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Archimedes
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1 - 12-09-2013, 05:50 PM
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I actually traded for this guitar a little over a month ago, but I wanted to write a review after getting it setup and playing on it for a while. I found a guy on Craigslist that wanted $700 for a 1994 Jackson Professional Soloist XL, and, since I was short on funds, I offered him my 1985 MIJ Strat plus some in trade. After a little wheeling and dealing I came home with this:



The specs for the Professional series can be found here:

Guide to the Japanese Jackson Pro series guitars from 1990 - 1995


Review

Playability

I absolutely love playing this guitar. At first I was hesitant to make the trade because I was hoping to get a guitar with an ebony fretboard, but the rosewood on the Jackson is silky smooth and shred-worthy. Though the frets are nickel, my fingers still glide across the strings and bending is incredibly easy. The neck is glossy but surprisingly quick - not at all like the thick, sticky gloss of a Les Paul. Before I traded for the Jackson I tried out some new Jacksons in a local guitar shop and I didn't like how thick the necks felt in comparison to other guitars; however, this 1994 Jackson Professional has a very thin neck, reminds me of the Ibanez Wizard-style. The licensed Floyd Rose feels a little more "loose" than the Original Floyd on my Carvin, but it actually bends string notes higher than the Original. In the future I might change it to one of the low profile Floyd Rose Pros.

Tone

The guitar came loaded with the stock pickups and they produce great tone, especially for heavy metal. As I'm playing on the lead channel through my Peavey 6505+ I can roll back the volume to get a smooth distortion, and the sounds cleans up nicely on rhythm channels. The best tone comes from diming the guitars volume and kicking on some distortion and overdrive - it has wonderful sustain for solos and excels for crunchy metal rhythm playing. The Jackson totally nails the sound of 80s thrash metal, but it is versatile enough to handle modern metal.

Aesthetics

What else is there to say about Jacksons? I think it's beautiful. While I initially was wary of getting another black guitar, I was sold on the Jackson as soon as I saw it. Plus, galaxy black is way cooler looking than normal gloss black. The Jackson is in nearly perfect condition - as if someone kept it in the case and barely played it.

More Pictures





Video
I actually recorded a video of me playing a Metallica solo on the Jackson the other night, and I figured it would make the review even more comprehensive. I am playing through a Peavey 6505+ Combo with a Maxon TS808 Overdrive pedal in front of the amp. Caveat: I am not the world's best player, and I am posting this video for the sake of this review. Yes, I know I flub a note during a rest in the solo. Nevertheless, I hope you guys enjoy!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_RdgSCv-48Y
 
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Mr. Scary
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2 - 12-09-2013, 08:51 PM
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Nice guitar. My brother in law wanted me to trade one of my ESP signatures for that model, and as much as I also love Jackson guitars I couldn't justify the trade. Trivial FYI about that model you're holding. The plant that one was built at in Japan got wiped off the map and destroyed by the Tsumani, so you're now holding ...somewhat of a collectors model.
 
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Archimedes
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3 - 12-10-2013, 01:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Scary View Post
Nice guitar. My brother in law wanted me to trade one of my ESP signatures for that model, and as much as I also love Jackson guitars I couldn't justify the trade. Trivial FYI about that model you're holding. The plant that one was built at in Japan got wiped off the map and destroyed by the Tsumani, so you're now holding ...somewhat of a collectors model.
I didn't know that - how tragic! Which ESP signature model do you have? Judging by your name I am assuming the George Lynch model?
 
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Mr. Scary
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4 - 12-10-2013, 09:28 PM
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Yeah, they're the Lynch models (Skulls 'n Snakes, and the Kamikaze). I freakin' love the ESPs but Jacksons, IMO, are the same quality and build (I have a Jackson Dinky as well).
 
