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Thread: NGD! Jackson Monarkh SCG

  1. #1
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    Default NGD! Jackson Monarkh SCG

    Well, I had some money burning a hole in my pocket. I've been looking at single cut/Les Paul-style guitars. My main gripe with Les Pauls are: the glossy neck, the heel joint, and the smaller frets. I really wanted a gold top that would address some of those issues. I had been looking at a Sire L7. I also looked at LTDs and Schecters, but I kept coming back to the Jackson Monarkh. It is probably enough to make a classic Les Paul fan throw up in his mouth, but I love Jackson necks and jumbo frets. Ghost sharkies and locking tuners are icing on the cake. Apparently the Pro series bolt ons are built in Mexico but the neck-through and set neck ones are built in Indonesia.

    It seems that I'm getting one of the last ones out there. Jackson discontinued the gold top so there are none in MF's warehouses. The one I'm getting is from an Ohio Guitar Center. It has some minor scratches on the back of the neck by the headstock, apparently from it being taken on and off the hangar. It seems very minor. They knocked off $50 on top of the $100 it was already marked down.

    Hopefully they repacked it well. They are saying it will be here tomorrow...

    Here's the page on Musician's Friend. It's not actually an SCQ because the Q means quilted top.
    https://www.musiciansfriend.com/guit...64691000003000
    Axen: Jackson DK2M, Fender Deluxe Nashville Telecaster, ESP LTD Surveyor-414
    Amphen: Jet City JCA22H and JCA12S cab, Carvin X-60 combo, Acoustic B20
    Effecten: "Thesis 96" Overdrive/Boost (aka DVM OD2), Hardwire DL-8 Digital Delay/Looper, DigiTech Polara Reverb, DigiTech EX-7 Expression Factory and CF-7 Chorus Factory, Danelectro CF-1 Cool Cat Fuzz
    "I don't need no instructions to know how to rock!"--Carl Brutananadilewski

  2. #2
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    And? Did you get it yet? We need a review, please...
    "Always go heavy on the effects and try to blind the audience with expensive gear." - hubberjub

    I mean, no offense, but I don't really see why, like guitar players from Creed, or something like that, are on the cover of guitar magazines. Almost anybody can sit down and learn to play those songs.
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zip View Post
    And? Did you get it yet? We need a review, please...
    It came in the mail today! It's amazing how every motorized vehicle starts to sound like a UPS truck

    Anyway, I got it out of the box and it showed some effects of hanging in a Guitar Center for a while. What I mean by that is it is a bit dusty, the body needed to get some fingerprints off it, the tuners were a bit sticky. The scratches on the neck are not even noticeable unless you see it in the right light. I can't feel it. The strings were also beyond repair and one broke at the tuning peg in transit. I had my wife pick up a set from the local GC on her way home from work.

    First of all, the bad:
    OK, it's not THAT bad, but there are some cosmetic issues. The binding on the bottom of the neck is spotless. The binding on the top has some very small cracks in it, no doubt due to the wood shrinking in the cold. I can't feel it when playing but it is easy to see. They also apparently didn't mask things off quite properly when they put the clear coat on the body so a bit of it in a perfect line is visible on the back of the neck and the binding on the top of the neck in the same area as the body itself. Why can't this be on the bottom where I can't see it?!? I've got 45 days to decide if that is a deal breaker or not.

    Also, it desperately needed a setup. The neck was ramrod straight, to the point of being back bowed even though I put heavier gauge strings on it (10s instead of 9s). Also the bridge was set too high. All of this I can easily correct. It will take a couple of days because I don't want to adjust the neck too much. Thankfully the truss rod works great. Once I've got the relief right I'll get the bridge to its proper height and adjust the intonation. I also gave the fretboard some mineral oil. It didn't seem dry, but since I had all the strings off anyway....

    The pots work, but they are very little and have inconsistent taper. That is an easy fix if it annoys me enough. I also think that the nut might be cut just a smidge high on a couple of strings. I always wanted an excuse to get nut files...

    The indifferent:
    The body has a matte finish instead of a gloss one. I wasn't aware of that. It still looks nice. It appears to change color, getting darker as you go more off-axis. Kinda cool actually.

    The good:
    I love the heel joint. Way better than any other Les Paul I've played. You can actually reach top frets easily. I also love how straight the pull is on the headstock. I don't anticipate tuning issues. Locking tuners are awesome and should be mandatory on every guitar.

    The JB/'51 pickups are a classic combo. The only "issue" is the JB/Jazz combo on my DK2M is very similar. The frets are very shiny and there don't seem to be any high spots. Love me some jumbo frets.

    The guitar seems to have a bass resonance that my other two guitars don't have. It's not boomy by any means, but when you play it acoustically it is very noticeable. It is quite light and balances well on my lap. So many Les Paul's I've played are so body-heavy that I'm afraid to lose my grip on the neck.

