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This is, without a doubt, the worst, gimpiest looking LP-style guitar ever.
The Monarkhs look better in person. I know because I had one. Just as with the thin-bodied ESP Eclipses, though, they don't sound anything like a Les Paul. My X-Series Monarkh sounded like dog poop but played better than any Eclipse I've ever tried. The Pro Series ones are much nicer, though, and sound a lot like a Soloist. The quality control is all over the place on the Indonesian guitars, however. It's a shame they didn't introduce an MJ version of this, or I'd be tempted.



My Vai fanboy sense is also tingling here.
I know Vai had a Soloist for a while (when he was in Alcatrazz, I think), but this is more of a Jeff Beck thing to me.

Note the non-recessed Floyd and vintage neck heel (if you look at the pictures on the site). Very nice! If they had a 2-hum Japanese version of this, my bank account would be in danger of getting smaller.

The only thing they fucked up is the knob placement. Jackson had it exactly right on the pre-1986 Soloists (and some made to that specification later in the '80s), and they never got back to that even on the supposedly retro reissues. The volume is always either too close to the strings or too far back below the bridge.
 

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On both of my Jacksons (DK2M and a Pro Series Soloist) I remove the tone and relocate the volume to where the tone knob was. The stock location is terrible
 

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I would have expected a lot more excitement from this board about Jackson making guitars in Japan again :lol:

Really interested in this one:


Hopefully the street prices come in under $2k
 

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I would have expected a lot more excitement from this board about Jackson making guitars in Japan again :lol:

Really interested in this one:


Hopefully the street prices come in under $2k
If the whole body was like that and not just a stupid cap/veneer and with a normal headstock, id bee all over that.
 

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$2700 for a Japanese Jackson?

I could buy a JP13 for that cost or a used Petrucci Koa, Caparison MJR, any Ibanez MIJ, a Suhr.

That is sad.
 

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$2700 for a Japanese Jackson?

I could buy a JP13 for that cost or a used Petrucci Koa, Caparison MJR, any Ibanez MIJ, a Suhr.

That is sad.
Why should a MIJ Jackson be cheaper than a MIJ Ibanez? :scratch:
 

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$2700 for a Japanese Jackson?

I could buy a JP13 for that cost or a used Petrucci Koa, Caparison MJR, any Ibanez MIJ, a Suhr.

That is sad.
I'm guessing this is a strategy of easing FMIC out of the business of making USA production Jacksons. Essentially, what would be left would be the custom shop stuff.
 

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I'm guessing this is a strategy of easing FMIC out of the business of making USA production Jacksons. Essentially, what would be left would be the custom shop stuff.
I've seen this as the endgame for quite a while. It's not like they lack for orders.
 

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I've seen this as the endgame for quite a while. It's not like they lack for orders.
The interesting thing is that Japanese manufacturing is now just as expensive as US manufacturing.

I'm assuming these MJ guitars are contract builds, though, so FMIC can adjust or even stop production more quickly than they could with internal company production. It also would allow them to have fewer US manufacturing employees, which is a considerable expense and one that is tough to adjust to market demand. It would also free them up to expand the custom side of the operation--not just to fulfill existing demand but to create something that blows away the boutique/smaller builders.

I haven't looked at the Fender side, but it wouldn't surprise me if FMIC ends up doing something similar on that end (to the extent they can). The lower-end American lines like the Professionals and Standards could go over to Japan, maybe leaving the Deluxe and Custom Shop lines as coming out of Corona, and having more customization options on the high end that are short of a full custom order.

They're not stupid, and I'm sure they've noticed how much demand there is for used Japanese Jacksons and Fenders worldwide. It makes sense to take advantage of that reputation.
 

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The interesting thing is that Japanese manufacturing is now just as expensive as US manufacturing.

I'm assuming these MJ guitars are contract builds, though, so FMIC can adjust or even stop production more quickly than they could with internal company production. It also would allow them to have fewer US manufacturing employees, which is a considerable expense and one that is tough to adjust to market demand. It would also free them up to expand the custom side of the operation--not just to fulfill existing demand but to create something that blows away the boutique/smaller builders.

I haven't looked at the Fender side, but it wouldn't surprise me if FMIC ends up doing something similar on that end (to the extent they can). The lower-end American lines like the Professionals and Standards could go over to Japan, maybe leaving the Deluxe and Custom Shop lines as coming out of Corona, and having more customization options on the high end that are short of a full custom order.

They're not stupid, and I'm sure they've noticed how much demand there is for used Japanese Jacksons and Fenders worldwide. It makes sense to take advantage of that reputation.
I agree, and I wonder who's doing the contract work? Given the history, I'm betting these are FujiGen. Which is just fine, their work is quite good.
 

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I agree, and I wonder who's doing the contract work? Given the history, I'm betting these are FujiGen. Which is just fine, their work is quite good.
Yep, I've got four FujiGens sitting in my studio right now that attest to that. Fender's relationship with FujiGen goes back to the '70s, so that would be the most likely source.

I was just musing wildly in thinking that FMIC would do something with Fender. That's a much more iconically "American" brand, so it's a trickier marketing move to pull off. What I could see happening for both brands, to preserve that American reputation, is this:

--low end guitars in Mexico and Indonesia (China for the ultra-cheapies)
--Nicer guitars made by World Guitars in Korea. Jackson already has these.
--"Professional" level guitars made by FujiGen
--USA production series (mostly as a legacy preserver), but jacked-up prices and limited production. This goes away ASAP.
--Expanded US-made semi-custom options
--Full US customs for the bored law partners and doctors out there.

Gibson's Nashville production-line employees better hope that their leadership doesn't figure out that the company could sell a boatload of rebranded Tokais in place of Standard-level Les Pauls and SGs.
 

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I'm betting these are FujiGen. Which is just fine, their work is quite good.
As sweet as my Fujigen Ibanez is, I'd so love to get my hands on an FJ Soloist... just not a 2021 version.
 

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OldSchool Blacksmith
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