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Thread: Jackson used to be awesome.

  1. #1
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    Default Jackson used to be awesome.

    I remember picking up a blue USA select dinky several years ago that just set my whole world on fire. I had a RR5 that I loved but eventually parted with because I didn't give it the attention its awesomeness required. I played some axes today that were great, dont get me wrong, but they just weren't up to what I remember.

    The binding is the main problem. it just looks like cheap plastic.

    So really, what happened?

  2. #2
    Mojo's Minions Gtrjunior's Avatar
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    Default Re: Jackson used to be awesome.

    I’m curious too.
    I remember Jackson being a “grail” brand.
    Now there a so many different models that look so similar I can’t tell which are high end and which aren’t....

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    Default Re: Jackson used to be awesome.

    May have to do with Fender buying Jackson in 2002?

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    Sock Market Trader GuitarStv's Avatar
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    Default Re: Jackson used to be awesome.

    You've become a cranky old man? :P
    Join me in the fight against muscular atrophy!

    Quote Originally Posted by Douglas Adams
    This planet has - or rather had - a problem, which was this: most of the people living on it were unhappy for pretty much of the time. Many solutions were suggested for this problem, but most of these were largely concerned with the movements of small green pieces of paper, which is odd because on the whole it wasn't the small green pieces of paper that were unhappy.

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    Default Re: Jackson used to be awesome.

    Quote Originally Posted by GuitarStv View Post
    You've become a cranky old man? :P
    probably LOL the axes I played were killer there's just something about that pure white plastic binding that seems cheap to me.

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    Default Re: Jackson used to be awesome.

    Quote Originally Posted by Killertofu View Post
    probably LOL the axes I played were killer there's just something about that pure white plastic binding that seems cheap to me.
    Again, I'd suggest that some of your discontent traces back to Fender acquiring Jackson in 2002. I too share your feeling about the plastic white binding that is standard on so many entry-level Jacksons. Not that you can't get great finishes on the costlier models, but it's definitely a different vibe now than when Grover Jackson owned in the '80s, or even the IMC-owned Jackson era in the '90s.

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    Default Re: Jackson used to be awesome.

    binding actually IS plastic...

    have you tried some of the USA built guitars? those are fairly decent, to be honest. but they're all mass producted guitars, nothing special about them anymore. If you want something special, go to Suhr, Anderson, Skervesen, Mayones or of course Aristides. Just to name a few.

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    Mojo's Minions Diego's Avatar
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    Default Re: Jackson used to be awesome.

    I'll be honest and say their midrange guitars these days (X series I think?) are IMO dog**** compared to a equivalent Schecter, Ibanez, LTD, Chapman or even a PRS SE with a Floyd Rose.
    Plenty of better options for a Metal guitar in that price bracket.

    They just feel and sound cheap. I recently tried the Jackson MF1 Marty Friedman signature and didn't think it was that good for what they're charging. The USA version must be amazing.
    I also tried a Dinky around the $700 mark (can't remember the model) and wasn't too impressed.
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    Default Re: Jackson used to be awesome.

    The Soloist is still a great model. No cheapness there IMO.

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    Mojo's Minions Diego's Avatar
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    Default Re: Jackson used to be awesome.

    Hope so. I love Jacksons and I hate holding one of them and feeling it isn't up to the task.
    Nothing but brand loyalty would have me buying one at this point.
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    Mojo's Minions dystrust's Avatar
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    Default Re: Jackson used to be awesome.

    Quote Originally Posted by Killertofu View Post
    I remember picking up a blue USA select dinky several years ago that just set my whole world on fire. I had a RR5 that I loved but eventually parted with because I didn't give it the attention its awesomeness required. I played some axes today that were great, dont get me wrong, but they just weren't up to what I remember.

    The binding is the main problem. it just looks like cheap plastic.

    So really, what happened?
    The Pro Series moved to Indonesia. I've played a bunch and they were good, but I've yet to be blown away. I can't say that I paid much attention to the binding on those, but the standard binding on the USA line has been white since the 80s.

    Quote Originally Posted by weepingminotaur View Post
    Again, I'd suggest that some of your discontent traces back to Fender acquiring Jackson in 2002. I too share your feeling about the plastic white binding that is standard on so many entry-level Jacksons. Not that you can't get great finishes on the costlier models, but it's definitely a different vibe now than when Grover Jackson owned in the '80s, or even the IMC-owned Jackson era in the '90s.
    I'm sorry, but I have to call B.S. on the whole FMIC thing. Fender bought Jackson at the end of 2001 and the sky didn't fall. In fact the MIJ Pro Series saw several improvements (including introduction of the RR5) after the acquisition while the USA line remained largely unchanged. An added bonus of the acquisition was bringing Mike Shannon back to Jackson (or vice-versa) as he'd left to join the Fender Custom Shop a couple years prior.
    Quote Originally Posted by crusty philtrum View Post
    And that's probably because most people with electric guitars seem more interested in their own performance rather than the effect on the listener ... in fact i don't think many people who own electric guitars even give a poop about the effect on a listener. Which is why many people play electric guitars but very very few of them are actually musicians.

