#1
I'm looking to get a shred type guitar that is also somewhat versatile. I am leaning towards a hardtail with two humbuckers. I am considering a Jackson Pro Series Dinky or Soloist and a Charvel Pro Mod San Dimas or So Cal. Looking to buy new, so I am talking about the current MIM models. Anybody own or have any experience with these guitars? How do the Jacksons compare to the Charvels? Any advantages of one over the other?

I currently have a 2007 MIJ Jackson DK2 with a Floyd and HSS configuration. I love the guitar, but I want an HH guitar without Floyd.
Last edited by Sauntman at Mar 7, 2015,
#2
Does Charvel even do HH guitars with hard tail?

I bought a So-Cal recently over a Jackson Pro DK2, The main reasons were that the Charvel was more aggressive (higher output, Duncan Distortions instead of JB/59) and still had that Fender Strat "snap". Otherwise, they were pretty similar. The Jackson had a tone knob and coil splitting, but I don't care much about that, so to each his own I guess. Both have Floyds though. Jackson offers hardtail options, not sure if Charvel does.
#3
I have an SLSMG soloist I got used back in the early 2000's. Awesome guitar. It has a hardtail and two EMG actives, Ebony Fretboard, and thru neck. Made in Japan. I don't know how much research you have done on Jacksons, but many people post that the Japanese models are very high in quality.

I know you want humbuckers and are probably therefore not interested in the EMGs, but I find the SLSMG guitar to be an amazing instrument and a great buy used.

If I were looking for what you want I would certainly shop the used e-bay market for a DK2 hardtail made in Japan. The dollar savings could be substantial and the potential acquisition may justify the small risk. Advice simply based on my own purchase experience.
#4
Quote by Seriden
I don't know how much research you have done on Jacksons, but many people post that the Japanese models are very high in quality.


I have a Pro MIJ Jackson, and it has a fault in the finish. Other than that, it's pretty good though, better than much I've seen. Just don't expect it won't have flaws.

I know you want humbuckers and are probably therefore not interested in the EMGs


Uhm, if we're talking about what is usually meant with "EMG's", they are humbuckers.
#5
Quote by Knarrenheino
I have a Pro MIJ Jackson, and it has a fault in the finish. Other than that, it's pretty good though, better than much I've seen. Just don't expect it won't have flaws.


Uhm, if we're talking about what is usually meant with "EMG's", they are humbuckers.


OK, then let's clarify and say actives instead of passives.
#6
The two guitars are directly comparable. Love the old MIJ Jacksons. I own an '07 DK2M w/ a Schaller Floyd.

I think its entirely down to personal preference . They're very similar and you cannot go wrong with either of them. Although I would try before you buy as the quality of the MIM guitars aren't proven yet. Although they should still be pretty decently made since the MiM strats are made in the same factory. And the MiM strats are pretty consistently made.
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Last edited by T00DEEPBLUE at Mar 7, 2015,
#7
Quote by Knarrenheino
Does Charvel even do HH guitars with hard tail?

I bought a So-Cal recently over a Jackson Pro DK2, The main reasons were that the Charvel was more aggressive (higher output, Duncan Distortions instead of JB/59) and still had that Fender Strat "snap". Otherwise, they were pretty similar. The Jackson had a tone knob and coil splitting, but I don't care much about that, so to each his own I guess. Both have Floyds though. Jackson offers hardtail options, not sure if Charvel does.


Charvel currently offers a Pro Mod San Dimas with a hardtail but it has a single coil neck pickup.
#8
Do the Charvels have the same body size as a Fender Strat or do they have a 7/8ths body like a Dinky?
#9
Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
The two guitars are directly comparable. Love the old MIJ Jacksons. I own an '07 DK2M w/ a Schaller Floyd.

I think its entirely down to personal preference . They're very similar and you cannot go wrong with either of them. Although I would try before you buy as the quality of the MIM guitars aren't proven yet. Although they should still be pretty decently made since the MiM strats are made in the same factory. And the MiM strats are pretty consistently made.


