Price paid: $ 650
Purchased from: Willcutt Guitars
Sound — 8
My current style is mostly metal that is popular in Europe. I like to have a good heavy tone but still have an edge to it (play in standard E). The EMGs and V shape do help in getting that tone. While the 81/85 pup combination is popular, I couldn't help but take advantage of EMGs new solderless pick ups. I did some switching around and settled on a 81(bridge) and 60 (neck) set up to help me get a heavy but sharp tone. My rig is a Black Star HT Dual through a Boss EQ to my Peavey 5150 1st edition.
Overall Impression — 10
As a 30 something player that's been playing hard rock/metal since his early teens, this guitar has what I want without breaking the bank. The KVXMG to me is at an apex to where you get what you pay for before going into diminishing returns. It holds it's own quite well against the American and high end Japanese counterparts. If this was lost or stolen I would more likely track the thief down and cave his head in while getting this back. This is a good guitar if you are a long time weekend warrior that plays locally, this would be the best guitar.
Reliability & Durability — 8
While I've loved the sound and feel of the guitar, I've had an incident where a string broke on stage (at the bridge) and knocked out of tune. While there are several factors but my theory was going from ridding in a car in the summer to an AC control club. I've since then learn to set it out of the case when I arrive to give it a chance to adjust to the temperature. So far, I've have not had any other issues with it. As for durability, I take extra steps to take care of it. I make sure the guitar is in the case or on a good stand (Hercules are best for V's and other odd shape guitars) so it won't get chipped on points like other Jacksons.
Action, Fit & Finish — 9
Like any new guitar, had some setting and adjusting but that is something to expect. The action took some adjusting but I got it to where I like it which for a live guitar is moderately low so that way I can do leads/solo's and still have some tone with the chords. Out of the box, everything is fine. Over a year, I notice some rust spots on the saddle but seems to be only a minor cosmetic. The pickups are adjusted just fine but if you know what you are doing, you can easily set them. Overall, the guitar feels great and suits my playing perfectly.
Features — 10
- Neck Shape: Through-Body Maple Speed Neck with Tilt-Back Scarf Joint Headstock - Number of Frets: 24 - Fret Size: Jumbo - Position Inlays: Pearloid Sharkfin - Fretboard Radius: 12" to 16" Compound Radius (304.8 mm to 406.4 mm) - Fretboard: Rosewood - Neck Material: Maple - Nut Width: 1.6875" (43 mm) - Scale Length: 25.5" (64.8 cm) - Headstock: Jackson Pointed 6 In-Line - Products Specs Electronics - Pickup Configuration: H/H - Bridge Pickup: EMG 81 Humbucking Pickup - Neck Pickup: EMG 85 Humbucking Pickup Switched for a 60 - Pickup Switching: 3-Position Blade: Position 1. Bridge Pickup, Position 2. Bridge and Neck Pickups, Position 3. Neck Pickup - Finnish: Snow White