Review: Jackson Chris Broderick Soloist 6

by Chris Gill, Video by Paul Riario
Posted Jan 18, 2013 at 5:33pm

It’s no surprise that a signature model guitar designed by Megadeth lead guitarist Chris Broderick and Jackson Custom Shop master builder Mike Shannon is a lean-and-mean shred machine.

However, the Jackson Chris Broderick Soloist 6 is packed with so many ergonomic and performance enhancements that players who aren’t into Megadeth or even metal in general should check it out as well.

FEATURES

The Chris Broderick Soloist 6 is a solid and substantial-feeling instrument based on Jackson’s popular double-cutaway super-Strat Soloist design, but the cutaway horns are sleeker and the lower bout is slanted to give the guitar a more streamlined look as well as a more balanced feel.

The neck-through-body design provides a seamless transition from the maple neck to the mahogany body wings and quilted maple top, and a deep, semicircular scoop provides easy, comfortable access to the uppermost frets, even at the 24th fret on the low E string. The neck features an inlay-free ebony fretboard, 24 jumbo stainless-steel frets, a 25 1/2–inch scale and a 12-inch radius, which, combined with its shallow, flat neck profile, provides a smooth, fast feel.

The Soloist 6’s electronics circuit offers several enhancements, including push-pull coil-split switches for each of the two humbuckers (the bridge splits via master volume, the neck splits via master tone) and a mini toggle below the master tone control that functions as an on/off kill switch. Other pro-quality, high-performance features include a recessed Floyd Rose Pro low-profile bridge, Planet Waves locking Auto-Trim tuners and Ernie Ball strap locks.

PERFORMANCE

The Soloist 6’s custom-designed, direct-mounted Chris Broderick DiMarzio humbuckers deliver exceptional clarity and articulation that let chords sound big and chunky and single-note lines sing with bold, assertive presence. When the coils are split, the tone is very Strat-like but with a little more meat on its bones, and various combinations produce a wide variety of tones, from chunk to punk to funk. The three-position pickup selector is mounted under the bridge humbucker, making it very easy to access while playing, and the switch’s throw is parallel to the strings, so you never have to worry about switching pickups accidentally.

Although my example was somewhat heavy, it was very comfortable to play when strapped on. The neck feels like a dream, making it easy to blaze across the entire fretboard and hit each desired note cleanly and flawlessly.

THE BOTTOM LINE

You don’t have to be a Megadeth fan to appreciate the high-performance playability and first-class tones of the Jackson Chris Broderick Soloist 6, which truly offers something for players of all styles.

LIST PRICE $3,999.99
MANUFACTURER Jackson Guitars, jacksonguitars.com