I'm not too worried about any quality issues with the MIM guitars. I have a MIM Standard Telecaster and a MIM Classic 50's Strat and they are pretty much on par with my MIJ Jackson DK2.
#10
Quote by Seriden
OK, then let's clarify and say actives instead of passives.

,

I've never owned a guitar with active EMG pups so I am not sure if I would like them as much as Seymour Duncan passives or not. I am playing through a Mesa Mini Rectifier so perhaps EMGs would sound good?
#11
Quote by Sauntman
Do the Charvels have the same body size as a Fender Strat or do they have a 7/8ths body like a Dinky?


i've never actually measured them but the (MIJ) charvels feel bulkier, like a fender strat, compared to the (MIJ) dinky which feels smaller.

I haven't tried the newer MIMs so there's no guarantee they're the same. Plus as I said, I didn't measure them so I'm probably wrong anyway.
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

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#12
Quote by Sauntman
,

I've never owned a guitar with active EMG pups so I am not sure if I would like them as much as Seymour Duncan passives or not. I am playing through a Mesa Mini Rectifier so perhaps EMGs would sound good?

I have experience playing the active EMGs through a Mesa Tremoverb (old faithful). I have the Tremoverb fitted with JJ EL-34s. When I play the SLSMG through the modern high gain channel with the mid less than 10:00 and the gain cranked, I hear a thick singing distortation. That distortion sounds tighter than what I would hear on perhaps a duncan passive pickup. I also find that my style of picking the notes has to adapt in order to obtain good tones. Please don't interpret that to mean it is more work to get the tones, I just have to attack with my pick hand somewhat differently. Again, your results may vary.

On the clean channel with low gain settings, the active EMGs sound colder to me than some passive humbuckers. Again, don't interpret that to be a bad thing. It simply depends on what you are looking for in your sound. Some people love the active pickups, some people hate them. I own both kinds and would not trade my SLSMG unless it was for a much more expensive guitar that I was interested in owning.

The SLSMG through the high gain channel can be addicting to play (I read a review once of the guitar that said the same thing). When you first pick it up and plug in, you might find yourself challenged. As you work to meet that challenge, you could find that your play style changes over time. The guitar seems to lend itself to fast arpeggios which you have to attack quickly to make work in high gain mode. My experience was that I found myself learning more of those types of patterns so that I could execute them on just that guitar.

Finally, my experience has been that it is a very different kind of guitar with a heavy vibe from let's say, a Les Paul. I tend to play more slowly on the LP and let the notes sing out sonically. Hope this helps.
#14
The link you provide does appear to point to an SLSMG soloist for $600.00. That particular guitar appears to have passive pickups on it (the EMG-HZ pickups). I have read that earlier models had the passive pickups, later models were equipped with the active EMG's. Over time I have noticed on e-bay that the SLSMG guitars equipped with active pickups tend to sell for a higher price. I do not have experience playing the version of this guitar equipped with passive pickups.

One thing you might also want to consider when researching this particular guitar: I find it to be somewhat less versatile than some other guitars in the same price range. That said, it is a beautiful, sleek piece that works very well in the speed high gain department. I would not recommend it for jazz however, and I think you could do much better in the (warm or sparkly) clean department. If you are in guitar for the long haul and need a machine like this to compliment your applications, then it is an easier decision. As I said before, it is a good, beautiful fast guitar with a powerful high gain distortion sound and good cold cleans. If you are looking for a single guitar to handle jazz, cleans, blues, rock and metal, I would look around some more. It does meet your original post criteria for a shred guitar.

Finally, I infer that because of your location you did not consider the Red SLSMG currently on e-bay. It is also equipped with passive pickups and is $100 less with case. The description on the listing says the pickups are EMG actives, but when I look at the pictures the covers are labelled -HZ which I believe are the passive versions.
#15
I am now taking a look at the Jackson USA Select guitars. They cost about 3x as much as a Jackson Pro Series though.