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    Default Re: Jackson used to be awesome.

    Quote Originally Posted by dystrust View Post
    Fender bought Jackson at the end of 2001 and the sky didn't fall.
    Not sure where I said the sky was falling.

    In fact the MIJ Pro Series saw several improvements (including introduction of the RR5) after the acquisition while the USA line remained largely unchanged.
    Um, the knock was against the X series, not the Soloist series, which I just lauded in a post above. I love the Soloist line, even though the emphasis on Floyd Rose systems isn't to my taste.

    An added bonus of the acquisition was bringing Mike Shannon back to Jackson (or vice-versa) as he'd left to join the Fender Custom Shop a couple years prior.
    If you can tell me how Mike Shannon affected or improved the product in a concrete way, I'm all ears.

  13. #13
    Mojo's Minions Diego's Avatar
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    Default Re: Jackson used to be awesome.

    At least for some reason here in Chile, used MIJ Jacksons cost peanuts, so it's easy to get a hold of a great Jackson for a great price if you look hard enough.

    I'd love to own something equivalent to my old KV4 which was a great guitar and introduced me to Seymour Duncans!
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    Default Re: Jackson used to be awesome.

    Quote Originally Posted by weepingminotaur View Post
    Not sure where I said the sky was falling.

    Um, the knock was against the X series, not the Soloist series, which I just lauded in a post above. I love the Soloist line, even though the emphasis on Floyd Rose systems isn't to my taste.
    I'll admit to being over dramatic, but I couldn't tell you how many times I've seen a variation of the following on a guitar forum somewhere: "Fender bought Jackson, and then everything went down the toilet." Lots of people on the Jackson / Charvel Forum were afraid of that when the buyout was announced, but if anything the situation improved at least initially. I'm not sure how I feel about that last couple years, but at first things were great with the improved MIJ Jacksons and the return of Charvel.

    IMO it's difficult to compare the X series and Soloist line because Soloists were offered in several different series from Custom, to USA Select, Pro Series, MG, etc. For the record I agree with you regarding the X series not being great, but those guitars (DX10D, KVX, & RX10D) were introduced by IMC prior to the Fender buyout. As far as how the various Soloists compare, the USA built ones are the best, and the 1990-1995 MIJ Pro Series are almost identical. The later MIJ Pro Series like the SL-3 and SL-4 were good, but not up to the same standard. These days the Pro Series is made in Indonesia and not that great IMO.

    Quote Originally Posted by weepingminotaur View Post
    If you can tell me how Mike Shannon affected or improved the product in a concrete way, I'm all ears.
    Mike Shannon started working for Charvel in 1979, and he built the 'Second Concorde' (RR0002) for Randy Rhoads. If you've seen pictures of Randy playing a black, hardtail RR V with gold hardware, that's the guitar I'm talking about and it's essentially the prototype for the RR-1 and RR-1T sold today. Since then he was involved in the design and building of pretty much everything that Jackson's USA line came to stand for.
    Quote Originally Posted by crusty philtrum View Post
    And that's probably because most people with electric guitars seem more interested in their own performance rather than the effect on the listener ... in fact i don't think many people who own electric guitars even give a poop about the effect on a listener. Which is why many people play electric guitars but very very few of them are actually musicians.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Jackson used to be awesome.



    Got rid of all my shredder style guitar years ago, Jacksons, PV Vandenbergs, Ibanez, no resale.
    Jackson has little or no appeal to me anymore, neither do the Mexican Charvels.






    This 87' MIJ Charvel is the only one i want anymore.
    Wouldn't have a problem snatching a MIJ Firecrackle finish of the same year.

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    Default Re: Jackson used to be awesome.

    Just passing by to say the red HS and the natural V on the right look great!
    A bit too pointy for me, but if I was more of a metalhead I'd love those hehe
    "Eventually there will be a beautiful statue there, I just have to chip away" -Satriani

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    Default Re: Jackson used to be awesome.

    Quote Originally Posted by dystrust View Post
    I'll admit to being over dramatic, but I couldn't tell you how many times I've seen a variation of the following on a guitar forum somewhere: "Fender bought Jackson, and then everything went down the toilet." Lots of people on the Jackson / Charvel Forum were afraid of that when the buyout was announced, but if anything the situation improved at least initially. I'm not sure how I feel about that last couple years, but at first things were great with the improved MIJ Jacksons and the return of Charvel.

