SL1 Soloist review by Jackson

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  • Sound: 9
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 10
  • Features: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 9.8 Superb
  • Users' score: 9 (40 votes)
Jackson: SL1 Soloist

Sound — 9
In my opinion this guitar can deliver a variety of different sounds. In the bridge position is the JB you can get a pretty decent distortion sound for rock music. You can play metal on this guitar but in my opinion it's not it's strong point. If you do want to play metal on this I would recommend swapping out the bridge pickup to something that better suits your needs. As for the cleans they are decent but whenever I'm playing clean I just use the neck pickup anyways. I'm not that great at describing tone but I would say this pickup has a sort of sharp sound, not very smooth. I'll be honest I don't use the middle position very much but it gives a similar tone to the neck position since it's the same kind of pickup just in a different position so read that for reference. In the neck position is a classic stack. This pickups strong point is in it's cleans in my opinion. It gives a nice warm tone which is very clear and smooth. If you use light distortion with low gain this pickup can get a nice sort of classic rock sound. But if you try to get heavier distortion out of it the sound you will get won't be good. I am currently using a Randall RG75D combo amp and for effects I use a POD 2.0 and am happy with the sound I get from it. This guitar isn't very noisy I don't get much feedback from it while it's plugged in and not being played at any volumes. This guitar has a bright, full sound. If you're looking for a guitar with versatility to be able to play different styles this is for you. If you want something that is specifically made for one genre this is not the guitar for you. This guitar suits my playing style well, it lets me Switch between playing classic rock to metal to blues as needed and gives a decent sound in all. It does not specialize in any genre in my opinion, it's more of an all around guitar.

Overall Impression — 10
The majority of music I play is either classic rock or metal and it's a good half way point between the two. I've been playing guitar for about 3 years. I'm happy with this guitar and if it were lost or stolen I would probably buy another the only thing I would do different is get one with a fixed bridge instead of a Floyd, but that's just my personal preference. The Floyd was fun for the first few weeks but I barely use the whammy bar anymore so changing the strings and tuning is annoying. I love the diversity in the tones available from it, in my opinion that's it's strongest feature. Only thing I dislike is the painted neck but it's a sacrifice You have to make if you want a neck thru or set in guitar. I compared it to a few Ibanez and Fender guitars, and I liked this one the best. I hope this review was helpful, thanks for reading.

Reliability & Durability — 10
For the 4 months I've had this guitar I have had no problems. I've never played Live with it I just play at home as a hobby. It seems like a well built guitar that could stand gigging. You will probably want to put strap locks on even tho the stock strap holders are decent, you don't really want to take a chance. The finish is very good quality, one of the most beautiful flame maple finishes I've seen. It seems like a thick finish that won't wear out very easily. As I mentioned I've only had this guitar 4 months so this is about all the information I can give about it's reliability and durability. Sorry I can't be more helpful in this section.

Action, Fit & Finish — 10
On mine the action was set up very well but the credit for that goes to the store I bought it from since the owner set it up to my liking for me. The pickups were set up well but again credit for that goes to the store owner and not the manufacturer. The bridge was routed properly and no damage or flaws. When buying a guitar you should always have it properly set up if you are not able to do it yourself. I am not capable of doing it myself and am very grateful that I received a free set up with my purchase.

Features — 10
I am reviewing a 2007 model Jackson SL1. In my opinion it's a great guitar for what I payed. The Guitar is made in the USA. It has a 24 fret maple neck with an ebony fret board with mother of pearl shark fin inlays. Also forgot to mention the guitar is neck thru. The body is made of alder and they offer flame maple or plain colour finishes. The neck is thin and has great upper fret access, I can comfortably reach all 24 frets on the bottom 4 strings. With a little bit of effort you can reach the 21-24 frets on the top two strings but to be honest I don't use them often enough for it to bother me. The body style is similar to a Strat but the plate is in the back so there is no pick guard. It has an Original Floyd Rose tremolo bridge. I've had no problems from the bridge and it stays in tune very well. As long as I don't go crazy on the whammy bar it stays in tune for about a weeks worth of regular playing. For pickups There is a Seymour Duncan JB TB4 in the bridge position which is a regular sized humbucker. In the middle and neck positions are Seymour Duncan Classic Stack pickups which are single coil sized humbuckers. Both types of pickups are passive. There is a master volume and master tone control and a 5 way Switch. The tuners are Jackson tuners but with the floyd you have a locking knut. A case is included with this guitar. I have no complaints about it's features and it's well built. I've had this guitar for about 4 months now and have experienced no problems at all.

9 comments sorted by best / new / date

    the U.S. models are flat out amazing.. the necks are dead straight and they sound damn amazing
    I am the proud owner of a Jackson SL1 U.S model Finish in Trans blue, just like on the picutre here. I love it!
    I just got my SL1 U.S Model but my finish is natural, The only thing i don't like is the seymour duncan pickups. I've been using dimarzio's most of the time so i feel the duncans aren't high output enough, But great guitar!
    Hillside_Loafer, your guitar is not sl1. all sl1 guitars are made in usa, pro series are made in japan if you were lucky you have early -90 pro. usa sl1 cost in 1000 to 2000e here in europe
    I love this guitar. It's the best Guitar that i've ever played. I swapped the JB for a Dimebucker and it sounds amazing clean ,crunch ,rock and metal.
    I bought one of these bad boys for $1300 CAD about ten years ago. My first guitar was a gifted Squier Strat. I fell in love with playing and I immediately started saving for a 'real' guitar. A year later (I was 17 at the time) the SL1 Soloist was my second guitar and I gave away the Squier. I own about 10 guitars now and it's still my main axe (mostly tech death nowadays). I haven't changed much on it aside from adding a killswitch. The neck is amazing and the pickups are fantastic. I feel lucky to have learned to play guitar on such an awesome instrument, I'll never sell it :]
    I've been on the fence about one of these, I had a older model DK2 Pro ('08 model just before that big ass Japanese tsunami); I sold it in '10 when I picked up my Charvel. I've missed the pickup arrangement (H/S/S). My favorite lead position is one up from the bridge; you get the balls of the JB, but the warmth of the STK-1 in the mid position, because it's a stacked single-coil you get the "pop" or "snap" of it. Anyways righteous position. Jackson's fairly well switched primarily to direct mounted pickups. I'll probably go for a JCS SL-1. I usually play ESP/LTD guitars; honestly since my Charvel I don't hardly pickup anything else. Usually play power-pop, punk, pop-punk, thrash and shred.