The Jackson USA Select-series convinces with sheer quality instead of a mile-long list of features.04/17 I edited the price-score to reflect the range of guitars we reviewed since then.
This is the final part of my “Jackson review-hattrick”. After writing about the mid-priced Chris Broderick Soloist Pro 7 and the cheap but pretty awesome JS32-7Q I’m now venturing into more expensive realms with the Jackson USA Select B7.
But are its relatively basic features worth the slightly steep price tag? Well, first let’s have a look at the specs.
- Alder body with AAA flamed maple top
- 1-piece bolt-on quartersawn maple-neck with graphite reinforcements
- 27“ scale
- Ebony fretboard
- „Hipshot-Style“ Jackson Hi-Mass hardtail-bridge
- 3-way Pickup Selector
- Volume- & Tone-Knob
- DiMarzio D Activator Pickups
- hand-rubbed oil-finish
- comes with a pretty cool case
The first thing I noticed when opening the case was the intense vanilla scent of the Tung oil-finish. It instantly reminded me of meticulously handcrafted furniture and believe me, it feels very natural and smooth.
It’s also the finish that makes the thin D-shaped neck extremely fast and comfortable. Although it’s a 27″-neck, it doesn’t feel huge at all. Even if you are coming from a 25,5″ scale, you’ll instantly feel right at home. Shredders will be delighted by the deep cutaway and the contoured neck-heel. By the way: some guitars of the USA Select-series come with a bolt-on-neck with the Jackson-style, somewhat clunky, neck-joint while others come with kind of a set-thru-neck.
The awesomely smooth finish continues on the three-piece alder-body and the thick, AAA-graded flamed maple top. Because of the natural finish, the top doesn’t appear as “deep” as you’d expect it to be and unfortunately, it isn’t bookmatched.
The USA Select B7 is a very light and comfortable guitar and it’s very well balanced. Despite the long neck there is no neck dive, which also makes the instrument remarkably easy to play.
Like I mentioned before in the Chris Broderick-review: I really like the somewhat unconventional, slightly skewed shape of the B-series nody, but I know that it’s not everybodies cup of tea.
To be honest, I was a bit surprised about the hardware. The Jackson USA Select B7 comes with the same Jackson-branded HT-7 “Hipshot-style” hard-tail-bridge as the entry-level JS32-7Q. There is nothing wrong with that bridge, but I somehow expected that Jackson would use prestigious third-party hardware for their more expensive US-models.
The B7 comes with Jackson-branded Gotoh non-locking tuners and recessed Dunlop straplocks. Recessed straplocks may seem to be a tiny detail, but I absolutely love the clean look of it, although the rectangular cutout on the upper horn looks a bit clumsy – bummer.
The two DiMarzio D-Activators are controlled via a recessed volume- and a tone-pot and a standard 3-way-switch.
This guitar is not exactly loaded with features. No bindings, no fancy, colorful finish, no coil-splitting or other special circuitry. Its biggest feature and also the best thing on the Jackson USA Select B7 is the sheer quality of the craftsmanship!
Of course it’s impossible to capture the remarkable craftsmanship in pictures, so you have to take my word for it, but the B7 is flawless in every sense of the word. By the way: the fret-job on the beautiful and only slightly streaked ebony fretboard is one of the best I’ve ever seen.
The Jackson USA Select B7 comes with a relatively light set of D’Addario XL-strings (.09-.56), which works for standard-tunings. I strung it up with a set of D’Addario NYXLs (.09-.58) and was perfectly happy in Drop A.
The maple neck/alder body-combination just works and I’m not exaggerating when I say that you can also hear the quality of the USA Select B7. As you might know by now, the D-Activators are my go-to-pickups, so I wasn’t surprised that I felt right at home when I plugged the guitar into my audio interface and played through the new TSE X50 version 2.4, which I also recorded the following samples with.
We are giving away two licences for TSE X50. See the box below for instructions.
The Jackson USA Select series convinces with sheer quality instead of a super long list of features. And to be honest: Who needs bindings, flashy finishes and fancy woods when you can have a perfectly crafted instrument like the USA Select B7? With a street price of $ 2,099.00/2.129,00 € the Jackson USA Select B7 is relatively pricey, though.