Price paid: $ 857
Purchased from: MusikbÃ¶rsen
Sound — 8
Well, I play most styles of music. The pick-ups can surely let me play most styles of music; but it's a guitar that should have rock and metal played on it. And I play mostly metal (I play in a metal band) so this baby works just fine for that! I've yet to try it on my main amp (I've only tried it on my Ibanez TBX-15R practise amp) but I've also tried it through a JCM 800 4210, sometimes through an Ibanez TS-7. That's a JCM 800 50W combo and an overdrive pedal respectively, if you didn't know. What I love about this guitar is that, despite its body shape and the wood used on this guitar, it's still got a thick and full tone; it might be due to the thick strings, I don't know. However, where it's thick and nice on one hand, it's too bassy on the other. Again, might be the strings. But I have a full-thickness single cutaway guitar that sounds brighter (and has more attack) than this one. The metal I play is anything from 80's metal and thrash to more modern metal. I'm not a mid-scoop fan, so I usually keep everything at 50%, although sometimes I like to turn up mids a bit and turn down the treble for a more Vintage tone. I also keep my gain at about 60-70% as I don't like when things get too muddy and inarticulated. It does metal well. Very well. I've tried a genuine ESP Eclipse with EMG 60/81's, and in my opinion, this RR3 walks all over that one. Then again you can keep in mind that I've never really liked active pick-ups. It does cleans surprisingly well, too; especially with the neck pick-up. It's very clear and bright (but not too bright) and has a very beautiful character about it. It also does crunch really well, so if oyu're looking to play 70's and 80's rock, this works just as well. The low-action might pose a bit of a problem for those Who are looking to play other styles of music, but most likely you're into metal if you're looking to buy this guitar. So I'm knocking off two point for, what? Well, as I mentioned earlier, it's too bassy, or it just lacks mids and highs. Its sustain is also lacking, as dime squeals fade out too quickly. Might be due to the floating bridge, and the bridge itself only being a licensed one. The bolt-on neck may also be the culprit here, as well as the selected type of wood for the body. Other than that, it sounds awesome.
Overall Impression — 8
I liked this guitar when I bought it. Then came the neck dive issue, and I didn't like playing with this while sitting. So I started to dislike it. Then I overcame these two problems and now I absolutely love it. Despite this being a Fender-Jackson Jackson, and a Japan-made guitar, it's surprisingly well-built. It inspires me, compels me even, to play, whenever I pick it up. The neck is so smooth and fits your hand so well. I've been playing for almost a year and a half now. This guitar marked my taking music seriously, although I didn't fully pick up the slack until some months ago, but up to eight hours a day with this baby, I've caught up! I bought this mid-September 2008. I wish it had a set-neck or neck-through design, and I wish it had a real Floyd Rose (or preferably no floating bridge at all) and a mahogany body. I used to desire 24 frets but I've since reverted to liking 22 frets. I would say, sometimes the knob under the bridge pick-up can be a bother... that's about it. It looks great, plays great, sounds great, feels great, and sexes up the girls for sure! I'd also like to add that I now prefer playing with a V-shaped guitar while sitting to a normal guitar as moving my hand/arm diagonally is much easier for me than moving it horizontally. So, yeah, it has its flaws. I Live in Sweden so yes, I could've gotten this for like a hundred bucks cheaper, WITH a hard case. But its highlights makes up for it. It's a great guitar. It's minor flaws can be easily overcome. And I suspect that most of you can get this much cheaper than I did. Which means you'll get even more for your money! But it came with its flaws to me, and some of them remain. So an 8 it gets. It's a killer guitar. If you like the shape, and you play rock or metal, buy it.
Reliability & Durability — 9
I haven't put this axe to many tests as I haven't gigged with it, but I've had it for some time now and as far as I can tell, it's in the same condition it was in when I bought it. So to answer the above questions; It will withstand Live playing, the hardware will last for a long time, the strap buttons are highly unlikely to come off, it's very dependable, the finish seems like it will last a long time, but only a fool would gig without a back-up guitar. Nevertheless, it IS a guitar made out of wood, and it IS a guitar that is made out of hardware that isn't high-end in that manner, so out of common sense, I'm giving it a 9.
Action, Fit & Finish — 10
This was in their storage so I don't know how long it's been there. I just bought it and came back a week later to have the strings replaced as I felt 009-042 was far too thin for my taste, but other than that, no problems. String gauge is: 010, 013, 017, 030, 042, 052. Once the new strings were on, I must say... Nothing. The action is close to perfect (and I say this only because I don't know yet what perfect is). The paint job has lasted and held really well, bar a tiny tiny bit on the long wing, and I suspect that might be due to my knocking it on a door (the obligatory wing dent). I can't complain about the pick-ups' height, the hardware is all firm and in place, very smooth neck.
Features — 7
Model: RR3 Rhoads. Made In: Japan. Year: 2006-2007 (not quite sure). Body: Alder with Flamed Maple Veneer. Body Style: Rhoads. Finish: Transparent Black. Neck Construction: Bolt-On with Scarf Joint Head Stock. Neck Details: 25.5" Maple Neck with Rosewood Fretboard. Fret Size: Jumbo Frets. Inlays: Shark Fins. Bridge: Low-Action Licensed Floyd Rose. Hardware: Black with Black Pickguard. Tuners: Jackson's Sealed Die-Cast Tuners. Electronics: 3-Way Toggle, Volume / Volume / Tone Controls. Pick-ups: Seymour Duncan SH2N and Seymour Duncan TB-4 (passive humbuckers). String Gauge: 009, 011, 016, 024, 032, 042. Additional: Comes with a whammy lever and tools for tightening/loosening the nut. When I bought this guitar, it did not come with a hardcase. Note that it was bought new from a shop. It would seem this is something that they either forgot, didn't know about, or just didn't want to tell me, or if Jackson at the time did not offer hardcase with the guitar (their website currently says so, though). Regardless, it's been impossible for me to take this guitar outside because it had came without a hardcase. I'd also like to point out that I quickly had the strings exchanged to Dunlop "skinny top heavy bottom" strings. This guitar has plentiful of nice features such as a floating bridge, a smooth neck, great pick-ups and a very sleek look. However, the alder body leaves a bit to be desired a the tone could've been better with, say, a mahogany body. The neck-dive issue is there as always, of course, although it's not as bad as one would think. Although I prefer 3 guitar knobs on it, I would suppose some people may find two separate tone knobs for each pick-up a feature for extra versatility. The tuners hold up pretty good but could've been better themselves, and the floating bridge isn't exactly a real Floyd Rose - and I personally would've preferred a normal bridge with a stop-tail, I think.The bolt-on neck might work for some, but not for me. On a sidenote, there's no binding here as far as I can tell, despite Jackson's website specifying binding on both the neck and the head stock. I'm not docking points for that because I honestly don't care. At all. Knocking off points for the bolt-on neck, the floating bridge (not being a real Floyd Rose) and the neck-dive issue, as well as coming without a case and being rather expensive, and for coming with less-than-excellent tuners and for being a bit unbalanced weight-wise.