Looking for a soloist guitar - Caparison v Ibanez v Jackson v ???!

jonthomas83

Member
Messages
1,592
Guys, been having sleepless nights about what soloist guitar to get. I have very specific needs re:finish but I can decide on that once I get over the hurdle of what guitar maker to go with.

The Caparison TAT guitars have always intrigued me, I like them, but I've heard that their value drops hugely due to them not being a "big name". As opposed to a Jackson which would tend to hold its value better.

I love the shape on a Jackson Soloist and that would be cool too. Not sure which Ibanez models take my fancy, I'm not a huge fan to be honest, but this looks nice...
http://www.andertons.co.uk/solid-bo...5-yppXdaNiPrhF1nzvtQzeRqYA2R7eECyoaApwO8P8HAQ

Here's the jackson
http://www.projectmusic.net/jackson-usa-select-sl1-soloist-gun-metal-grey-15110-p.asp

And here's the Caparison
http://www.guitarguitar.co.uk/elect...06HHDO7FHxphKE50sdEmIRZwLycPdk3LqAaAogg8P8HAQ

The alternative would be to go for a custom made Sabre Ghost guitar, these are stunning, but again, I worry about their value once I've taken the plunge...
http://www.sabreguitars.co.uk/ghost-6

Any thoughts absolutely welcome!
 

iced_earth

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
444
I've never owned an Ibanez, but I have played a few Jackson's and Caparisons. You'll first have to figure out if you prefer bolt-on or neck-through. I wouldn't say either is better, just different. Generally (and these points can be argued for pages and pages) bolt-ons have a faster, snapier response while neck-throughs are known for longer sustain and better upper fret access.

For both Jackson and Caparison, I've played some great guitars and some real dogs. If you can buy from a store with a return policy then start there. The Jackson necks I've played have tended to be a little flatter and more shoulder. Caparison have a similar depth, but a little more curve (less shoulder). Both are shredder friendly and have a similar depth/nut width.

Not too many people like the Caparison pickups, so expect to want to change those. Caparison was started by former Jackson Japan employees, so don't expect a lot of difference between the TAT and Soloist. I've played both (I own a soloist and played a TAT for about 20 minutes). The overall vibe/feeling is fairly similar between them.

For Ibanez, just think really skinny/flat necks... some people swear by them, some hate them...
 

Gar O'Brien

Member
Messages
215
I've had a lot of Ibanezes in my time. It's rare you'll get a bad one, but there are quite a few meh ones out there. In the sense that they didn't really speak to me. Perfectly capable shredders though, all of them; just lacking that bit of soul. If you are buying, and you're based in the UK, definitely look at the second hand market. Usually, people upgrade the pickups and the guitars devalue like crazy!

Jacksons I've found to be overpriced here. For me, at €3k, a guitar should be spectacular, and most of the Jacksons I've played have been good, but not great. Caparison I've only played one and it was grand; but again, go second hand!

Other brands to consider are Suhr which was mentioned already, and potentially one of the petrucci musicman models. I've played a majesty artisan and own a JP6 and they're both excellent instruments. Really shred friendly necks but a little more inviting to play. I'd prefer the JP over the majesty, but that's personal preference.

The other one to consider would be a Washburn N4. It's not for everybody, but they can be had cheap enough second hand, and they necks are just wonderful to play.
 

jonthomas83

Member
Messages
1,592
Thank you guys. I'm very much keeping my options open and am thankful for the advice.

What do you guys think about a regular PRS without Floyd Rose? I'm not precious about the Floyd thing, just want something that will sound huge (high gain wise) and plays well/fast (shreddable!)
 

Gar O'Brien

Member
Messages
215
Thank you guys. I'm very much keeping my options open and am thankful for the advice.

What do you guys think about a regular PRS without Floyd Rose? I'm not precious about the Floyd thing, just want something that will sound huge (high gain wise) and plays well/fast (shreddable!)
For me I've never found PRS want to shred. You can do it on them, but that's not what they scream to me. Certainly compared to the aforementioned guitars :)

Oh, actually one guitar I have that I forgot about is the EVH wolfgang special stealth. That thing is not quite Ibz etc, but it does respond very well to fast playing
 
Messages
3,956
Would vote for the Jackson.

