RR3 Rhoads review by Jackson

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  • Sound: 8
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 9
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 10
  • Features: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 9.2 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.6 (296 votes)
Jackson: RR3 Rhoads

Price paid: A$ 900

Purchased from: Allans Music

Sound — 8
I play Thrash Metal, mostly early Metallica, Slayer, Diamond Head and Megadeth and it sounds great, my Epiphone SG Special sounded a little better, however unlike the SG high volume doesn't degrade the sound quality, I'm using the max gain my amp can put out on the "Metal Stack" setting, with Bass at 12 oclock, Middle at 1oclock and treble at 3oclock, with heavy delay effects, clean sounds good if a bit easy to distort. My RR3 does seem to have a grounding issue however, I always have one pickup's (Which one varies depending on music) volume at zero so I can use the selector Switch as a killswitch, however if I'm not touching anything metal on the guitar, it makes a buzz sound on both pickups. My amp is a Roland Cube20X without any pedals (Still sounds great) To be honest, if you're going to play anything without distortion, look elsewhere, I sometimes play AC/DC, Rolling Stones, etc style stuff and it sounds alright for them, but then again it is a metal guitar.

Overall Impression — 10
This is a perfect guitar for Thrash metal, it feels great to play and sounds awesome, I've only been playing 4 years and I own a Roland Cube20X amp, this guitar, a Epiphone SG Special and a Yamaha bass, if it was stolen I'd definitely buy another one, unless I could get a Dean Zero XO. I love the paintjob, the action, the sound and only really hate how the Floyd Rose can be plain annoying, my favorite feature is how solid it is (It feels like I could hit someone with it and not get any damage to the guitar). I compared it to a Jackson Kelly KE-3, I got this one because the RR3 felt better to play sitting down (I play classical style, which the RR3 really suits) and it was AU$500 cheaper, the only thing I wish it had was some better active pickups.

Reliability & Durability — 9
Apart from 4 dings of the paint, the guitar has handled fine for me, it would definitely withstand live playing and I would use it without a backup, the paint does chip off easily, though only on the corners/headstock where its only on the front bit. The strap buttons sucked, but I put in a locking strap so its no big deal.

Action, Fit & Finish — 10
Minus the Floyd Rose needing to be adjusted (Because I put on heavier gauge strings, not a fault from the factor), everything was perfect, action is nice and low, the pickups seem to be fine and the only flaw I could find was after a few months of use my Jack started to come loose every now and again. (New nut fixed that)

Features — 9
I was looking at any good guitar and I saw this guitar for 50% off, its a Japanese made 22 fret Rhoads style Vee, everything feels very nice, the Floyd Rose was difficult to adjust at first, but now I have adjusted it correctly it hasn't gone out, the only addition that I would have on it is a better paintjob (It chips easily, especially on the corners, although the Transparent Black looks sexy), it didn't come with any bag (Although a hard case was only $100) and I'm not sure the locking tuners work correctly. (That might be my string choice though)

4 comments sorted by best / new / date

    i run my rr3 through a boss metalcore in standard c and it sounds fine. Would sound much better with some emgs or blackouts
    Ai-b912 is right: I tuned my Jackson RR3 to B standard and it sounds quite muddy and inarticulate (I changed strings too, of course, got it all set up properly).