Key U.S. Dealers Visit Japan Design and Manufacturing Headquarters of ESP Guitars and Takamine Guitars

by Christian Wissmuller • in
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• Created: August 8, 2018

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ESP national accounts manager Dana Wood (second from left) is joined by Guitar Center category director for acoustics Brad Johnson and Takamine staff members in the beautiful Gifu Prefecture in Japan.

A number of retail partners of ESP Guitars and Takamine Guitars (whose products ESP distributes in the United States) were taken to Japan last month on a trip to personally visit the design and manufacturing headquarters of both companies.

“This was a rare opportunity for our dealers to see, first-hand, the incredible attention to detail that goes into how our instruments are created,” says Rob Rizzuto, ESP’s national sales manager. “Every single person walked away from the trip with an entirely new appreciation of both ESP and Takamine.”

The trip, which was divided into two legs for the company’s national accounts and several of its top-level independent dealers, took them to both ESP’s global headquarters and manufacturing facilities in Japan’s capital Tokyo, and Takamine’s home base since 1962 in Sakashita, Gifu Prefecture. In both locations, the dealer staff was able to meet with the companies’ top executives and chief designers, and then visit the factories and R&D locations where new guitars and basses are created. The dealer staff members on the respective visits were accompanied by ESP/Takamine national sales Rob Rizzuto and ESP/Takamine national accounts manager Dana Wood.

The trip also included some sightseeing around Japan, with a number of the dealer staff members visiting the country for the first time. They were able to experience the ancient area’s culture and natural beauty which have been influential on the commitment to the fine aesthetics and high standards of quality for which both ESP and Takamine are globally renowned. Staff members from both national retail chains and independent dealers were astounded by the craftsmanship and precision that goes into building both ESP and Takamine guitars, with a number of them claiming that despite having sold both brands for years, it wasn’t until seeing the two operations in person that they fully appreciated what goes into the creation of the instruments. 

Detailed information on ESP’s guitars and basses is available on the ESP Guitars web site at The dedicated web site for Takamine in the USA us found at

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