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Just bought Old Jackson. Have some questions

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  • Just bought Old Jackson. Have some questions



    Hi Everyone,

    This is my first post here. I know the first part is a little TLDR so feel free to skip down to the ---- section.

    I bought a USA made Jackson guitar online a few days ago and have some questions about it. First off, I have a lot of guitars but this is my first Jackson model. I have always liked the look of Jackson guitars but when I was a kid in the late 80s they were not common in my area and were very expensive.

    I knew one guy in (IIRC) 1989 who had a V and treated it like his baby. I played it one time and although it felt awkward (I had a LP and a Tele at the time) I remember that it felt like a really quality guitar. I've played one other USA Jackson and that was a Vinnie Vincent model, which felt the same way. This (from what I was told at the time) guitar actually belonged to VV and was at a store in CT I used to hang out at once in a while. I wish I had some photos of that!

    Anyway, I wanted a guitar with a locking tremolo so I started looking around. Being COVID-19 has all the stores closed I was checking out the new Charvel Pro Mod SC1. I'm not all that into the new FMIC stuff, but for my budget it checked a lot of boxes for $900. The only other guitar I saw that interested me was Jackson Soloist SL2.

    The Charvel got the edge because the Jackson is made in Indonesia. I think the Charvel is MIM, but the neckplate is kind of like an old BC Rich as it says San Dimas but doesn't say 'Made In'. I had also played a newer Jackson at Guitar Center a while back that looked great from ten feet back but felt like an imported guitar (not that there's anything wrong with that) and wasn't what my limited experience with Jackson models had been.

    -------------------------------------

    OK, so I was on eBay and found this listed and decided to take a chance.I ended up winning it for a little less than the other two guitars ($781 + $45 shipping) I was looking at. It's a Jackson Soloist Made in the USA. I'm assuming this will be closer to what I remember a Jackson being like, but was hoping to get some info here:

    The Serial number is J1974. I'm assuming from online databases this 1986 is correct?

    The headstock says Made in USA. I'm hoping this is a quality guitar like the old Jackson guitars I have played in the past and not some lower end thing. If not it wouldn't be the end of the world at this price.

    It has a Khaler and the bar isn't pictured in the listing. I see NOS bars for $50 + online. If it's not in the case is there a third party that will fit?

    I'm assuming this is a Soloist but I'm thinking maybe it's something else. The reason is in the guitars I've found that are Soloist models they usually have three switches or a five way. This guitar has two humbuckers and a toggle switch. I can't find any other like this online. This is fine with me, as I like HH just fine, but is this a Soloist or something else?

    Also, the color is a dark purple sparkle. I think this is really cool and TBH I was going to order the Charvel in purple. I looked at the old catalogs from 85-87 and didn't see this color offered. My guess is maybe they didn't list every color.

    It's missing a strap button. Is there a place that sells old Jackson parts or i
    s this just a standard Dunlop, etc....?

    Anyway, here are some pics. Hopefully I did ok on this purchase. Thanks so much for any/all help!


















  • #2
    It is a Soloist student model. You could get them with any pickup combination you wanted back then.

    Comment


    • #3
      Cool man! With Jackson is student model a lower quality guitar or is it more like the same quality with less bling - i.e. An old LP Custon vs a Special - both built with the same quality parts but less features. How do these compare with the newer stuff?

      Comment


      • #4
        Welcome and killer guitar! For that era, "Student" and "Custom" simply denote the level of trim:

        Custom: Ebony fretboard, mother of pearl sharkfin inlays, binding on headstock and fretboard.
        Student: Rosewood fretboard, mother of pearl dot inlays, no binding on headstock and fretboard.

        Same construction and materials otherwise. There was some crossover (such as bound rosewood fretboards with sharkfins) since many aspects could be specified by the customer, made-to-order, with plenty of customization options.

        The closest equivalent production model for the time period would have been a Charvel Model 5, which is basically a production model Soloist Student.

        For your missing strap button, try https://www.fretsonthenet.com/Hardwa...dy%20parts.htm for reproduction parts.

        Comment


        • #5
          Cool man, thanks!!! So this would have been considered a high quality guitar back in the day?

          Comment


          • #6
            back in the day it was good quality. today most do not care much for the khaler, some love them. I have a few Charvel models 4,5,6 with khalers and they work fine if you treat them with love and don't whammy like Eddie. I have some take off strap buttons( I use Schaller locking buttons) If I do and you would like 1 send me a stamped envelope and I will hook you up. I have a few, black, chrome, and 1 brass.

            Comment


            • #7
              i have always preferred a floyd style trem (double locking, knife edge, etc), but i do not hate this model kahler.
              and since the fr was more difficult to find "back in the day", many guitars will have the kahler.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by paranoid View Post
                back in the day it was good quality. today most do not care much for the khaler, some love them. I have a few Charvel models 4,5,6 with khalers and they work fine if you treat them with love and don't whammy like Eddie. I have some take off strap buttons( I use Schaller locking buttons) If I do and you would like 1 send me a stamped envelope and I will hook you up. I have a few, black, chrome, and 1 brass.
                IMO a kahler 2300 holds a tune with extreme usage (deep dives and pull ups) about as well as a floyd if you take the proper maintenance precautions. they are definitely higher maintenance than a floyd.

                advice:
                1. make sure your nut is cut well and clean, to avoid binding
                2. make sure the the roller bearing saddles are well-lubricated
                3. make sure the saddles are low enough to ensure a proper break-angle of the strings (should not be too steep)
                4. make a "j" hook in the string near the ball end while restringing, so the string hugs the cam.
                5. if you can, use a reinforced string (e.g. SIT brand) which reduces instability at the ball end (this applies to all single- or non-locking bridges)

                for a vintage bridge like the OPs, you'll also want to:
                a. replace the springs with new ones
                b. make sure the cam bearings are clean and rotating freely
                c. make sure any internal pivot points are lubricated

                so yeah, it takes a lot more work for a kahler to be ready for extreme usage, but once it is, it holds up as well as a floyd.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Thanks! I'm not a huge trem guy, but it was part of the reason I bought this. I'll probably bring this in to be setup correctly. Appreciate the help!

                  Can I assume this is a higher quality guitar than the new Asian ones hanging at GC? It will be here Tuesday.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I've got a 86 Student Soloist in Red. Nice guitar but very chunky neck.

                    Congrats on the new axe.

                    joe...
                    www.godwentpunk.com
                    www.myspace.com/godwentpunk

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      @ noah330, You should not worry so much about how it compairs to others in quality if you like it that is all that matters. but yes new that guitar was very good quality, as it looks in the pictures now it looks like it needs a little love.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        The general assumption is always that the US models are better than the imports.
                        But that doesn't mean that every individual guitar is better/worse than any another.

                        We've all ran into "better" guitars that were junk and "junk" guitars that were better.
                        But that doesn't mean we should run scared of "better" guitars and flock to "cheap" guitars.
                        It just means that there is always the exception to the rule.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Sick Soloist! Student models have always appealed to me, too.
                          Funnily enough, it looks almost identical to a '86 Charvel Model 5 I used to have. Same finish and all.
                          Check with https://www.fretsonthenet.com for a Jackson strap pin. He usually has those sorts of things. Good luck!

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