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Author Topic: I definitely have a problem.  (Read 244 times)

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Zilthy

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I definitely have a problem.
« on: Time Format »

Another one, this time a Jackson American Series Soloist SL3.

I have a USA Soloist years ago, and I loved playing it.   I just was not in love with the color (blue).
Not a bad color, just not my favorite on guitars.   When I saw this series announced, and the slime
green in a satin finish, I just had to get one.

I haven't even gotten around to doing a setup on it yet, but this one immediately felt like
an old friend as soon as I picked it up.

There are a couple I did pick up this year that I may end up selling, weed out the collection down
to the ones I either actually play or even just plain want on the wall.
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Dante

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Re: I definitely have a problem.
« Reply #1 on: Time Format »

LOVE IT!
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rnolan

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Re: I definitely have a problem.
« Reply #2 on: Time Format »

Go Zilthy, nice score  :thumb-up: , and it does seem you have a penchant for buying guitars LoL, is it a problem? only if you can't afford them.  How many guitar should a guitarist have?  mmm just one more.
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Peter H. Boer

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Re: I definitely have a problem.
« Reply #3 on: Time Format »

Nice score  ;D :headbanger:
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MarshallJMP

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Re: I definitely have a problem.
« Reply #4 on: Time Format »

Looks nice, what's the difference with an SL-1?
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Zilthy

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Re: I definitely have a problem.
« Reply #5 on: Time Format »

Looks nice, what's the difference with an SL-1?

The differences are a bit weird on this one.

SL-1SL-3American Series SL-3
FingerboardEbonyRosewoodEbony
BridgeOriginal Floyd RoseFR 1000FR 1500
Middle PickupStackedRailsStacked
Made inUSJapanUS

To me it looks like they took a lot of the specs of the SL-1 and put them in the American Series SL-3. 

The biggest difference, and the one most people are complaining about is the user of the FR-1500 instead of OFR.  The 1000 is same material and specs as the OFR, but made in Korea instead of Germany.   I have a few of each, and honestly, they both work great. The 1000 is not like the special made of cheaper materials.  The only difference between them that I have felt and experience is that the German one feels a bit smoother out of the box with the fine tuners.

The 1500 is a 1000 but with a few parts upgraded to stainless steel that the OFR does not have either.  And it also has a push in tremolo arm vs the screw on cuff that the 1000 and OFR come with.  On the one hand, I like that cuff thing because it's easy to put in a turbo trem arm for convenience, but this push in trem arm because it feels *really* good.  This one feels better than the push in arm I have on my Ibanez Edge and Fender American Pro.

The real verdict on tremolos is though, does it stay in tune?  Yes, yes it does.  Very well.

This guitar so far has the "it" factor that is working for me so far. I am not sure how to say exactly what it is, but it is something like this.   Earlier this year I picked up a PRS Silver Sky SE since I wanted a Strat style guitar with all single coils.   It plays well, it plays in tune, it sounds good, but it just does not inspire me to pick it up and play it at all.  It could be me.  But, when I found that Fender American Strat and decided to buy that, I play that one all the time.

I don't think this is the right word, but the PRS SE feels 'cheap' compared to the Fender.   I am not saying PRS is 'cheap' but I also admit, I have yet to play a PRS that I have fallen in love with.  But between these two, there is this difference.  Playing a big open E chord unplugged, I can *feel* it with the Fender, and even feel the vibration in the body of the guitar that the PRS is missing.

The same thing is going on with this Jackson.  Which is impressive considering it has a floating Floyd on it.  That body just rings and vibrates with my playing like my Les Pauls in a way that my Schecter which is very similarly specced does not.   And when I pick up the Jackson vs the Schecter, the Jackson just feels way more solid.

It is a bit early to tell though.   I guess I will have to see in 6 months where this guitar ends up.   Will it be one of my 'players' that I want to pick up and play on a regular basis?   Will it be one of the 'specials' that I pick up because it does a specific thing?  Will it be a wall candy, one of the ones I just like to have because I want to have it?  Or will it end up in the "I should really sell this" guitars.

