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Anyone been compared the Jackson RR5 to the Jackson RRT-3?

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  • Anyone been compared the Jackson RR5 to the Jackson RRT-3?

    Hello all, long-time lurker, first-time poster.

    My whole life I always dreamed of owning a Jackson RR5. I know many are not crazy about the looks but I always loved the ivory/gold color scheme, the shape, the white headstock...

    When the time in my life came to finally buy one, the guitars were no longer made and used was my only option and I could not find one in the condition I was happy with.

    When the Jackson RRT-3 was released, I jumped on it and purchased one. Ebony fretboard, binding, loss of the ugly gold pickguard on the front of the RR5...seemed like a huge win.

    However, having owned the RRT-3 a couple of years now, I have a couple of complaints:

    1) Feels cheap
    Let's be clear - I bought new and the condition of the guitar was FLAWLESS. Zero cosmetic issues, certainly more attention to detail than my Les Paul Custom (is that saying much these days with Gibson lol).

    However, the guitar feels very light and unbalanced. Perhaps being a Les Paul player primarily has something to do with the weight part but the guitar goes in and out of tune a lot any time the slightest bit of pressure is put on the neck. My Les Paul will stay in tune taking it from home to practice space to gig but this guitar goes out from putting it down and picking it up. It also always seems to want to "fall away" from me when standing.

    I have also had an issue with a couple of cold solder joints that needed to be resoldered with the volume knob and the pickup selector switch, which is annoying for a guitar that is only a couple of years old and gets played maybe a couple times a month.

    The fretwork is also not great. Sharp fret ends after a couple of years for a guitar that remains indoors for the most part.

    All-in-all, there is an indistinguishable "cheap" feel to the guitar that I can't put my finger on. I own an EVH Striped Series copy made-in-mexico, and it does not have this "cheap" feel. So what gives?

    2) Neck too thin
    The neck on the guitar is just way too thin. Again, maybe my Les Paul being my #1 has something to do with this but when I play my EVH Striped Series copy, the thin neck doesn't bother me like it does on this guitar. I am also not a huge fan of the unfinished neck (although I know many people like this).

    This being said, I will say that the guitar SOUNDS GOOD. Whenever I do play it, the sound puts a smile on my face. However, the feel always puts a bit of a damper on things for me, and I feel like I don't play as well on the guitar as I could if the neck was just a bit thicker. My question to you is this:

    Has anyone had a chance to compare these RRT guitars to the RR5?
    Is the quality of the RR5 any better? Will the neck be any thicker? I have noticed that on the RRT the neck radius is 12-16 vs. 14-16 on the RR5.

    All in all, would there be a noticeable difference between the RRT and the RR5 in a positive way? Is the gap between Indonesian and Japanese guitar building as wide as they say?

    I am a Randy fan through and through and while my white Les Paul Custom will always be my #1 and the guitar I am most comfortable with, the Rhoads is another guitar I want to have and be able to play on occasion (I primarily use it on the down-tuned Rhoads tunes).

    I have looked at the RR1T as well but would prefer not to spend so much on a guitar that I wouldn't play so much. And, not to be superficial but I really do like the ivory/gold color scheme. That being said, if the RR5 is going to be more of the same, I may start looking towards the RR1T.

    Your thoughts and input are greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance and sorry for the lengthy post.
    Last edited by crazytrain513; 10-30-2019, 09:58 AM.

  • #2
    Here’s a sound clip of the guitar in action:


    • #3
      No one?


      • #4
        I don't think many people have tried the RRT3. The RR5 would definitely be a better built guitar, but I'm not sure of the neck thickness.
        I feel my soul go cold... only the dead are smiling.