    Overall:
    The finish imperfections are annoying. They don't affect playability at all, but I guess I expected more from a guitar that retails for around a grand. Once I get it properly set up, I will have a better idea of how it really plays. As of right now, all signs on that front seem good. I wish I didn't have to putz with it that much, but since it hasn't been adjusted probably since it came out of the box and it just traveled in winter weather, I shouldn't be surprised.

    I'll get some pictures up and hopefully some sound clips over the next several days.
    Axen: Jackson DK2M, Fender Deluxe Nashville Telecaster, ESP LTD Surveyor-414
    Amphen: Jet City JCA22H and JCA12S cab, Carvin X-60 combo, Acoustic B20
    Effecten: "Thesis 96" Overdrive/Boost (aka DVM OD2), Hardwire DL-8 Digital Delay/Looper, DigiTech Polara Reverb, DigiTech EX-7 Expression Factory and CF-7 Chorus Factory, Danelectro CF-1 Cool Cat Fuzz
    "I don't need no instructions to know how to rock!"--Carl Brutananadilewski

  4. #4
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    Here's the guitar itself. The light in my office is washing it out a bit.
    https://photos.app.goo.gl/KhC62KmPLdH7U1wv7

    The clear coat overspray on the neck heel.
    https://photos.app.goo.gl/ThdDJPSKd4ahM47i6

    The overspray on the binding of the neck
    https://photos.app.goo.gl/4LaxbnkDUwDnmMny7

    Closeup of a binding crack
    https://photos.app.goo.gl/B6U966MmPkvee9o76
    Axen: Jackson DK2M, Fender Deluxe Nashville Telecaster, ESP LTD Surveyor-414
    Amphen: Jet City JCA22H and JCA12S cab, Carvin X-60 combo, Acoustic B20
    Effecten: "Thesis 96" Overdrive/Boost (aka DVM OD2), Hardwire DL-8 Digital Delay/Looper, DigiTech Polara Reverb, DigiTech EX-7 Expression Factory and CF-7 Chorus Factory, Danelectro CF-1 Cool Cat Fuzz
    "I don't need no instructions to know how to rock!"--Carl Brutananadilewski

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by marnold View Post
    The clear coat overspray on the neck heel.
    https://photos.app.goo.gl/ThdDJPSKd4ahM47i6
    I looked at the pictures of the guitar on MF's site which they no doubt got from Jackson. That strip is on those pictures too, so apparently that is intentional. Maybe it's because the back of the neck is unfinished and they want it to serve as a transition?
    Axen: Jackson DK2M, Fender Deluxe Nashville Telecaster, ESP LTD Surveyor-414
    Amphen: Jet City JCA22H and JCA12S cab, Carvin X-60 combo, Acoustic B20
    Effecten: "Thesis 96" Overdrive/Boost (aka DVM OD2), Hardwire DL-8 Digital Delay/Looper, DigiTech Polara Reverb, DigiTech EX-7 Expression Factory and CF-7 Chorus Factory, Danelectro CF-1 Cool Cat Fuzz
    "I don't need no instructions to know how to rock!"--Carl Brutananadilewski

  6. #6
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    Congratulations! How does it sound? Can you get us a clip of you playing?
    The Law of Gravity is nonsense. No such law exists. If I think I float, and you think I float, then it happens.
    Master Guitar Academy - I also teach via SKYPE.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert View Post
    Congratulations! How does it sound? Can you get us a clip of you playing?
    Here's the thing. It sounds great, but it also sounds just like my beloved DK2M since it has essentially the same pickups. So, I made an executive decision to return it. The cosmetic issues aren't huge, but I don't want to see them on a new guitar that I paid $750 for. Also I popped open the control cavities and noticed that they have tiny pots, a cheap switch, and loosish jack. I expected that on the JS series but not on the Pro series. Those are a serious step back from my DK2M. Put it all together and it wasn't exactly sparking joy.

    Lest this all would seem too sad, I have ordered another guitar. I won't say the name of the manufacturer, but it is remarkably similar to what I do for a living...
    Axen: Jackson DK2M, Fender Deluxe Nashville Telecaster, ESP LTD Surveyor-414
    Amphen: Jet City JCA22H and JCA12S cab, Carvin X-60 combo, Acoustic B20
    Effecten: "Thesis 96" Overdrive/Boost (aka DVM OD2), Hardwire DL-8 Digital Delay/Looper, DigiTech Polara Reverb, DigiTech EX-7 Expression Factory and CF-7 Chorus Factory, Danelectro CF-1 Cool Cat Fuzz
    "I don't need no instructions to know how to rock!"--Carl Brutananadilewski

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