Review: Jackson Concept Series Limited Edition Soloist SL27 EX

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Review: Jackson Concept Series Limited Edition Soloist SL27 EX

Jackson SL27
Words by Jamie Colic

Jackson Concept Series Limited Edition Soloist SL27 EX | Fender Music Australia | RRP: $3799

In 2024 the Jackson Concept Series has set out to bring a fresh coat of paint to a plethora of classic Jackson designs, implementing subtle tweaks in spec that are sure to excite even the staunchest Jackson traditionalists. 

Jackson Concept series

The Jackson Concept Series Limited Edition Soloist SL27 EX is essentially the embodiment of this mission, boasting a bold modern aesthetic that is simultaneously new yet familiar. 

Cloaked in a stealthy gloss black finish, the SL27 EX just screams metal and who would expect any less from a Jackson?

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However, this time around, Neon Yellow accents on the Seymour Duncan pickups and 12-fret inlay strike an immediate contrast that is bold enough to make an immediate statement without going overboard and landing in the land of the gaudy.

As is commonplace with Jackson guitars of this price range, this model ships with Jackson’s signature Foam Core case. Essentially a deluxe gig bag that provides a perfect fit for the Soloist, there is even room inside to fit gig essentials such as cables, hex keys and the ever-important spare pack of strings.

In classic Jackson fashion, the SL27 EX body has been carved from Alder, a resonant and relatively bright tone wood that lends itself well to down-tuned modern metal as well as virtuosic shred antics. 

One aspect of the SL27 EX that differentiates it from a standard soloist is the fact that it features an arched top, a trait borrowed from traditional single-cut guitars. 

This type of top will generally feel more comfortable to play, particularly for extended periods of time, as the smooth contour of the instrument’s face provides a sculpted surface for the player’s forearm to rest upon.

As this Jackson is a Soloist it encompasses a neck-thru design, this time constructed by three pieces of maple with a graphite reinforcement incorporated directly into its build. This ensures that the SL27 EX’s neck will remain stable under a plethora of different conditions where other instruments may be vulnerable to shifts in neck relief. 

Finished in a lovely satin, the neck of the SL27EX feels fantastic to play. This is due in part to Jacksons’ signature 12”-16” compound radius and the instrument’s prestige stainless steel frets. 

Another feature that makes the Jackson Concept Series Limited Edition Soloist SL27EX stick out amongst the rest of its pointy head-stocked brethren is the fact that 27 frets are emblazoned upon its pristine Ebony fretboard.

A feature that is generally reserved for top-tier custom shop models, Jackson has not only hammered these frets into the neck of this instrument it is clear that plenty of thought has gone into making them easily accessible for even the smallest of hands.

Jackson Concept Series SL27

A subtle feature that will make a difference for gigging players is the inclusion of Luminlay side dots on the SL27 EX. These position markers actually illuminate in lower light conditions, ensuring that you will never be lost on the neck even on the darkest of stages.

Combining these specifications with the fact that the SL27 EX’s neck profile is neither too thin nor too fat ensures that it feels great regardless of whether you are playing the arpeggios of a maestro or the most Neanderthal of chug.

In terms of hardware Jackson have opted to include a Floyd Rose 1000 series tremolo with the SL27 EX, a common unit on this level of guitars. These trems are both durable and reliable ensuring that you need not sweat on even the craziest of divebombs.

Additionally, Jackson have handled the tuning situation by including a set of their own brand-sealed die-cast tuners. Once again, these are quality units that will ensure your tuning satisfaction for years to come. 

Seymour Duncan TB-6 Distortion Trembucker

Regarding electronics, we are in familiar territory with a set of American-made Seymour Duncan humbuckers. This time around we have a TB-6 Distortion Trembucker in the bridge and Single Coil sized Hot Rails Strat humbucker in the neck position.

These pickups are a fantastic choice for the Jackson Concept Series Limited Edition Soloist SL27 EX. The Duncan Distortion is essentially a tried-and-true JB model with a ceramic magnet, making it the ideal companion for grinding, tight rhythm work. 

Similarly, the slanted Hot Rails Strat neck pickup provides a smooth, searing lead tone that is sure to appease even the most stringent of shredders. Neon Yellow accents on both pickups give them a sweet Custom Shop look that will be sure to make you stand out in any crowd.

Controls are rounded out by a master volume, master tone and three-way switch. A subtle design feature that may be easily overlooked is the fact that the pickup selector has been placed before the volume and tone pots. 

This is great news for players who like their pickup selector easily accessible as the volume pot is well out of the way, posing no risk of accidentally rolling down over the duration of your set. 

The Jackson Concept Series SL27 EX is a fantastic option for any player looking for a high-performance shred axe that comes with looks that kill. But beware, if you are indeed interested in picking up one of these rippers act fast as they are a limited edition model that won’t be on the racks of your local Jackson dealer forever.

For local Jackson enquiries, visit Jackson Australia.