In this video, Richie Sambora can be seen playing his signature ESP guitar. There is a close up on the guitar at 3:50. In [this article](http://www.musicradar.com/news/guitars/access-all-areas-on-the-road-with-bon-jovi-487744/28) on Music Radar, it says of this guitar, "Richie's main stage guitar has an ornate, inlayed brushed metal scratchplate and a Floyd Rose vibrato bridge."more
I first saw Ritchie playing the prototype for this guitar on the DVD of Lost Highway: The Concert, and had no idea what it was, but kinda liked the look of it. A little internet research uncovered that it was a guitar Richie had designed with his tech, and that ESP were doing a version of it to sell as a signature model. Several years went by, but I was never able to find one in the UK so I bit the bullet in the summer of 2013 and ordered one from a place in California. It arrived a few weeks later, and despite it's transatlantic journey it still looked brand new (it had been well packed), but it was in need of a set up. With new strings and some gentle tweaking of the truss rod the guitar was playable, and despite it's odd proportions, pretty comfortable to wear, although stomach and forearm routes would improve this further. Initially tuning stability was a bit shaky, but this quickly calmed down when the new strings settled. The tone was pretty unremarkable with clean tones, but I prefer single coils for that kind of stuff so quickly kicked in some gain, this is a rock guitar after all. With high gain sounds the guitar seemed to be both toppy and lack definition, but I decided to persevere and took it to a gig, and it was pretty painful to my ears and the audience at some points; the tone at stage volume was really harsh. While I appreciate this is not the most expensive signature guitar in the world, I'd like to think ESP and Sambora would have insisted on electronics capable of doing the job. This also leads me to think Sambora's own guitars must have been fitted with better pickups, he is a fan of the DiMarzio PAF from his Fender signature days so perhaps a pair of those lie under the covers on his guitars. It also appears he has some models with humbucker size P90s as well as various custom finishes and colour combinations. For me I knew a change was called for, I like the feel of the guitar, and love the fact that it doesn't scream Fender/Gibson clone. I decided that the pickups would need changed, possibly the pots too, but less urgently. I decided to fit a set of DiMarzio evolutions to the guitar, I love the tone of them, and I prefer the look of uncovered coils. While the job was a bit of a pain due to to the somewhat unusual routing; the bridge unit is mounted on the body but everything else is on the pickguard. However the new pickups really brought the guitar to life which tells me the construction is decent, the wood is good, the trem works well despite being the baby of the Floyd Rose family.
Since getting the guitar into a gig worthy condition I have added a push/pull pot for for coil splitting and have used the guitar for every type of gig I play and some recording too, It does pretty much everything I need it too, and while it might not be my main weapon, it does a fantastic job when I do decide to use it.
In conclusion ESP have built a really nice guitar that looks great (this is subjective, some people will hate it) and works well, unfortunately they missed a trick by skimping on the electronics, and perhaps a set of humbuckers like those Richie would use, or an eastern reproduction thereof, would have avoided the tonal shortfalls, but would possibly have had a significant effect on the final price. who knows?