Is Jackson USA Select the same level with ESP standard (e-ii)

Discussion in 'Standard Guitars' started by Rykilla, Nov 30, 2015.

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  1. Rykilla

    Rykilla SS.org Regular

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    Hi people! I am new here, so I hope that my first post is not violating any rules of the forum.

    I currently have two options: Jackson USA Select SL1 and ESP Standard E-ii horizon. I have tried them both, and both are amazing. There is a price difference (Jackson costs 1k more) between these two, so I am just wondering whether these two guitars are on the same level (competitors, or something like that; for example, we will not usually compare ESP custom with LTD), especially the wood quality if possible, because the other specs are quite the same.

    I will hugely appreciate any thoughts and share of experience on this matter.
     
  2. Nagash

    Nagash chugs and screams

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    They're pretty much on par.

    The main differences that "justify" the price difference are : the Jackson is hand-built in the USA, and the ESP is CNC-made in Japan.
     
  3. 1b4n3z

    1b4n3z SS.org Regular

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    Well Jackson is CNC'd at least as much as ESP :) But that's not an issue, is it? It's only rational to utilize a CNC whenever possible - for better accuracy and faster execution. I find the Soloist neck profile just a bit more attractive than ESP thin u, but prefer ESP tone (bridge pickup location). If there was a 1k price difference, I'd buy two ESP's.

    That said I put quite a bit of money towards a mahogany SL2H in hopes of finding 'the best Soloist available'. We'll soon see how it compares to my CS M-II's :)
     
  4. Adam Of Angels

    Adam Of Angels The GAS Man

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    I love ESP, and I've had a bunch of both....... but the Jackson is the winner by a good distance. If you can play both and prefer one to the other, then you know what to do, but if you're going at it blind, I recommend the Jackson.
     
  5. GuitarFactoryDylan

    GuitarFactoryDylan SS.org Regular

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    Having owned a couple of both, and still loving both brands - I have to say Jackson USA guitars just have something magical about them, they truly feel like you're buying a premium instrument, where as some E-II guitars feel barely different from their LTD counterparts.
     
  6. Rykilla

    Rykilla SS.org Regular

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    Thank you both for replying!

    I am just curious, since both are somewhat on par, why Jackson's price is somehow inflated (or, E-ii is somehow cheaper)?
     
  7. Rykilla

    Rykilla SS.org Regular

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    Oops... It seems that my internet is funky today. Well, thank you all for replying :)
     
  8. Edika

    Edika SS.org Regular

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    I haven't played an ESP or their E-II incarnations so I don't have a level of comparison, but the Jackson SL2H I recently acquiered is one of the best guitars I have played so far. Completely effortless neck, huge sounding and really classy looking. I'm sure the ESP is kick ass as well but it all boils down which one you liked the most and if you feel the 1K difference is justified. If you felt the Jackson was better but not 1K better then go for the ESP. Wood quality would be more or less on par for both of them.

    EDIT: I should mention tha the price for a SL1 in black here is not as wide a gap with the E-II Horizon in reindeer blue.
     
  9. GuitarFactoryDylan

    GuitarFactoryDylan SS.org Regular

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    Jacksons are generally a little more expensive, but honestly it's worth it. They feel and look like more of a custom shop instrument. The E-IIs just have such a production guitar vibe about them that I find hard to shake. I honestly wish it were the other way around, I really like ESPs aesthetic and their designs plus Jackson are a terribly supported Fender brand from a retail shops perspective.
     
  10. Jujex

    Jujex SS.org Regular

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    Specs and material are one thing but wood quality, build, playability (Specially) is the reason Jackson USAs cost more specially in comparison to EIIs and in the Jackson lineup Soloists are the most comfortable to play IMO. Check out the SL2H too unless you want the singlecoil options of the SL1.
     
  11. possumkiller

    possumkiller Goose stepping in front of a mirror

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    Never played a USA Jackson that was as effortless as an ESP standard or custom (or Edwards for that matter).
     
  12. feraledge

    feraledge Heard the Good News about Maple Fretboards?

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    Jackson uses CNC as well. Jackson Custom Shop Factory Tour
    I think CNC is a non-issue.

    USA Jacksons are production lines, they're just made in America. Personally, I think both USA Jacksons and MIJ ESP/E-II are top notch guitars. You see issues from time to time with either, but I'd say either is a safe bet. As to the price difference? It just comes down to preference. If there's a single instance of cross over between both lines, it's really just the DK1 and bolt on M-IIs. I've owned a number of each and think they're all great guitars, but when it came down to my last DK1 (a beautiful agent orange as well) or my Standard Series bolt on M-II? I chose the ESP. Again, just preference, the quality on both was absolutely on par.
    But in terms of a Soloist or Horizon? Totally different guitars. I prefer the neck shape and body style of the Horizon, but I wouldn't say that's a quality thing. If you want the best in either line, probably best of going with an 80s or 90s version or high end custom shop line. I trust a masterbuilt Mike Shannon Jackson and a custom ESP are both immaculate.
    Even their Vs are very different.
    What's a thread without pics? Let's see that DK1, right? Done.
    [​IMG]
     
  13. GuitarFactoryDylan

    GuitarFactoryDylan SS.org Regular

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    I love my SL2Hs massive frets, I think it's one of the main things I notice compared to my horizon, it has a unique feel that I've only really come across on USA Jacksons - that and the body is very oversized looking, which I love. Screams over-the-top strat on steroids.
     
