Jackson Soloist - OK, so it's not an Ibanez... - Jemsite
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-22-2001, 01:35 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Cincinnati, OH USA
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Jackson Soloist - OK, so it's not an Ibanez...

OK, so I know this is 'doing the unthinkable' to many people here, but I recently bought a used Jackson USA Soloist. Why? Because I can't find a decent Ibanez RG model with a fixed bridge (and I really did look)!! And, whether you want to acknowledge it or not, Jackson does make some top notch guitars.

The specs on the guitar:
- transparent blue finish
- mahogany body
- flamed maple top w/ matching headstock
- neck-thru construction
- chrome hardware
- bound ebony fretboard w/ no inlays
- black & white Seymour Duncan JB (bridge) & Jazz (neck) pickups
- tune-a-matic type bridge

I'll post a real review and pictures when I get a chance. I need to log some serious playing time on this puppy first.


(Edited by bduersch at 1:05 am on Mar. 22, 2001)
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-22-2001, 01:54 AM
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Jackson Soloist

Brent- congrats! *I've seen a bunch of Jackson's that are very nice.

A guy that comes to the local jams has a Soloist. *Boy, can he put it thru it's paces! *:biggrin:
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-22-2001, 01:55 AM
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Jackson Soloist

Sounds sweet, I would abandon my rg's for one just like that.
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-22-2001, 07:03 PM
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Jackson Soloist

Excelent Choice I Also Have A Soloist Mid 80's I Think No Serial # Heavy Has Hell But A Great Sound
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-22-2001, 09:53 PM
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Jackson Soloist

IMHO, Jackson makes some damn fine guitars for the money. I have had the opportunity to play many in my day. If Ibanez didn't exist...Jackson would be what I would play.

Excellent find. The neck-through consruction will knock you out. I'd still put DiMarzios in it though. Never did develop a taste for Duncans.

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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-27-2001, 12:50 AM Thread Starter
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Jackson Soloist

So I've been slacking off... I still haven't taken any pics yet, but I have been playing this guitar to death, so here's my quick & dirty review (which is, of course, highly subjective):

The positives:
1. Killer neck--Thicker and meatier than most Ibanez necks (except for the J-customs). Despite the thickness, it's still highly shredable.
2. Bound ebony fretboard--This adds to the shredabilty factor as well.
3. Neck through construction--I love the AANJ, but seriously, the AANJ can't compete with no neck joint whatsoever.
4. The pickups--Surprisingly, I like the duncans more than I thought I would. The Jazz pickup in the neck has a clarity exhibited only by the Air Norton. The JB at the bridge has good harmonics, but is not obnoxiously trebley. The middle position is a perfect blend of the two.
5. The finish--Killer transparent blue on flamed maple top. Nice grain. Fit and finish is very smooth.
6. Weight/sustain ratio--Very good. Sustains about as well as my Les Paul, but doesn't kill my back in the process.

The negatives:
1. 22 fret fretboard--Most Soloists have 24 fret necks, but this fixed bridge model only has 22. Granted, I don't spend a great deal of time on frets 23 & 24, but every now and then I wish I had them.
2. Finished neck--I've been spoiled by the au natural finishes on Ibanez necks recently. The Jackson's neck is painted and clearcoated, so it has a very different feel. When polished up properly, it's quite fast, but if you don't keep it clean all the grime will start to slow you down after a while.
3. Pickup adjustment--Call me anal, but the fixed bridge setup generally requires a higher pickup mounting ring at the bridge than at the neck. When I crank the neck pickup up to where I want it, I can't crank the bridge pickup high enough up to have even output levels. When I crank the neck pickup down to have even output level with the bridge, both pickups seem somewhat weak. I'll probably replace the stock mounting rings with Gibson rings so I can get the bridge pickup where I want it.
4. Pickup switching--Although the 3 switch positions are pretty versatile, I've been spoiled by the special-5 configuration, so I still feel like I'm missing something.

