Price paid: $ 400
Purchased from: Guitar Center in 2004
Sound — 8
I play mostly metal, and it has been that way for over 7 years. The sounds are diverse because you have the tone knob, the two pickups to choose from, and then you have all those options with the Firestorm engaged. For the price you get a dizzying array of sounds. I play this guitar through a Marshall MG250DFX. The guitar itself is quiet, but when the firestorm preamp engaged it becomes pretty nasty to tame. The sound is too wild sometimes, so I save it for when it is needed. It has a very sweet sound from the neck pickup without the firestorm engaged. The bridge pickup sounds good as well, but the sound is a bit thin without the FS in this position. Overall the guitar has a bright sound, and the sustain is decent for a guitar with a bolt on neck. I have played many top of the line guitars over the years, and this guitar's tone compares to my friend's Ibanez Jem. (I am just as surprised as you are). The sound gets a 8 because of the diverse, quality tones you get for the price.
Overall Impression — 10
As mentioned earlier, I play mostly heavy metal, anything from Dream Theater (what you can play with a six string) Metallica, Death Angel and Maiden. I have been playing for 7 years, teach students and have a youtube video series. I own an Ibanez that I modded, and a USA Jackson Soloist. I wouldn't buy it again if it was lost or stolen, mainly because I think the model's integrity has diminished since 2004. They changed the wood, and I think they FS is harder and harder to find. I love this guitar, and it was my first Jackson. I always choose Jackson over ESP, because Jackson is the original super Strat. ESP ripped them off. (There it has been said. Go to town on the comments.) As much as I would of loved to give this guitar 10s, I can't. It is what it is- an imported Jackson with imported electronics and hardware. Many reviewers on UG get caught up in the emotional Rush of buying a new axe, and via inexperience and excitement they give alot of mid range guitars all tens. I have owned this guitar proudly for 5 years and counting, and I plan on entering it into the next stage of its life by either modding the pickups or tuning machines.I gave this section a 10, mostly because for $400 dollars new I was introduced to an overall great mid-range guitar that has withstood an active life for five years. If you see one that was built circa 2004, I would scoop it up.
Reliability & Durability — 9
This guitar has withstood over 5 years of Live playing, and after I get my USA Jackson SL2h next week, it still will be a mainstay. The hardware has lasted (besides the electronics), and the strap buttons are solid (why wouldn't they be)? Try to buy an used one. Never gig without a backup, and the finish is durable as hell. It has been 5 years, and I only have one small nick in the great looking paint. A 9 for the long lasting, good looking paint.
Action, Fit & Finish — 6
When I first purchased this guitar over five years ago the action was fine, and still is to this day. The fit and finish is decent, but what really kills this guitar (and this pains me to say), is that the import electronics are crap. Since day one the pots were dirty, and the FS Switch is fried to the point that I need to play with the Switch to make it work. The FS preamp is battery powered, so that has died, but replacement is just laziness on my part. There isn't an easily accessible battery slot, you need to unscrew the back panel to put the 9volt battery in. The tuning machines have giving me no problems, but I don't trust the Floyd-licensed tremolo, especially after played the real thing. The tuning locks are decent, but after alot dive bombs it goes out of tune. For some reason the pickup ring broke, but Who knows what happened during the guitars life to cause that. Overall, a 6 forthe fit and finish, because it is what you can expect from a mid-range Jackson.
Features — 8
This review is for my Japanese Jackson DX10DFS that I purchased in 2004. It has a Floyd Rose Licensed Tremolo, two Duncan Designed Humbuckers and a 24 jumbo fret neck with MOTO inlays. The top is flame maple, the body is Alder and the color is a beautiful Amber Sunburst. There are three knobs, and this particular model has the Firestorm Pre amp built into it. The features get an 8 because while it has nice things, the quality of the tremolo is lacking.