    IMO it's difficult to compare the X series and Soloist line because Soloists were offered in several different series from Custom, to USA Select, Pro Series, MG, etc. For the record I agree with you regarding the X series not being great, but those guitars (DX10D, KVX, & RX10D) were introduced by IMC prior to the Fender buyout. As far as how the various Soloists compare, the USA built ones are the best, and the 1990-1995 MIJ Pro Series are almost identical. The later MIJ Pro Series like the SL-3 and SL-4 were good, but not up to the same standard. These days the Pro Series is made in Indonesia and not that great IMO.
    Awesome. Thanks for the info. The OP, though, was talking about the binding, which I think we've both neglected to mention in our responses. What's your feeling on the binding pre- and post-Fender taking over?

    Mike Shannon started working for Charvel in 1979, and he built the 'Second Concorde' (RR0002) for Randy Rhoads. If you've seen pictures of Randy playing a black, hardtail RR V with gold hardware, that's the guitar I'm talking about and it's essentially the prototype for the RR-1 and RR-1T sold today. Since then he was involved in the design and building of pretty much everything that Jackson's USA line came to stand for.
    Good to know, thanks.

    Personally, I don't like the Jackson aesthetic at the moment. Not to say that I don't like specific Jackson guitars, but on the whole, they put out too many axes that look either super-plain-Jane -- white, no decent finish, cheap binding -- or as if they were designed by a 14-year-old boy who thought making a guitar look like a halberd would be cool. I like trad shapes -- Strat, LP, SG, etc. -- and detailed finishes with tasteful colors. Whether any of that has to do with Fender taking over is, of course, a matter of opinion, but I'll just say that Jackson products look an awful lot like Fender products these days, and for me, aesthetically, that's not a good thing.

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    Mojo's Minions Ascension's Avatar
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    Default Re: Jackson used to be awesome.

    What happened to Jackson is the exact same thing that happened to many other companies when they were sold by the founder. Kramer, Hamer, Steinberger, list goes on an on. Company is a fantastic boutique US guitar builder gets sold and one of the first things the new owners do is kill the brand by bringing in a lower quality import line under the same name. At the least Gibson had the good sense to not do this but have the imports under the Epiphone brand (one of the few things they really got right!).

    This is one of the things that I really love about Kiesel Carvin still US built still the same business model of custom order direct and still owned by the founding family since it started in 1946. Do they have some wacky stuff now yep but you can still get the staple lines like my DC Kiesel today and the fit finish and overall build quality is breathtaking. Back in the late 80's i would have considered Carvin and Jackson as being on the same level. Today I absolutely don't and that includes the USA built Custom Shop Jacksons!
    Jackson should have been kept a boutique US only high end guitar and if they wanted a import line should have done what Music Man did with the Sterling line. They didn't and are now just another run of the mill corporate guitar company that cares more about a bottom line than us as players and it's a shame!
    Last edited by Ascension; 06-19-2019 at 07:52 PM.
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    Mojo's Minions dystrust's Avatar
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    Default Re: Jackson used to be awesome.

    Quote Originally Posted by weepingminotaur View Post
    Awesome. Thanks for the info. The OP, though, was talking about the binding, which I think we've both neglected to mention in our responses. What's your feeling on the binding pre- and post-Fender taking over?
    I can't comment on the Indonesian ones since I haven't played enough, but I don't think the binding on the USA or MIJ stuff changed.

    Quote Originally Posted by weepingminotaur View Post
    Personally, I don't like the Jackson aesthetic at the moment. Not to say that I don't like specific Jackson guitars, but on the whole, they put out too many axes that look either super-plain-Jane -- white, no decent finish, cheap binding -- or as if they were designed by a 14-year-old boy who thought making a guitar look like a halberd would be cool. I like trad shapes -- Strat, LP, SG, etc. -- and detailed finishes with tasteful colors. Whether any of that has to do with Fender taking over is, of course, a matter of opinion, but I'll just say that Jackson products look an awful lot like Fender products these days, and for me, aesthetically, that's not a good thing.
    You'll have to provide me with a couple examples, but generally speaking I would say that the Fender buyout didn't have much bearing on how the guitars look.
    Quote Originally Posted by crusty philtrum View Post
    And that's probably because most people with electric guitars seem more interested in their own performance rather than the effect on the listener ... in fact i don't think many people who own electric guitars even give a poop about the effect on a listener. Which is why many people play electric guitars but very very few of them are actually musicians.

  20. #20
    Ultimate Tone Slacker NecroPolo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Jackson used to be awesome.

    I don't know, I'm a simple guy. Recently I picked a note or two on a cheepo Adrian Smith model and was going, it feels great.

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