It's been a busy week for me. Thanks to the proceeds from selling my little-used Steinberger, I was able to pick up the following two 24.75" superstrats:
1990 Jackson Archtop Soloist Pro, courtesy of Garrett
1986 Hamer Chaparral setneck
The AT Pro has EMG 81X and 89X pickups that Garrett put in so that he could woo the ladies of Laramie with his death metal stylings. Not quite my speed anymore. I might go passive with it, but first I'm going to try out the EMG 57/66 set, since I've been curious about them for awhile.
This was the successor model to the 1989 Charvel 750xl, which is my current main guitar. Here are the cousins relaxing together:
The main differences between the two models are that the Charvel has a rosewood board while the Jackson has ebony, and the Charvel has a much thicker body than the Jackson. The Charvel is Les Paul thickness, basically. Here's a photo showing the difference. It also highlights how the neck on the 750xl sits higher off the body, causing the bridge to be positioned higher like a Les Paul. Both guitars have close to the same neck angle, but the Jackson feels "strat-ier" because the bridge sits lower.
Oh, and dat top. Nicest I've ever seen on either a 750xl or an AT Pro.
Here's a photo of the back. Mahogany body with a maple neck.
This AT Pro is a killer guitar all the way around. Probably the best-sounding 750 or AT I've owned, though my current 750 is close. They're different. The 750 has a thicker part of the mids that works great for fusion, while the AT probably does metal better.
Now, for the Hamer. The Chaparral was introduced in 1985, and the first two years' production all had set necks and 24.75" scales. They're easy to distinguish from later Chaparrals with the 25.5" scales because the 24.75" ones all have Strat-style top-mount jacks.
I've been wanting one of these since I saw one hanging on the wall at Chuck Levin's Washington Music Center 20 years ago. This one's a beater, so the price was right.
God, I love those boomerang inlays...
This one had the finish stripped years ago. Here's a clue as to the original color (which I kinda wish was still there):
It appears a previous owner had a piezo installation going on (probably 13-pin) and then thought better of it.
The previous owner also took out the original pickups and replaced them with Wolfetones--two singles and a Marshallhead in the bridge. The Marshallhead sounds good, but it's not my sound. Too grainy and not tight enough. Mike and Dave, you'd probably love it for the cover band. It's basically a slightly souped-up PAF with none of the shrill highs of a Duncan '59 or Pearly Gates. I'm probably going to drop in a PRS Dragon 1 that I have sitting around.
HNGD!!! Nice guits love that vintage Charvel with the Milwaukee Brewers style writing on the headstock.