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Harley Hexxe

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Re: I definitely have a problem.
« Reply #6 on: Time Format »

Hey Zilthy,

    Congratulations on your new guitar!  I remember trying a few Jacksons back in the day but was never really thrilled with any of them myself. Maybe because the necks just didn't feel quite right to my left hand. I don't know if I ever played a Soloist, I think the models that were available at the time were the San Dimas, and maybe the Dinky.

    Green isn't really my favorite color for a guitar, and I only own one green Strat which I've been sick of looking at for years. I've decided to give that one a face-lift and improve it's looks, so I'll be posting some pics of that in a couple of days to see if anyone else agrees that it's an improvement.

    One thing I would ask about the Floyd 1000's and the 1500's, are the baseplates machined like the OFR, or do they have hardened metal inserts at the pivot points? That's where I've found most the differences between the OFR and the licensed knock-offs.

    I can relate to your PRS experiences as well. I've never played a PRS that I've liked at all, and for me that was mainly because I didn't like the 25" scale length. That would throw off where all my harmonics were located. That's one of the reasons I let go of the HM Strat I used to have. I would know where they are on a Fender or Gibson scale, but the harmonics I would use were moved closer to the nut on the 25" scale, and not quite in the same locations as a Gibson, so I would end up with the wrong pitches when I tried to use them. Muscle memory.

   The resonance between the neck and body is just as important to me in an electric guitar as it is in an acoustic. If that PRS is a bolt on neck, you might try this trick I saw online a couple of years ago and see if it helps. Tune the guitar up to pitch then loosen the two screws at the bottom of the baseplate,(closest to the bridge), then the two top ones. You only loosen them just enough to release the clamping force on the neck. Supposedly, the string tension will pull the neck tight into the pocket, and seat the neck heel against the body. Tune it back up to pitch, then tighten the four screws down again, and re-tune. Doing this might mean you'd have to reset the intonation of the guitar if it was too loose from the body.

    One of the things I do when I'm shopping for a Strat in a music store, is I check the resonance of it while it's still hanging on the wall, and I do that by picking the "G" string, then immediately I grab the bottom of the guitar at the strap button and feel how much vibration there is. If it feels like a good strong vibration, then I'll pull it off the hook and try it out.

    Do I think you have a problem? Nah. You're just like the rest of us meaning, you're chasing tones too.

Happy hunting 8)
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Zilthy

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Re: I definitely have a problem.
« Reply #7 on: Time Format »

@Harley

The PRS Silver Sky actually has a 25.5" (fender) scale length vs the PRS 25".   

Loosening the screws on the neck baseplate is one of the first things I do when setting up a guitar.   Some guitars just don't have that resonance.  I did it on the PRS but not on the Schecter which is neck through.

At this point I don't feel like I am chasing tone anymore, at least not for finding 'my' tone.   Though I guess I am in the way of expanding my palette.  And I am liking having guitars set up for different tunings and such.  Even though I can change tunings quickly on my Les Pauls (especially the one with the g-force tuning system) it still affects the relief a bit.  And on my Floyd equipped where they are floating that is a complete no-go as anyone with any experience with a floating bridge will know. :)

So I can now have 3 with the floating Floyd set up for different tunings.   I will keep my Charvel star in D standard, I will probably put the new Jackson Soloist in Eb and move the Schecter back to standard.
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rnolan

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Re: I definitely have a problem.
« Reply #8 on: Time Format »

@ Harley, good tip about the neck pocket adjustment, makes good sense although I've never tripped over it before  :facepalm: .  I'll give it a go on my bolt ons. 

The OFR on my Anderson (8-26-1987) came with push in bar socket/collar which cracked when I had half inserted it during a restring so I replaced it with the later released screw on cuff (the early OFRs didn't have this), much better design IMHO and also lets you set the bar spin tension.  The Schaller licensed FR I bought later for my Tele (I copied the Anderson sunken flush routing to fit it) has the hardened metal inserts at the pivot points.  The brass sustain block poked out the back (obviously (I worked out later) for top non flush installation doh), whammy with your tummy LoL.  So later (after the Internet had come along) I bought a shorter brass block and also a set of shims to match the Tele FB radius. 

