NGD: Jackson HT7 Amber Tiger Eye + Surprise Bareknuckle Set

Discussion in 'Sevenstring Guitars' started by oceanrose, Feb 20, 2018.

  1. oceanrose

    oceanrose Pete

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    Greetings fellas! So it's been awhile since i have contributed anything in this forum so i thought i'd take this chance to introduce to you one of my latest acquisitions, which is Misha Mansoor's signature Jackson HT7 upgraded (to my taste) with Bareknuckle Nailbomb and Cold Sweat pickups as well as share with you guys my overall thoughts about this guitar!

    So lets get started!

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    Initially i really wanted a top that would resemble more of what many would call a tiger stripe flame maple top, which to me seems more evenly distributed, less over the top and rather just sexy and classy. Upon seeing the quilt maple top for the first time however, i slowly fell in love with it as if it is some kind of acquired taste.

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    One thing i noticed about this guitar right away before even plugging in is the quality of craftsmanship that the Jackson Custom Shop has accomplished with this guitar. I could not find any fault with it on first inspection as everything was assembled and finished rather flawlessly up with the made in USA standards. The guitar seems on the slightly heavy side (heavier than my les paul) in comparison to my other guitars but nothing major which i suspect wouldn't be a problem getting used to.

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    Although i couldn't really capture this with my phone camera, i must say that the maple binding on the body is quite present in person and adds that much more class and sophistication to an already beautiful guitar. One thing i noticed over time by further inspection is that if you run your fingers along the neck binding where it attaches to the wood, you can slightly feel the separation of binding and maple neck. However, this is not at all major and you would really need to be sensitive to feel it in the first place. Although some people may disregard this as a properly crafted instrument, this does not bother me at all when it comes to playing the guitar and i don't even feel it when running my hand up and down the neck when jamming to the point that i have forgotten about it since up until writing this review.

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    Sort of a weird angle which i took the picture from but what the hell, lets do things outside the box right? One of the features that i truly love about this guitar and also a feature that i am starting to see become more prominent with superstrats from Jackson and Charvel is the thumb-wheel truss rod adjuster. This is truly a godsend and it is so efficient and easy to use that it can save you loads of time adjusting the neck (if needed be) since you can just adjust it on the fly instead of having to unscrew the truss rod cover and sticking a wrench in. Also you may have been wondering up to this point why this guitar is not equipped with Misha's signature Juggernaut set, so with this being said, lets go on to the next section where i will give you my review and personal thoughts of this guitar and the changes that i have made to it.

    Upon picking up this guitar and feeling it, the neck seems to have a rather roundish feel to it, yet it is nowhere near bulky. I find this neck much more comfortable than my previous Ibanez prestige 7 which for some people works great but unfortunately for me those necks tend to give me cramps in certain areas of the fretboard and playing this neck just feels so natural and comfortable that playing for extended period of time does not cause me any pain and cramps like the Ibanez did. The neck also feels very sturdy, which it should, being a quartersawn maple neck with graphite rod reinforcement. Because of this, it definitely took awhile for the neck to settle once changing and experimenting with different string gauges on this guitar, and some may mistakenly view this as an unstable neck. However, once you have the right string gauge installed and have the neck set, it is as stable as ever and refuses to move.

    This guitar is my first 26.5 scale guitar and came strung with a 64 + 52 - 11 gauge string, tuned to drop G#, and upon playing it initially, i noticeably felt that the strings were quite tight and that the frets were a bit distant. I am not gonna lie that i am a person who is very sensitive to minor changes and the 26.5 scale definitely took a little while getting used to, and i had to experiment with different string gauges to see what fits best for both me and the guitar in the chosen tuning. Normally on a 25.5 scale 7 string, i would use 70 + 52 - 10 in Drop A tuning (AEADGBE) but for this guitar, i settled with 56 + 46 - 10 in A# standard tuning (Nevermore tuning + Cannibal Corpse string gauge) and the tension felt on the light but balanced side. Works like a charm.

