Up for sale, a 1970s Navigator by ESP Esparto in excellent condition and in perfect working order, complete with hardshell case. Introduced in 1975 as the first subsidiary brand to be offered by ESP, the Navigator Series are finely crafted in Japan with select tonewoods and components.
Tonewoods include an ash body and one-piece maple neck, delivering plenty of note attack and midrange authority. The trio of original black bobbin single coils are bright and sparkling, metering at 6k ohms with plenty of Straty spank and cut, and rounder, sweeter sounds when toggling towards the neck position. This Esparto weighs 7lbs 7oz, professionally setup here at Mike & Mike’s Guitar Bar with fresh 10-46 strings, low action and accurate intonation.
The one-piece maple neck has a medium C-shaped profile carve with well-rounded shoulders, measuring .835” deep at the 1st fret and .940” at the 12th. The maple fretboard has a 7 1/4" radius with stock medium jumbo fretwire that has plenty of meat, showing uniform wear beneath the strings on frets 1-3, with wear growing lighter beneath the plain strings until fret 10. This Esparto plays cleanly in all registers up the 25 1/2" scale with a straight neck and responsive, optimally-adjusted truss rod. The brass nut measures 42mm (1.650") in width. On the headstock, the gold-plated Schaller tuners turn smoothly and hold accurate pitch, with a light dusting of surface patina.
All the electronics work as intended, with the three pickups wired to a five-way pickup selector switch and Volume/Tone/Tone control array. Hardware includes the gold-plated tremolo which has a full-size block, actuating easily with three springs. Plastics consist of the original trio of knobs and one-ply black pickguard, which displays some requisite scuffing along the pick path on the treble side.
The gloss Sunburst finish is notably thin in its application, translating as "varnish" from the original Japanese catalog description, and the grain of the ash can be subtly felt through the finish. Cosmetic wear includes an area of light buckle rash on the back, a handful of minor dings along the body perimeter, and a small finish chip on the back lower bout body edge. There are also some faint finish scratches on the body as a whole. The gloss finish on the neck profile is smooth and clean, with the exception of a couple small marks on the carve behind frets 7-9.
A hardshell case is included.