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Jackson release USA Mick Thomson Soloist for Slipknot axeman
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Jackson release USA Mick Thomson Soloist for Slipknot axeman

by Stephen Charlton2017/01/24

Slipknot guitarist Mick Thomson was an Ibanez man for 13 years, but last year he jumped ship to Jackson. Now the company have released a signature guitar for the masked maniac, the USA Signature Limited Edition Mick Thomson Soloist. The new model was showcased by Jackson at NAMM over the weekend.

The six-string Soloist features a mahogany bound body complemented by graphite reinforced through-body three-piece maple/rosewood/maple neck. It has a super thin neck profile for high speed playing, which comes as no surprise as Mick would be accustomed to Ibanez’s shred-friendly models. The 24-fret neck has a 12″-16″ compound radius ebony fingerboard.

Mick Thomson Soloist packed with signature Seymour Duncan Blackouts

As you would expect, the USA Mick Thomson Soloist is powered by the guitarist’s signature active Seymour Duncan EMTY Blackouts. The humbuckers are designed to retain clarity under high gain and with low tunings. Mick’s custom voicing for the bridge pick-up emphasises the percussive chunk of heavy palm-muting, while the neck pick-up brings out the mids and sustain for solos and melodic sections.

Floyd Rose bridge, but no whammy bar in sight

Jackson USA Mick Thomson Soloist Slipknot Ibanez

Mick Thomson moved to Jackson in July 2016.

Curiously, the Soloist has a fixed double-locking Floyd Rose bridge, ie without a whammy bar. In my experience Floyd Rose bridges are a massive pain in the ass, the only redeeming quality of which is the ability to use the whammy bar without going out of tune. I guess Mick has techs to intonate the guitar for him so he doesn’t have to deal with the inconvenience of maintaining a Floyd Rose bridge. Jackson state that the Floyd Rose bridge was included for accurate intonation and stable tuning.

One thing I like a lot about the Mick Thomson Soloist is the simple control configuration. There’s a three-way blade selector and a single volume pot. There’s no tone pots or any unnecessary tone-sucking rubbish included, which is just what the doctor ordered for a metal axe.

Other features include all black hardware, Schaller strap locks, Gotoh tuners and an angled side jack that sits close to the strap lock. A custom Anvil case is included with each guitar.

Unfortunately Jackson are yet to announce the price or when it’s available in stores. The model isn’t even listed on the Jackson site yet.

Periphery, Ozzy, Def Leppard guitarists get signature models

It’s been a busy weekend for Jackson at NAMM. The company showed off a raft of new signature models at the event, as well as their new Pro Series and affordable JS Series Dinky models. The signature models include two guitars for Periphery mainman Misha Mansoor: the six-string Pro Series Signature Juggernaut HT6 and the seven-string Pro Series Juggernaut HT7FM.

Ex-Megadeth virtuoso Marty Friedman collaborated with Jackson to release the USA Signature MF-1 as well as a more budget friend version, the X Series Signature MF-1.

Def Leppard shredder Phil Collen got a Jackson super Strat with a HSS pick-up configuration. The USA Signature Phil Collen PC1 comes in a range of finishes and features a Floyd Rose original tremolo system.

The last rocker to get a signature model from Jackson is Ozzy guitarist Gus G. Jackson is offering three Gus G models, each aimed at different price points: The USA Signature Gus G Star, X Series Signature Gus G Star and entry-level JS Series Signature Gus G Star JS32.

The new Dinky models (read: super Strat models) feature some beautiful finishes and include six, seven and eight-string guitars. Clearly the Jackson realise the ’80s are behind them and are moving with the times.

If you’re looking for a high gain combo to complement a new addition to the collection, check out our coverage of Orange’s Rocker 15 and Rocker 32 amps, which were launched at NAMM.

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About The Author
Stephen Charlton

Stephen Charlton is a musician, journalist and editor.

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