Price paid: C$ 449.99
Purchased from: Long And McQuade
Features: -USA made. Made in 1997.
-Based on Soloist body shape.
-22 frets, 25.5 scale length.
-Neck is maple, fingerboard is ebony. No fret markers.
-Quilted maple carved top.
-See-through indigo finish.
-Wilkinson VS-100 bridge.
-Passive electronics. Kent Armstrong designed pickups. 3 way toggle, 1 volume, 1 tone.
-Sperzel locking tuners. // 8
Sound: I play many different genres, from funk (Sly And The Family Stone) to thrash metal (Testament). It handles it all very well. I run it straight into a Fender Super Champ XD (occasionally use light reverb) and it sounds great clean, overdriven and heavily distorted.
The pickups are only noisy if I put the amp "voice" to 14 (Metal voicing) and turn the gain past 8. The pickups sound like nothing too special, but easily get the job done. I plan on replacing the bridge pickup for a DiMarzio Super Distortion. // 9
Action, Fit & Finish: I bought this guitar used. It is 12 years old right now, so I cannot comment on the factory setup. I have gotten it professionally set up, and it plays like butter. The action is super low, and there are no frets buzzing or dead notes.
This guitar does not contain any flaws I can see/ hear and despite being 12 years old and previously owned by an active gigging musician. There is only one ding at the bottom made by the previous owner and no rust anywhere to be seen. // 10
Reliability & Durability: I have played Live multiple times with this guitar. Both times without backup. I have dropped this guitar by accident many times, and yet I haven't made any scratches or dents. Again, this guitar is 12 years old, heavily used and there is only one scratch on it. I think that says a lot about it's durability. // 10
Overall Impression: Even though Jackson guitars are known to be metal guitars, the AT-1 handles a lot more than just metal. It is definitely a great buy for $449.99. I haven't seen it in a recent Jackson catalog, so I do not know if it is still in production.
I have been playing for about a year and a half now. I own the AT-1, and a Squier Stratocaster. I have played my friends' Jackson Dinky and Epiphone Les Paul Custom almost as much as I've played my own guitars.
The only things I wish it came with are a DiMarzio Super Distortion already in the bridge and a coil tap for even more versatility. When looking for this guitar, I tried many many different guitars. I remember trying: Gibson Les Paul Standard, Gibson SG Faded, Fender MIA Fat Strat, Fender MIA Standard Strat, Fender Tele (model unknown), Jackson Dinky (model unknown), PRS SE Paul Allender, PRS SE Custom 24, Dean Dime-O-Flame, ESP LTD EC-401 and a Music Man John Petrucci 6 string (Phew! Big list!) and the AT-1 turned out to be my favorite in terms feel/ sound/ price (in that order).
If it were stolen/ lost I would first try even more types of guitars because now I have a lot more money than back when I bought it, but I would be in favour of the AT-1. // 9