JP100D review by Sterling by Music Man

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  • Features: 7
  • Sound: 9
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 8
  • Reliability & Durability: 8
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 8.4 Superb
  • Users' score: 7.6 (23 votes)
Sterling by Music Man: JP100D
2

Price paid: $ 799

Purchased from: Guitar Center

Features — 7

  • Made in Indonesia - 2016
  • Mahogany body with Koa top
  • maple neck with dark 25.5" rosewood fretboard (24 nickel frets)
  • locking tuners
  • Shield inlays
  • "modern float" tremolo bridge
  • double cutaway, asymmetric
  • DiMarzio Liquifire (neck) and Cruchlab (bridge) pickups
  • volume and tone knobs, comes with gig bag and tremolo arm (had to order the Ernie Ball 5983 hardshell case as none other seemed to fit well, but I've very happy with that case)
If you upgrade to the true music man version (made in the US), you get piezo bridge pickups, compensated nut, coil taps and I think a slightly different tremolo (not sure about that though). Neck and bridge pickups are the same though so I can't find a real reason to upgrade.

Sound — 9

  • Pickups are amazing (hard rock, dirty blues, metal)
  • Mostly high gain amp settings- really articulates well
  • Does well with softer settings too, but I usually play it hot
  • Liquifire great for piercing solos, leaves room for expression
  • Crunchlab pickup is super hot and punchy, but still articulate
  • No coil tap, only three pickup settings
  • Tone control is spot on
Would give it a 10 if it had coil taps for a bit more range. Tremolo works well for me, but I'm not a heavy trem user so take that with a grain of salt

I play on headphones mostly, on stack and other hi gain amp settings without distortion, and I would change absolutely nothing about these pickups. I tried it out on some big boy amps at guitar center and it sounded even better (I just don't like to wake the neighbors). I tend to leave it the gain on the guitar at 100%, the tone at 50-80%, and the amplifier gain at 50-100% and it handles that wonderfully.

Action, Fit & Finish — 8

  • Set up was perfect off the wall at guitar center
  • No flaws that I've found in mine- but I wouldn't buy it without playing it first, some reviews mention big setup problems
  • The tuners feel great, stable so far with some moderate trem use and they're locking as well.
  • No compensated nut (hard to find at this price range)
I love the way this thing looks and feels. I don't like the look of the regular JP6, I'm drawn to warm hardwoods and the Koa top is gorgeous. The fretboard has great readability and the whole thing sits in my lap just the way I like.

Reliability & Durability — 8
Certainly seems solid, but I've only had it two weeks and I don't play gigs, just a hobby. If this thing started to break down on me I'd be truly heartbroken. I don't see anything to be concerned about long term but it is an Indonesian guitar so who knows. I would say that at this price, I would just buy the same guitar again if something terrible happened to it, and even though I'd feel better if it were made in the US I have to admit the quality of these Indonesian guitars has really come a long way.

Overall Impression — 10
Honestly I have't been able to put this thing down. I work 12-14 hour days but still play every day for 3-4 hours when I get home because every time I do I find some new way to play an old song that blows me away. My two hand tapping and palm muting has never had this kind of flavor and articulation and it's kind of going to my head. And I think the koa top is absolutely breathtaking. This is my second electric guitar - I've been playing a SSS Fender Standard Strat for 7-10 years and I'm an intermediate/late intermediate player. Wanted something a bit different for harder rock so I was looking at everything with hot humbuckers - Gibson, Ibanez, Jackson, Schecter to name a few, but couldn't find the right combination of overall feel (I mostly play seated) and a punchy but articulate tone till I tried this guitar. It may not offer quite the versatility or fine finishes a real advanced player or professional needs (try the JP6 BFR), but for me it is a perfect fit and I would have gladly paid double. Also wouldn't buy it without playing it since it's made in Indonesia and some reviewers have had lemons from the sound of it. I give it a 10 because it suits me so damn well but it may not be perfect for everyone. These scores are relative to the price range too, If I had paid 2K I might have expected more but for $800 I'm pretty blown away.

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