I've been wanting to try out one of the new fixed-bridge SLXT Soloists since they came out last month or so, and Foxes Music here in the DC area just got one in stock--which happened to be in the Kawasabi Green finish I've been drooling over. I couldn't resist picking it up. Here are some crappy iPhone pics:
Note: the last photo shows the only finish flaw I was able to find. A little bit of green overspray on the treble side of the nut.
BTW, the Kawasabi Green finish is way better than in the stock photos Jackson uses. It's much more neon in person and really pops. I love it!
Overall, this is a nice guitar for the money. I wasn't expecting much before I picked it up at the store, but it's closer to the quality of the Japanese Jacksons than you'd think.
Two things give away that it has basswood wings instead of alder or poplar. First, it is incredibly lightweight compared to my other Soloists. Second, there is just that little bit of top end "spank" that isn't there--and that's before plugging it in. However, the low-end chug is all there, without any of the flub or thinness that I associate with basswood bodies. It sounds like a Soloist.
Also, they *nailed* the classic Jackson neck carve. That was what I figured would be different, since the older Indian-made Jacksons I've played usually didn't feel right. Not this one. The neck feels exactly like my '88 USA Soloist. Slightly thicker than the average Jackson neck, but certainly within the range of the various ones I've owned.
Hardware is a mixed bag. It has a Tonepros bridge, which I approve of, as well as straplocks. The tuners are the only crap (non-electronic) hardware on it. They are substantially below the quality I see on the Japanese Jacksons. Schaller locking tuners are in order.
Fit and finish is about medium quality, I would say. Besides the little overspray thingy, the fretwork is not quite up to top Jackson standards. They are smooth and well-crowned, but slightly non-level on the high E string in a couple spots. Also, the fret ends could be a little smoother and rounded. I've play Japanese (and USA) Jacksons that were worse, though.
It's worth noting that the frets are the typical humongous Jackson ones. I was worried they'd be smaller, like you see on the cheapo LTDs, but not the case.
The only other flaw on the guitar is that the nut slots are not cut low enough, particularly on the bass side. This is a very common problem on low-end guitars. I'll take it to my trusty repair guy to have that fixed, along with a little work on the leveling. It just needs a little bit of TLC to make it a great player, though.
The EMG-Hz pickups are crap, but that's nothing new. To me, they're just placeholders until I can install some real pickups. Probably bright green ones.
The guitar is very resonant with no dead spots on the neck. Once the action is sorted out and better pickups installed, this model could easily become someone's main player. I got it mainly for rhythm work on my recordings, since I've been using various tunings lately.
As far as I am concerned this is the first "real" review of one I have read! Good to know it has a lot of cool features going for it.