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Archimedes
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5 - 12-11-2013, 01:10 AM
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I love the tiger stripe, like this Kramer Baretta:


I know one of the George Lynch signature models looks similar, although I think the Kramers and Jacksons have better paint jobs. ESPs are great guitars, but my experience with them hasn't been too positive. I used to own an ESP Eclipse, but I didn't like it very much so I sold it on Craigslist. I think it was more the Les Paul shape than anything else. I just prefer superstrat style bodies, or any shape that gives good fret access. I really like my Gibson V, even though it can be a bastard to play sitting down.
 
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AniMisM
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6 - 12-11-2013, 02:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Archimedes View Post
Interesting way to string your guitar. Not only are the strings backwards, you also wound them in the opposite direction than normal!
 
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Last edited by AniMisM; 12-11-2013 at 02:46 PM.
Mr. Scary
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7 - 12-12-2013, 12:12 AM
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Sadly, I have yet to play a Kramer. Definitely looks like Lynch's. I never really got into the Eclipse ESP series. I've mostly stuck with the M1 variants. Heh, didn't even notice the string job until Animism mentioned it.

Edit: You definitely have a good point about the paintjobs. Jackson has made some real purty ones. ESP guitars can be damn expensive though, but I love their wide, flat necks. I heard they're opening, or already have, a shop in Hollywood so maybe prices will go down a tad down the road.
 
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Last edited by Mr. Scary; 12-12-2013 at 12:17 AM.
Archimedes
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8 - 12-12-2013, 03:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AniMisM View Post
Interesting way to string your guitar. Not only are the strings backwards, you also wound them in the opposite direction than normal!
Haha, that's how the guy who traded it to me strung his guitar. I string mine normally with Dean Markley Blue Steels.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Scary View Post
Sadly, I have yet to play a Kramer. Definitely looks like Lynch's. I never really got into the Eclipse ESP series. I've mostly stuck with the M1 variants. Heh, didn't even notice the string job until Animism mentioned it.

Edit: You definitely have a good point about the paintjobs. Jackson has made some real purty ones. ESP guitars can be damn expensive though, but I love their wide, flat necks. I heard they're opening, or already have, a shop in Hollywood so maybe prices will go down a tad down the road.
I'd love for the price of ESP's to come down. The problem is you just don't see them too often in guitar stores, so it's difficult to try a variety of them.
 
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SINep
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9 - 12-12-2013, 04:16 AM
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This is why I don't buy Jacksons:



This was a Jackson PS3T I got in 1995 I believe.

They drilled a hole through the damn thing and it went through the fingerboard... They also had a metal shim in there, and it went out the door. I was too young to care at the time.
 
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Archimedes
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10 - 12-12-2013, 05:42 PM
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Well, the PS3T is made in Korea, and during the 90s Korean guitars were not very well made. My Jackson is a set-neck, as opposed to a bolt-on, and it feels super sturdy. I only own one Korean guitar: a 2003 Epiphone Les Paul Standard. It's a great guitar but nowhere near the quality of my American and Japanese guitars. Although, I hear great things about the more recent Korean guitars - the guys over at Ultimate-Guitar rave about the higher-end Agiles.
 
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SINep
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11 - 12-13-2013, 04:07 AM
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Probably the case, but I would never buy a set neck or neck through guitar again.

I prefer the sound and peace of mind with bolt-ons.
 
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Mr. Scary
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12 - 12-14-2013, 09:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SINep View Post
This is why I don't buy Jacksons:

Holy crap! Jackson must've out-sourced to stoners in wood shop in that era!
 
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old_skul
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13 - 12-18-2013, 02:59 PM
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Nice guitar, for a shredder. They seem to be making a comeback as of late....the dude from Sleigh Bells plays them. (In addition to a huge army of metal players.)
 
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soggynuts
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14 - 12-21-2013, 09:25 PM
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I want to buy a good shredding guitar for under $1k. Can't decide on a charvel, kramer, or jackson. I just want good fret access, a fast neck, and a floyd rose so I can divebomb all day when I get high
 
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