        • #5
          So I picked up an RR5 earlier this week. Saw a deal on one in 8/10 condition and couldn't resist. At the end of the day, I will only keep one. My initial (non-scientific) observations so far:

          2006 RR5:
          • Made in Japan
          • 2 volumes, 1 tone
          • Front- loaded
          • Gold control plate (very easily tarnished)
          • Fatter gloss neck
          • Rosewood fingerboard
          • No binding
          • Heavier
          • Dual SD TB-4 pickups (per Jackson)
          2016 RRT-3
          • Made in Indonesia
          • 1 volume, 1 tone
          • Rear-loaded
          • No control plate
          • Very thin, oiled neck (no gloss)
          • Ebony fingerboard
          • Binding
          • Very light (7.0 lbs)
          • SD JB SH4 bridge, Jazz neck

          Upon playing the RR5, something about it just feels nicer. I can't put my finger on it (unless it's the gloss neck) but I really did think it felt more substantial. Whether it was the weight, the finished neck, the fretwork (which was extremely well-done, something about it just felt nicer. The tuners turn heavier and the metal knobs feel nicer (albeit they look tarnished and ugly).

          I spoke to Jackson who confirmed that for the most part, the parts on the two guitars have identical measurements (so I could technically swap in the knobs, ouput jack, v-plates and tuners between the two guitars), but the quality of the parts on the RR5 "may be of higher quality".

          I vastly prefer the neck on the RR5 as well, which is noticeably thicker than my RRT-3. Almost like a 60's slim-taper Gibson neck. The RRT-3 neck was always too thin for me -- I felt like my vibrato suffered and that I would play less accurately as a result. Obviously personal preference but I feel like I can play better on the RR5.

          The RR5 also stays in tune for DAYS. The neck is much more stable. I do some neck bends a-la-Randy and every time I did that on the RRT-3 it would knock the guitar out of tune. With the RR5, I'm scared to put too much pressure on the neck because it doesn't seem to MOVE with reasonable pressure.

          That being said, the RRT-3 is, in my eyes, a much prettier guitar. No tarnished control plate to worry about, ebony fingerboard, binding, prettier inlays (not MOP but closer in look)'s just a nicer looking guitar.

          But it doesn't feel nice. When I got it, the frets were sharp, there is a bit of overlap between the binding and the paint where the body joins the neck, toggle switch feels flimsy, and I had a cold solder joint issue with the tone knob and the pickup selector switch one year after ownership.

          The RR5 sounds like a good piece of wood unplugged but plugged in, I think the RRT-3 takes it. This is partially due to the fact that the RR5 desperately needs a set-up. However, I really dislike the JB in the neck of the RR5 and will be putting the Jazz in.

          As for the bridge pickup, not sure but the RRT-3 just sounds better. Not sure if there is a difference in sound between the SH-4 and TB-4 but the SH-4 sounds much better in the RRT-3.

          The RR5 also seems to have CRAP wiring (or pots) which I think might have something to do with it. I don't understand it because I'm not much of an electrical wiz but it seems that if I turn one volume down but the other one is still up, the guitar still comes through the amp on the pickup where the volume is still up.

          But if I turn both volumes down, the guitar is muted.

          And if I turn the volume or tones down at all, INSTANT MUD. Garbage tone. I don't have this problem on the RRT-3 which gets great clean tone with the volume rolled down and better tone with the tone rolled back a bit.

          I'd be interested to hear anyone else's thoughts on either guitar, especially on the pots/caps of the RR5 which seem like a big flaw of the guitar.


          • #6
            Sucks to hear this, because I've been semi-stalking the RR3 Pro for a while. The bound ebony neck is mandatory for me for a Tribute Rhoads V, and most MIM and MII Jackson/Charvels these days are GREAT.
            '95 Charvel San Dimas USA Model I Koa - BKP
            '91 Charvel 650 Custom - EMG 85/SLV/SLV+SPC
            '92 Jackson Soloist Pro MIJ
            '91 Charvel 475 Exotic Cherry Sunburst - Duncan PATB set
            '90 Charvel 475 XL
            '10 Charvel San Dimas MIJ Style 1 2H - JB/'59
            Mesa Boogie Quad Preamp/Stereo Simul-Class 2:90
            Mesa Boogie MkIII+ Simul-Class & MkIVb with Mark Series stack
            Marshall JVM410H


            • #7
              You never know, could just be mine considering it's the only one I've ever played. Would be interesting to hear other's opinions.


              • #8
                And you have to remember, no matter what you buy.... where you buy it matters.
                No, it isn't just a physical store vs a virtual store or a mom~n~pop vs big box.

                Each store and each employee has their own way of doing things.