Hey folks –
In my last post, I was talking about searching for a guitar. My search took me to trying Jacksons, ESP, other Ibanez’s, etc.
You need to remember that when you are looking for a guitar (or a car or a house or whatever) you are looking for YOU – first and foremost come your needs and how the thing feels in your hands. A million people can say it’s “great” but if it doesn’t feel right, don’t give into the bandwagon effect. Be your own person when it comes to this or you’ll have regrets.
I tried out a used Jackson at this other store in the SF east bay, CA. It was great. But as I alluded to in the last post with the other Jackson the action felt “heavy” to me. The guy offered to have it set up with .09’s instead of .10’s (in other words, lighter strings). I told him of my search for the elusive Ibanez S5470, which was the same priced as this used Jackson. He gave me the following incredible offer:
“Buy the Jackson, take it home, you have 30 days to return it. I’ll order the Ibanez. If you come in and like it, we swap. If the Ibanez comes in after the 30 days, we’ll extend the time limit”
WOW! What an offer! I mean, it blew me away. I took it. I bought the Jackson and off I went.
Now nothing comes perfect, so in the time I had it, there were pros and cons to the guitar. I have to say up front that looks don’t count too much. Sure, I love a beautiful guitar as much as the next guy but I’d take a lime green one if it sang to me.
The guitar took some effort on my part to play fast in the upper register with. This has been noted in other forums but the volume nob is right under your hand between the pickups (did anybody PLAY this design??). The tone of this instrument was really dark. Jazz would be no problem with this guitar, but it felt like it was too dark – I really had to crank the treble in the EQ to get a good metal sound or even blues. I was somewhat concerned what it would sound like in a live setting.
And I found the oddest thing – when I was playing in the upper register, my pick would hit the front pickup. Now I’ve done that on other guitars – if you look at my Les Paul it has gold plated (well not real gold!) pickups and the bottom corner of my neck pickup is beaten up. But that never bothered me. It bothered me on this guitar.
I thought I could adjust to all these things and probably would.
Then I got the call that the Ibanez was in. It took me a week to free up the time, but I finally got down there and checked it out. I figured it would be on the rack, but nope, they had it still in the box, waiting for me.
OK, the guitar is beautiful. I thought “wow” when I first saw it. We plugged it in with the ZR2 tremolo and it was just great. It has a much brighter tone than the Jackson, but I wanted a guitar I could play jazz on sometimes, and mostly rock on the other times. It’s sustain wasn’t as good as the Jackson’s, but good enough.
I took it. Here is a picture of it with the same paint job:
I look forward to playing out with the new addition to my family 🙂
PS – if anybody in the SF Bay area wants to know who I dealt with, I’d be happy to tell you. I believe in loyalty and would love to send more people to this guy.