  14. Henry Terry

    Henry Terry SS.org Regular

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    My experience with Fender support of the Jackson brand was a good one. In March, 2005, I bought my Jackson SLSMG. I liked it so much that two weeks later, I bought a second Jackson SLSMG. In the summer of 2007, I took both of them to the tech that I used for a setup. He noticed that the second guitar had a twisted neck. I contacted Fender, and Fender promptly sent me to their local tech to verify the problem. He agreed that the neck was twisted, and Fender replaced the defective guitar with a new one in less than a month. No cost to me.
     
  15. Andromalia

    Andromalia Pardon my french

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    I have yet to see an ESP with 23 frets.

    All jokes aside, I've played a good number of both and ESP/Jackson USA are solid brands issuing very good quality guitars. (No experience with the more recent EIIs)
    If you like them both equally, pick the cheapest one.
    I'll admit aI'm a bit biased towards ESP as those were the mythical guitars of my teenager days with horrible price tags back then.
     
  16. xzacx

    xzacx SS.org Regular

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    Soloists and Dinkys are actually slightly smaller than Strats. (Hence the name "Dinky" which is the same size as a Soloist.) I actually have a Jackson Strat, and it feels giant in my arms after being so used to the smaller Soloist size.
     
  17. Church2224

    Church2224 Guitar Whore

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    I have owned 8 MIJ ESPs, and 6 USA Select Jacksons. IMHO ESP is going to give you a much better and consistent guitar for the money. I never have had any issues with my ESPs. Three of the six Jacksons I have had to return to dealer due to quality control issues. Right now I only have one USA Jackson, and 5 MIJ ESPs.

    Issues I have had with Jackson USA Selects

    - 2011 SL2ht Quicksilver - Bought and Returned in November 2011. It had scratches underneath the clear coat in the finish and a lot of glue residue on the fretboard

    - 2011 Sl2h Quicksilver- The floyed version of the first one, an exchange for the Sl2ht. This guitar also had scratches underneath the clear coat as well, plus a couple of chips and tool marks into the fret board underneath the frets as well as parts of the finish looked like it had chipped off where the neck meets the body under the clear coat

    -2013 Jackson B7 Deluxe- Would have been an AWESOME guitar and would have won me back to Jackson... if the fret board did not crack from the 18 - 24 frets within a couple of days of me owning it. After this one I sent Jackson a long email and told them I was upset. I will give them props for returning the email withing 24 hours and trying to accommodate me, however the damage was done. Funny enough once I returned the guitar to the dealer I went to Sam Ash on my way home and found a brand new ESP M-II on the wall for $1,200.00 and got it. I love that thing.

    I have also seen USA Jacksons with some atrocious QC Issues, mostly cosmetic and sloppy construction. Most recent one I played was an Sl2ht in natural with a flame top you could see a couple inches worth of glue residue underneath the clear coat where the neck and body connected. Also, it too had tool and woodworking make in the fret board in multiple locations. I have seen other issues as well.

    I currently own 24 guitars, and have owned between 35 and 40 total, plus have played many others over the years, out of all of the ones I have owned Jackson has been a brand that has given me the most problems. Call me picky but compared to what else is out there I expect better for $2,000.00+ guitars. Do not get me wrong, I have also played some VERY nice USA Jacksons and those made me a big Jackson fan boy for a long time. However my experience with them and owning them in the long run has turned me off. I have only one currently, and I am keeping that one as it was a gift. With all of the other options for USA Made guitars for the same price such as Schecter USA, Some PRS, Suhr Pro Series, Music Man, even Fender who owns Jackson, you will get a more consistently built guitar for your price and have confidence in the product. A damn shame, considering some of the USA Jacksons I have played are incredible guitars I loved, I just wish they would give me one that was built to par.

    ESP Standards, however, I have had incredible luck with and honestly never had an issue with them. I do not think I have played a bad or even flawed MIJ ESP in my life. I almost got an ESP E-II Last year too and had it on lay away at Guitar Center, however I did not have the funds at the time to get it. That too was a solid instrument. With the release of some new E-IIs, USAs and Original Series ESPs, you will be damn sure I will be jumping on those.
     
  18. Alex79

    Alex79 SS.org Regular

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    $1000 less sounds like a no-brainer for the ESP to me.
     
  19. electriceye

    electriceye SS.org Regular

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    @Church: Sadly, you speak the truth. I think the OLDER Jacksons are the way to go. I have an 86 Soloist that I don't think I'll ever get rid of. I got a near-new SLH2 about 6 years ago that had a twisted neck. It was almost brand new!! And, frankly, just didn't have that "feel" to it. I also think that the prices they charge for what you get is criminal. Their tops are paper-thin LAMINATES. And they usually look like crap anyway. And, yes, the QC has been on decline for quite some time. Ever since Fender took over, it's gone bad.

    I'm excited to know that the E-II is on par with USA models. I had considered them to be the same as LTD series. But if they're CNC in Japan, then who cares?? I've got several on my GAS list, esp the new Horizon I they're introducing this month (although that's an ESP, not an E-II).
     
  20. JD27

    JD27 ESP Cult Member

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    They really are just relabeled from the Standard Series. They wanted the Full ESP branding to be on their custom shop models from the USA and Japan lines. Even the LTD Elites were made in Japan just like the Standard Series, it was just a poor choice for labeling, as people associated them with the normal Korean LTDs.
     

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