Price paid: $ 250
Purchased from: Pauer Sound
Sound — 8
I play heavy metal music mainly, meaning Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer, Judas Priest, Iron Maiden. But, I do enjoy throwing some blues in there with Stevie Ray Vaughan. The Jackson is a versatile guitar in terms of it being entry level. With having three pickups, two being single coils, you can get a good variety of tones from it. The body being made of Alder already sort of tells you what it's going to sound like, it's a warm guitar and is light. With the maple neck giving it a bit of extra pop while the rosewood makes it lean more towards the warmer, fuller side. It's essentially a cheaper Kirk Hammett Signature guitar, and it sounds great. I used a Line 6 Spider IV 30 for all my metalness, but to really test the tone, I borrowed a friend's Blackstar amp (I don't remember the exact model, but it was a 60 watt), and it sang... For being a beginner guitar. A major downside is the fact that the bridge pickups blows. It's super high-output, so if you end up playing with the gain on 10, it's gonna screech like hell if you don't turn the volume down.
Overall Impression — 8
The guitar is great, it'll stand the test of time. There are some downsides, such as the pickups or not-so-thin neck, but it's still a quality guitar. If it was stolen, I'd hunt down the person that stole it with the fury of like... 7 men. I'd be pissed off, but I would definitely work my ass off to buy another one. These aren't produced anymore and it's my first guitar; I love it. I wish it had a pure FR, DiMarzio pups, a thinner neck, and Jumbo frets, so I'm going to work for that stuff. Good guitar, hands down.
Reliability & Durability — 8
The Floyd-Rose is durable, despite not being a pure FR. I've done countless dive-bombs on it, I've abused the hell out of it and it stays in tune. The pickups suck, they're too high-output, but I attack the guitar and they've lasted. Alder is a soft-ish wood, and because alder is soft-ish, the strap buttons stripped the screw holes of the wood and they fell out while I was practicing once. I've since gotten some more wood glued in there, still have to buy strap locks. All in all, the guitar is definitely dependable; it's over 15/16 years old for God's sakes.
Action, Fit & Finish — 8
The action was kind of high when I bought it, but it wasn't so high that it was cutting into my fingertips. I'm not so much of a guitar techy that I care about how the pickups are adjusted, but they were fine; they weren't hitting the strings or anything, so I was fine. The Jackson was practically new when I bought it, and I've had it for three years so it has suffered dings, scratches, and general wear and tear from constant dive-bombs. It still looks pretty great. A main problem I saw was the fact that the neck isn't as thin as I would like it, it's a bit too thick for me. Another thing is the small-ish fret wire. A redeeming factor with the neck is the fact that you can bend the notes like a maniac with it, but I can't really shred with it.
Features — 8
I did some research on it and I believe it was made in '96 with the other Performer Series Jacksons. It was made in Japan. Neck: - 24 Frets - 25.5" Scale - Rosewood Fretboard - Bolt-On Maple Neck - Dot Inlays - 1 11/16 Locking Nut - Jackson Tuners Body: - Alder Body - Passive Jackson Humbucker with two Jackson Single Coils (Don't know exact names, sorry) - Metallic Blue Finish - Super Strat/Dinky body type - Floyd-Rose/Jackson Bridge - Volume/Tone - Five-Way Selector