that seem a little more aggressive, ESP guitars are mainly marketed toward metal performers. ESP guitars feature a lower frequency response, giving them a “fatter” tone.

Neck – The neck of most ESP guitars is fashioned like a “thin-U.” ESP guitars tend to have a thinner, flatter neck profile because of this. Most players will favor ESP necks for shredding because they are generally “quicker.”

Pickups – Humbucker pickups are used in most ESP models. In many of their guitars, ESP uses active pickups, which have a high output and provide a loud, clear tone even when distorted heavily, making them perfect for metal.

ESP favors EMG, Fishman Fluence, and Seymour Duncan pickups.

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Wood – The majority of ESP guitars have mahogany bodies. Basswood is also used in cheaper ESP versions, which are less expensive but have less resonance and sustain.

PRS Guitars vs ESP: Which is the best?

Although both PRS and ESP create excellent electric guitars, I believe they shine in various areas and will appeal to different players.

In comparison to PRS guitars, ESP guitars are usually the superior choice for metal. Metal players will like ESP guitars’ high-output pickups and narrow necks, which are ideal for shredding. Modern metal guitars normally don’t have enough low-end, but you can modify the amp settings to compensate.

The best thing to do, as I’ve emphasized throughout this article and in previous ones, is to pick models in your price range and try them out in the store. You must choose a guitar that sounds, feels, and looks the best to you, which can be difficult to achieve unless you have given them a thorough test!

Frequently Asked Questions

I gathered a list of question people ask, related to the ESP and PRS guitars brand. Here they are:

1. Are ESP Guitars Better Than PRS?

ESP guitars are better suited for metals. so, when it comes to metal, ESP brand is better than PRS guitars.

2. Is ESP a Good Guitar Brand?

Yes, ESP is a great guitar brand.

3. Is a PRS Guitar Worth it?

Yes, a PRS guitar is worth it. They are standard guitars.

4. What Does LTD Stand For on ESP Guitars?

The LTD on ESP guitars stands for limited.

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Victor Loore
Victor Loore
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