Price paid: $ 720
Purchased from: Guitar Center
Sound — 10
My personal style is tough to accomodate with a single guitar - I listen to anything from Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, ZZ Top, AC/DC, to Metallica, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Megadeth, and, surprise, Ozzy Osbourne's work with Randy Rhoads himself. Mostly rock and classic rock, although a little metal never Hurt anyone. This guitar suits most of my heavier needs easily. And hard rock tone, from insane distortion to lighter overdrive, this guitar has covered in style. I play through a Mesa/Boogie Subway Rocket when playing heavier, and an Orange Tiny Terror when playing Vintage, and this guitar can handle both, although it is much more suited for metal. I would personally never, ever get rid of this guitar, as I've played Gibsons, ESPs, PRSs, High-end fenders, Schecters, and anything else under the sun, and not found a better metal tone for my style. If I want to shred some Dethklok, this guitar can do it, if I just want a little Zeppelin, roll back the volume a bit, and this thing has got it covered. it's got a very strong bite to the sound, it just hits you in the chest, but not in the eardrum-shattering-in-pain kind of way. Even though the two humbuckers are the same, you can achieve a wide variety of tones, by mixing up the volume controls, the master tone, and raising/lowering the pickups a bit. Don't expect a lot of crystal clean sounds out of this - that's what a Stratocaster is for. This guitar is made for rock and metal, and it does it's job perfectly.
Overall Impression — 10
As I've said, this guitar is a perfect fit for any rock or metal playing. I have been playing for a little over 3 years, and this guitar has been with me for about half that time. I also have a Gibson SG Faded, which seems to fit my cleaner stuff a little better, especially coupled with the Orange, but the Jackson RR5 is the pride and joy of my collection, and my most treasured possession I own. If it were stolen.. I'd be in prison in short order. There is not a better instrument for great metal/rock tone, period, at least under 2000 dollars. And not a instrument in the world that looks better. ..if only it had a whammy. Best instrument I've played in my short musical career, but one I will never part with, if you find one under a grand, buy it immediately.
Reliability & Durability — 10
I haven't used this guitar in Live playing, but with the way I practice sometime, it's amazing how it's held up. I've done the Cardinal Sin of V-guitars, and bumped the corner a couple times, yet, incredibly... no damage. Thank God. The hardware is all solid, and the strap buttons are placed surprisingly well, weight is distributed great. I wouldn't ever gig without a backup, but if I had to, I would be very confident of the guitar - it's the strings I'd worry about. The finish is solid, no problems here.
Action, Fit & Finish — 10
I bought this guitar used at guitar center, but have had no problems so far. I've messed with the pickup height to suit my style, but otherwise, the action and intonation has been fine since I brought it home a year ago. As I stated in the features, the neck on this guitar is incredibly thin - and the action is very low. Perfect for some extremely fast playing, and since it also has a compound radius fretboard, you'll find yourself playing with much more comfort than an average guitar. No flaws with the finish or anything else for that matter so far.
Features — 9
This RR5 was made in '05 or '06, MIJ, 25.5" Scale with 22 frets. Has a Rosewood compound-radius fretboard with the ever-classy Sharkfin inlays, Alder body with a Maple neck and neck-thru contruction. Of course, 2 humbuckers, both Seymour-Duncan TB4s. Mine is the ivory finish, with the black pinstripes and gold hardware. 2 master volume controls, and a master tone. A really, really sharp looking guitar, looks like it costs a lot more than what it is. Although 720 isn't chump change, and should include at least a whammy.. which is my only complaint about the features.