Slipknot have been massive players on the metal scene for many years. Highly influential for their combination of brutal riffs and energetic syncopated grooves and rhythms, the band has spawned various signature models and endorsements for many of its members. The latest sees Jackson releasing the Mick Thomson Pro Series signature model. A ‘Soloist’ shape with a few tweaks, let’s have a closer look.
A through body design, the SL2 comprises a mahogany body, 24 fret maple neck and ebony fingerboard. The recessed neck joint and cutaways are super smooth with plenty of upper fret access and the compound 12 – 16 radius allows for low action and playability. Jumbo frets come standard which I have found to work well for a lighter touch on flatter boards. Available in two colours, this particular model looks great in its gloss white. Black hardware and binding provide a strong contrast with the marker less fretboard adding to its stealthy type vibes. Chunky side fret block markers are on board for those that feel a bit lost without fretboard inlays (and they are definitely clear). A locking nut has been used for tuning stability along with a locking bridge (and fine tuners). The difference to most locking units is that this example is set up as a hardtail (against the body), not floating, meaning it should hold up to plenty of abuse. Rounding out the guitar is a set of Thomson’s own signature Seymour Duncan Blackouts (AHB-3S), three-way switch and single volume pot.
The Soloist has long been a staple of the Jackson line so this guitar shape will be familiar to many. The reverse headstock and comfy edges, bevelling and neck all make for an easy player. Shape-wise, the neck is constructed with a D shape featuring a wide and flat contour (which I really like on this model) as opposed to the sharper rounded edges. The guitar obviously lends itself to shred and heavier styles of music with the Seymour Duncan pickups having plenty of bit and clarity. Clean is also doable and the three-way switch allows for a cool split tone as well as the standard neck and bridge positions. Low end chug, higher register licks and anything in between are all fair game.
Jackson’s Pro series seems like a clever move. Featuring similar looks and designs as their USA Signature brothers, the Pro series drops in at a much more affordable price. The Mick Thomson take on the Soloist packs plenty of punch and will no doubt appeal to rock and metal players wanting a good playing axe that won’t cost huge $$.
Hits and Misses
Easy to play, well constructed
Signature models aren’t for everyone