    I play this guitar through an ENGL Special Edition with the 6L6, and what i noticed right away with the Juggernaut pick up was that the low mid was so prominent that in a way it was a bit overwhelming that i had to lower the bass on my amp to a certain degree. ENGL are known to be an amp with a low mid presence and combining that with the Juggernaut set made it sound abit too dark that the highs didn't really shine through.

    With this setup i also noticed that the sound was a bit too wooly and honky for me if that makes sense, due to having such prominent mids, as well as possibly because it has a combination of ceramic and alnico magnets. Don't get me wrong, it got really heavy to the point where i could feel the palm mutes thump in my chest while also having the articulation there, but there is just something about the Juggernaut in the sense that it has this cocked-wah voicing to it which i couldn't really dial out and overtime became quite annoying. Because of this i chose to go with the ceramic Nailbomb for the bridge and Cold Sweat for the neck, and now i am definitely satisfied in regards of both sound and feel. The highs now are more sizzly and hairy while the low mid still gives you that chunk and thump that i can raise my bass level back up, but not to the point where it is too overwhelming.

    Another change i made to this guitar is to have my local luthier replace the stock nut with a graphtech nut as the original nut were cut a bit too low for my taste to the point where it would be very low on the first frets while being substantially higher heading towards the pick up. The slots were also too big for the string gauge i have chosen to use but now i am even more satisfied with the action and playability with the new nut installed.

    Overall, i have had this guitar for a few months now and have to admit it really did take some time to get this instrument right to my personal specs, experimenting with pick ups, string gauges, tuning, different nut, but now i can confidently say that it is an instrument that i am truly satisfied with and will enjoy over the years in the future. I guess the honey moon period for me begins now that things have fallen into place. Finally, here is another eye candy of this guitar for you folks. Should any of you have any question please don't hesitate to ask me! Cheers!

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  2. Dcm81

    Dcm81 SS.org Regular

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    HNGD! Those HT7 are real stunners.
     
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  3. zarg

    zarg guitar nerd

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    gorgeous! truly a guitar on my list - just over my budget right now
     
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  4. Albake21

    Albake21 "Just get a used Ibanez Prestige."

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    HNGD! The HT7s are some of my all time favorite looking 7 string production models. Too bad I really don't mesh well with the neck or I'd be owning a couple lol. I have a new guitar coming soon with Juggernauts, so I'm excited to finally try them out .
     
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  5. Dawn of the Shred

    Dawn of the Shred PRS Guitar Addict

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    Congrats and HNGD!!

    Very clean looking and nice rig as well.
     
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  6. mastapimp

    mastapimp SS.org Regular

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    Nice write-up! I also love the nail bomb/cold sweat combo. I have those pickups in my Regius and it sounds amazing. Enjoy the Jackson =)
     
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  7. Anquished

    Anquished hhnice!

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    Awesome, love the tops on these guitars.
     
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  8. Passtheapathy

    Passtheapathy SS.org Regular

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    HNGD! Thanks for the well thought out review. I think these ones are a bit more classy than the new revision; something about the quilted maple, ebony fretboard, and shark fin inlays just looks and feels right to me. Haven't played the new ones, though.
     
  9. TunedToB

    TunedToB SS.org Regular

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    That is absolutely beautiful. The Amber Misha Soloists are total dream machines. Glad to hear the craftsmanship is superb. HNGD!
     
  10. groverj3

    groverj3 Biologist/Guitarist

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    I'm a sucker for a pretty Jackson. The custom shop really puts out top quality stuff. My CS soloist is amazing, and I'm sure this plays just as well.
    HNGD!
     
  11. Type_R3387

    Type_R3387 SS.org Regular

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    These guitars are absolutely badass. I imagine it sounds huge through that Engl! I run mine with an EVH 5150 iii and couldn't be happier. These guitars may come with a hefty price tag, but are completely worth it IMO.
     
  12. Power2theMetal

    Power2theMetal The deal was rigged

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    I absolutely love these Jackson guitars. One day I'll own one, I keep telling myself that...:tmm:
     

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