Review: Jackson American Series Soloist SL2MG

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Review: Jackson American Series Soloist SL2MG

Jackson American Series Soloist SL2MG
Words by Jamie Colic

Jackson American Series Soloist SL2MG | Fender Music Australia | RRP $3999

The Jackson American Series has seen the brand pump a considerable amount of effort into filling the gap between the Jackson Pro series import line and their flagship USA Signature, Custom Select, and Custom Shop models.

Jackson American Series

The American Series Soloist SL3 was the first off the mark, with the American Series Virtuoso following last year. Now in 2024, we have the next installment in the line with the Jackson American Series Soloist SL2MG.

Read more gear reviews here.

The American Series Soloist SL2MG offers an alternative to the aforementioned SL3 model for players who want a neck-thru superstrat with an active dual humbucker layout as opposed to the SL3’s passive single humbucker, dual single coil configuration.

Additionally, the SL2MG also comes in a hardtail variant once again providing a solution for players who wish to get into the new Jackson American Series but have no need for any sort of tremolo system. This is a welcome addition to the line as there was previously no option for players who were in the market for a fixed bridge American Line Soloist.

Despite this fact it is worth mentioning that in this instance, we will be focusing on the Floyd Rose equipped model. This is what Jackson have been kind enough to loan us for the purpose of this review and boy oh boy—what an impression it has left.

American Series Soloist SL2MG

Upon removing the SL2MG from its Jackson Foam Core case I was immediately struck by the instrument’s vivid Lambo Orange Satin finish. A colour that will be sure to appease any fans of shred guitars’ 80s heyday, perhaps a direct homage to the origins of the Soloist model itself.

The finish itself is similar in feel to that of the satin-finished Virtuoso model and has been applied with care. After a thorough inspection, we weren’t able to find any flaws however it is worth mentioning that there are no gloss options like there was for the aforementioned Virtuoso model. 

In my personal opinion, I feel that this isn’t any sort of hindrance though as I quite like the feel, especially on the back of the neck. Some people may even argue that the satin finish may provide some benefits to the resonance of the instrument as it isn’t coated in a thicker polyurethane-style finish. 

The instrument itself is relatively lightweight, I would have no issue wearing the SL2MG for a long rehearsal session or gig. However, the SL2MG also  manages to feel substantial enough to not feel fragile or fall victim to the dreaded neck dive phenomena that can plague some guitars whilst worn on a strap.

Much like its other American Series brethren, the SL2MG boasts a nice 12”-16” compound radius, meaning the fretboard gets progressively flatter as you get higher up the neck. This fretboard radius lends itself extremely well to comfortable chording down by the nut and blazing leads higher up the fretboard.

Speaking of frets, this time around Jackson have opted to include stainless steel frets in the package. Stainless steel frets seem to be a feature that more and more players are seeking on stock guitars and as per always it’s great to see a large manufacturer like Jackson keeping their ear to the ground and actually giving working players what they want. 

The three-piece speed neck is a typical Jackson profile, essentially feeling thin but not too thin as to cause cramping in the fretting hand whilst playing chords for extended periods. I am usually not a fan of painted necks but the SL2MG’s satin finish means that this neck never feels sticky or slow avoiding a common ailment that occurs amongst some painted necks. 

A beautiful, dark ebony fingerboard, Luminlay side dots and graphite reinforcement round out the neck specs on this model. A stainless steel truss rod adjustment wheel ensures that making adjustments on the fly is no issue whatsoever regardless of where you are or what tools you have on hand. 

In terms of hardware, the Jackson American Series SL2MG houses the tried and true Floyd Rose 1500 series bridge. A common OEM piece that does a great job of holding tune even after the most vigorous tremolo bar use. 

Gotoh MG-T locking tuners

On the headstock, I was very pleased to find a set of Japanese Gotoh MG-T locking tuners. While the benefit of locking tuners on a guitar with a locking nut may be negligible these are high-quality units that will be sure to withstand the rigours of regular gigging and studio work.

In terms of electronics, we have the classic EMG 81/85 set which by this point have become somewhat of an institution in the metal world. A three-way switch and master volume and tone provide the SL2MG with plenty of versatility despite being a relatively simple setup.

My time spent with the new SL2MG was highly enjoyable, the guitar is simply a joy to play and delivers in all aspects that matter. From bone-crunching rhythm tones to the cleanest of cleans, this Jackson never misses a beat and always comes back for more.

All in all, the SL2MG is well worth looking into if you are in the market for a high-end superstrat. Jackson has gone all out to provide features that will meet the demands of the modern-day player and If things keep going this way I can’t wait to see whats next for the Jackson American Series.

For more info, visit Jackson Guitars Australia.