The Jackson American Series SL3 is the first US-built production model for many years and promises a return for the classic ’80s shred guitar to their Southern Californian roots. Built at the Fender plant in Corona, at their own dedicated site. Could this kick start the brand needs?
Jackson American Series SL3
This Jackson American Series SL3 looks pretty amazing and I’m pleased to see a USA production model at last. The Jackson Custom Shop has been operating all this time and is great, yet pretty pricey. This latest announcement means players can get their hands on a high-end guitar for a more reasonable amount of money, hopefully.
Available in Riviera Blue, Platinum Pearl, Gloss Black and Slime Green Satin, with a matching painted headstock, all with black hardware throughout. These guitars certainly look like the classic ’80s Soloist model. Let’s take a closer look.
Thankfully, these are through-neck construction, which involves three-piece maple necks with two graphite reinforcement rods. That in theory should give great sustain and allow for a super slinky action, that won’t budge under the strain of temperature changes, etc The 12-16″ compound-radius ebony fretboard comes fitted with 24 jumbo frets. Each fret is fitted so there is no fret tang showing, as they have cut the slots and formed a natural edge without any actual binding. This means a super smooth ride and zero chance of fret sprout.
It also has a set of Luminlay glow-in-the-dark side dots, which makes playing on dark stages a lot easier. Then the heel-mount truss rod adjustment wheel makes it super simple to set up and maintain.
Powered by a set of Seymour Duncan pickups in an HSS configuration, with a JB TB-4 humbucker in the bridge, and two Custom Flat Strat SSL-6 single coil pickups for the middle (reverse-wound reverse-polarity) and neck positions. The controls consist of a five-way blade pickup switch, single volume control and single tone control.
A Floyd Rose 1500 Series double-locking bridge system means everything should be super stable and dive bombs, flutters and squeals will be a breeze. These are paired with a set of Gotoh MG-T locking tuners. Plus, you get a set of Dunlop dual-locking strap buttons to keep your guitar safe on the strap.
Devil’s in the Detail
Check out the Origins Of Speed video below, as it explains the finer details of this release. There certainly are some of what I would call classic Jackson elements here. I love that they got a scan of the original headstock shape, that they managed to remove the scarf joint on the neck and added these super tidy fret slots. Then the little touches like Luminlay side dots just make these potentially great instruments.
I’m lreally ooking forward to test-driving one myself, as they look like a pretty sweet ride.
MSRP – USD 2499
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- A USA made Soloist: Jackson
- Seymour Duncan loaded throughout: Jackson