Jackson has teamed up with Sepultura’s Andreas Kisser for a signature Soloist and the only question we have is why it has taken this long.
A thrash pioneer, and latter-day legend of metal guitar, Kisser has been playing Jackson for 30 years now, and it only seems right that he should join an artist roster that includes the likes of Scott Ian, Adrian Smith and Marty Friedman.
This looks like it was worth the wait, particularly if you’re a fan of the Brazilian metal institution’s 2020 studio album, Quadra, because the cover art adorns the top of a predominantly all-black Soloist.
“After three decades of playing Jackson guitars, it is an honour to have the opportunity to release my own signature model,” said Andreas Kisser. “With the Quadra, I wanted to create a guitar that was comfortable to play, looked killer and provided great quality as well as performance. I knew the cover of our latest album, Quadra, would be a perfect fit for the artwork.
“The design was inspired by speaking to friends, studying and researching the history of money. Sepultura fans have been asking for a signature model from me for a long time, so I’m happy we can finally give them a chance to own the very same axe I use to shred my riffs and solos on stage.”
- Anthrax’s Scott Ian: “My first Jackson was just game-changing for me. I never looked back. It just felt like, ‘This is the one; the sword out of the stone’”
Kisser’s Soloist is released under the Indonesian-made Pro Series range, which means it stacks the spec high with pro-quality features, but keeps the price hovering just above a grand. This one will set you back £1,179 / $1,399, and for that you get an eminently shreddable S-style.
The Soloist was a quantum leap for hot-rodded S-style electric guitars, eschewing the typical bolt-on build for a neck-through design, and that is what we have here, too, with the maple neck reinforced with graphite rods and scarf joint, and not so much joining the body as being sandwiched by solid nyatoh.
But just look at the back of the guitar in the pic above; the sculpting around the neck exposes the whole of the fretboard, typical of the high-performance electric guitar format that Jackson pioneered with the Soloist.
The body seats a single humbucker, with Kisser opting for the tried-and-tested active EMG-81 at the bridge. No need to be fussing around with a neck pickup here. There’s no tone control either. Just a volume pot and a hot, active humbucker. Turn it up and have at it. There is of course a Floyd Rose 1000 Series double-locking vibrato so you can nail Kisser’s anarchic lead style.
As with its siblings in the 2023 Jackson catalogue, the Kisser Soloist has a 12” to 16” compound radius fingerboard, seating 24 jumbo frets. It has a 25.5” scale. Pearloid Sharkfin inlays count out the frets on the ebony fingerboard, with single-ply binding along the edge to frame the ‘board. And it’s nice to see an old-school Jackson fan like Kisser opting for the six-in-line headstock – a design Jackson would do well if it could improve upon.
In the demo video at the top of the page, Kisser says, like most players, he got into the brand through the late, great Randy Rhoads. You will often find him playing an Rhoads onstage with Sepultura. Maybe that could be a future signature guitar project for the Jackson R&D department and Kisser. You never know.
Head on over to Jackson for more details.