I have had Ibanez, Jackson, ESP, PRS and so on... For the shred I really liked my SL1. The Ibanez guitars that I have had were hit or miss. The only thing I will say is I hates the paint cracks that ALWAYS form around the neck after a couple of years...model didn't matter - Jem, RG, S series. The Jackson was top notch. No complaints about it at all.
 

PBGas

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
6,321
Ya...I'll take the Ibanez over any of these models. Tried them all and the Jackson guitars have never been my thing. I dislike the feel of the necks on them and the frets just feel gigantic. If you like that then, fine. I know many folks do, so no issue there.

I've never had any cracks in the neck joints of my Ibby's, especially with the AANJ. I've had many of them over the years and have been using Ibanez since 1982. Those cracks happen more with the older square joint. When you keep your guitar in extreme environments without humidifying that is going to happen with any instrument. I've seen my share of Jacksons with the same.
 

Bobby D

Member
Messages
11,821
get a vintage early-mid 80s Jackson Soloist and experience the magic that used to be....
 

critter74

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
5,053
Thank you guys. I'm very much keeping my options open and am thankful for the advice.

What do you guys think about a regular PRS without Floyd Rose? I'm not precious about the Floyd thing, just want something that will sound huge (high gain wise) and plays well/fast (shreddable!)
I'm a fan of the old Ibanez Sabres. 88-91 or so. I love the body's and the necks.

I used my '92 PRS CE-24 for shred for years. So whoever said you cant do it on those... well its true for some but certainly not all. Strangely the best neck on any PRS I own (of the 5) is the SE Custom 24 I have. It is the best shred neck, followed by the CE-24. Part of that is my comfort with the CE-24 as I've had it since new and it was not on ly my #1 but my only guitar for years.

I do like the Ibanez Sabre's a lot though and want to own another (I had an '89 and a '90 RG-550 in my teens. Bought when they were new. I can't even remember what happened to them as I unloaded them at least 15 years ago. Stupid me.)

I don't care for Jackson's. Maybe its the frets. Not sure. But Ive never cared for them.

That Ghost 6 guitar looked great though.
 

Gallery

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
7,689
I've never played a Caparison, but Jackson USA vs Ibanez I'll take Jackson. I prefer the neck through design. If that's not a factor for you, the Ibanez Prestige line is excellent value.

I would bet that either way, Jackson or Caparison, you will take a big hit on resale. Jackson's do not hold their value well. Ibanez might do the best choice to prevent significant loss on resale.

If you plan to order custom, Jackson is a great value, but the custom shop has a reputation for both not delivering on time and not delivering as spec'ed, but in my experience they will work to make it right. Suhr is a great custom option and have a reputation for nailing it the first time on time.

If buying online, buy used so you don't take a hit. If you're looking for a gun metal gray SL1, be patient and I'd bet one pops up.
 

TheFlyingBear

Member
Messages
874
I'd take a look at Carvin/Kiesel as well. They are shipping worldwide now. I'm not sure if the cost is any different in the UK, but at least in the US, I think they are the best high end new guitar value. Their offering of stainless steel frets is what does it for me; they play great and stay that way. They have several shred worthy models in both neck through and bolt on format. The ST300 or DC series are most like a soloist.

If you're worried about resale, just stay away from cosmetic upgrades: skip the fancy woods and finishes and it really won't be that bad.
 

Juxtatone

Member
Messages
12
Guys, you can now actually compare Jackson v Ibanez v Caparison on our site. After you make a free account, send me a message with your username and I'll give you 24hr access to mess around. I personally LOVE Jacksons and currently have a Caparison (actual one on Juxtatone's library) and love it also. Little different feel. Neck is much rounder and narrower as you will see on the neck profiles.
 

PaleRider

Member
Messages
184
I have several Jacksons, one Caparison (an Applehorn) and a 1990 Ibanez RG 550. I like the Ibanez, but it is my least favorite of the three. In my opinion, you can't go wrong with either the Jackson or the Caparison- but that is just my opinion. If possible, put your hands on the guitars and decide what you like.

I don't buy my guitars to sale, so resale value is not a concern to me.
 




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