It appears that the Pro Series Soloists are made in Indonesia whereas the Pro Series Dinkys are made in Mexico. Just this fact has me leaning towards a Dinky (if I don't pay up for a USA Select). Anybody have any experience with the Indonesian made Pro Series Soloists? Is the quality and workmanship comparable to the MIM guitars?
#16
I think in this situation the addage about how MiM guitars are more consistently made than MiI guitars holds pretty true. I've heard many reports about the MiM Dinkys being made pretty consistently well based on the people who own them, and while there are owners of the new MiI Pro Series that say their guitars are built absolutely fine, but there have been examples that have warranted the owner returning the guitar due to some inconsistency.
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#17
If it's the new Jackson MII series, go with the Mexican one.
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#18
I somewhere read that bolt-on models are MIM while set necks are MII. If true, that would at least explain why Dinkys are MIM and Soloists aren't.

Another question: does the same factory build all MIM Fenders, Charvels and Jacksons? Would make sense to me, but if anyone actually knows, that'd be cool.

Just wondering if they don't do any set necks there, but of course it might all be bullshit.
Last edited by Knarrenheino at Mar 17, 2015,
#19
Yes its the same factory that makes the MiM strats.

I believe the bolt-on Charvels are made there too.
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#20
Are there any set neck Fenders or Charvels actually? If not, that would explain why they don't do anything of the sort in that factory
#21
There have been several set-neck Fenders over the years and they've been made all over the place.

Charvel does make set-neck and neck-through guitars. The Soloists (very similar in style, if not identical to Jackson Soloists) and the Desolation series are the ones that first come to mind.
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#22
I see, there goes the "Soloists aren't made there because they don't make set neck guitars" argument then.
#23
^ i don't think the set neck charvels are made in mexico either
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

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Et tu, br00tz?
#24
Quote by Knarrenheino
Are there any set neck Fenders or Charvels actually? If not, that would explain why they don't do anything of the sort in that factory


not really. fender has offered a couple of set neck guitars over the years but nothing out of mexico. since that plant is setup for bolt ons i wouldn't expect that to change as the setup to do so would likely be expensive.
#25
Quote by Knarrenheino
I somewhere read that bolt-on models are MIM while set necks are MII. If true, that would at least explain why Dinkys are MIM and Soloists aren't.

Another question: does the same factory build all MIM Fenders, Charvels and Jacksons? Would make sense to me, but if anyone actually knows, that'd be cool.

Just wondering if they don't do any set necks there, but of course it might all be bullshit.


That's exactly it, the set neck Pro Series Soloists are MII and the Dinkys are MIM. I have a couple MIM Fender guitars and the workmanship is good. So I have a fair amount of faith in MIM Fenders, Charvels and Jacksons. I like the specs and color selections of the Soloist but I am leary of a MII guitar (due to a lack of experience with them). Also, I already have a MIJ HSS Dinky with a Floyd so I would like a hardtail HH Soloist to compliment it.

The GC near me doesn't have a very good selection of mid and upper level guitars and it is highly unlikely they will have both a Pro Soloist and a Pro Dinky to try out. Same goes for the other local non-chain store shops. I am going to LA next week, so I plan to hit some music stores to hopefully try out a few.
#26
I'd love to get the Charvel in a S/S/S EMG config, mounted on the body. those necks are just amazing. I've never owned a Jackson but I have owned the Charvel with JB/Jazz, and a Parker P-44 Pro w/set neck, JB/JAZZ & piezo w/coil tap, that was the most versatile gtr I've owned, but I need a dbl locking model. impossible to find these days. the Jackson w/neck thru & ebony looks better on paper, but I haven't played a one grand Jackson, maybe I'll give Jackson a shot this time. the Soloist in Magenta quilt is a real looker also. 
#27
Please don't necro 2 year old threads.
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