Anyway, overall, this is a killer axe. Playability is great and the tone is pretty sweet, too. If I can get the pickups mounted the way I want them, I imagine this will become one of my top players. If you're looking for a nice fixed-bridge guitar, check one of these out.

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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-01-2001, 04:40 PM Thread Starter
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Jackson Soloist

Hey, as promised, I've finally got pics...

I took the liberty of replacing the stock chrome pickup mounting rings with Gibson cream colored rings--that made a significant difference in adjustability and therefore output of the pickups.
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-02-2001, 12:48 AM
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Jackson Soloist

Sweet guitar, Brent!

I really like Jackson's 3+3 headstock design... the straight string pull to the tuners probably makes tuning a lot more stable on a guitar that doesn't have a locking nut.

If you're missing some versatility with only the three-way switch, why not add a splitter switch on a push/pull pot? I know from first-hand experience that a JB sounds pretty darn good split and in parallel as well as its normal series mode.
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-02-2001, 06:41 AM
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Jackson Soloist

I can't understand in which way the neck is connected to the body. It almost seems the same piece of wood but i'm sure it isn't...
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-02-2001, 08:27 AM
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Jackson Soloist

It's a neck thru. *The neck goes all the way through the body of the guitar and then two pieces are joined to the neck to complete the body.
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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-02-2001, 01:07 PM
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Jackson Soloist

Haven't seen one of those in awhile, Soloist that is....

Tell me since my eyes are dyin here, are there any markers on that fret board?

Personally I would prefer a fret board like that over the traditional dots....
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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-02-2001, 03:43 PM
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Jackson Soloist

That's a nice Jackson. That must be the "update" Soloist, when they went through the 3 per side phase of them. I think they are back to the 6 per side, traditional headstock shape, Soloists now. I like yours, very sweet...

Hopefully I'll have a Soloist by the end of the week, thanks to Kirk. It's a early 90's with a pretty sweet graffic, I've never seen a graffic like this one, but I haven't seen too many here in Iowa. I've always wanted to get my hands on a nice Soloist...
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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-03-2001, 12:11 AM Thread Starter
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Jackson Soloist

Darren-- Thanks for the idea... I just might have to try that. Maybe I could make the volume knob push/pull for splitting and the tone knob push/pull for parallel. Or maybe I couldn't (since I'm not incredibly electrically inclined), but I'll try anything once!

Yuza-- The neck-through body is amazing, provided you don't snap the neck. Then you're screwed!

Becalvert-- The fretboard doesn't have inlays, your eyes aren't fooling you. It just needs to be cleaned! The plain fretboard really looks good on this guitar.

Scott-- I thought the headstock was pretty unique... From most of what I've seen, Jackson tends to put the 3+3 headstock on fixed bridge guitars and the 6 headstock on trem guitars, but I have no idea why. Hope you enjoy your soloist when ya get it!

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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-03-2001, 11:27 AM
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Jackson Soloist

I think I can shed a little light on it's non-traditional soloist appearance.

It's not actually a true soloist. It is in fact a "Soloist Superlight"

I'm copying this from my 1998 Jackson catalogue. One like Brent's is pictured in that year's book. The '97 SLS had cream DiMarzios rather than the Zebra Duncans.

"The SLS - soloist superlight is somewhat of a departure for Jackson. Slightly smaller and more rounded than a regualr soloist with about 1/2 the thickness. the SLS's mhogany neck and body comes with a Duncan Pearly Gates in the bridge and a Duncan Jazz in the neck."
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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-04-2001, 08:50 PM
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Jackson Soloist

I got my Soloist today, thanks Kirk, couldn't have done it without you! It's an '89 neckthrough with graffic, kinda an apocolyptic graffic. I must say, this has given my Ibanez Love a run for it's money. I really, really like the Jackson neck. A bit flat but nice and wide. Much faster than any Ibanez neck I've owned. For me, at least. I like it so much I've floated my VWH out for a trade on another. I do like Jems but these Jacksons are nice rides too...
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