Jackson debuts first-ever made-in-Corona guitars with radically revamped American Series Soloist SL3

Jackson American Series Soloist SL3
(Image credit: Jackson)

Jackson has introduced an all-new version of its Soloist SL3 electric guitar, the American Series Soloist SL3, which ushers in the brand’s first range of guitars to be made entirely in Fender’s California factory.

The arrival of the all-new American Series is likened to a “long-awaited homecoming”, and is set to offer instruments “built for speed, precision and power, taking the best of the best from Jackson design history to create an elite tool for the modern player”.

Up first is the reinvented American Series Soloist SL3. Said to be “radically engineered for speed”, the latest iteration of the SL3 design is the first to be wholly Corona-made, and joins its preexisting Japanese-made Pro Series predecessors.

The American Series Soloist SL3 is available in a quartet of colorways – Gloss Black, Platinum Pearl, Riviera Blue and Satin Slime Green – and at first glance seems to bear a number of similarities to the Pro Series version.

There are, however, a few key differences. The American Series version sports an alder body – as opposed to the basswood or poplar alternatives on current Soloist SL3s – and a graphite-reinforced three-piece maple neck, said to be insusceptible to bending and warping.

With speed clearly on the agenda, Jackson has kept the thru-neck construction and Speed Neck profile, which are paired with a 12”-16” compound rolled ebony fretboard in an effort to provide the ultimate in seamless fretboard navigation.

The result is a speed machine that is said to be “the fastest guitar in Jackson’s portfolio”, and one that can cater to a new generation of diverse heavy metal players.

Jackson’s latest Soloist SL3 model also introduces Luminlay side dots, promising optimum visibility on darkened stages, though maintains its distinct heritage by opting for the Shark Fin inlays and the Concorde six-a-side headstock.

Other notable appointments include the Floyd Rose 1500 tremolo and the HSS configuration, which comprises Seymour Duncan’s JB TB-4 bridge humbucker, Custom Flat Strat SSL-6 RWRP middle single-coil and Custom Flat Strat SSL-6 neck pickup.

These are controlled by the classically streamlined Soloist control layout, featuring a five-way pickup selector and master volume and tone controls.

Of Jackson’s latest lineup, Fender CEO Andy Mooney commented, “I’ve been a metal fan since I could buy records; my first two were Black Night by Deep Purple and Paranoid by Black Sabbath. I love metal as it’s home to so many virtuoso players, whose fans want to emulate them, the way I emulated Ritchie Blackmore.  

“Jackson guitars are built to play fast and loud,” he continued. “We want to ensure this generation of heavy musicians have the tools they need to inspire the diverse audiences who love them. 

“We’ve gone to great lengths to make the American Series Soloist SL3 the guitar that defines today’s ever-evolving metal sound. And we’ve made sure they are fast, fast, fast.”

Fender’s EVP of Product Justin Norvell echoed, “Jackson has a DNA that is unmatched in the heavy music space. Bringing Jackson's craftsmanship back to its Southern California roots has been a labor of love for all of us.” 

He continued, “The enduring passion for metal enables us to do so. Building this guitar in the Corona factory opened up incredible new design possibilities: the neck is unmatched, each pickup absolutely screams, and there isn’t a single detail about this guitar that wouldn’t make any shredder proud.”

To help launch the American Series Soloist SL3, Anthrax’s Scott Ian offered, “My first experience with Jackson was at Sam Ash, in New York City, in 1982; I was immediately hypnotized by the sheer awesomeness of the guitars and have been playing them ever since.

“Jackson guitars are the perfect tool for the job I do and the American Series Soloist SL3 has me playing better than ever.”

Accompanying the release of the new Soloist SL3 is a short documentary titled Origins of Speed, which stars shredders Ian, Misha Mansoor and Alyssa Day – as well Master Builders Mike Shannon, Louis Salgado and Adam Ehrig – to celebrate Jackson’s new Corona production line.

In terms of price, the Blue, Black and White models will cost $2,599, while the Green version will weigh in at $2,499.

To find out more, head over to Jackson.

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Matt Owen

Matt is a Staff Writer, writing for Guitar World, Guitarist and Total Guitar. He has a Masters in the guitar, a degree in history, and has spent the last 16 years playing everything from blues and jazz to indie and pop. When he’s not combining his passion for writing and music during his day job, Matt records for a number of UK-based bands and songwriters as a session musician.