Sound — 9
This guitar is perfect for metal. The bridge pickup can chug out an aggressive roar, suitable for squealing Lydian solos and pentatonic tapping sequences, with the lead tone of a Seymour Duncan SH-4 and the rhythm tone of a Seymour Duncan SH-6 (on which the pickup was modelled)- perfect. I use no effects, just my Marshall VS6CR Valvestate and it unleashes an unholy roar when under distortion. The neck pickup is best when clean, and sounds slightly tinny distorted. The pickups are great clean too, but when turned up loudly the bridge distorts slightly. Overall great pickups, though.
Overall Impression — 10
This guitar is built for aspiring shredders and metal riffs. I have already a Jackson KE3, an ESP MW (I may sell that), a Dean V, a Michael Kelly Patriot Custom, a Dean EVO XM and have played Les Pauls, SGs, Strats, Strat copies, Jackson RR's and Dinkies, BC Riches, Ibanez RGs and Ltd Axxions but this Jackson is the best for the money you pay. Get one now!
Reliability & Durability — 10
This guitar will take anything you throw at it (but being so lovely you wouldn't throw anything at it but guitar cleaning products). It is built like a tank, plays faster than Jeremy Clarkson in a Ferrari and sounds fantastic. The stock strap buttons were good; but upgrading to some locking Schallers can't Hurt. The finish is lacquered and therefore indestructible. I could depend entirely on this guitar during a gig, unless a string broke mid-show and I would then have my Dean V close at hand.
Action, Fit & Finish — 10
The action was so low when I got it that a piece of paper could barely fit through it. The pickups were adjusted fine - with a great balanced sound. Maybe the bridge pickup was a little higher than the neck. The neck itself was incredibly playable. It was thin, fast and unfinished, allowing you to slide freely up and down the fretboard with ease. The bridge was fine as far as I was concerned, even with the action low, on some strings you could reach five frets. The pickup selector made minor noise, but that's not major.
Features — 10
This guitar was made in Japan, not sure which year. It features Duncan Designed HB-103 and HB-102 pickups (H-H configuration), a basswood body with a bolt-on rock maple neck, a flame maple top and a low-profile double locking tremolo. The pickups are nice passive ones (no tedious 9V batteries here, thanks)and the guitar has 1 volume, 1 tone, a 3-way pickup Switch, Jackson tuners (may swap for Sperzels)and I got a couple of maintenance tools with it.