Price paid: C$ 1450
Purchased from: Long & McQuade
Sound — 10
Here is where this guitar shines... Complete tonal variety. Mark Morton obviously plays in one of the best metal bands out there (in my opinion), but this guitar is completely at home playing clean, jazzy/blues, rock - anything really. The coil taps and the chambered body give this thing a HUGE range of tonal options. I have a Fender, Marshall and Vox amp (haven't found a good deal on a Boogie yet), but mostly play live with a Genz-Benz tube amp, and this guitar can do it all. I have Fenders (Am Deluxe Strat, custom Tele), Gibsons (Les Paul, Melody Maker), an Ibanez RG2550E, and my and a couple of cheap Epiphones (Dot, Korina V). This guitar captures all of those sounds. Anything you want is here.
Overall Impression — 10
I have played (and owned) most of my "dream" guitars and they have been great, but this thing has stopped my compulsion to keep buying more guitars. I really don't think I'll top this thing for diversity in sound, looks, or playability. (Granted, I don't own an actual 50's/60's Les Paul or Strat, but I don't plan on getting a second mortgage either.)
This baby has the 24.75 scale length of my favorite Les Paul, and is a blast to play, but with WAY more sounds on tap. My band has only ever played Omerta live, as far as Lamb of God goes, (my drummer is as out of shape as I am), but this guitar delivers any sound you could possibly need. As corporate as Guitar World is, this thing got their Platinum Award - I know... that's not the endorsement it used to be, but there are some videos on YouTube to see this thing in action.
If it were stolen, somebody would be getting hurt, but I would get another in a heartbeat.
Reliability & Durability — 9
This guitar is solid... The guitar is heavier than you would think (must be the mahogany), even with the chambered body. The body is actually smaller than it looks in pictures. I wouldn't use this in a gig without a back up, because that's not my style - (one other guitar handy is so easy to do...) Although, if I broke a string the locking tuners make it a quick change, and with proper stretching of the strings, you could be back up and going very quickly. Finish is immaculate, and I really think you should try to see one in person.
Action, Fit & Finish — 9
Set-up was pretty good, but obviously everyone is different. A couple of quick tweaks, and it was perfect - minor tweaks(intonation), nothing that required a luthier/guitar tech. Finish was perfect... this really is a beautiful guitar which gets a lot of compliments. The neck joint is flawless, and is incredibly smooth right up to the higher frets. I got the "River Bed" finish which is a black/gray color and it is amazing in person - the Jackson site should have the ability to show different finishes on the guitar - all you get there is red with a small picture of the other colors. The "River Bed" with the chrome, ebony fretboard and pearl tuners looks sick.
Features — 9
Made in Japan. 22 jumbo frets, Ebony fingerboard, unfinished/oiled neck. 12" to 16" compound radius fingerboard. Neck through body design with graphite rods. Shark eye inlays. Chambered mahogany body with quilted maple top. Schaller bridge. Natural binding. Seymour Duncan 59 pickups with coil taps - volume/tone for each. Sperzel locking tuners with pearloid buttons. Gig bag included - seems kind of cheap compared to the beautiful case EVERY Gibson, and my made in Japan Ibanez shipped with.