The only PRS I've played was the first one in Australia (very late '80s, I already owned the Anderson).  It was burgundy very similar to Carlos Santanas PRSs'. Fixed neck, slippery nut, locking machine heads (we'd never seen them before), PRS strat style trem which had a beautiful trem action and stayed in tune like a strat won't (without some very good setup).  I don't recall the PUs, both humbuckers though, and maybe 24 frets?  It was an amazing guitar, lovely mix of strat and LP, best of both worlds kind of thing.  But it was $6k ish AUD way back then, and I'd struggled to pay for the Anderson.
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Harley Hexxe

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Re: I definitely have a problem.
« Reply #9 on: Time Format »

@Zilthy,

     I'm sure most of us have found our tones by now, but that never stops us from looking for something else that might spark some new inspiration. After all, we don't speak in monotones, (at least I don't), so why should we play that way?

@Richard,

    You might get some new strings just in case you have to reset your intonation. It's always best to have a fresh set of strings when setting intonation.
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Systematic Chaos

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Re: I definitely have a problem.
« Reply #10 on: Time Format »


    One of the things I do when I'm shopping for a Strat in a music store, is I check the resonance of it while it's still hanging on the wall, and I do that by picking the "G" string, then immediately I grab the bottom of the guitar at the strap button and feel how much vibration there is. If it feels like a good strong vibration, then I'll pull it off the hook and try it out.

    Do I think you have a problem? Nah. You're just like the rest of us meaning, you're chasing tones too.

Happy hunting 8)

…I actually do that same thing, just with the b string instead of the g.

And I can certainly relate to the „inspiration to pick up a certain guitar“ factor. I’ve narrowed my guitar collection down to 15 (first world problems) with each of them having that distinct „this one does it for me right now“ thing. It’s mainly Ibbys with different wood and pickup combinations that I further modded to suit what I want out of it (brass blocks, switching, oiled and waxed necks,…).
The first year (1987) RG550 e.g. is so absolutely „broken in“ that it almost resonates just by looking at it.
I even have a PRS 245 SE (upgraded the pickups to USA PRS HFS and Vintage Bass, upgraded the  wraparound bridge with TonePros posts, swapped the nut for a Tusq) that’s an inch less scale length (24.5 vs my other 25.5), but it does that monstrous John Sykes stuff so effortless.
Also my pimped cheapo LTD ST213FR just makes me pick it up and rock the sh!t outta that slab.
I’d call it acquired preferences that make stuff just work for you.
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rnolan

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Re: I definitely have a problem.
« Reply #11 on: Time Format »

Hey SC, been a while  :wave: , got it down to 15 LoL, well the stint in Japan helped that along IIRC, are you still there or have they moved you on? 

@ Harley, definitely  :thumb-up: , I buy strings in boxes of 10 these days (DR 10-46 tight wounds, great strings IMHO), couldn't afford to do that back in my full time playing days though I'd change strings after 2 gigs (or likely bust a D string mid set  :facepalm: ), and I'd destroy 2 purple tortex picks a night.  The music store I go to has stopped letting me buy picks buy the handful  :-[ , had to buy little packets of 12 the other day to stock up.
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Harley Hexxe

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Re: I definitely have a problem.
« Reply #12 on: Time Format »

@ Richard,

        I like the DR Hi Voltage strings on a few of my Strats for certain like my 1980 STRAT, and my favorite black one, on my green Strat I'm using Ernie Ball Cobalt strings which seem to be pretty good. All my single coil guitars get .10-.46 on them, my humbuckers get .09-.42's on them, and I'm torn between the DR strings and Ernie Balls on those. It's hard to decide which sounds better. The cobalt strings definitely sound better with double coils as opposed to single coils IMHO.
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