This splendid Soloist has a top made of beetle kill pine. I have to commend the murderous beetles that killed this tree-they picked quite pretty-loking piece of pine. Before we talk tone, we have to linger on how special this wood is, because it has quite an interesting story. Beetle kill pine is what we call wood from trees felled by the mountain pine beetle, a species that bores into the tree to lay its eggs, eventually "suffocating" the tree. This turns it into dead standing timber, which is a real ecological problem. Even though beetle kill pine is still structurally sound enough to harvest, it often winds up as kindling for forest fires.
That's why it's so cool to see our friends at Jackson promoting sustainability by using it for guitar tops! And, ecology aside, I think we can all agree that beetle kill pine is a suitably metal wood for a Viking-worthy axe like a Soloist.
As far as sound goes, this Soloist is a monster. The Seymour Duncan Trembucker in the bridge position is pitch-perfect for a shred machine. The lows are tight but with enough girth to feel satisfying, the mids have plenty of punch and snarl, and the trebles sizzle and sting. So, it's killer for crunchy rhythms and cutting leads. The neck pickup is quite warm, with throaty midrange, woody lows, and singing highs; in other, words, perfect for smooth, thick lead tone.
Anyone looking for a beautiful shred-worthy guitar with an interesting backstory will love this sah-sweet Soloist!