Price paid: £ 320
Purchased from: Local music shop
Sound — 9
I play thrash metal (Megadeth, Metallica etc.) and for this type of music it works well. But seriously, take one look at this thing and you know it isn't going to be used in a country band... I play through a Line 6 Spider II and a Boss ML2. With this equiptment I get a great sound, especially when I'm really going for it playing fast technical stuff. The pickups are not prticularly noisy, and for a guitar of this price you won't find better pickups as Standard fit. The CVR2 works best as a bridge pickup, where its high attack and aggressive sound are good for hard riffing as seen on albums like Kill 'em All and Rust in Peace, and also for solos by Guitarists like Kirk Hammett, and also to a lesser extent Dave Mustaine, and even Dave Murray, who frequently solo on their bridge pickup to get a trebly sound that cuts through. In the neck position it is fine for most stuff, but for clean sounds and for techniques like sweep picking it doesn't produce quite as clear sound as I would like, and more serious guitarists may want to consider upgrading. However for a guitar of this price it is as good as you would expect.
Overall Impression — 9
I have been playing for 4 years and as someone who primarily plays metal, I love this guitar. When I take it out of the case it feels like unstheathing a sword, because it just looks and feels like such a brutal weapon. I also own a Yamaha Pacifica and an Epiphone Les Paul Standard but if my house was burning down and I could only grab one guitar and save it, it would definetly be the Jackson. As for it being lost, the notion of such a thing is plainly ridiculous. How the hell could you just "lose" a guitar? If it were stolen I would shut myself away and cry for a number of weeks praying that whoever had stolen it was using it right and not using it to play some godawful pop music or some shit like that. Then once I had accepted that it wasn't coming back I would save up and go striaght out and buy another one. There really is no other product you can compare it to, because to get a guitar as good as this you would have to pay 600+, the only people who wouldn't buy this guitar would be people who are playing counttry or jazz music, or something in that vein, because it simply wouldn't look right on stage. In terms of real problems: The pickups are good, but not perfect, as I have already said, and that is why I am upgrading to EMG 60/81, but for most players the stock pickups are fine. It is slightly top heavy, although not to the point of being annoying. It is difficult to play with sitting down, but this is a problem with all V shaped guitars. But other than that it is an excelent guitar and everyone should at least try it. And make sure you bring some money when you do, because I can almost guarantee you will want one.
Reliability & Durability — 9
Everything feels virtually airtight it is so well put together. Nothing rattles or has any give in it. This guitar really feels like it was built to take everything you can throw at it. I've had mine for nearly a year and it feels every bit as good as when I bought it. I have gigged with it and will continue to do so. I really think if it's a case of one of us tiring out first, it will be me and the guitar will still be ready for more. The finish is thick and of good quality, and feels like it will last. Just be careful of the points, because the top one is huge and very easy to band of stuff if you aren't paying attention. I haven't chipped mine yet but it is scuffed slightly around the points, and it is covered in sweat and fingerprints, although that is more down to my deficiancies than the guitar's.
Action, Fit & Finish — 10
This is where the JS30 RR really excels. The guitar I bought was set up perfectly, and is a joy to play. Seriously, I haven't played any guitar which feels so much like it was made to be soloed all the way to the 24th fret and then all the way back again. If you can't play it on this guitar, it's because you suck, and nothing to do with the guitar. The set up really was perfect, and all the parts were flawless. On the build quality front, The JS30 RR offers much more than we have any right to expect from a guitar of this price, or any price for that matter.
Features — 8
As with all JS series models, the RR is made in India. I bought mine about a year ago, but I'm not sure what year it was made. The JS series is the only RR to come with 24 jumbo frets. All other RRs come with 22. The neck has a relatively thin profile. It's a maple neck with a rosewood fretboard. The body is Indian Cedro, and mine has a black finish. The finish is very good, although with a guitar as pointy as this you're always going to have to be careful to avoid chips. The JS30 RR has a fixed bridge with a string though body construction. Take my word for it, as a guitar you use day in day out and take on gigs, this is definitely better than an overly complicated floyd rose. Tuners are Jackson's own and are more than acceptable. The JS30 RR has 2 Jackson CVR2 humbucking pickups, with Master tone/volume controls and a 3 way pickup selector switch. All Jackson JS30 models come with a Jackson gig-bag, which is useful, although unfortunately mine developed a hole through which the point of the V protrudes after only several months. I resorted to plugginf it with cotton wool bound with duct tape. It doesn't look pretty but it does the job and currently I am in the process of putting an EMG 81/60 configuration on it so thats where the money's going. The shop where I bought mine also included a strap in the deal, but this isn't standard.