Price paid: $ 1695
Purchased from: retail price
Sound — 9
I play mainly metal and some hard-rock through Blackstar HT-20. Thanx to Blackstar's variety and the pickups coil split it really can do it all from jazz to blues and heavy metal! I would say it's little bright, which is great for my taste, it can deliver massive power chords impressively while shredding nice and fluent, never had suck a all-around guitar. Where it really shines its at crunch sounding blues, absolutely brilliant. And of course full gain heavy metal, w/DiMarzio its really digs those riffs, and I have to admit I really like active pickups a lot more then passive one, but I was really amazed this time. Still, I would prefer my LTD MH-1000 for metal because its loaded with EMG's pickups. Only for a matter of sound, not playability!. Sometimes I run tube screamer if front, to push it a little harder. I'm thinking of putting EMG's on it, EMG 81 on bridge and EMG 85 on neck, just wondering what this guitar can sound like with active pickups. As for Schaller's Floyd rose, I rarely use it but when I do it delivers dive bombs and other trick without getting out of tunning. No difference between this and original Floyd rose at all.
Overall Impression — 9
I play mostly metal and some hard rock and I think this guitar is a grat match, although it can do it all. I've been playing for about 6 years. I own LTD MH-1000FR and LTD MH-350NT, Blackstar HT20 combo and Ibanez TS9, boss ns-2, Dunlop 10 Bend-Eq KFK, Zoom G2.1ma. This soloist became my 1# guitar, I use it anywhere, anytime when on live or recording or just fooling around doing dive bombs, this guitar is so versatile.
Reliability & Durability — 9
Well, after almost 23 years its still feels great, looks great, have all original parts, sounds amazing, no reason on earth why I wouldn't use it live for the next 23 years... Strap buttons kinda normal so I will change them to Schaller's for extra safety, that's all.
Action, Fit & Finish — 9
Since this guitar was made at very same year I was born its really hard for me to tell how it was set out of factory, but when I got it, all original parts were still in it and in good shape overall, nut rust or other sh-t. This is very impressive for a 23 year old guitar. Fretboard is really the most amazing part of this guitar, the mother-of-pearl inlays are amazing, frets are cut beautifully, ebony is dark and smooth, the neck itself by feel is by far the most comfortable one I ever tried. This is a very high quality guitar. Action is set very low and no fret buzzing or other issues (this is both thanks to the guitar and my guitar tech). No flaws on finish, no noisy pickup just prefect overall.
Features — 8
Made in the famous Chushin Gakki factory in Japan, 1990. Features: - Set neck Construction - Mahogany body - flame maple top - Quartersawn maple neck - Ebony bound Fingerboard - 24 frets - JT-590 bridge (Schaller's Floyd rose version) - Normal volume,tone and 3-way - 2 J80 Jackson passive humbuckers (single coil split) - non-locking Jackson's tuners - mother-of-pearl inlays and Jackson logo. Original pickups are ok, not great "in your face" output for bridge and not enough "round" in the neck for my taste, so I've changed the bridge 'pup to DiMarzio made it a lot better. It was given only 8 cause of the pups and cause unlike other Professional "PRO" this is a set neck and not neckthru. This is kinda an extra special Soloist Pro (inlays are reversed too). So I would at least expect it to be neckthru. Maybe I'm wrong cause its special its a set neck but I'm really a great fan of necthru guitars, mainly cause of the great sustain they have.