So I spent the whole afternoon restoring the guitar to its former glory, which included:
- Hardware cleaning to get rid of the corrossion
- Neck conditioning
- Fret polishing
The guitar doesn't look the same. It has a different truss rod than my other Jackson so I didn't have the proper tool. It still plays quite well after setting it up, with just a tiny bit of backbow. So after putting it to test, here's some more pictures!
Frets were very grimey due to string oxidation. Not anymore! You can tell the difference here
Pickups are EMG H3s. Funny they're releasing these again without the "HZ" suffix, but they are the same. And not very good... Manufacturers should support their quick-connect cable method though, because it's awesome.
Close-up shot after cleaning the rust in the bridge. Can't fix the damage of the plating but it doesn't look that bad now. Turns out these bridges are dirt cheap should I want to change it anyway.
Now we're talking:
- Neck is amazing. Thinner than a regular soloist profile it seems.
- Weight is really great. It's lighter than my other guitars (which is quite easy), but not that much to feel like a toy. The contours are pretty sexy too. Very comfortable overall.
- After polishing, fretjob is pretty darn good. Not USA good, but definetely better than my MIJ SLAT3-7.
- Pickups. They're not vintage sounding at all, but they're low output and not very clear as they have a weird thing going on in the midrange. They definetely work for standard tunings, but will probably suck for lower tunings. Nothing alike their active counterparts at all.
- Finish is a fingerprint/scratch magnet!
- Knobs are huge and the volume knob gets in the way a lot.
- Tuners are garbage and I should probably replace the nut as well.
I still don't know if I'll keep it for long since I've been playing only 7-strings for years and it feels alien to me, specially with the TOM bridge (which I try to avoid like the plague). For the money I got it, it deserves to be pimped up a bit though. If I keep it, Gotoh locking tuners, low profile Q-Parts knobs and a nut swap are mandatory. And obvioulsy new pickups, too. I'll take it to my rehearsal place this afternoon for a test drive!