SL3 Soloist review by Jackson

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  • Sound: 10
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 9
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 10
  • Features: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 9.8 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.8 (109 votes)
Jackson: SL3 Soloist
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Price paid: $ 700

Purchased from: Ebay

Sound — 10
This guitar can do nearly everything. I play blues, jazz, classic rock and metal through this baby. I am running it through a Maxon OD9 and a Peavey Ultra made in 1997. It VERY bright sounding, so maybe if you wanted to play some very dark/heavy sounding stuff this might not be the best guitar on the block. It has real seymour duncans (2 hotrails, which are like mini humbuckers yet are as versatile as single coils, and an TB4) and they are surprisingly versatile. I never thought I would be playing jazz or lighter music with this guitar mainly because I thought I would be playing metal, but as my musical tastes changed I realized this guitar's full potential. The pickups are dead silent and don't hum at all. The neck/middle pickup are as clean as you can possible get a pickup to be. Overall the sound of this guitar is phenomenal, but it also depends on the rig you have.

Overall Impression — 10
This guitar can and does everything easily. I have been playing this baby for about a year and it really doesnt't have any problems and there isnt a thing I would change. If it was stolen I would probably buy it or go up a step and by an sl2 or sl1. I love everything about the guitar and the finish looks awesome. I got it in red and it just looks awesome (although fingerprints really stick out on it). I am a Jackson fanboy however and I would buy this guitar over an ESP, Ibanez, Schecter, Fender, Gibson, etc. Because no other company can make a neck that feels as comfortable as a Jackson neck (except Charvel which technically speaking is Jackson).

Reliability & Durability — 9
This guitar is an absolute rock. I have dropped it and banged it up without any dings (I was extremely surprised). I installed new strap knobs because the old ones were extremely loose, but that could be because the previous owner might have done something to it. You can rely on it go through anything and it is definitely a gig worthy guitar. The finish is absolutely flawless however it is a veneer maple top. Overall I think this guitar can survive anything and will definitely last a long time (if taken care of obviously.

Action, Fit & Finish — 10
The guitar was setup well and the strings are practically right off of the fretboard and there is practically zero fret buzz. I didn't buy it out of a store so I couldnt tell you how it would come, if you bought it from musiciansfriend.com, but it doesnt't take long to do anyway. Everything was pretty much perfect when I got it, except the Floyd Rose had a bit of rust on it so make sure not to keep it in a humid environment. The frets (stainless steel) are probably going to last forever unless you mash down on the string horribly. The fretboard does get dirty extremely dirty and dry pretty fast so whenever you change strings, just take a cloth, put some lemon oil on the cloth and wipe the fretboard down to make sure it doesnt't get dried out.

Features — 10
This guitar was made in Japan in 2005 however I purchased it in early 2008 from ebay. It has 24 jumbo frets, 25.5" scale, 3 pickups (passive), tone+volume knob, licensed Floyd Rose (chrome jt580) and a 5 way pickup selector, alder body, rosewood fretboard and stainless steel frets. Then there is obviously the famous Jackson compound radius neck which gets flatter and wider as you go up the neck making it easier to reach the upper frets. It feels awesome and that is the main feature about this guitar. The neck is also painted however so if you sweat a lot you might want to get the paint sanded off because it gets VERY sticky. The guitar doesnt't have any features that stand out and separate it from other guitars, except for the neck with plays like a dream. The jt580 on this Jackson in like a lo-pro Floyd Rose from schaller it is not based off of the OFR design. The jt580 definitely feels better than an OFR because it is sleeker and is deeper into the body. This is said to cut some sustain, but I actually can't tell the difference between the sustain of an OFR and this jt580. The new sl3 is the same exact guitar except it doesnt't come with the jt580 is comes with a Ping O2000 Floyd Rose which has been said to have a few reliability issues (cant vouch for this, it's just what I have heard) so maybe you want to try it or read up on it a bit.

1 comment sorted by best / new / date

    Josh Geohagan
    Please excuse my ignorance, but I have a question about the two hotrails in the middle and neck position. Are they classified as humbucker pickups, or single-coil pickups. I have heard that they are humbuckers formatted to a single coil size, and I have heard that they are noiseless singlecoils. Could someone help me out? Any help is appreciated.