Belated NGD: Jackson USA Select SL1

Discussion in 'Standard Guitars' started by groverj3, May 13, 2021.

  1. groverj3

    groverj3 Bioinformagician

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    A little late on this one, but there's a story here.

    I saw a transparent red SL1 on Reverb a while back. The price was kind of bad, but I offered the seller a lowball offer, and they accepted. So, I figured, what's not to like? Relatively cheap SL1.

    The seller was in Hong Kong, and this got delivered in about 4 days! Which is great!

    What was less great was the condition this was in.

    [​IMG]

    At first glance, nothing amiss here other than a really dry fretboard. Also, the finish, and therefore binding, is heavily yellowed. The finish yellowing is less obvious because it's red, but this shows up over the logo and the binding. However, it's from 2005, and was in a high heat, high humidity environment, so I can get over that.

    So much corrosion. Everywhere. Messy wiring. It also had the wrong trem block, which meant you couldn't put the back plate on, rather, you could, but it fit exactly and you couldn't use the trem at all. Didn't have room to move as the bottom of the block was sitting exactly on the back plate.

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Some people just don't know how to keep things nice. Also, the frets were in drastic need of leveling.

    The biggest issue is the dreaded misalignment of the bridge. This caused the high E string to be too far to the edge of the fretboard.

    [​IMG]

    I swapped pickups, cleaned it up, and redid the wiring.

    [​IMG]

    This was all a bit of a bummer, but I got a good deal on it, so I took it over to Matt's Music here outside Boston and they took care of it all.

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    You can barely even tell that the bridge had to be moved (less than 0.5 mm)

    [​IMG]

    It's a nice addition to the family

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    I did upgrade a few things as well

    Pickups: EMG 85X + 2x SAX
    Titanium string lock blocks
    Stainless steel saddle screws and string lock screws

    Amusingly, when I got my blue SL2H is about 2007 I had wanted it in red. That would've been a custom order, and I was a high school kid so that wasnt about to happen. Now, 14 years later, I do have a red soloist. It needed some work, but since it was a super deal it was worth it. I'll this a "rescue."

    tldr: It's shiny.
     
  2. IbanezDaemon

    IbanezDaemon Raptus regaliter

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    That turned out really well. A great looking Soloist!! HNGD!
     
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  3. MASS DEFECT

    MASS DEFECT SS.ORG Infiltrator

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    Looks much better now!

    (Is that reversed head a DXMG on the rack, or you have a CS dinky? )
     
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  4. groverj3

    groverj3 Bioinformagician

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    Never mind, I didn't replace the saddle screws (as you can see).

    I've just been modifying so much hardware recently I forget which things I've done on which guitars!
     
  5. mlp187

    mlp187 Burrito Master Contributor

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    Dude that is rad, and I am stoked for you, but all I can see is that green Jackson. Mega sexy time.
     
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  6. groverj3

    groverj3 Bioinformagician

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    Good eye.

    It's a DXMG. It was my first "real guitar." Got it used and kind of beat up in 2004.

    It's still kinda beat up, with some dents and chips but it has stainless steel frets now, active EMGs and redone wiring (replacing the stock HZs), and a Gotoh Floyd.

    Bridge posts are worn out though, and it stays sharp if the bar is pulled up. Have not had luck locating replacement posts that fit the licensed Floyd threaded inserts (I kept them and did not replace with the Gotoh's). Once upon a time the inserts pulled out of the body and a repair shop epoxied them in, so replacing the inserts themselves is a more involved repair than normal.

    It's a sweet guitar though. Especially after modding the crap out of it.
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2021
  7. groverj3

    groverj3 Bioinformagician

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    I'm so glad I ordered that in 2014/15 before the pricing and backlog from the custom shop became stupid.

    I couldn't justify ordering something like that today. Custom Selects were a great buy. Which is why it's gotten out of hand more recently.
     
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  8. Sermo Lupi

    Sermo Lupi SS.org Regular

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    Happy NGD! What colour is the green SL2H, by the way? Lime green metallic?
     
  9. Edika

    Edika SS.org Regular

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    Congrats dude, the guitar looks great after the clean up. Glad you got everything sorted!

    How did they fix the misalignment of the Floyd? Did they fill and re-drill the posts? I had a black ghost flame SL2H that had a similar issue, maybe slightly better. But a slightly wide vibrato and it was off the fretboard. I moved the nut slightly up and tried to move the saddles upwards a bit that helped somewhat. The guitar sounded and played amazingly otherwise.
     
  10. groverj3

    groverj3 Bioinformagician

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    Yes indeed!
     
  11. groverj3

    groverj3 Bioinformagician

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    Yeah, they filled and re-drilled the post holes. It appears that the whole bridge route is off-center by ~0.25mm. With relocating the posts, it's not centered in the bridge route, but it is centered relative to the neck and plays perfectly.

    Honestly, it's a pretty unacceptable factory flaw, and definitely is covered under warranty and should result in a replacement by FMIC. However, a lot of guitar buyers out there are oblivious to things like that, which kind of blows my mind, and just never think about it. This is unfortunately pretty common on early FMIC-era USA Selects. Though, my blue SL2H is only one year newer than this one and it was perfect. Apparently there was a whole lot of drama going on in the shop around the time of the Fender buyout and management changing over, etc.

    If it was new, or I paid more than I did, I would be pretty upset about an issue like that. However, I just factor in the cost of the fret level and post relocation to the price I paid and it's still a solid deal. I paid $250 for the fret level and crown + bridge relocation, so I'm not sure what the charge for that fix was by itself, but it wasn't bad.

    Like a rescued animal, this just needed some TLC and an owner that cared to put in the effort. I saved this thing from neglect.
     
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  12. Edika

    Edika SS.org Regular

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    Yeah, my orange SL2H is dead center but it's from a later date than the BGF SL2. I have a KE2 that seems to be from before the FMIC transition which has the Floyd centered but checking routes and stuff, it's not as clean as the either SL2H. But the Kelly had a "rough" life before so not sure if it was monkey business from a previous owner. I had gotten the Kelly for a good price so no complaints there.
     
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  13. Mathemagician

    Mathemagician SS.org Regular

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    “Oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo”

    Very nice.
     
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  14. MetalDaze

    MetalDaze Repless in Seattle

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    Glad Jay got you fixed up!
     
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  15. AkiraSpectrum

    AkiraSpectrum SS.org Regular

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    glad you were able to clean it up and get that red soloist you always wanted!
     
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  16. groverj3

    groverj3 Bioinformagician

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    Yeah, this seems like a fairly common issue from that time period. Luckily, if you get one for a good price it's actually not a difficult repair for a shop, assuming everything else is good.

    I remember those ghost flame finishes, and they were pretty cool back in the day. Jackson going to semi-custom only, with no "production" models is kind of sad. However, if we see lots of cool finishes from the MJ series that would fill the same role.

    I bought and sold several other brands' stuff over the past few years, but always keep coming back to the soloist. Something about the necks.
     
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  17. groverj3

    groverj3 Bioinformagician

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    At this point, it's pretty much perfect. I've been playing guitars with stainless steel frets for a while so the old nickel alloy ones here aren't my favorite, plus they lost lot of height in the fret level because those divots were baaaad. However, one day I can think about getting a refret done. At this point, I think the only thing I might do is a push-in arm. Tolerances on Floyd screw-collar type arms are pretty shit, or at least horribly inconsistent. This is older, but I'm going to assume that because it had the wrong block on it this is not the original trem or at least a newer, worse toleranced arm/receiver.

    Happy to save this from a lifetime of neglect! It's a real player now!
     
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