JP70 review by Sterling by Music Man

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  • Features: 8
  • Sound: 6
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 7
  • Reliability & Durability: 8
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 7.4 Good
  • Users' score: 7 (1 vote)
Sterling by Music Man: JP70

Price paid: € 799

Purchased from: Muziekhandel Joosten

Features — 8
After loosing my information, here I go again... The guitar is made in Indonesia and checked in the USA. It is, ofc, a 7 string guitar. It is based upon the JP7 but it is a lot cheaper. The body shape is the same. 25. 5" maple neck with a rosewood 16" radius fredboard. 24 frets. 50mm at the nut, 60mm at the 12th fret. The inlays are the classic JP shield inlays with the big shield and the JP symbol at the first fret. 

Solid top no book-maching or anything. Basswood body with a Trans Green finish. 1 volume, 1 tone. 1 3-way selector switch HH SBMM pickups. They don't have a mounting ring as they are directly mounted into the body. The pickups are held up by a very smart spring and coushon system fixed on the body which makes it easy to replace the pickups. Locking tuners with the maching headstock. It has a modern tremolo bridge, custom design for this model(floating). It came with a gig bag, allen keys and the special thruss rod bar to calibrate the neck.

Sound — 6
The stock pickups are pretty dull. I usually play a bit of periphery here and there. They really don't do the job on the big chords. They sound like the tone knob is dialed down a lot. The neck is pretty good. Clean, they sound decent if you ask me but with overdrive they really don't do the job. I've played it through my Blackstar HT-5R and my Line 6 Pod-HD500X. Not the best hardware I know. But the guitar didn't have any reviews yet.

The neck did sound a bit too bright for me. Maybe because it is a basswood body. I changed the pickups to to Bareknuckle Aftermaths (WARNING! The covers don't fit because the cavities are closely routed along the pickup! You have to ask them to vile off the backplate, and don't go for the covers). With the Bareknuckles the big chords really start to speak! It is really a progressive guitar for that matter. With the SBMM pickups a 6 but with the aftermaths an 8!

Action, Fit & Finish — 7
The guitar wasn't set up well at all. But this wasn't the fault of the factory since it came through 2 countries first. I guess it was the music shop who could have done it for me first.

There were a view issues that really disappointed me though:
- The top of the headstock is sanded too roughly, you can see the marks underneath the varnish. 
- The metal bar to adjust the thrussrod didn't fit. I had to vile of the tips to make it sink in.
- The cavity of the springs were full of saw dust.
- The hex screws on the 6th string were totally stuck. Not even heavy duty hardware could get them out. As if they were one piece of metal.

I heard from a different guitar shop where I live that their version was just fine so I guess I had bad luck. I do recommend you to check yours first before buying it! Besides that it is a truely amazing guitar! It looks beautiful. It really has the benefits of the JP guitars. Beautiful neck, just amazing. I give it a 7 because I think I just had bad luck with mine. That happens.

Reliability & Durability — 8
I don't know the live playability since I don't play live. The guitar stays in tune incredibly well. Insane. The locking tuners are extremely sensitive both up and down. The best tuners I have ever had put my hands on! The paint on the selector switch (black) wears of rather quickly but I don't really care about that. For the rest it is awesome!

The knobs and the selector feel very smooth. Some people prefer different positioning of these controls but that is a matter of opinion. The big advantage of the floating bridge is that minor changes in tunings of specific strings is compensated by the rest. This way you will not find specific strings detuned more than others. I also noticed that every time I put new strings on them, I only have to re-tune it once or twice, then it just stays there. The whole thing is very sturdy! I give it a 7 on average because it depends on the specific one you have.

Overall Impression — 8
I usually play prog stuff. It is perfect for that. The looks are amazing. I own it for a year and it is perfect for the periphery djentish stuff as well as the more direct rock and prog (with the aftermath pickups). The neck is just amazing, plays really fast. It is really thin but not only that, it is also very flat which makes it feel the same no matter where you are on the neck. The 24th fret is very acceptable and I don't feel like specific frets are dying out. I do feel like the highest string is a bit close to the edge of the neck, but that also could be because I'm not that good at playing the guitar. 

I like this specific 7 string because it is really good and beautiful for the price. I don't want guitars that look like you can only play black metal with them, like the simple Ibanez RG series and Schecter guitars. It looks modern, like it is from space. After overcoming the first issues I described before I cannot say anything else but that I am extremely happy with it. I wouldn't want to trade it for any other guitar. Some people did have some problems with detuning after a lot of use of the tremolo. I don't use it because the only way to secure it in there is with a hex screw and there is not really a gradient of tightness. It's either unmovable or loose. I don't know what this is like with the normal JP bridge. 

I highly suggest this guitar but only under the condition that you check it before you buy it. You want to be sure it is set up right. Check the things I called out before. Also, for those who like good sounds, consider new pickups for your budget because you are really going to need them. All in all, with new pickups you get an amazing guitar for just 800 euros!

2 comments sorted by best / new / date

    The U.S.-made JP models also use a hex screw for the trem bar. I was sort of irritated by that, as well, when I got my JP6. However, I discovered the hard shell cases for the U.S. JP series has an indentation on the inside of the lid to accommodate the whammy bar without taking it out of the guitar. So, you pretty much just need to screw it in once to the resistance/play of your liking, and just leave it in.