Need some Jackson USA soloist advice please

Discussion in 'Standard Guitars' started by Acapulco Gold, Dec 11, 2018.

  1. Acapulco Gold

    Acapulco Gold New Member

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    Nov 14, 2018
    I have been chasing a Jackson shredder for a while, with no luck and all of a sudden 3 are available.
    Could someone give me some info on these models? They are all USA.

    1986 Soloist S2h (San Dimas built), non-recessed floyd
    1990 Soloist SL1 (Ontario), recessed floyd
    1997 Soloist (Ontario), recessed floyd

    I won't be able to try them but I looked at videos and quite like the sounds of the San Dimas Soloist, could it be because there is more wood? No trem recessed, smaller control plate on the back and the neck carve had not been thinned out yet.

    I quite like the 1986 soloist but it is very heavy and it's much more expensive than the other 2. I know part of the value is from the 'san dimas mojo' but are the San Dimas builts so much better than the Ontario? Is there a noticable difference on tone or feel on the recessed vs non-recessed floyds? I like the toggle switches on the 1990 ontario, it has a crack in the finish, but not the wood, and the seller agreed to cut me a discount to get the guitar refinished.

    In fact, the 1986 soloist is almost the price of the other 2 together! Is it really worth that much more, or such a better guitar?
  2. tedtan

    tedtan Regular

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    Dec 2, 2009
    Never Neverland
    The older soloists aren't better or worse than the new ones IMO, but they are different. The older ones will have an angled neck (similar to a Gibson) with the bridge riding higher off the top of the guitar. They'll also have more of a neck heel, though it isn't uncomfortable.

    The newer ones are more strat like in that the neck is not angled and the Floyd sits into the recess in the body. This puts the strings closer to the guitar (similar to a strat). They will also have a sleeker neck heel (almost nonexistent).

    Between the '90 and the '97, the pickup layouts may differ: the '90 is HSS and the '97 is not specified in your post. The neck heels will probably be slightly different between the two, but nothing significant.

    So, do you want a guitar that plays more like a Gibson or more like a Fender? Choose based on that, then change the pickups to suit your taste if necessary.
  3. groverj3

    groverj3 Biologist/Guitarist

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    Jan 2, 2012
    Tucson, AZ
    Aside from some QC issues with custom shop stuff that I've heard about during the era where they were moving the custom shop into the Fender facility, you won't notice much difference in overall quality.

    In fact, I have an SL2H made in 2006, which is from that dreaded era and it's perfect anyway.

    Just get the one you think plays better. Personally, I like the more modern heel-less design anyway.
    AkiraSpectrum likes this.
  4. TedintheShed

    TedintheShed Retired bassist pretending to play guitar

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    May 3, 2013
    Columbus, Ohio
    I have a 1998 Shannon Soloist, which is a a Shannon built replica of those 1980's San Dimas built soloists. There is a definite difference in the feel from the newer soloist and to me it is worth the money. If the old one is nice, it'd get it as long as the.prive isn't too outrageous.
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2018

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