Magazine article Guitar Player

Jackson: SL3X Soloist

Magazine article Guitar Player

Jackson: SL3X Soloist

Article excerpt

THERE ARE A LOT OF TIME-TESTED ways to wake up an audience--pyrotechnics, choreographed onstage flash mobs, and wire-rigged flying performers to name but a few. Or you can simply wield a SL3X in slime green, taxi cab yellow, or neon pink to imprint your image into the eyeballs of your fans. (For the timid, the SL3X is also available in more sedate satin black and white pearl metallic finishes.) This is definitely an instrument that screams "LEAD GUITAR" very loudly and proudly. And yet, the Soloist isn't simply a weapon for soloists, shredders, and metalheads. I wouldn't say this out loud near the SL3X for fear of wounding its aggro-macho pride, but it's also a guitar capable of quite lovely clean and shimmery tones.

Like all classic Jacksons, the SL3X is built for speed and easy payability. The flat neck is shred-approved, there's effortless access to all 24 frets, the Volume and Tone knobs are positioned for rapid-fire tweaks, the frets are immaculately dressed with rounded edges, and the Floyd Rose tremolo works as expected--like a dream. The only ergonomic issues are that it's a tad heavy, and the ends of the locking nut will slice your flesh if your hand bumps into it. (Watch those Pete Townshend-esque windmills, gang.)

Not surprisingly, as a shred beast, the SL3X earns its stripes with thick, propulsive midrange tones that can cut through anything a live band (or studio track) can deliver. Single-note lines are articulate, complex chords are voiced coherently, and blazing-fast runs aren't compromised by weak mids or murky lows. …

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