Purchased from: Guitar Center
Features — 10
This review if for my 2010 Jackson Rhoads RR3 made in Japan at the Chushin Gakki factory. 22 jumbo frets on a compound radius (14"-16") rosewood fretboard with mother of pearl shark fin inlays on a two piece bolt-on maple neck with a scarf joint at the headstock, solid alder body with an Eerie Dess Swirl finish. The Rhoads V body has a Jackson JT580LP tremolo system, Seymour Duncan TB-4 JB and SH-2 jazz model pickups, two volume and one master tone controls with three way pickup selector switch mounted on a sweet black brushed metal plate. It is equipped with sealed die cast Jackson tuners and came with an SKB/Jackson original hard shell case.
Sound — 10
I play mostly metal and this axe is tailor made for just that, although it cleans up nicely when I need it to as well as get that bluesy overdrive tone for classic rock. Overall I find this pickup combination to be very versatile. I play through either a 100/50watt switchable Mesa Roadster Dual Rectifier 2x12 combo, a Peavey 120 watt 6505+ through 4x12 cabinet loaded with Eminence Patriot Swamp Thang and Texas heat speakers, or I run the Mesa through the 4X12. It doesn't really matter which amp I am using, this guitar sounds like an absolute beast, but through the Mesa, which has clean channels that are "Fender" clean, I can crank up the reverb and get down with some rockabilly or surf tones!
Action, Fit & Finish — 10
I bought the guitar used, but in mint condition, from Guitar Center and the set-up wasn't bad but I took it to my tech and had him throw a new set of strings on it and give a proper tweaking. Pickup height was fine. I honestly cannot find any fit or finish problems with this guitar the frets were dressed nicely with no sharp ends protruding from the fretboard I currently own 5 MIJ Chushin Gakki Jacksons and once owned three others(which I regret parting with)and never had any fit or finish issues with any of them. It is sad that Jackson no longer manufactures guitars out of the Chushin factory!
Reliability & Durability — 10
I don't gig anymore but if I did I wouldn't think twice about using this axe live it is well built and looks and sounds amazing, personally I would never gig without a backup, not that this guitar wouldn't hold up but you never know when a string will bite the dust. With any licensed tremolo the quality can be hit or miss but the trem on this seems to be fine, I will eventually replace it with an original Floyd Rose. As on all of my guitars I replaced the strap buttons with Dunlop strap locks.
I have only had it for about four months but with my previous experience with MIJ Jacksons I know the quality and durability is there, of course as with any guitar it all depends on how you take care of them (all of mine live in cases). I have never had any issues with the Jackson finishes wearing off or cracking.
Overall Impression — 10
All in all I think this guitar is bada-s, I have been playing for about 30 years and currently own 12 guitars 5 of which are MIJ Jacksons, this guitar looks and plays the part of a weapon of mass destruction for playing metal! No surprise here as that has always been Jackson's forte, and the Rhoads V was the very first Jackson body style ever to be made. Typically I thoroughly research any gear before I commit to a purchase
but in this case I went with an in store inspection, a quick test drive and pulled the trigger based on reputation and previous experience with Jackson guitars.
I only compared this to one guitar and that was the Dean 30th Anniversary V that I had bought from GC the week before and promptly returned to grab the RR3, the only thing that would make this guitar better is an OFR, ebony fretboard and neck-thru construction but that is personal preference. If it was stolen I would be seriously p-ssed and would try to replace it, but finding a case queen in this condition doesn't happen every day!